So often I am asked how I manage to do all the things a good mom does as well as work, blog daily and do all those projects I write about. The answer in a nutshell is LISTS!! I have lists everywhere for everything. I have sublists of lists and sometimes even sublists for the sublists. It’s crazy! If I have not committed “it” to paper there is no chance I will ever remember it. I have so much on my plate, I am barely staying afloat some days. In fact, I have so many lists that I decided to develop a list for my lists. I just seem to write and re-write the same things over and over again, and find myself wasting time looking through my lists for the right list. I finally decided to try something new. It’s a new system and I’m hopeful that it’ll work.
A List with a Twist:
Basically, the same things seem to appear on my lists over and over again, so I thought, why not streamline all of my lists onto one page. I created a Weekly Planning Sheet that is customized to meet my own personal needs. I am hoping that I can work from this one, single list for an entire week. Of course, we will continue to have a Grocery List, but other than that, my goal is to see if I can keep it to one paper.
I created a basic template on the computer and will plug-in events from the calendar every Sunday, before printing it off. The template provides the framework for my whole week and that I don’t have to write scheduled items like “piano lessons” every week, as it is already on the master template. Obviously, I will need to update the little calendar portion at the beginning of each week and plug-in any special appointments or meetings. I created a space to keep track of my workouts, blog posts and I have made several categories for my ongoing lists. For now, I plan to “pencil” in the items on my lists, but if I am finding that they are regular items on my “to do list”, then I may just type them right in to the master template. A great example would be laundry. That is always on my list of things to do over the weekend, so I may decide to add it to the permanent template. I am also not sure if I will have enough room to add everything I need to do, over the course of the week, but as long as I use pencil, I can erase my accomplishments to make room, if need be. My general feeling is that with the separate categories, I should have room, but we’ll see. I am so excited to see how the new system works this week.
You can see the pile of lists I started with and how I combined them all onto my new template. I hope it all goes as planned ~ we’ll see!
Having lists does help me to stay organized and on top of most things, but the bottom line is a list without action is futile. I too get overwhelmed at times and push the worst jobs to the bottom of the list, but what I have found is that action actually creates motivation and momentum. When I am feeling tired and out of gas, I will often scan my list and look for two or three items that will take: Little Time & Little Effort. I take action immediately and knock off those items that require no more than a couple of minutes of my time (making appointments, placing an order, RSVP to an invitation, send an email, etc.). By taking immediate action, I feel like I have accomplished something and the result is often a “second wind” and motivation to take on a bigger task. However, even if I go no further down the list, I have done something and something is always better than nothing at all!
Obviously my template won’t work for you, but perhaps it is something you could use as a guide to create your own weekly planner. Just what every busy mom needs ~ another project!