Why Scheduling Backwards is the Most Efficient Way to Plan

Why Scheduling Backwards is the Most Efficient Way to Plan

Here’s an excerpt from our download, Scheduling Backwards:

Why Scheduling Backwards is the Most Efficient Way to PlanSchoolwork. Chores. Co-ops. Part-time jobs. Sports practice. Church. Music lessons. Doctors appointments. Drama rehearsals. Parties. Errands. There’s always something on those calendar squares, isn’t there?

The struggle with time  management is pretty much universal in our society. As homeschoolers, we have moved past the days when we worried about having enough opportunities for our children’s social development, and now we wonder if we will ever stay home for an entire day! There are so many good activities, organizations, and events in which we can be involved.

SCHEDULING BACKWARDS is a different way of thinking about what goes in those calendar squares. If you’d like to try a more efficient and satisfying approach to keeping your schedule on track, give these easy steps a try for a month.


Why have I found SCHEDULING BACKWARDS to be so vital to my homeschool?

* It puts God first.  Instead of first responding to all the screaming items on my to-do list, it forces me to first ask God for wisdom.  Did you ever stop to think about WHO is putting the items on your to-do list?  If during the night my toddler snuck in to the kitchen and found my notebook on the counter and wrote:

“Go to the toy store and buy one of everything,”

it would not actually be very smart for me to follow my list and complete that task in the morning.  Sometimes the things that end up written on my list have been put there by someone who has no business setting my agenda or making judgment calls for me.

2.  It puts my soul second.  God knew what He was doing when He wired me the way He did.  He knows what balance I need of time to rest and time to work.  He knows how much alone time I need and how much time with others.  He knows what I am capable of and what is actually beyond His perfect design for my life.  His plans for me to bless others will also always be GOOD for me and my own growth as I follow after Him.  Being exhausted and frustrated is not actually a measure of our holiness!

3.  It models important life skills for my kids.  If they see me bouncing around like I live inside a blender, they will learn to do the same.  Whatever opportunity for activity arises, they will take it without first evaluating whether it’s a good use of their time and energy or not.  As parents we will not be able to set our kids’ schedules and priorities forever; we need to give them the tools they need to manage time wisely for themselves.

4.  It encourages others around me.  If I make a mess of things because I’m stretched way-too-thin, I cause a mess for other people as well.  If, instead, they see me sometimes say, “no” to some good opportunities because I have wisely counted the cost and found that it is too high, it encourages them to do the same.  Even if someone tells me, “no” when I really wanted to hear, “yes!” I will understand – and even support their decision – if I can see that it is coming from a place of wise decision-making.

Michael Hyatt, a champion of intentional leadership, wrote this blog the day after Christmas, and in it he shares a link to a free Excel spreadsheet you can download to take a look at your year as a whole before you even begin filling those calendar squares.  His ebook Creating a Life Plan is a resource Kym and I are going to work through together in January of this year.  Perhaps it will be a help to you as well.

Yesterday I recorded a Video Journal about Scheduling Backwards, and you can watch it here.  Can you tell I’m passionate about this topic?  :)

Your turn:  How can you be more pro-active in scheduling your homeschool?


Click here to download the white paper Scheduling Backwards for the practical application ideas of this philosophy of time management.


PRAYER is the NUMBER ONE MOST IMPORTANT tool for wise scheduling.  Even if you think your homeschool schedule is perfection itself, take it to the Lord for a regular check-up.  This week we have slashed prices on Vicki Tillman’s excellent Prayer Journal resources to encourage you in your conversation with the Lord.

Click here for Prayer Journal I and Prayer Journal II.

Sabrina Justison

20+ year homeschool mom and curriculum developer for 7SistersHomeschool.com. Fred's wife. Writing, drama, music, blogs, kids, shoes, coffee, & books in varying orders on various days. He is God, He is good & He loves me.

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