Where does time go? Balancing work, family, personal time and leisure is so hard. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned a very valuable lesson; I have to make realistic choices when it comes to what I do with my time. Because I’ve struggled with balance in the past, I use a planner to help keep me organized. Here’s what I do:
First, I look at my work calendar. Because I’m a teacher, we have lots of scheduled breaks and days off. I write each of those dates down in my planner. Keeping track of those days allow me to plan vacations and trips in advance.
Next, I write down any annual events or things that I know will be happening during the course of the year. For instance, I know my son is having a birthday party, my husband and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary, and my church will host their end of the school year celebration, to name a few.
At the beginning of each month I write down things that I know will be happening. I’ve probably received an invitation or a notice about these things or they’re monthly occurrences. These are most likely parent meetings at my son’s school, event invites, family fun, lesson planning, date night, hair appointments, blogging, etc… I also love to write in my laundry and grocery shopping days as well.
Because I’ve already planned for big events and monthly occurrences, my weekly planning mostly consists of things that I must accomplish during the work day. For example, I write down work meetings times and things that pop-up on my Outlook calendar.
Most days after work, unless it’s a laundry or grocery day, my routine is the same and I don’t necessarily plan that out. It’s usually, homework review time with my son, dinner, tidy up, reading with my son, shower, then bed.
I never add things to my calendar daily. On a daily basis I create a to do list. It’s mostly a list of small things that I can accomplish throughout the day when I have some down time. Things like, drop letters off at the post office, change the water filter or make a certain phone call are all to do list items.
I try as much as possible to stick to my schedule because it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed. If someone invites me to something that I have not planned for, if I have time, I’ll attend, if not I respectfully decline.
If something of importance keeps me from sticking to my schedule, I don’t dwell on the missed hair appointment or the cancelled meeting - life happens and some things are just uncontrollable. I do what I have to do and pick up where I left off.
Planning Really Works
I find that planning like this allows me to have more time to rest- And I love me some rest. Of course I love me some spontaneity too, but I definitely love order. After all, time spent is gone forever and you never get it back. We have to use our time wisely.
Share your thoughts and questions below. How do you stay organized?