Happy New Year! Today I wanted to share how I plan and organize my life with kids. My system has evolved over time and I’m loving what I have going right now.
Staying organized and having a plan makes me feel good. Staying organized and having a plan makes me feel like I got this whole parent of 3 thing down, even though most of the time I’m winging-it in the parenting department.
Back in the day, I use to write it all down in whatever planner I was using at the time, but now that I have 3 school age kids, a husband that is constantly traveling for work, I have to be on it when it comes to our life and kids.
The problem with just using a planner is you have to take it with you everywhere you go or you’re writing it down on little pieces of paper when the doctor’s office calls, to later transfer it to your paper planner, if you can find that little paper you wrote it on…
Here’s how I plan.
Brain Dumping is where you get a notebook, a sheet of paper or whatever you have on hand and you write everything that is swirling around in your brain that needs to get done. It could be that day, that coming week or that month even. Big or small, it’s all those things that are swirling around in your head that you keep trying to remember and they are just taking up valuable space! For example: Sending a thank you card to your Grandma, Putting lunch money on your child’s account at school, scheduling your cars oil change, doing the laundry, organizing your closet etc…
You are dumping the contents of your brain that is trying to remember all the to-dos, big or small. From there I may put an asterisk next to the things that need to get done right away, order of importance. Now with everything downloaded from my brain, I will fill in my planner accordingly.
Now that my brain dump is complete this is where I will fill in my tasks and to-dos for the week by time blocking. I’m using an hourly/vertical planner by me & my BIG ideas, you can check my coordinating post here.
This is not complicated by any means, this is maybe 30 minutes from brain dump to filling in your planner. We spend that scrolling on social media looking at everyone else’s life instead of planning our own!✋
In the Fall, I started using the method of time blocking to be more efficient and productive with my time. This really helps me the most while the kids are at school! I have about 6 hours in the day when I have no kids, so in those hours I try and focus my time and plan by every 30 minutes to complete big and small tasks. This can be anything from grocery shopping to working on my blog, paying bills, volunteering at school, working out, etc. This method of planning really helps me organize my mind and keeps me focused because when all 3 kids are home from school and hungry, it’s hard for me to get any thing done that requires my undivided attention; also I’m better in the earlier hours of the day!
I want to let you know, I don’t live or die by my planner, I know stuff comes up that you didn’t plan for and things change, so I’ve learned to adjust accordingly and keep moving.
Google calendar is where I put all the appointments, meetings, practices, school days off and vacation plans. This works out best because I always have my phone with me, so if I’m at the doctors with one of the kids, I can reference my calendar when scheduling appointments for future visits. Then it goes straight into my calendar and I can reference my calendar wherever or whenever I need. It’s way more efficient this way!
When I’m filling in my planner for the week I will reference my Google Calendar and add in any appointment etc. in the accompanying time slots for a visual reminder.
You can also use Google Calendar for time blocking and fill in your tasks in the hourly format option. For me personally, I like writing things down, otherwise I would always be looking at my phone and I’m trying to not be on my phone as much.
The system of brain dumping, time blocking and using my Google calendar has helped me organize my life with kids and to be the most efficient. Getting everything out of my mind and on to a sheet of paper really helps me to visually see what I need to do. Using Google calendar is a life saver when it comes to appointments and how you can tailor it to reminds you!
I know this planning may sounds like a lot because I broke it all down, but really it can take you less than 30 minutes. Then you can start your week with drive and a plan because you know what you need to do!
p.s. Don’t forget to schedule down time and it’s ok to have a day where you do nothing!
Talk to ya soon,