Monday, April 14, 2014

Simplicity | Step Four

The original post can be found here.

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Today I am going to talk about one aspect of making things simple that has two parts (my complicated side is coming out here).

Have a schedule/plan.

I actually use both of these on a daily basis. Addie and Ian have been on schedules since they were a few weeks old. For safety/common sense reasons I won't go into detail about what our daily schedule is, but our schedule includes wake time, meal times, nap time, school time, bath time, and bed time. The rest of life fits around that schedule.

Now in all reality, life happens and sometimes schedules have to be adjusted, but having a general schedule to work from helps a lot.

The schedule also helps me to gauge what the best times for us to leave the house are and when it would be best for us to get home. I am able to plan grocery trips, visits, and the occasional picture taking session (it is so nice to know what time of the day your child is the happiest since the pictures will be around forever!) around our schedule.

A plan is also very important. You wouldn't go on a trip without knowing what your final destination would be, so why go into your day without knowing what you want the final outcome of the day to be.

When Addie was much smaller, I would literally plan my day to the minute with our activities. Now that she is older and we have Ian, the main schedule stays in place, and I keep a piece of paper on a clipboard with a list for myself of what I want to accomplish during my day for myself and for them. As things come up they are added to the list. The goal is to have everything crossed off by the time Brian gets home (or before).
    My plan works like this:
      I make a list of things that I need to accomplish in my day. The list ranges in size from day to day. Some things are always there, and some things change. Some days have very little planning because we will be out most of the day (like two weeks ago- co-op, lunch at the park, ice cream with Grandma, phone call with Kristi, dinner, Grandma and Pops house) and some days.....

      I prefer to break up my day into three parts- morning, afternoon, and evening. I plan my day based on what I can realistically do within those time frames. But my plan has to fit into the "times" that I have designated for our structured schedule. (You can see a better quality photo of what that week looked like here. The colors do not stand for anything... they just look pretty!)

      One mistake I was making early on in my new role as stay-at-home wife/mother was filling my to-do list with too many unrealistic goals. I was so used to having only two weeks at Christmas and 2 months in the summer to accomplish all of my self-imposed projects in my home that I went into staying-at-home with that same mentality.

      I tried to do everything in my home in the first two weeks after having had a C-section! (Me and my self-imposed goals and ideas!) I finally realized that I had the rest of my life to clean and organize, and that I was not limited to a short time span. This helped to relieve a lot of stress for me.

      Different people have different ways of making their lists and schedules. Some use Day Planners others use printouts of daily plans. This year I am using the Erin Condren Life Planner (pictured throughout this post)- which I LOVE!

      Find what feels comfortable for you and works best for your family. Then make a plan. I pray you have a scratch-it-all-off-your-list kind of week!


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