During December, I let my schedules just fall by the wayside. We had many hours at home and out with family and friends and I was enjoying the season too much to be confined to checklists and schedules captured on paper.
With the start of a fresh new year, I’ve taken the time to sit down and organize myself again. A lot of people ask me how I keep track of everything I have going on since I have so many irons in the fire on any given day. I’ve had to teach myself how to be organized. Self admittedly, I’m a bit of a frazzled mess when it comes to staying organized. Good intentions are there, but it’s taken a lot of perseverance to train myself to stick to schedules. I’ve developed a system that works well for me and keeps me on task during the week and gives me a full monthly perspective when I need it.
- I start by gathering all my random checklists and notes I’ve scribbled in haste, kitchen wall calendar and planner. To keep from feeling overwhelmed, I start with the “big picture”. I’ll open up my planner to the monthly page and do a monthly overview. I’ll write down any appointments we have from doctor’s visits to travel plans and plans with friends. This just gives me a good idea at a quick glance when someone asks if I’m free.
- Next, I flip to the weekly pages in my planner and copy over all the information from my monthly calendar (I just use my wall calendar as a quick reference) and jot down all the plans that I have. I use both pen and pencil. Pen for events that are solid (birthdays, vacations, etc) and keep everything else in pencil so that I can change it as need be and not mess up the page.
- Once I have everything copied over, I’ll take out my smaller lists that I’ve made throughout the week. I keep these little notebooks everywhere and harvest the top sheets when I’m ready to plan out the week. I’ll take inventory and see what still needs to be completed and will write that in the sidebar of my planner for the week. More often than not, I schedule these tasks daily. I’ll take a look at the next day and jot a couple of things down and cross them off the larger list. Everything left over on Saturday gets transferred to the next week’s sidebar.
- Last thing I do I check on my blog schedule. I know a lot of people are a lot more carefree about their posts, but I find that if I plan in advance, I am able to stay on task so much better. So I have a page in my ideas notebook for every month where I write out all the days and keep track of all the topics I want to write about. On the side, I make a column with “P W S I F P” which stand for photograph, write, schedule, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. That way I can look at the page really quickly and see where I am for the week. If I notice I have three posts photographed, written and scheduled, I might give myself more time before shooting another. Again, I use pencil for the “topics” column because I need the flexibility of switching things up.
So that’s my system for staying organized. I keep two monthly calendars so that David always has easy access to see what our plans are without having to constantly ask me. He likes to keep digital calendars (bless him) so he can just stand in front of the paper one on the wall and sync things up on his phone.
It’s not a perfect system, but it works for the most part! I will say, since I’ve started writing things down, I’ve not only been able to get more done, but I’ve also felt more accomplished on a day to day basis. You forget about the small tasks throughout the day so writing down a “to-do” list of even small tasks like wiping down the kitchen helps me see everything I’ve completed in the day.
Until next time!