Friday, January 2, 2015

Organization - Day 2 - Establishing Weekly Plans

You made it past day one of your new year!  The year you are going to get your stuff  together!! Whoop Whoop! You're on a roll now!

Yesterday in this post, we talked about making a list of tasks you hope to do daily. Today, we are going to get a little more specific.  You see, you know your schedule better than anyone else which is why just any home management or personal organizer won't work.  You need to customize one JUST FOR YOU!  

Don't let that idea scare you.  I can assure you that it is simple and easy!  Stay with me.... I promise it all makes sense... just stick with it one day at a time!  And yeah, I totally just had this image of a round haired Cristy Lane and that annoying infomercial pop in my head... and people wonder why I don't watch television!  Ya know, I bet Olan Mills took this picture too.  They always liked the "hand by the chin" pose with the head tilt.  Although, at second glance, she could give Glamour Shots a go with that hair and make up.  But, she doesn't have on enough bling for it to be a true Glamour Shot, however.

But I digress.  Let's get back on topic!

So, because of yesterday, you have already made your list of things that you hope to get accomplished every single day.  This is your DAILY list.  Sometimes referred to as your "daily docket"  "daily agenda"  

To briefly review, you could have something like -- 30 minutes of exercise, 8 glasses of water, vitamins, 1 load of laundry, lay out your clothes for tomorrow, wipe down the sink, daily devotional, reload the dishwasher, read 30 minutes, etc.  Those are all great daily goals to have on your list.

One thing I will say is to make certain that you are making time on your list for YOU specifically.... if your goals this year are to read more, be sure that you're setting yourself up to accomplish that goal.  WIthout action, there are only ideas.  It's time to make what you want happen.. happen!  It can be done!  Write it on the list... do it now!

For me, the idea of breaking down my week into specific days HELPS because it develops routine.  Routines become habit.  When you do things out of routine, it's easy to just put your brain on autopilot and do what needs to get done because you've already established the parameters for getting it done.  This helps SO MUCH for someone like me with an autoimmune disease because on the days when I really can't get anything done, I am not only aware what I'm missing, but also, and more importantly, I know what I need to delegate. 

Creating a routine can be hard, especially if you're kind of a free spirit fly by the seat of your pants kinda person.  However, for ME, I have to have routine because I have three boys in three very different stages of life (a high school freshman, a 4th grader and a preschooler).  Without having a plan in place, I get nothing I want to do done and my life becomes a series of shuttling children between sporting events and social obligations.  That in and of itself requires the flexibility on my part to make it happen... especially if anyone wants to eat dinner before 11pm.  However, I can do this thing called "super mom" because of having developed routines.  Having an idea of what I have going on helps me to establish those daily goals.  It also helps me TEACH my CHILDREN the importance of routine.  I hate, loathe, abhor, detest nagging.  So, if they know every Tuesday they need to do their laundry or every Sunday they can expect to wash their own sheets and remake their beds, it's more likely to get done.  Perhaps with just a gentle reminder, but certainly not a nag.  We all know when you nag... they all look like this. Can I get an amen?

Your motivation to be organized will help cultivate your routine into a habit which makes you happy and creates calm in your universe.  Isn't that an awesome thing to look forward to?  I'm going to teach you to take the stress out of your life... one little day at a time. Seriously, this is huge.  Hop on board.

Again, I digress (do you see why I need routine?  I digress... A LOT!)

So, while some people may have time on Mondays to do the bulk of all household chores and duties, I do not and can not devote much time because frankly, Mondays suck.  

While some people may want to meal plan on Wednesday nights after they get their supermarket flyers in the mail that day, others may choose a weekend to do that.  The beauty of setting up your system is that it is completely personalized to you.  This is paramount to putting these things on YOUR schedule for YOU!  MAKE THIS WORK FOR YOU!

By actually having a routine and a plan, you have afforded yourself the flexibility of being able to be more spontaneous!  Why?  Because now you know when the things that need to get done WILL be done!

So, what system SHOULD you use?  

To be honest, you're the only one that can answer that for you.  There are SO many out there in the blogosphere that it will make your head spin. 

Seriously, if you check out Pinterest your head may explode with all the personal homekeeping binder systems and personal organizer systems that are available.  There are thousands of them.  Some are free.  Some cost... a LOT.  Many you can buy from sites but then you have to download them and worse... you have to print them. Do you know how much it costs to print a color copy?  I do.  It's about a $1... per PAGE! I don't many people that have color laser printers at home that duplex either.  So, while they're really PRETTY, they're really just not practical.  Inkjet... if you get a drop of water on it... there it goes!  I'll make a confession here.  I love pretty personalized planners that are FULL of color and design and coordinated stickers and I can use 15 different colored pens to fill them in.... but at the end of the day, if they aren't meeting all my needs, they're actually deterring my progress rather than being an avenue leading toward it.  So, until I find something out there that does everything that mine will... I'm just going to keep printing mine out, binding it myself and knowing it's perfect -- just -- for -- me!  And you can too!

