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PeterPan

s/o from Discouraged, now organizing to have time for the components of your life

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I'm going to quote below the post Alte Vest made in the other thread. You hit on what has been an (admittedly pathetic) epiphany lately for me, that I'm not EVER going to accomplish all my goals if I do them one at a time, lol. I tend to do one thing, work really hard, and get it done. Then I work on the next thing. But in your post you mention scheduling time slots for your life. For instance I've been toying with the idea that I'd get more photo-editing and scrapbooking done if I end my WTM board life at 8 pm (just as an arbitrary time) and after that switch to photography stuff. And, like you say, if I made that change and it became sort of routine that I didn't think about, then I'd get, consistently, to each of the components of my life. In theory, lol.

 

So whatever. I was hoping you'd come chat about that some more! :)

 

I used to be a bit more loosey-goosey than I wanted to be. It was quite an adjustment for me to make the transition from mom to homeschool mom because I was a very relaxed mom to babies/toddlers/preschoolers, but I had ideas of rigor once the kids entered the school years. Well, habit is habit so, not surprisingly, I didn't magically morph from relaxed mom to uber-organized homeschool mom overnight before DS9 started first grade. So I spent a fairly long period feeling that I was failing, or that I was lazy, and that I was disorganized. That last one was a real head-scratcher because I have always been ridiculously organized...OCD even.

 

I had an epiphany when I read Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. I highly recommend this book if you feel stuck in a pattern of ineffectiveness. It mostly has to do with business but I found it incredibly inspiring and useful. I was in the habit of keeping a general routine, not a strict schedule. I was in the habit of being ready for anything, like the ball girl at a tennis match. When I really thought about it, I realized I was organized in a way that was perfect when I had littles. My diaper bag/purse/Camelbak/minivan was ready for any possible predicament. But despite making grand paper plans for school, I was in the habit of being distracted, being prepared for anything but unable to focus on any one thing. I think babies, toddlers, and preschoolers do that to your brain. ;)

 

Anyway, I was at a point when my ball-girl habits weren't serving me anymore. I needed to get into the habit of focusing and for that to happen, I needed to put all the tennis balls away. Getting Things Done helped me with this. Truthfully, I found the book very overwhelming (I even stopped reading it at a certain point because, ironically, I felt that it was poorly organized). :lol: However, the basic lesson was golden for me. In a nutshell, the idea is to get every aspect of your life into an automatic system so that your brain can let it go for the 99% of the time you don't want it randomly floating in. This concept is the basis for my system of organization. There is a time and place for everything, and a system for handling information. Menus, shopping lists, school schedules, family calendars, etc. are all meticulously kept and--here is the important part--times for tending them are scheduled. Errands are scheduled, organized according to when I can go out alone, when I'm on the side of town near this or that store anyway...

 

As far as following the plan, reading Switch helps with that too. I periodically reread it. Basically, you have to make change easy in order to make change easy. Isn't that so wise!? :lol: To begin with, I lowered the bar. The authors talk at great length about how everyone's instincts are to raise the bar but that really, if you want to change, you have to do the opposite and lower it. I spent a lot of time berating myself for failing to be perfect before I read that. I resisted the idea of lowering my expectations because I am a perfectionist and the idea of doing something I couldn't do perfectly really bugged me. Then I realized that it was a start and that was OK. A successful start was better than being paralyzed by perfectionism. Baby steps toward the goal are OK. Our school mascot became the tortoise because slow and steady truly does win the race. Success begets success begets success begets success... It was a nice, new pattern. I have raised the bar over and over since then, but in tiny increments.

 

I've posted on the boards about my schedule so often that I bet people are sick of reading it. :D We get up, do chores, have a morning meeting that includes a chore check (kids check mine too), then roll into our group work in the morning. We have lunch and then I work one-on-one with each kiddo for individual work in the afternoon.

 

Since the OP said organization wasn't her issue, I hesitate to post anything more on this thread but if anyone wants to start another thread on organization helps, I'm happy to participate with more specifics tomorrow. :)

 

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I am so glad you posted this. I don't know how much i have to add, but i too am trying to get more scrapping done and also do project life starting in 2013. I agree that having time slots for specific activities is a great idea, one i try to incorporate on a daily basis.

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me, too. That is to say, I too am interested in better organization in this manner. Our school is organized fine, the house is running okay, but there are very important projects & goals that are just not happening & I feel frustrated and discouraged. I have the Getting Things Done and really like it -- but I haven't made the time to fully implement it. I have been labeling to the extent possible with the littles & the chores & the etcetera :) Will look at the other title suggested.

