I’m coming off a very busy <long> weekend. The added days off work were a result of my birthday. The original idea was that we would leave town, but with another trip planned in just a couple of short weeks we decided to forego the travel. I figured the opportunity was as good as any to get caught up on some things that have been neglected around here. I wasn’t wrong. The opportunity was definitely present but I went wrong with one vital, initial step. I didn’t first take the opportunity for time organization.
There’s no denying that a lot got done, including time for a special birthday dinner.
There’s also no denying that, had I been more organized on the front end, I probably could have accomplished a lot more. I’ve come to learn (and more recently really accept) that I’m just not as efficient if I don’t take a moment for time organization. This past <long> weekend was a prime example. I had FOUR days entirely to myself. Ample time to accomplish whatever my little heart desired (and my little heart DID desire to get my life back in order). Sadly I wasted a vast amount of time spinning my wheels. It was task list ADHD – in large part because I didn’t write anything down. I didn’t have a plan. I wasn’t at all organized.
As I think back to how things have piled up to begin with, I recognize it’s been a lack of planning and organization all along.
Sure, I’m tired at the end of the work day. I’ve even been resentful, lamenting that work zaps the very best of me…leaving no time or energy for the things I want/need to get done in my own personal life. It wasn’t always this way. Truth is I’ve stopped doing what works – for me – and time organization (or, organization in general) makes all the difference.
As this past weekend drew to a close, I spent a quiet moment on the deck getting organized for the week ahead. I remembered that I bought this cool weekly organizer some time ago (I totally geek out about stuff like this) and decided to put it to use. It’s past time that I take control of my time and get back to ensuring that not every drop of what’s best of me is left at the office!! Here’s how I went about it….
Time Organization: The Calendar:
Monday – Friday: I used these spaces to sketch out specific time spent on the different things that are important and I need to make time for. In many instances realizing that I needed to make sure I was out of bed and started with my day was key to ensuring I am able to fit it all in. Included are budgeting time for working out, writing, time carved out for my day job, and after-work activities. I also include a check-list of things (i.e. devotional time/Bible study, tending to small things in the yard, meal planning for the following week, etc.) I want to get done in the evening, before turning in for the night.
I’ve also jotted down what the dinner plan is for each evening. I have a more specific and detailed plan written elsewhere but this serves as a quick reminder of what’s in store for kitchen work each evening.
Saturday & Sunday: In this space I utilized more a checklist format because while I have a list of ‘to dos’ for the weekend, time is also more flexible. I want the ability to be flexible as well. Just having those details scrawled down helps hold me accountable.
Notes Section: This is where I indicate the list of things that need done through the week, but I haven’t yet identified the exact day/time for the activity. Examples include: cleaning house, getting laundry done, grocery shopping, etc.
Time Organization: Note Pad/Flags:
The small note pads and flags have their value in planning as well (the cute little pocket? Not as valuable for planning but a nice place to tuck notes of reminders, coupons, or whatever else away).
Flags: the flags are used to note something significantly important that needs tending to on a specific day (and simply CANNOT be forgotten). I jot the note and stick it to the day it corresponds to, then once that item is addressed the flag can be peeled off and tossed. I also flag the days I need to pack lunch for work as that has to be factored in to my time organization for the morning as well (and forgetting lunch only adds to my anxiety for the day. “Hangry” is real, folks!).
Small Note Pads: These serve a variety of functions. Planning out my workouts and goals for the week. Jotting notes for things that pop into my mind randomly, like items I will need from the store (before I’ve put my official grocery shopping list together), a book I come across that I want to read, etc.
I’m certain there is an awesome electronic way, or hundred, to get organized. I use my electronic calendar, which syncs to my phone, for work. I’ve also tried some apps on my phone/iPad for my personal stuff. There’s just something about putting actual pen to paper that works for me that I just can’t shake for technology based organization…at least for right now.
Is getting your time organized for the week ahead important for you (and do you have any tips to share – including suggestions for electronic formats)?? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!