I think last week was one of the most scatter-brained, unproductive weeks I’ve had in a very long time. With our home systems in a state of upheaval right now, I’m feeling more than a little lost without my usual checklists and schedules. I didn’t even realize how much I relied on them until I stopped using them. Which is rather kind of funny because I haven’t actually been checking things off for a long time, but since I’ve removed them I’ve noticed that I was referring to them more often than I was conscious. I refuse to put them back on the grounds that they really were not working for us anymore, however after this past week I realized that I desperately needed something that could fill in for them while I figure the rest out. So, in a fit of desperation I whipped up some weekly to-do list printables…
…ok, that’s not quite the whole story. While I work on setting up some new systems and making changes to some of the old ones I knew I was going to need something to help keep me on track and offer me a similar (albeit temporary) structure or plan like my old checklists did. The first few weeks weren’t too bad. I was just using scrap paper for a daily to-do list and my planner to schedule things in. The problem with jotting a to-do list each day, is that it is so, so, soooo easy to overload yourself, which is exactly what was I was doing to myself. A few days of having more left to do than were done and I started feeling overwhelmed and, if I’m brutally honest here, like a failure. I know it’s not true. The kids were fed, had clean clothes to wear, got to bed on time, and all that fun stuff. And so what, not all the housework got done each day, but the important bits did. But every morning when I sat down to make my plan for the day I was confronted with that silly to-do list, and all the items left on it, and I would forget about all the other stuff I did the day before that wasn’t on that list.
Desperate for something to change, I took a little time to think about this. I need something to help keep me on track, but that wouldn’t allow me to overload myself. I know I work well with a plan but I need freedom in my days to sort of go with the flow. Often, those go with the flow times are when I get the most done. I think it’s because I’m not worrying or stressing about getting it done. My brain jumped right to a printable. They seem to be my go-to problem solving activity. The result was a simple weekly to-do list, or schedule, or whatever you want really. Take a peak!
I really liked how the Home Cleaning Worksheet turned out, so I copied it! I divided the page into days of the week, and then into 4 columns. For me, each column is going to be a different category – home, blog, family, kitchen.
- home: any cleaning, maintenance, project or errand that needs attention that day.
- blog: any task that I need to remember to do that day.
- family: a place to jot down anything important that is happening for them on that day, or a reminder of something I need them to do for me.
- kitchen: meal plan and anything extra like baking, prepping lunches, remembering to pick something up etc…
That gave me the structure I needed. (plus there are little check boxes that I can tick off as I complete things 🙂 ) I purposefully made this a single page layout so that I could limit the number of tasks I could put in each category per day to five. Why five? Well three was too few and seven seemed too much and five seemed like a good number. Enough that I can feel productive but not too much that I feel overwhelmed by having too much to do each day.
I even made a half-size one because I can see this weekly to-do list coming in really handy later on.
Now that I have my list printed and filled in, I’m feeling a little better. Now if I could only figure out how to structure our new systems, I’d be set. I’m getting closer day by day, and I have a good idea of what I need to really focus on.
- meal planning system
- organizing our recipes
- house cleaning schedule
- which includes a chore assignment of some kind maybe a chart?
- and some tweaking of my daily cleaning routines to make them more streamlined
- reordering/revamping my indoor and outdoor maintenance schedules
- making a new family calendar
- creating a better system for collecting school papers
- organizing the family room in a way that reflects the boys changing and diverse needs
- redesigning my planner because I think I could make it work better for me if I tweaked it.
To be fair, the last two are just there because they popped in my head while typing that list. It may sound like a lot, but it’s not really. Mostly it’s just figuring out the best way to implement them. I’ve been spending a lot of time surfing the web, especially Pinterest, in search of inspiration. And the ultimate Homemaking Bundle went on sale today (it’s like they read my mind and knew I could use some extra help and inspiration in this department) and I’m eager to get started reading through the e-books that come with it. (this sale is now over, but you can always sign up to be notified of the next one!)