 

Halcyon, what's project life?

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Thanks for starting this thread. I've been working on a MOTH schedule in preparation for next year, and saw Alte Veste's post - how timely! I'm naturally quite disorganized and lazy... so I'm scared that I'll just ignore my pretty schedule...

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Thanks for starting this thread. I've been working on a MOTH schedule in preparation for next year, and saw Alte Veste's post - how timely! I'm naturally quite disorganized and lazy... so I'm scared that I'll just ignore my pretty schedule...

 

I have the same problem, I'm great at making lists and schedules and plans. But I seem to rebel against routine no matter how much of a grown I am in other areas.

 

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I'm going to quote below the post Alte Vest made in the other thread. You hit on what has been an (admittedly pathetic) epiphany lately for me, that I'm not EVER going to accomplish all my goals if I do them one at a time, lol. I tend to do one thing, work really hard, and get it done. Then I work on the next thing. But in your post you mention scheduling time slots for your life. For instance I've been toying with the idea that I'd get more photo-editing and scrapbooking done if I end my WTM board life at 8 pm (just as an arbitrary time) and after that switch to photography stuff. And, like you say, if I made that change and it became sort of routine that I didn't think about, then I'd get, consistently, to each of the components of my life. In theory, lol. So whatever. I was hoping you'd come chat about that some more! :)

 

I would love to chat some more! I just saw this though and I have to get the kids to bed (they are up waaaaay too late thanks to my last minute run to Hobby Lobby for surprise Advent Calendar supplies :rolleyes: ). Turns out when I asked DH to please get them ready for bed, he heard watch Mythbusters until Mom gets home... :toetap05: He did the dishes though, including unloading the dishwasher (his kryptonite :lol:), so I can't be mad. Anyway, when I finish stories, I'll be back.

 

Before I go, I must say that my number one most missed aspect of life pre-kids is huge swaths of uninterrupted time for this or that pet project. Oh, how I loved to dig into a project and emerge only for food and potty breaks. :tongue_smilie: This was the hardest adjustment of all for me, working on something I want to get lost in for short bursts instead of long hours.

 

Thanks for starting this thread. I've been working on a MOTH schedule in preparation for next year, and saw Alte Veste's post - how timely! I'm naturally quite disorganized and lazy... so I'm scared that I'll just ignore my pretty schedule...
I have the same problem, I'm great at making lists and schedules and plans. But I seem to rebel against routine no matter how much of a grown I am in other areas.

 

The key to this for me is accountability! I was so confused as to how I went from being an organized, OCD, straight-A student to an employee with exemplary performance assessments to a frazzled, mentally disorganized nitwit. :lol: :blink: :w00t: It's embarrassing, but I think it was accountability (well, and low thyroid but I lost that excuse when I started meds :tongue_smilie:...also each kid stole part of my brain...) ;) Heaven help me, I like accolades. You have to tell people you are making changes and have them be interested in hearing about those changes. DH is good for this, but he's gone a lot and I've been guilty of letting things slide too much from the doldrums and exhaustion that his absence creates. I have a couple of great friends who challenge me. Honestly though, as my kids have gotten older, I find that making them (especially my oldest) aware of my grand plans is the greatest form of accountability ever. They want to do these fun things I have planned.

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Oh, and while I'm gone... Does anyone know how to make the reply box bigger? It is driving me CRAZY how small it is! Makes it really hard to break up and reply to long quotes and edit longer posts.

 

ETA: I figured it out! In the bottom, right-hand corner is a little, liney arrow. You can click and drag it to enlarge the reply box. This makes me happy. :D Just in case anyone else wondered too... :lol:

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Alte Veste, thanks for your reply! I'm nodding along with every sentence, especially the big blocks of time, I have trouble thinking that anything is worth my time for only half an hour, and accountability, something to ponder. I look forward to reading more!

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I would love to chat some more! I just saw this though and I have to get the kids to bed (they are up waaaaay too late thanks to my last minute run to Hobby Lobby for surprise Advent Calendar supplies :rolleyes: ). Turns out when I asked DH to please get them ready for bed, he heard watch Mythbusters until Mom gets home... :toetap05: He did the dishes though, including unloading the dishwasher (his kryptonite :lol:), so I can't be mad. Anyway, when I finish stories, I'll be back.

