Getting organized for your week SmartGirl by SmartGirl Bags January 25, 2016 12:55
I cannot remember a time where I wasn’t juggling so many things in life. From juggling college and family to juggling a career and family, my days have consisted of running around ragged trying to accomplish multiple priorities and to-do lists with too many things on them to get done. After 26 years of this or more, I am sharing some of the tactics that have helped me to stay organized so I can pull it all off with as little effort as possible and without wasting time.
First, I have a Master to-do list. My master list is in the same notebook in the same place on the corner of the counter every day. The only time I move it is when we have a more formal event at the house and I am trying to look like I don’t have “piles” everywhere. The master list is only allowed to be one page and it’s categorized into 5 chunks always in the same spiral college ruled notebook. The list’s categories are “to go,” “to call,” “to do,” and “computer work,” and “personal goals.” These tasks and to-do’s are my master but they are not necessarily prioritized in any kind of order of importance (that comes later). My to-go section list places I remember I need to go. It could include the grocery store, a hardware story, get a pedicure, appointments, errands etc. My to-call list are calls I must remember to make at some point. This could include questions on a policy, doctor appointments, quotes for repairs etc. My to-do category is where I list things that must get done at home such as organize the office, do taxes or bills, cleanup the yard, pay the next door neighbor etc. My computer work section is generally anything I need to do online or on the computer such as email my accountant, pay my credit card, order more of this. And lastly the personal goals usually includes something I’m working on personally to grow and achieve a goal as well as spiritual goals such as eat less, pray more. After this list starts to get full or too scratched out with completes, I rewrite the whole list on a clean sheet of paper within that same notebook and throw away the old one. I probably only do that twice a month. It’s a moment of pleasure to scratch off the to-do or to create a fresh list that doesn’t have so many on it yet. Yes I am one of those people who add items to the list that I completed that were not originally written on there just to gain the pleasure of crossing it off. Sick, I know J
Next, every week, usually on Monday morning, I sit down and create my “weekly to do list.” The weekly list pulls from my master to-do list and from my smartphone’s calendar which has upcoming appointments and obligations. The weekly list considers prioritization and order of importance whereas the monthly list does not. I include in this weekly list a “tentative” workout plan, so I can see on which days I will need to work out in the early morning, lunchtime, or after work or which days I’ll be attending a group fitness class or running on my home treadmill. That very action is what has kept me on a faithful workout schedule for going on 9 years straight. I always write my weekly tasks in pencil in case things have to move around and change. Walgreens sells a nice one pager blank weekly tear-out page that works nice. But a piece of paper will also do the trick.
Next every single morning, I get my daily to-do list out. Before I discuss this, this year I’ve made it a point to spend time with God being thankful for a few minutes as well as submitting prayers and requests before tackling my daily task list. I cannot encourage you enough to try this as I find it’s now what brings more peace to my day. Okay back to the daily list. This is a blank piece of paper with categories that match the master list – to-go, to-call, to-do, computer, and personal goals. Looking at my weekly list, I write my daily plan out. Usually my daily plan has more details than just what is on my other lists. This is where I might write general household items like cook soup, go to the grocery store etc that aren’t important or different enough to call out every week on the other lists and vary according to needs and what’s going on that day. I carry this list with me throughout the day so I can make a call or complete a to-do on it wherever I am. At the end of each day, anything I did not finish on my daily list is set aside and I revisit it in the morning as I start this process all over again.
Maybe you think “that’s nuts” or “way too much work” – Honestly the whole process never takes me more than 10 minutes and over the years, I’ve tried all kinds of electronic forms of this approach. I have settled with the good old-fashioned paper and pen method because it helps me to think and organize better to have something write in front of me at all times.
Other important helpers to keep my day streamlined include having my gym bag organized, filled with essentials, and ready to go. I use my Purple Passion SmartGirl Bag for the gym taking with me every day. I also use a Red SmartGirl Organizer tote bag for work/career carrying my tablet, notebook/pen, and a/c cord nicely as well as library books or other essentials.
I hope whatever method of organization you use helps you to be successful and productive giving you more time to spend on yourself with a hot bath, pedicure or a nice book.