So, for now, my plan for you is to help you keep it simple.  Get down to basics and then you can pretty it up!  Let your planning/organization style emerge and then, and only then, will you have the tools to be able to tweak another system and truly make it yours.  In order to avoid all the high prices, here is a printable to help you list what you need to get completed on each day of the week.  Click here.  There is room at the bottom just in case you think of something that MAY need to happen but you're not sure when... at least it's in the right spot, just maybe not assigned a day....but being there on that list is 9/10 of the hard work accomplished!

While I have my list of DAILY tasks, I also have a list of tasks specific to any given DAY. For instance, I have some of the following "to do's" on specific days in my week 

  • Sheets (I always wash or have my boys wash their sheets on Sunday)
  • Plan Menus (Yes, I grab the sales flyers, my cook books, sit at my computer and use the online software Plan-To-Eat (there's a link to the right). to drag my recipes to a calendar, the software populates the shopping list and bam, you're out the door.  It's the biggest time saver in meal planning.  Simply amazing.)

  • Mop the kitchen and bath, clean mirrors, and dust.

  • Free day
  • I will focus in one specific area for whatever challenge group I signed up for
  • Spend 15 minutes in my current zone (home is broken down into zones for ease in distributing them throughout the year)  more on that later
  • Scrapbook (again, the importance of scheduling your personal interests and hobbies into your day)
  • Clean out the refrigerator (notice it's the day before grocery day... just makes sense)

  • Grocery Day (kids are typically in school on a Wednesday, take the little one and head straight for the store.  I hit Starbucks on the way and I do believe I could summon my inner Julie Andrews and belt out The HIIIIIIiiiiiillll are alllllllllllllllllliiiiive with the sound of muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusiccccccc just for having been to the store sans children.  It's a spiritual thing.)
  • Zone Clean 
  • Write thank you notes, letters or any correspondence that needs to go out

  • Errand Day
    • Post Office
    • Library
    • Buy gifts/cards
  • Vacuum
  • Spend 15 minutes in the current zone

Friday -  Family Fun Day
  • GCSML Meetings (1st)
  • Clean out purse
  • Clean out car
  • Photography Friday
  • Sync calendars

Saturday Date Night 

This is my typical week.  Does everything always happen on the exact day I'd planned?  Nope.  But, it's easier to work ahead or move things out if there is a plan in place that I know about.  

Some of these terms such as "zones" are used by the Flylady system.  While I do love and appreciate the extensive detail, I did found this method a little too time consuming, cumbersome and WAAAAY too many e-mails, testimonials and sales pitches for the cleaning products.  I don't want post-it notes all over the place and I don't really need or want a daily routine that tells me to get dressed and make my bed.  I do, however, suggest you take a peek because there may be some information to garner from her site.  It's free.  Some people may need and desire that much detail... but for me, notsomuch.  This was one of those where she put hers out there and said to personalize it to your needs but the continual influx of information was still based on what she had set up so it was all just a big cluster @#$@# and made me all splody headed!  I do, however, still use the idea of her ZONES for my cleaning habits.

Another one that others may be interested in is called Unfuck Your Habitat.  Yeah, the name is a tad harsh but so are the hoarding piles and dustbunnies in some people's lives. Expletives scare me not, so, if you can get past the title, check out the page.

Other items that you may want to include on your specific weekly lists:
  • Change/wash all bathroom hand towels
  • Sort through 10 bookmarks or digital files on your computer to cull, delete or organize.  Clutter is EVERYWHERE!  Digital or otherwise.
  • Restock your car with supplies.
  • Cull magazines
  • Clean bathroom mirrors
  • Mop a specific room
  • Dust (you can go a bit further and specify certain rooms on certain days)
  • Family game night.
  • Grocery store
  • Clean toilets, sinks and tubs
  • Meal plan
  • Vacuum
  • Errands
  • Work on your home inventory with photos, documentation and back-up video for insurance purposes.
  • Personal filing
  • Calendar / schedule check

So, your task now is to go through what you KNOW your schedule to be and write down those specific items that you know need to be done on specific days.  

Ready.  Set.  Go!  I would love to know what you've added to your lists!

Happy New Year! Let's Get Organized for your day! It's time for the Lists

Well, it's the first day of the new year... and man it's been a doozy of a day for me.  Crohn's.  Sucks. 'Nuff said.

However, with the "down" days, I still try to do, plan, be organized and present.  Today is no different.

With the new year comes the new year's resolutions.  As I've stated time and time again, I am not a resolutions maker.  Why?  Because people tend to make them... screw up once and have the mindset of "well, I gave it a go."  Then they go back to their old ways of doing whatever it was they were attempting to change silently thinking "failure" in their mind.  What a way to sabotage your motivation!

Friends, I'm here to tell you the ONLY time you FAIL is when you QUIT!  Or stated differently by someone I highly admire...