 

<snip>

 

The key to this for me is accountability! I was so confused as to how I went from being an organized, OCD, straight-A student to an employee with exemplary performance assessments to a frazzled, mentally disorganized nitwit. :lol: :blink: :w00t: It's embarrassing, but I think it was accountability (well, and low thyroid but I lost that excuse when I started meds :tongue_smilie:...also each kid stole part of my brain...) ;) Heaven help me, I like accolades. You have to tell people you are making changes and have them be interested in hearing about those changes. DH is good for this, but he's gone a lot and I've been guilty of letting things slide too much from the doldrums and exhaustion that his absence creates. I have a couple of great friends who challenge me. Honestly though, as my kids have gotten older, I find that making them (especially my oldest) aware of my grand plans is the greatest form of accountability ever. They want to do these fun things I have planned.

 

I'm :lol: at your dh's hearing problem. Mine has the same, LOL.

 

And I can totally identify with being a formerly straight-A student turned frazzled mentally disorganized nit-wit. I am all ears :bigear: !

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Great thread, I relate to so much of it. I'm heading to my library reserve site to look for both books.

 

This is the perfect time of year for taking a break to change and reorganize our routine. I really want to get a new detailed schedule for MY life (not just the kids) like I usually make. I'm hopeful that this can help me carve out actual committed blocks of time for my projects and maybe excercise.

 

I completely agree with the need for accountability. The only times I ever get any scrapbooking done is when I go away to a crop with my good friend twice a year OR when we discuss a neat idea on the phone and she emails me a picture of her completed project and asks to see mine.

 

Maybe we can start some type of accountability thread here where we can show what we are working on?

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me, too. That is to say, I too am interested in better organization in this manner. Our school is organized fine, the house is running okay, but there are very important projects & goals that are just not happening & I feel frustrated and discouraged. I have the Getting Things Done and really like it -- but I haven't made the time to fully implement it. I have been labeling to the extent possible with the littles & the chores & the etcetera :) Will look at the other title suggested.

Halcyon, what's project life?

 

 

project Life is a year long scrapbooking project inspired by Becky Higgins.http://www.beckyhiggins.com/products/what-is-project-life.php

 

I wanted to do it last year but with the move and everything, life was just too hectic.

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Thanks so much, OhElizabeth, for starting this thread and highlighting Kristina/Alte Veste Academy's post. I had missed the other thread, so had missed out on it.

 

The entire thread has given me much to ponder today. Ironically, I had set a limit for myself on the internet this morning, and I'm now way over it because I happened to open this thread and start following the links to the books, and then see if the library has them to reserve, etc. etc. etc. :001_rolleyes: Oops.

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So I didn't get back last night. :tongue_smilie: I have been thinking about this thread though. I made some notes last night and added to them this morning, then decided that it was too much, too overwhelming...lots of very detailed info that may not apply to anyone else. Also very personal information...

 

In a nutshell, I created an extremely detailed list for every important category of my life. My basic categories were...

  1. Kristina (self-care, physical/emotional health, self-education, hobbies, goals, etc. What's that you ask? Did I really make myself #1? Why yes. Yes, I did. And I put self-care first on my me-first list too! :lol:)
  2. DH/Marriage
  3. Family (the joyous stuff about running a home--our nuclear family's daily/weekly rhythm, holidays, lifestyle, outings, character/values lessons, etc.)
  4. Kids (logistic stuff and personal stuff, individual goals, hobbies, swim/music, etc.)
  5. House (the logistical stuff for running a household--including shopping, cooking, cleaning, home maintenance, monitoring kids' chores, decorating, etc.)
  6. Homeschooling
  7. Friends & Family

These lists generated hundreds of tasks, goals, and projects--minute and enormous. Looking at it all--seeing the big picture all at once--helped me separate the wheat from the chaff, the urgent from the unattainable, the doable dreams from the not-gonna-happen until the kids are out of the house. :tongue_smilie:

 

With this info, I did three things:

  • I made up daily/weekly/monthly/yearly calendars and scheduled in the must-do tasks and everything that is a high priority for me. These things make up the bulk of our time but there are at least as many extras as essentials...probably more. Family dinners, weekly family movie night and family game night, daily tea & poetry, read-alouds, art & crafting time, and park outings made the first cut just as easily as showering, grocery shopping, and vacuuming did, because they were instantly plucked out of the enormous list as treasured rituals.
  • Decided what extras were most important for me to work into the remaining calendar space and scheduled them. These might not be daily or even weekly, but they're important enough to fit in somewhere.
  • Decided what to trash and what to keep on a Great Ideas list to be reviewed regularly. I put the review of the Great Ideas list on my weekly schedule. This is one of the golden lessons from Getting Things Done. Have a place for every aspect of your life and a system in place to be sure nothing gets forgotten. If you find a great idea for a craft this year but your kids aren't old enough for it yet, put it on your Great Ideas list and voila, it will be waiting when they're older.

