This post is adapted from two posts which ran on 10/2/09 and 10/7/09. I have updated them to reflect my new simplified schedules.
My schedules in my home binder are broken down into the following: (adapted in part from Flylady)
Daily (AM/PM) schedule
Making A WEEKLY SCHEDULE
Create a blank weekly schedule. Make a graph set-up, with the days of the week listed across side, and then write in any things that are always done the same day. For example, if you go to class on Mondays and yoga is Thursday night, write it in. Now, you can start adding tasks. 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. At the time, our only computer was upstairs, so thus I made Monday the day I cleaned upstairs. Tuesday I run errands, and our living room is easy to clean, so since I don't like running errands, Tuesday is a simple housekeeping day. Set up a schedule that works for you.
UPDATE: I have since simplified the weekly schedule by reducing the amount of housekeeping- instead of dusting and cleaning in the specific room each day, I only pick up in those rooms. Now, dusting is Tuesdays only, and floors are cleaned on Thursdays. Likewise, I have two set laundry days.
After housekeeping responsibilities, I think it's very important to add in what I call "special times." 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 a few little blocks of personal time for things I love doing throughout the week. UPDATE- I now include personal time every day in my daily schedule. Also, try to include time to spend with friends- especially important for at home parents. UPDATE- I have enforced these, simplicity means getting back to what's really important.
As I've said, I am not organized by nature. If you fit in this category with me, my suggestion to you is to simple: try to make a schedule that includes everything you will be doing. Otherwise, the recycling will build up, the sheets won't get washed, and your windows will be so dirty you'll start to think they just came with fingerprints imprinted on them originally. Every schedule is, and should be, different- customized for you, created around however your household is best run. The thing I hear the most is that people just can't actually do it- get up and get started with their duties every day. This is why the daily schedule is the basis, the blueprint, for your day.
This schedule is set up as an hourly schedule. It might seem too complicated, but it can actually provide a great way to stay on track. I set up a schedule with set "work times" at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and it kept me working, instead of getting sidetracked or just plain giving up! I put in even the most basic, everyday tasks, such as meals and cleaning the kitchen afterwards. I leave about a half-hour to an hour for each main task, as to allow flexibility. Something will always come up, so don't make your schedule too tight or tasks will run into each other. UPDATE- I have included a daily reading/ devotion time in the morning, I notice the difference when I don't start off my day this way. I encourage you to take this time every day!
I have two "work" times, one in the morning (during baby's nap/rest time and William's snack time) and in the afternoon (naptime for both.) I find myself doing more complicated/detailed tasks in the morning, when I am more alert (such as filing or schoolwork.) Afternoon naptime is for easy tasks like cleaning. I also make some of this time for my personal time, when I might read or work on this blog. UPDATE- I also include specific playtime for the kids- this will soon evolve into an "educational" time. Come back next week for more on my upcoming series on homeschooling and Montessori.
Rember- simplicity is primarily about making things easiest for you and finding the best way for your home. Also, check your priorities.
I am happy to share this at Finer Things Friday.