Are you one of those people who are so gun-ho on organizing on January 1 and then by February 1 you are so over it? Every blog seems to post their best organizing ideas in January because everyone is set to organize then… but here I am in Feburary posting because I’m hoping it’ll serve as a motivation for you to keep at it.
This is written from the perspective of someone who stays home with their kids but who also has side jobs and projects to factor in… Here are the top five things I try to remember when planning my day, week and month… and even year.
1. I (and you) only have so much time. When I got this planner (it’s a great one from Emily Ley) there was a quote in it that said “Happiness is found on the pages of our calendars.” (Bob Goff) That has stuck with me and I’ve been organizing my days around the mindset that if I pack too much into it I will become insane… and mostly because I’ll be making my kids crazy and when they are out of control, no one is happy. 🙂
2. Prioritize. For the past six or so months I’ve been focused on having 2-3 things on my to do list each day. One errand (or group of errands: I always lump my trip to Target and Trader Joe’s together since they are five minutes from each other) and one or two things to do during nap time. That way, if I get those couple of important things done I feel great and I haven’t made anyone (including myself) coo coo by trying to tick off a million things.
3. Plan. If I have two things I really need to get done during nap time I plan out the steps to getting them done before the kids go down. For example, when I have a painting project I do everything I can while they are awake, like put on my painting clothes, get the paint and brushes set, take the drawers out of the dresser or whatever piece I’m going to paint. Obviously not everyone is going to do a painting project but I can’t tell you how much time I save by simply mentally planning the steps I need to take pre-project time. This can be done with any type of project.
Every day I make sure we do an errand to get out of the house. The kids and I all go crazy if we are in the house too long so I factor that into my daily plan as well.
4. I keep a grocery shopping list in my planner and keep the planner in the kitchen so that I can easily check off what I need when I need it. Pictured is the Real Simple grocery planner because I just found it in a box from years ago but you can always use THIS FREE GROCERY LIST I made.
5. I plan out a week or five days of dinners at a time. Winging it just doesn’t work. That being said, I’m at the grocery story 2-3 times a week. That sounds like a lot to probably most of you but I find that if I buy a week’s worth of produce it’ll go bad so I just have divided up the shopping into two trips.
6. Lastly, I’m always happier if I’m doing these three things every day: sleeping a decent amount, moving (walking or running) and spending time doing my Bible study. Factor in the things you need to do every day and figure out a way to make them happen. This morning I went out when it was 5 degrees out to run because I knew it was what my body needed and last night I went to bed early because I knew Elle would wake us up multiple times throughout the night (she’s a sleep crier). Sometimes the decisions are fun or glamorous but they are worth it…
One of my favorite quotes: The failure to plan is the plan to fail.