Basically what I did was dissect my life and then piece it back together into a very detailed schedule. The schedule sets our rhythm and is not a rigid timeline. I can't express how much this process and planning has helped me relax. Nothing is forgotten.

 

I will also say that I am loving having these older kids and the freedom that comes with that. Freedom from constant care of them, yes. But even more so, freedom to include them in things I enjoy without it being a chore for me to do it. I was one who did not love cooking with toddlers and preschoolers but with older kids it can be fun, and they are learning! They have hobbies and I have hobbies. Some are shared and some are not but they see that I need time and space for mine just as they need time and space for theirs.

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My library has both those books, so I hope reading them will flesh this out a bit more. I LOVE hearing how you have made this work, Kristina. I used to be totally Type A, completely on top of everything, etc., etc. Now I feel like I am in this constant juggling act. Thanks to still being a somewhat organized person, I am mostly able to get everything done. BUT, it is not pretty. It is pretty much chaos with me scrambling to keep the balls in the air. Oh shoot! Did I switch the laundry? L - why aren't you dressed yet? We'll do [insert cool project] tomorrow; I completely forgot. I think you get the idea.

 

I know it is going to be hard until my kids get older, but I need to do this. I need to establish a better flow to our day. I already know that everyone from baby to mom functions better when we know what comes next. The biggest problem is that I don't know where to start. It seems so daunting, and my head is filled with what feels like hundreds, maybe thousands, of things that I want to do/ need to do/ should do. *sigh* Still, as daunting as it seems, I think it would be incredibly freeing to get all those thoughts - out! I really need to figure out where to put my focus and let go of the rest.

 

My biggest question is where did you start? The list you are talking about sounds like something that would take me weeks. This isn't something you did in a day, is it? Did you do this in a notebook? computer? color coded 3x5 cards? I need details. :) And do you have any tips on resisting rabbit trails? That could be a really big problem for me. Hmm, maybe a separate notebook where I could list things that I do *next*.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to help!

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Just another former stellar employee who turned into a pile of mush when I came home. Listening and taking notes. Thank you for this thread!!

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I will also say that I am loving having these older kids and the freedom that comes with that. Freedom from constant care of them, yes. But even more so, freedom to include them in things I enjoy without it being a chore for me to do it. I was one who did not love cooking with toddlers and preschoolers but with older kids it can be fun, and they are learning! They have hobbies and I have hobbies. Some are shared and some are not but they see that I need time and space for mine just as they need time and space for theirs.

 

This is very helpful! Lately I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I blame it on having little ones... especially the baby. Trying to enjoy it now but definitely looking forward to 'time and space.' :)

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My biggest question is where did you start? The list you are talking about sounds like something that would take me weeks. This isn't something you did in a day, is it? Did you do this in a notebook? computer? color coded 3x5 cards? I need details. :) And do you have any tips on resisting rabbit trails? That could be a really big problem for me. Hmm, maybe a separate notebook where I could list things that I do *next*.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to help!

 

 

Looking forward to the answers to these questions! Great thread!

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I so need to do something like this. I mostly manage to stay on top of the day to day necessities but I always have a feeling as though I've forgotten something.

I LOVE the Great Ideas list and making time to review it regularly! I have come across so many ideas and projects that I'd like to try but none of them are happening because they get forgotten about.

I am following this thread with great interest!

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My biggest question is where did you start? The list you are talking about sounds like something that would take me weeks. This isn't something you did in a day, is it? Did you do this in a notebook? computer? color coded 3x5 cards? I need details. And do you have any tips on resisting rabbit trails? That could be a really big problem for me. Hmm, maybe a separate notebook where I could list things that I do *next*.

 

First of all, I do not resist rabbit trails. They are too much fun. My solution is to schedule time for them. You know, you can actually have a subject called "Rabbit Trails." You can put it right in between "History" and "Science" on your schedule. :tongue_smilie: Remember, you are all powerful in your school. I kid you not, there is a subject called FLoop on our daily schedule. It stands for Fun Loop and is our daily time for what-nots, doo-dads and other incidentals we would never get to if I didn't make time for them (games, special projects, seasonal stuff, etc. and, yes, sometimes bunny trails). The ones we truly don't have time to fit into the schedule but are simply irresistible, I put on the Great Ideas list so we come around to them again. That way they will eventually make it onto the schedule.

