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Recently, I wrote to you about the reasons why I start to appreciate again the idea of time management, planning, organization, the actual pursuit of my goals and the like (here is the article with
When I left my plans for the last week and a half, my stress and sense of chaos increased, and even real, tangible chaos at home and various matters became apparent.
That is, my system, when it works, gives me something: it reduces stress, helps to do things that I want to see done, and in the evening it can let me know that I have done enough and I can rest calmly (calmly! without lists of tasks to do flying inside my head! can you feel it?!).
And the fact that in recent days I didn’t stick to plans probably means that I should look at my system and change something in it. I probably still want to take on too much, I still set too many tasks for the week.
And as a mother who is at home with Boys aged 3 and 5 years, I have breaks, difficulties and interruptions from my tasks every now and then. Not to mention that just taking care of Boys, going out (on casual walks, to do the shopping, to forest bath or take a one day trip), meals, laundry and keeping the home in good condition requires a lot of time and energy, also mental (when you do decluttering and take decisions).
So here is what my planning system looks like, which is based on creating a weekly action plan.
1 | The list of weekly household chores
I chose tasks that are important and should be done regularly. They include vacuuming, grocery shopping, washing the balcony (in summer) and other, rather necessary tasks.
On the list, there is one, at most two tasks for each of the six working days of the week.
2 | The list of monthly household chores
I also wrote down things that I would like to be done from time to time, but not every week. Not-so-necessary tasks.
There is, for example, a change of tablecloth, a review of Boys’ clothes, tidying up in their room, a review and cleaning of cabinets in the bathroom and the like.
I have 30 tasks, one for each day of the month. Tasks are not rigidly assigned to days, which you will read more about in point 4.
Some tasks, such as washing mirrors, floors or changing bedding, I wrote twice on the list, because I would like to do it twice a month (and doing another list, tasks to do every other week, would be an unnecessary complication).
3 | To-do lists for various areas of life
I have a few pages on which I write things that I would like to do in a specific area of life.
I have a page with one-off tasks related to home (e.g. tidy up the basement, change the adjustment of the belts in the Older Son’s car seat, pickle cucumbers), a page with ideas for blog texts, a page with other blog tasks that I would like to do (e.g. creating an order in categories, creating description of the next recommended course, refreshing the logo).
4 | How do I create the plan for the week?
On Friday evening I sit down with these lists and the plan from the previous week. I take a blank page, divide it horizontally for six days. Each day has a column with its name, a second with a place for writing tasks and a third for marking
First, I write down the task or two tasks from the list of necessary homework for each day.
Then I check what days of the month this week covers and look at the monthly tasks with these numbers and divide them between six days.
I write when I would like to go to the gym!
Later, depending on the needs, my energy, the phase of my period and how we plan the next week, whether the Husband will have more free time or whether I will be much alone with Boys, I add blog tasks, one-off homework assignments, important tasks that I did not do last week and of course, current matters such as appointments, checking something in finances, shopping for necessary things, etc.
The plan is not rigid. If I meet at noon with a friend in another city and I know that I will be home in the evening, I plan for that day… almost nothing.
If we have a wedding anniversary or a Boy’s birthday, I do not plan for such a day vacuuming or blog tasks – I can plan more tasks for the previous days.
If you’d be interested, recently I’ve written how my organization for kid’s birthday looks like.
I have to say that with such a system I normally do 80-90% of my weekly plans, even when being the constantly interrupted mom and meal giver.
And the woman who improved and polished my weekly planning system in Phylicia Masonheimer with her course Driven Women Grace Based Productivity for Christians. In her lessons, she includes the reality of mom of young kids (she’s one of us!).
The regular price of her course is $120 and I can tell you it’s worth the price! But for a limited time, it’s also included in the Ultimate Productivity Bundle, with other time management resources and different kinds of planners. And the whole Bundle costs only $49.97. Details are here and here.