I've loved some of the meme's I've seen about that very thing... quitting over one hiccup.  Ya just don't need to do it!  
I'm always fascinated by the idea of resolutions for the new year.  I don't really understand WHY people feel the need to wait for a whole new year to make positive changes in their lives when they have the option to do that EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

Aren't I just a ray of sunshine?  

I'm thinking of the typical new year's resolutions I hear (in no particular order)

1) lose weight
2) stop smoking
3) stop drinking
4) eat healthy
5) get fit
6) further education
7) further career (raise, promotion, etc.)
8) take a trip
9) get out of debt
10) get organized

So, HEY, if you're on the resolution bandwagon and need the motivation of a new year (which is here now) and want help to get your groove on and plan your a new, blank slate... your time is now!  And aren't you lucky?  That's what I'm here to help with RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE!  


The easiest place to start with any of your resolutions is by getting organized!  Why?  Because you can't do any of the other until you actually accomplish that goal.  I'm not talking about having color coded bins with all of your children's socks matched, your garage floor squeaky clean and have homemade cleaners whipped up to make your house eco friendly (although, that is coming, if you're interested).  I'm talking about simply starting out your day with a plan -- an organization of your time, if you will.  

Unless you're a freak of nature, it's not common to wake up ready to roll with a mental list already made, whittle away that list, forget nothing, stay on track, manage all the curve balls thrown at you and feel accomplished at the end of the day with all your i's dotted and your t's crossed with your gold plated calligraphy pen without missing a beat.  If so, you could just BE Batman.  But, I won't have that preposterous notion floating around in my head so we will focus on the fact that we need to get you organized!

And, lucky you!  It's a new year.  You have a clean slate so let's move forward with that momentum to get you a plan.  The key to everything is to use that momentum to make this into a habit.  Once it's a habit, you've worked yourself into your own personalized plan.  So, simply stated, to start out -- you need a plan.

There are TONS of systems out there... but if you're like ME, they're never just quiiiiiiite right for you.  How do you go about having a system in place when you can't find a plan you can use straight out of the (proverbial) box?  Well, if you're anything like ME -- you MAKE one!  I'm not one for conformity anyway.

So it's time to break out your ole pen and paper, grab a cup of something delicious and let's get started! 

There ya go... pick a pencil... any pencil. 

I like to start out simple and grab a pencil and a spiral binder.  It's a GREAT tool to start working on making your plan.  It's new, clean, lined paper just waiting for a list!  The very first few pieces of paper are going to be the guide to the rest of your life.  I'm serious.  Take those pages and across the top of the first several ones, write the following headings:
















Can you guess what comes next?  That's right, you get to have a major brainstorming session of the things that you WANT and HOPE to accomplish during each one of these time periods over the next few days.

This is YOUR MASTER list.  YOU know where YOU live and when things happen in YOUR life so you're not going to be dictated to when something wanted something done because that's when it's printed on your planner.  You're going to put it on YOUR planner because THAT is what works for YOU!  See? I just can't roll with the other.  I don't like or appreciate people telling me what to do when.  I like to be in complete control.  

So, because I do, get to as well!  Yay us!  I kind of feel like we should be running in with arms pumped in victory because this will be our plan!  It will be good!

Keep that motivation running.... let's start today with a Printable Daily Docket you can get here.

I'm telling you, you will want to add this snappy shirt to your yoga pant ensemble and you will DESERVE IT!  

So, start your "DAILY" brainstorm... What are things that you have to do every day no matter what.  This could be something as simple as "take your medicine" or "walk the dog" or "check the mail" or "do a load of laundry"... "set dinner out to thaw"... "journal"... "feed and water the dogs"... "tolerate the cat" (Hahah!  I'm not a cat person).  But this list... this DAILY list should contain things that you want to do on a daily basis regardless of the day of the week.  

I've seen plans written out "make bed" on the daily list.  Me, personally, I really don't need to waste the space or devote the time to make sure that I check that off of my list because when I get out of bed, I pull my covers up.  It's already an engrained habit in my head requiring me no reminder.   However, I'm REALLY bad about taking my vitamins at night so I DO keep that one on there as a visual reminder to do what is needed.  If you are one of those people who needs the extra nudge via a check box and reminder, to make your bed or to help you establish a HABIT so that it becomes second nature and part of your permanent plan, by all means, throw it on the list.  You're certainly not going to offend this girl.

Record your daily goals or goals you HOPE to establish this year to do on a daily basis.  

Tomorrow we will work on specific weekday assignments.

Get listing people!  There's a method behind my madness... want to know why I do what I do?  

Because at the end of the day, I want to hold my children's attention longer than I hold my phone.  I want the relationships I foster to be ones that are tangible.  While my friends on Facebook matter to me... they are not the ones that need my attention.  My family is and so by creating a plan of action, everyone's needs will be met and I will feel accomplished, satisfied... and... dare I say it... super!

And just because we're talking supers.... this is more my style.  :)  Just sayin;