Thursday, January 16, 2014

How I Plan: Part 4

On the last post, I walked you through planning a whole month at a time. That’s the easy part. The hard part is following through with the plan. Here’s what I do.

Using My Plan

On Saturday or Sunday, I review the week coming up and try to plan more specifically when I will do the things I hope to get done.

Each night, I plan the next day. In MinimaList I have three lists all together that comprises my “planner sheet.” The first is the list for the week I’m in. Next to that I’ll have a list for the day at hand. Thirdly, I have a list for the weekly chores for each day of the week.

When I go to plan my day, I review the week, and the chores for that day. I have categories for my day: My Morning (before the kids get up), After Breakfast, Quiet Time, Afternoon, and Evening.

As I complete a task, or a day ends, I can make that item look crossed out or I can simply delete it. If it’s a daily task, or in my week lists, I just cross it out. Later, I can uncross it.  That way, I don’t have to add it again at the beginning of a week. Here’s an example of what I am looking at when I’m done planning a day (for me these are side by side, but I don't know how to make it that way in blogger... sorry!):

January 5-11
5 - pitch-in @ church
6 - Theophany
7 - Peter
8 - go to Robin's
9 - email people about address change
10 - Move! / ladies night
11 - Will has camp

work on post
go to Robin’s
email Emily
order boots
work on post
do family post
listen to talk with Will

Daily Tasks
Sunday - make dessert
Monday - empty trash
Tuesday - counters & sink
Wednesday - water plants/dust
* evening - plan menu/make shopping list
Thursday - clean chairs/mop/kombucha
Friday - clean bathroom
Saturday - vacuum
* evening - write menu on board

Let me point out that all of these lists are simply guides. I don’t always do what is on the list. Sometimes because something more important comes up or I simply decide it doesn’t need to be done. Sometimes it’s because I’m lazy. But, it’s on the list so eventually it will be addressed either by getting done, reassigned, or deleted. But not forgotten.

For example, instead of working on a post this morning, I choose to read blogs. Just means I have more to do when I do go to write. And I didn’t dust on that day because we were about to move. The lists are just there to guide and remind me so that I can make the best use of my time.

Also, I want to mention that certain routines such as laundry, things with the kids, etc. are built into our days so I don’t have to add it to my list. If I am working on a new routine, like I am with My Mornings, then I add that routine, step by step, to the list so that I stay on track. Once that becomes ingrained, I will only list things specific to that day.

Wrap Up

I realize this may seem really rigid to some people. For me, having all that I want and need to do on list somewhere, frees up space in my head, and really, my soul. I can relax. That’s not always an easy thing for me to do. And I’m such a dreamer and achiever, that I’m always thinking of things I want to do or work on. If I don’t have a place to put them, then it clutters up my inner life!

This system has really given me a freedom and helped me be more productive. With all that I want to add to my plate of the next few years, I know I’m going to need to be really organized. With this system, I feel confident I can do that.

How do you plan? Do you have a need to have an organized plan or can you fly by the seat of your pants?

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