I have a treat for you today. I’ve invited Jennifer from Wildflowers and Marbles to share a post with you. I stumbled across her post about her workspace set up using beautiful clipboards a few weeks ago, and I was hooked on her blog! I pretty much immediately ordered an Erin Condren clipboard so I could do the same. (If you’re as excited about the clipboard idea as I am, you can click here to get $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase). Jennifer is going to tell you about how to make your plans reality, and she definitely knows what she’s talking about. She stays organized while homeschooling 5 kids and living a full life.
Well hello from down south! My name is Jennifer Mackintosh and I blog about planning, organizing, homeschooling (we have 5 kids with one graduate), and home making for our family of 7 at my blog, www.wildflowersandmarbles.com
I’m a busy mom and life is full! I’ve got several plates balanced and spinning – from wedding planning with my oldest daughter, to homeschooling our other four children, to sports activities and new drivers and speaking engagements – and a hundred little to-do’s in between! My schedule isn’t always as packed as it is right now, but life always seems to be full – whether it’s a family event, an appointment, or just the daily stuff! And my bet is that you can identify with that, too!
Whatever planning tool you find most intuitive (I love my Erin Condren Life Planner), consider your time wisely, be reasonable about how you “spend” time (especially if you have young children!!), and walk your plans from paper to reality with a few simple steps!
1) MONTHLY – sit down and consider the month ahead. This is probably the most useful planning time to me and I like to do this on a Sunday afternoon, looking toward the upcoming month. Time investment: 1-2 hours/month. If you’ve got teens or adult children at home, this is the time to catch up with them and see what they’ve got going on for the month that might affect you. Things to note in monthly planning:
• Recurring events like birthdays and anniversaries
• Classes and activities that are already scheduled
• Date nights! This should be a priority on your planner – peg it to a day before your plans get away from you!
• Travel plans
• Sports schedule if you know it
PRO TIP: To set this monthly planning time up for success, use a pouch or small folder that stays inside your planner to collect all of those little pieces of paper you collect regularly that list times, events, appointments, etc. If something pulls on our time, I collect it in a small pocket folder in my planner – it’s about giving things a place to land so you can manage them. This keeps me from running all over creation looking for the little piece of paper that details the times of the upcoming drivers ed class. When you’re ready to sit down and grab your planner you’ll know that you have everything you need right there to get started: all those little pieces of paper you’ve been collecting, your monthly inspirational stuff, and your planner supplies – time to sit down and start mapping it all out in your monthly spread.
This weekly planner step is absolutely crucial, and this is another good time to check in with your older kids/teens/young adults living at home. My adult daughter will grab her planner and coordinate with me at this time in case I need help retrieving a younger child from an event one day, or a babysitter another day, or a pinch hitter for grocery shopping. Get those older kids coordinated with you – modeling time management gives them skills and useful tools to bring to their own future vocation!
3) DAILY – At this point in the planning funnel, you’re at the narrowest part. You’re living it! I check in with my planner in the morning, throughout the day, and usually in the evening after the kids have gone to bed. These are check-in times, so my planner is open on my desk (keep your planner in a high traffic zone that you’ll pass by several times a day), and I may check something off, slide something to another day (I draw a little pink arrow next to an item on my planner if I need to slide it to another day), add something to the day, check in with my personal goals, check to see what my menu plans are and any prep work I might have noted.
Sign up to receive the free Get Organized Once and For All ecourse.