Monday, August 24, 2009

Trying to Get it Right

I'm awake so much earlier than I'd like to be this morning. L had it all figured out for a few days. She went to sleep at 8pm and slept until 5:30am. It was heavenly--all but the fact that I didn't go to bed at 8pm on those nights or even close; it was more like midnight, but I had things I HAD to get done that I wasn't able to do during the children's wakeful hours.

Anyway, thank goodness she's so cute. Here's what she looks like this morning; all bright eyed (well, at least one of us is). She is now eight weeks old.

I would like to say that I am a very scheduled and organized person. I would really like to be one of these "has it all together" kind of women, but alas, I am not. It is a continual quest with me. Someday. Oh yes, someday.

Here's the latest strategy. When I went back to school shopping with the kids, I purchased a Franklin planner and a white board for myself. I have been using an electronic planner for the last seven or so years, but I'm finding that it's not the best with the way I do things, so I'm happy to go back to paper. Franklin's were my life from my second year of college on. Z and I used go out and buy each other our planner refills each year for Christmas--I know, how romantic, huh?

Each night before I go to bed, I write the next day's schedule and my to do list on the white board. It greets me when I first wake up.

A few months ago, when I was struggling with my random personality, I found that my day could be divided into five different sections and that there were certain tasks that fit into each section. I based these tasks roughly on Flylady's way of doing things. This worked really well for me. I checked those things off my list each day. I felt like life was together, so these things make the white board as well. For anyone who's interested and may have a similar way of thinking, here's what these five sections look like:

EARLY AM (approx. 45 mins.) - start around 6:15am

  • Scripture study

AM (approx. 1 hr. 10 mins.) - start at 7am

  • Make bed
  • Pray
  • Wash face/brush teeth
  • Get dressed
  • Make up, hair, earrings
  • Straighten bedroom
  • Start laundry
  • Make breakfast
  • Dishes
  • Straighten kitchen
  • Clean sink

Late AM - 9am to 11am

  • Read with kids
  • Straighten house
  • Today's zone (see below)

Afternoon - 11am to 4pm

  • Make lunch
  • Clean kitchen
  • Clean sink
  • Read, sing, and pray with T/T's naptime
  • Laundry
  • Scripture study - alternate time #1
  • Free time
  • Prepare snack for kids
  • Time with kids
  • Start dinner (4pm-ish)
  • Kids' jobs

Before Bed (approx. 1 hour 10 mins.)

  • Straighten house
  • Shine sink
  • Shower
  • Floss, wash face, brush teeth
  • Wipe bathroom sink
  • Jammies on
  • Last load of wash into dryer
  • Lay out tomorrow's clothes
  • Pray
  • Check calendar for tomorrow
  • Scripture study (alternate time #2)
  • Track today's finances and points
  • Set up schedule for next day

Knowing how I am and how my life is, I have had to set up an alternative plan for scripture study, which is by far the most important thing in my day. If there were other things that I figured were high priority, I'd probably have alternates for them too. I also have to remind myself to just look at the task at hand and not get overwhelmed with the entire list.

The other thing that having a Franklin does for me is that it makes me want to set goals. The one thing I want to accomplish in the next couple months is to streamline my house. Things just keep piling up. I have broken my house down into ten weeks of cleaning and given a task in each area to each day of the week (Monday through Saturday). I tried to make these tasks things that were doable in a couple hours time. Today, for example, I'm cleaning off and out my bedside table. The other day, I cleaned out the left side of my bedroom closet. I have also given myself flex days and the last week is a catch up week. If I happen to miss a day, I either squeeze it into another day when the task is smaller, or I fit it into a flex day. I just continue with the plan each day not stressing over those things that have been passed over.

Of course amongst all of this are feeding the baby, bathing the kids, and all the other things I have to do. These either make the to-do list or just get done amongst the other jobs. I try to stay flexible. I know that my children, like their mother, rebel against being pushed into a rigid plan, so I try to keep this in mind as I deal with the things I do that involve them.

As for the "zones," I love this idea of Flylady's, here's the plan:

  • Sunday - planning day
  • Monday - laundry and upstairs
  • Tuesday - grocery prep and kitchen
  • Wednesday - desk tasks and downstairs
  • Thursday - errands and car
  • Friday - catch up and date night
  • Saturday - deep clean and family fun

The most important thing I do on a daily basis is train my children. My job as their mom is to teach them to be self-reliant. For this reason, there are a number of things I don't have on my list. They are picked up by my children. I also give myself the freedom with the above list to delegate any of the tasks to someone else. There is no law that says I have to do it all.


Cherie said...

I have "listed" my days in a very similar way for years. It really helps to be organized!
Good Job!!
I personally am entering a new phase of life and trying to figure out what in the heck it is so my lists are changing and it is kind of rough. I like routine.

P.S. Your daughter is so incredibly cute!

Alyson said...

Oh Julie, she's so cute. I just want to hold her for you while you do your long to-do list! More pics, sweetie, more pics of your gorgeous girl, please.

Lynda said...

Ok, seeing little Lachlan almost makes me feel like having one more!!There's something about having a baby in your home, she's totally cute!!
Just so you know I think you are super women! your list makes me tired just reading it, btw, so when do you schedule blogging and FB!
You always motivate me to be better. Thanks

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