Ha….Planning!! Sometimes, thinking about planning our day makes us cringe a little bit. Working moms or Stay at home moms, we’re all in the same boat, here! When it comes to organizing our life at home, we don’t really fancy adding more structure and complicated plans. After all, family life isn’t really the same as a business meeting, right? Right?? WRONG.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, we all know the saying. But it’s so so so true. I know you have great expectation about the kind of mom you wanna be, the kind of wife you wanna be, even the kind of neighbor, professional or else you wanna be. Let’s transform these expectations into a plan, ok?
Step #1: Lay out the hours of your day
Any blank page will do. I mean, you could print my fancy printable or just grab a bank page of any recycled paper, it really doesn’t matter AT ALL
Just handwrite the hours of the day vertically, beginning with your usual wake-up time and ending with your usual bedtime.
Step #2: Tell YOUR time
For sure, a huge amount of your time is already constrained, right?
- Showering and getting dressed
- Your breakfast
- The kids’ breakfast
- helping kids getting ready
- drop-offs and pick-ups
- preparing dinner, eating dinner, cleaning up after dinner
- appointments for the day
- and the list goes on and on…
Tell your time by drawing on your page a rectangle for each one of your activities and appointments.
Why? Well, first, this a quick an easy way to make sure you’re not multitasking like crazy (cooking dinner AND supervising homework AND helping with music practice, anyone??).
Second, this is the only way to know if you’ve really some time left on your hands today to get stuff done. Otherwise, you’re just making assumptions about all the things you think you can cross off your list today… while in real life you can’t. AT ALL
Step #3: Select a maximum of 3 baby-steps
If (and only if!) you have some time left on your hands, select a maximum of 3 teeny-tiny baby-steps that will make you work toward your biggest goals for the month.
The kind of to-dos that will really make the most impact on your family life. Yes, it means focusing on your BIG rocks, such as:
- being really present for an intense child,
- looking into new job opportunities,
- learning new ways to nourish your relationship with your spouse,
- planning a birthday party for a loved one
- basically, anything big and beautiful you have in your heart right now.
But teeny-tiny baby-steps only!! For example, my big rock#1 is our move from Ireland to New Jersey, USA, in exactly two weeks from now. So today, my teeny-tiny baby-step was to call and get the appointments for the doctor to fill in the school medical papers for my kids. Then, my big rock#2 was to allocate some time to our finances and family budget. So today my to-do related to this was to print and fill in a draft budget dedicated to the move.
And you know what’s even better? By accomplishing small but steady progress towards your main goals, you’ll find all the energy you need to accomplish the more mundane to-dos we all have on our lists – I have to confess that folding laundry is one of those mundane tasks I officially despise. But folding laundry at the end of a very productive day feels so much different than doing so exhausted and overwhelmed and feeling guilty.
Why only 3 baby-steps and not more?
- Well, first, the goal is to avoid any over-commitment or burn-out. The reason is that, if you’re planning 4 to-dos and do cross off 2, you’ll immediately feel guilty and drop the all planning thing off.
- Then, if you still have some time left after doing your 3 baby-steps, you’ll be soooo glad to just enjoy life as it is and sip another steaming cup of tea
Step #4: When life gets in the way, throw away the plan but not the planning!
As Dr. Gramme Edwards said, “It’s not the plan that’s important, it’s the planning.”
The most important skill here is to be as focused as possible on your main goals and dreams, even when life gets in the way. When a child a sick, when there’s too much traffic, when your day went completely wrong or PMS gets in the way – let’s be real, Sisters -, it’s OK to throw away plan A and switch to plan B. You and I won’t cross off a lot
You and I won’t cross off a lot of to-dos some days. And that’s ok.
Just keep planning your day on the following day.
And keep having big plans and dreams at heart. That’s the way one can accomplish a true & meaningful life.
So what do you think? Is Planning your Day a part of your own routine already? Or do you wanna give a try? Tell me everything about it in the comments!