Friday, October 2, 2009

Schedules and Task Lists - Time Management

How to start schedules and task lists (to-do lists) for a household binder
In the last DOC post, I covered setting up a household binder. This is an important organizing tool for holding important papers, and your to-go area where all schedules and lists should live.
How do you go about creating these schedules and lists? Follow along...

I like many different schedules, this seems counterintuitive but it actually allows me more freedom and flexibility. I find the more structure I have, the easier my life is. My schedules are broken down into the following: (adapted in part from Flylady)
  • Daily (AM/PM) schedule
  • Weekly schedule
  • Monthly schedule

Now, in case this seems like too much at one time, it is! I started with only a weekly schedule, or a schedule of what things I choose to do on each day of the week. After that, I made a daily schedule, or what things needed to be accomplished in the morning and evenings (thus AM/PM schedule.) I made this after discovering the Flylady system. Until then, I had been a disorganized person (or slob, according to some people!)

I decided- only after becoming pregnant for the second time- that the house really needed to be fixed up. Despite having been born to the most organized and clean woman ever (hi mom) I was inept at housekeeping. I was, however, a big fan of schedules and systems. This means that I always liked the idea of them, they just didn't actually do anything for me- because I didn't use them properly. I made a weekly schedule anyway, and just worked on it, determined. With a strong motivation behind me, I started making headway on the clutter (big, gigantic mess.) This system helped me get started, though I wish I had found Flylady sooner- it might have been easier to start with a daily schedule like she recommends.

Since I started with a weekly schedule, this is what I'll be going over here. For a daily schedule, you can either wait for my still slightly lazy self to post next week, or check out Flylady here.


Create a blank weekly schedule, I used plain white blank paper, such as copy paper. Make a graph set-up, with the days of the week listed across side, and then write in any permanent duties- things that are always done the same day. For example, if you go to class on Mondays, write that in. If yoga is Thursday night, write it in. This helps you to see what happens when. Now, you can start adding tasks.

Start a task list, or a to-do list. If it helps, think about all the rooms/ areas in your house. I set my schedule up so that each day I had a different room, i.e. Monday- upstairs bedroom, Tuesday- living room, and so on. I worked this around my other permanent duties. Mondays I always organized my coupons, and went over circulars to write my shopping lists. At the time, our only computer was upstairs, so I made Monday the day I cleaned upstairs mainly because I already was up there! Tuesday I run errands, and our living room is really easy to clean, so since I know I don't like running errands, I made Tuesday a simple housekeeping day. Set up a schedule that works for you.

After you've put in housekeeping responsibilities, I think it's very important to add in what I call "special times." Things like family day, couple day or date night, and personal time all fall in here. Life can be hectic, and if you don't schedule these things, they might never happen. I have two couple days, and three family days written in on my weekly schedule. I also have a personal day, and a few little blocks of personal time for things I love doing throughout the week. Also, try to include time to spend with friends- especially important for at home parents.

I hope this helps give you some ideas of how to set up a schedule. Next week, I'll post on having a morning/evening schedule to help keep your daily chores on autopilot. Have any tips or questions? Please, leave a comment- I love reading what you all think.

I am happy to post this at Family Fridays, Finer Things Friday, and Homemaker Mondays, come see all the great posts!


Amy @ Finer Things said...

I'm working on getting organized,but my real issue is needing a kick in the pants every day to get stuff done!

mahmommy said...

Amy- I still fight with this all the time! I'll be adding more tips in the next few posts about staying motivated.

Jessica said...

I love how you stated "I was inept at housekeeping. I was, however, a big fan of schedules and systems. This means that I always liked the idea of them, they just didn't actually do anything for me- because I didn't use them properly."

Wow...that hits the nail right on it's head for me! I'm completely a lazy mess, but I like systems...and routines! Makes no sense because they are so extreme. I need to learn how to mesh it all together...and add some motivation in there as well! ;)

Another great post!


Montserrat said...

Having a weekly schedule is something I actually have done! And kept at it. It helps tremendously when homeschooling.

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