Planning Your Day, Week and Month
Planning can be something that can alleviate your stress and organize your life. Planning also frees up your mind.
The following steps will assist you in getting the most out of your planning, as well as giving you a guide on how to plan. So many people will ask where do I start? The answer isn't always the same, but it can be made easier by taking it step by step. Lists are key to any plan and the goal is to provide you the reminders that you need without you trying to remember what needs to be done. Think of your lists as your templates to successful planning.
Standard Errands List
Create a standard list of errands that you run. Standard Errands can include, grocery shopping, car maintenance, stores to go to, the bank, the gym, pharmacy, car wash, library, dry cleaners, dentist, government offices, spa, manicurist, massage therapist, post office, doctor, vet, or salon. You can make your list as extensive or minimal as you want. Standard Errands are ones that are repeated frequently. You may do them daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. Once you have created and come up with a finalized list of Standard Errands, I recommend laminating the list, this will extend the life and you won't have to re-write.
To Pay List
Having a To Pay list will help you keep track of your reoccurring payments. This can keep your finances and budget on track, as well as your sanity. Knowing when your bills are due and when they need to be paid are the two main factors to this list. Make sure to take the time to budget everything out for each month. Depending on how you get paid, such as bi-weekly, can effect the pattern of your bills that get paid. For example, with a bi-weekly paycheck, there are going to be a few months that you could end up with three paychecks instead of just two. Don't forget to factor in your savings for each paycheck! Be sure to note the name of the bill, due date, and amount for each item.
Make sure to check out the article regarding Budget Boards. This is very helpful to me when I need to figure out when to pay what bill.
To Clean List
It is recommended to have a set cleaning list. you can choose one or two areas to clean per day, making your list as simple or complex as you like. It is a good idea to have these tasks on a rotation of either weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. Scheduling out cleaning gives you the opportunity to delegate tasks to the kids and it allows you to do a quick check to make sure they have completed their duties. If you know what needs done, it will be easy to follow up!
Schedules - Family/Personal/Work/School/Activities
It is extremely important to get everyone's schedules planned out. Trust me when I tell you that a paper planner, either a book or wall calendar, is a mus for this especially with kids and all those activities. If your kidos are like mine, they like to be able to see what is going on and coming up for themselves. I actually post our school calendars, we currently have 3, by our front door. This serves as a reminder for the kids as well as my husband, who may have tried to take our youngest son to school on a day that ht had no school. Way to go Mom, LOL.
Routines Lists are separate from schedules. Routines are tasks that you complete at a specific time with specific duties (i.e. Am/PM Routines, Brain Dumps, Goal Reviews, Next Day Planning Prep). Routines can be a long or short list, but generally they are performed daily. This is another list that when you have completed or finalized the routine, you can laminate. Once again, extending the life of your list.
Misc Errands/To Do/To Pay Lists
This list is created on the fly, kind of. It is an important part of daily planning and are usually things that are not set to repeat on a regular basis. For example, you may go to the dry cleaners once in a while, but not on a regular basis, this is the list you would utilize for that task. This list can be compiled daily, moving the tasks you don't complete to the next day, or you can compile the list at the beginning of the week and add to it if needed. I often times will use this list to make sure that I schedule things that are a few months out. Because I don't always write them on the planner on the exact day.
In all of your planning we do have a few other tips and tricks for you.
Weekends - Generally we do not recommend scheduling your Standard Errands, Cleaning, or To Pay over the weekends. This is for a couple of reasons. First it gives you the ability to have your weekends free for family and activities. This also helps when planning because most often events and activities are scheduled for the weekends. This also provides you time to schedule in Date Night too. ;) And it means you won't spend the entire weekend cleaning. Because you deserve a break from that too.
Post-It Notes & Page Flags
When planning out future events, Post-It Notes and Page Flags are great! They provide you the ability to schedule an activity and then to move it around if necessary. This is also great for those that choose to decorate their planners, as you are able to decorate and pretty up the event/activity in your own way.
Planning your time will give you more freedom and less stress. It also provides you the ability to delegate tasks and to make certain that you are utilizing your time effectively rather than allowing time to run a muck. Because face it, we have all been there, in the moment of panic or frustration because we lost track of time.
Make sure to give yourself grace when things don't go according to plan. You can always modify your plans, because you have a good idea of what is going on and can adjust accordingly.