Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Why I Changed Quiet Time (Or Five Step Decisions)

The quiet time game changed when Kevin and Micah started sharing a room. Before that Micah had quiet time in his room and Kevin napped in the nursery. Then I moved them into the same room. Micah moved to quiet time in our front hallway that's right off the living room. He loves the quiet time spot; we fix it up with a kid-sized chair, a sleeping bag, toys, and books. 

The only drawback is that my desk in directly in line of sight of the quiet time spot. This distracts me from my work (quiet time is when I do most of my writing and blogging) because I am not a good multi-tasker and it encourages Micah to be much rowdier in an effort to entertain me. So I changed what didn't work. 

I moved my workspace to the kitchen table during quiet time. It takes less than a minute to get my spot put together and to put everything away.  Micah can't see me but I can still hear him. We both get much more from the time with much less stress. 

Sometimes plans don't work the first time. We have to brainstorm new ideas and improvise with what we have. The second or third time might not work either. It might take a training period to teach everyone how to behave or use a certain setup. That's no reason to quit; it's a reason to persevere. 

Here's how I solve logistical problems around our home. 

1. Pray. That may sound silly but God cares about all parts of our lives. And since He's the one directing our thoughts it makes sense to take our problems to Him. I want to do my work with wisdom and He has all the wisdom I need. 

2. Identify the problem. Sometimes this step is the hardest. You can't solve a problem until you know what it is. My problem was that Micah could see me and he's a social child. He's fine playing for that hour by himself as long as he's not trying to get my attention. And I can't work well with that much distraction. 

3. List possible solutions. This is the place to seek counsel if you need too. I definitely asked Justin for input here; he's a wealth of good ideas. There are many other ways I could have handled this problem. I could have moved the quiet time spot. I could taught Micah to ignore me and go about his business. I could have changed the time when I wrote and worked. But the solution I picked was the most effective for the time. 

4. Try it. This time the solution works great. Sometimes it might not. If it does, wonderful! You're done until you have a new problem. If not...

5. Try something else. Pick another option and implement it for a few days. Nothing says you have to get that right the first time. (Obviously I'm not talking about big decisions like who you're going to marry, ok?)

Don't quit when you run into problems or difficulties. Work through them. Give your home and your work there the same respect you would give "a real job." 

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