Friday, July 6, 2012

My life for the next month, laid out in Microsoft.

I always have good intentions of being clean, organized, and having it all together. But I am just the type that if I do not have a list, I feel either overwhelmed or apathetic, and I don't get anything done. I am a procrastinator at heart. People think that because I am so crazy about my lists, I must be a super organized person. So not true... it's because I am such a dis-organized person and such a procrastinator, that I must use a list if I am going to be at all successful. Here's the truth... time management is much like financial budgeting. A budget is simply telling your money where to go at the beginning of a paycheck, rather than wondering where it went when it's all gone. With our time, we need to tell it where to go as well. We need to budget our time.

I know this sounds crazy, but as the stay at home mom of a toddler, I have even made a daily schedule of activities with my son. Not to say that we can't deviate from the "list" if we want to, but the fact is, without methodically taking some time in the morning before he hits the ground running to create a schedule for the day, the temptation will be to put him in a high chair in front of the tv so he can watch Monster's Inc for the 50th time while I arbitrarily look around the house for which chore I should tackle, all just to say "Meh, the bathroom is way too messy, I don't have the energy" and winding up on Facebook for the rest of the day while my son whines for attention or some sort of mental stimuli. Taking some time in the morning to brain storm some creative but simple activities, with a few pre-determined chores thrown into the mix, dramatically cuts down on the amount of stress and work I feel weighing on my shoulders. And my little guy appreciates it too.

Here's an example of our daily schedule:
7:00am Assemble roast in the crockpot, set for 10 hrs on low
8:00am William wake, cereal and eggwhite
8:30am Dance and sing with The Wiggles
8:50am Read a story
9:00am Blow bubbles in the back yard, point out and label whatever we see
9:30am Free play in the house while I clean up breakfast in kitchen
9:45am Leave for playgroup on base
11:00am Come home, yogurt and granola for lunch
11:30-12:00 Free play
12:00pm-2:30pm Nap
12:00pm Wash, Dry, Fold, put away dark laundry
Clean both bathroom toilets
2:30pm-3pm William wake, free play
3:00pm make bread dough, let rise until 4:30pm. William in kitchen high chair watching me bake, talking to him about what I'm doing.
Make weird voices in front of the fan
Roll a ball back and forth to each other
4:30pm Put bread in the oven, wash/cut salad
5:00pm Josh home, play with William
6:00pm Dinner
6:30pm Josh and William read books, play while I clean up dinner
7:00pm William bath
8:00pm William bed

When it comes to cleaning, I rarely if ever write down "clean bathroom" or whathaveyou. The task of cleaning the bathroom is an extensive list all on its own. Instead, (just as an example) Monday's list says "clean toilets", Tuesday's list says, "Windex mirrors", Wednesday says, "Clean shower", Thursday says, "Mop bathroom floors" and Friday says, "wipe counters." Every room in the house gets attention in just 1 area every day, and accumulatively, I have a clean house. My personality gets very bored, very fast, focusing on one project for too long. So it works best for me to keep tasks short and move onto the next thing.

Here's my monthly calendar which has my schedule and a dinner menu for each night.
Please share your dinner ideas with me in the comments section!