Part 4: Getting Personal – A Look at My Schedule and How I Divide My Time

Hey pals!  Welcome back to day 4 of our series on creating a life you love.  On Tuesday we chatted about how you need to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others and I shared a few of my own personal tips that help me feel my best so that I can then pour into the people I love most!  Yesterday we talked about rhythms that keep our home and day flowing with ease. 

In today’s post I’m sharing a look at my own personal daily and weekly schedule.  Before we dive in, there are a few things that I want to point out.

  1. Our life is very unique.  My friends laugh over how our life is so different than the usual 9-5 M-F family.  I’ll agree with that statement in that I have power over my daytime flexibility, but also will say that consistency is on your side for evening flexibility if you’re doing the 9-5 grind in life!
  2. I run a successful business that allows me to stay at home raising my daughter during the day and then I shoot sessions on evenings and weekends. My husband is a firefighter that works 48 hour shifts.  (Remember when I said my life was unique?)  I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I point this out to say that not every day looks the same for us and the schedules shown below are a good generalization.  Some afternoons I may have a shoot, so things get shifted.  Some days my husband is home so I can get a run in mid-day.  Some days I may be shooting a 12 hour wedding so my entire day’s schedule starts from scratch. I plan for our days well, but have the grace to know things may need to shift.
  3. My schedule changes as our life’s season changes.  From working two jobs, to raising a child and running a business- our seasons change and so does our schedule.  When we start preschool in the fall, our season will be changing again!  Just the same, you may be in a completely different season and your life looks totally different than mine! (Again with the grace to know what works best for each of our personal seasons!)
  4. We are fortunate enough to have family close by.  Henley goes to my mother in laws two days a week for a few hours so that I can get some uninterrupted work time in.  I work extra hard to fit in as much as possible during that time so that I can turn work off and be fully present as a mom/wife when that time is up.

The key to all of those points is FLEXIBILITY and remembering that every single one of us (you and me) is leading a different life with different responsibilities and outlines.  Yet, all of what we chat about this week can be customized to fit YOUR personal, individual, unique life!! Now lets gets started.

Here is a glance at what my week looks like.

Sundays : Sabbath/ Family Day/ Rest and recover from working a wedding the day before

I protect my Sundays as much as possible to devote to my faith and my family.  We go to church and then spend the day together.  We usually don’t plan much because I am physically and mentally exhausted after shooting a wedding the day before.

Mondays and Tuesday : Office Day 

I use these days specifically for office work.  Editing, emails, content creation, etc.

Wednesdays and Thursdays : Shoot Day

These mornings are usually spent running errands/grocery shopping and then I prep for and travel to my afternoon photography sessions.

Fridays : Home/Family Day

This is the day that I protect more than any other.  I realized quickly when I was working 7 days a week that a day off was a not a luxury, it was a necessity.  Friday is the day that I clean our home, catch up on any extra laundry, and dive into family time.  No matter what, this is my nonnegotiable (the exception is for weddings only).  I used to feel guilty about this (and still do at times) but my family is at the top of my priority list and if I don’t protect this time, I wont be honoring our opportunity for quality time and I wont be serving them and our home the way that my heart longs to.

Saturdays: Shoot Day or Family Day

Most Saturdays are spend prepping for, driving to, and shooting weddings!  If I come across a Saturday that isn’t already booked by a bride, I’ve most likely booked it with a portrait client.  And!  On the very rare occasion that I don’t have either scheduled for that day, I devote it to family time!!

As for hourly schedules, here’s what a typical Monday or Tuesday looks like for me!

6:00-6:30 Wake up, coffee, Read my Bible

6:30-7:00 Get dressed for my workout, prep Henley’s breakfast

7:00-8:00 Henley wakes up, eats breakfast, gets dressed

8:00-8:30 Take Henley to her grandma’s for the day

8:30-9:30 Exercise

9:30-10:00 Shower, Get dressed for the day, Hair & Make up

10:00-3:00 Office Time

3:00-3:30 Pick up Henley

3:30-5:00 Play with Henley and catch up about her day

5:00-6:00 Prep Dinner

6:00-7:00 Eat dinner, clean up

7:00-7:45 Play with Henley

7:45-8:30 Henley’s Bedtime routine (bath, books, bedtime)

8:30-9:30 Spend time with Brad and finish a chapter of my current book

9:30-10:00 Get ready for bed

10:00 Bedtime

Wednesday/Thursdays

6:00-6:30 Wake up, coffee, Bible

6:30-7:00 Get dressed, prep Henley’s breakfast

7:00-8:00 Henley wakes up, eats breakfast, gets dressed

8:00-9:30 Spend time with Henley

9:30-10:00 Exercise

10:00-1:00 Errands/Groceries

1:00-3:00 Get ready for shoot (shower, dressed, bags packed)

3:00-5:00 Drive to my afternoon session

5:00-7:00 Photography Session

7:00-9:00 Pick up dinner/Drive home

9:00-10:00 Unpack, get ready for bed

Fridays

6:00-6:30 Wake up, coffee, Bible

6:30-7:00 Get dressed, prep Henley’s breakfast

7:00-8:00 Henley wakes up, eats breakfast, gets dressed

8:00-10:00 Spend time with Henley

10:00-5:00 Clean house, catch up on any extra laundry, family time, exercise

5:00-6:00 Prep Dinner

6:00-7:00 Eat dinner, clean up

7:00-7:45 Play with Henley/family time

7:45-8:30 Henley’s Bedtime routine (bath, books, bedtime)

8:30-9:30 Spend time with Brad and finish a chapter of my current book

9:30-10:00 Get ready for bed

10:00 Bedtime

A few thoughts…

Tip 1 : I prioritized work hours over exercise for years.  Then I realized that I was better for myself, my family, and my clients if I prioritized time for moving my body.  I feel guilty for carving out time to exercise when my to do list is massive, but I always remind myself that I can better serve everyone if I make time for this.  Remember this as you are carving time out of your life for exercise or anything else that makes you feel refueled and refreshed.

Tip 2 : I have tried getting up earlier than 6 to get a tackle on my day before the sun comes up and it just doesn’t work for us personally.  Henley is a light sleeper and I don’t see the point in getting up too early if it just means that my 3 year old may be awake at 5 am with me when she doesnt need to be.  Again, this is our season and you may be the queen of 5 am alarms.  Neither of us is wrong.  Find what works for your family! My main tip is to make sure your kids aren’t the ones waking you up.  This is another tip from Emily Ley and it’s gold.  Wake up before your kids, take control of your day from the start, savor that warm cup of coffee and quiet time- then you’ll be better to handle what ever comes that day.

Thats a look at my personal weekly/daily schedule. Tomorrow we’re going to flip the focus from me to you! We’ll dive into helping you determine what gets your time and when so that you can ultimately create a life that you love and one that keeps you feeling like you’re thriving and not just surviving. I can’t wait to see you back for Part 5! Hugs! – Abby

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