Well, it's been a few weeks since I've written about my homemade planner, so I thought I'd catch up on these posts a bit. If this is your first time visiting here, Welcome! I'm glad you stopped by! Click on the "Keeping Time" button just above this paragraph, and it will link you to the other posts (and printables) in this series.
I've had a few questions about how the weekly lists and pages work together, so today I will do my best to explain what I had in mind when I drew them up, and exactly how I use them. Keep in mind that I am in NO way an expert or a teacher on time management or planning...the truth is, I am fairly disorganized, and I struggle to keep up with planning and managing things as I should! Part of the reason why I decided to make these printables and the homemade binder, is because having the personalized pages/pretty tabs and papers helps motivate me to sit down and make my plans. :)
This little system is something I came up with over time, after reading a few books on the subject...in an effort to improve in this area of personal challenge. It's what makes sense to me, in my own little way of planning our life. I hope it might work for you, too - or maybe get you thinking about what does work for you! Feel free to ask questions in the comments section if there's anything you're still wondering about ;)
It's really all pretty simple!
.:: Step One :: The Four Weekly Lists...To-Do, Errands, Grocery, Library ::.
These are meant to be used as running lists - meaning that they carry over from week to week. When I sit down to plan, I start by looking over these lists from last week, crossing off everything that was accomplished, and transferring anything left undone to this week's new list. This helps me remember things from week to week....and it also keeps all my notes in one place, rather than scattered all over the house on random bits of paper. :0)
.:: Step Two :: The Daily Pages...(Monday-Thursday and Friday-Sunday) ::.
Once the new lists for the week are written out...it's time to move on to step two - organizing these tasks into a schedule. This step requires the daily pages (Monday - Thursday, and Friday - Sunday) and it's the part that I like to spend the majority of my planning-time on. I start at the top of my To-Do List and work through each item, deciding when I should do it....then writing it in the To-Do section on the appropriate day of the week. Same thing with the Errands list.
The trick here, is that I always end up with WAY more items on these lists than I actually have time to do! So this step is very helpful in figuring out WHAT I will try to accomplish.....and what I'll need to put on the back burner for another week (or just cross of the list altogether!).
Obviously, the hours-section of each day is for scheduling out the day's events....another very helpful thing for me. Even on the days when we don't have anywhere to go, I still like to write in when we will do the key things in our school lessons....mealtimes, snacks....when I need to start dinner, do some cleaning. It's just helps keep our days on track!
I would love to make a set schedule/routine so I didn't have to schedule each day out like this, but in our home things are very different from day to day, especially if we have places to go! So, this is what I do instead.
.:: Step Three :: Meal Plans ::.
I love this part! You can see on each day, I've included a box for all three meals, plus snacks....this was a simple-but-wonderful tip I picked up from my good friend Amanda, and which has made a huge difference in my meal-preparedness! It helps so much to have something in mind for every meal, even if it's just peanut butter & jellies! This way I can plan for nutrition and variety, maybe try some new things....and have all the ingredients ready. :) I finish filling out the Grocery list at this point, too.
And that's it!
Pretty simple, right? The planning-part really is! .....The complicated part is making it all happen ;) But I'll wrap up this post with one little thing I've noticed over time.
This is just a "system" which is, by nature, completely theoretical! Just like all time-managment systems. Meaning that these plans are what we aim for...try to do.... BUT. We all know nothing ever works out in real life exactly as we plan. Including the planning itself. And especially the working out of the planned plan.
I have found, however...over time...it seems that just my efforts in making the planning-sessions happen (however imperfectly!)....as well as the very imperfect execution of the plan....are enough to keep a home, a family, and an organizationally-challenged Mama (Me!) moving in a better direction. ;)
And now it's time for me to go find my planner and get this day going!
Have a Blessed Wednesday!
.:: Linking up at ::.
Women Living Well