 

The GTD guy (who does this professionally with clients) says to do it all at once, to schedule a few days when you can focus on nothing but this project (which is obviously an impossible challenge when you are caring for children). You dump your whole life on your work table in a big pile. I remember this part pretty clearly and it is exactly what I did. Everything. Altogether. Covering the table. In stacks and piles (some of it will fall over on the floor :lol:). Yes, it will be overwhelming. You handle every single piece of paper and deal with it, figure out where it belongs. If you're like me, you will almost instantly regret starting. :lol: You really need to do it while on a break from school. If you can do most of it while your DH takes the kids to the park or Grandma's, even better. One of the best things I did was to put all my lists in this pile (stuff I've printed here, ways I want to improve, ideas for mental health and self-care, etc.).

 

Basically, you handle each piece of paper or item on a list, one by one. You throw it away, make a file, put it on a calendar...whatever. You deal with it. You put it purposely into a system. It might go into storage (or a filing system) or into your immediate action pile or somewhere in between. If it goes into storage, you put it on a master list of what's in storage to keep in your notebook. You set a date to review what's in storage (maybe when you plan each new school year for things in homeschool storage/files, for example). If it doesn't require immediate action, you schedule in whatever is the next action for it on your calendar. (He is big on splitting up big projects into small, achievable actions. You would not put "order homeschool curricula" on your calendar or immediate actions list. You would write whatever the tiny increment is. Request catalogs from a, b, c companies. Ask on forums about x curriculum. Print out sample of Yadda Yadda Yadda. You get the picture. You make it impossible for yourself to drop the ball and much harder for yourself to get frazzled and run up against a deadline. When I drop the ball now, it is because I chose to drop the ball. Sometimes I do. No biggie.

 

He recommends files but I vastly prefer trays and binders. I have multiple homeschool binders, a master binder for our family/home, a recipe/menu/shopping binder, a crafts binder, a self-education binder...I might be forgetting some binders. :lol: Only if something is big, bulky, and not imminently needed do I put it in a file.

 

One of the smartest things I have ever done... I have a binder for each month of the year (decorated cheaply by sliding seasonal scrapbook paper behind the plastic). I put all my Valentine's recipe and craft ideas into February's binder, 4th of July in July, etc. I also keep seasonal book and movie lists in these notebooks. At the end of each month, I pull out the binder for the next month, print out a month-at-a-glance page and start assigning ideas to actual days. Voila! Fun stuff gets done!

 

I have a daily schedule, down to the minutiae of showering and putting on lotion. Seriously. I don't actually need every part of it anymore but I did at first. In the beginning, until my desired habits became...well, habits, I followed my schedule like a robot. :lol: I had to trust Kristina Who Made the Plan even when I just wanted to be Kristina Who Slept In or Kristina Who Read the Forums All Day. ;)

 

I also have a weekly schedule. Family movie night is Friday, date night (mostly in-house) is Saturday, and game night is on Sunday. I have chunks of time set aside three times a week just for one-on-one time with each kiddo that does not have anything to do with school. It's just time to do something with them--play a game, bake something, do a craft. Maybe they go to the park instead of wanting to cook with me. Not a big deal but at least there was time set aside for it in the first place. Besides, who doesn't love a little unexpected free time?

 

The thing that helped me the most with meal planning was creating a weekly menu spreadsheet, including breakfast, lunch, tea treat (M-F) or snack (weekends) and dinner. I put menu planning on my calendar. After my weekly sales ads arrive (conveniently, all on the same day), I sit down with them, my recipe box (full of old faithfuls), and my recipe binder (full of new prospects) and I plan a menu. Sometimes the kids do this with me. I let each kid pick one dinner a week and they help make that dinner. I also have a one-page, three column aisle-by-aisle shopping list full of everything I buy. When we use the next to the last of something, it gets circled on the list. After I make my menu, I combine what I need for that and what's on the list and go shopping. If fresh items are needed for the dinner that is 6 days away, I put on my schedule to go to the grocery store after swim team the day before, for example.

 

Ala Switch, I made change easy by setting up my spaces. I keep a container of bath bombs and salts at the tub. I keep novels at my bedside, homeschool catalogs and references at my desk, the shopping list and a pen on the fridge door... I keep a basket full of self-care items on my sink next to my jewelry box and makeup bag. I do not wear a lot of jewelry or makeup but I do like some. I feel together when I wear them. I made our schoolroom comfortable and homey. Again, it's embarrassing in a way, but a pretty and comfortable homeschool space really improved my attitude toward my days...not to mention the kids' attitudes. My house has always been pretty organized but when I walked around the house with an eye specifically tuned into ways to make creating new habits foolproof, I found many.

 

This is a lot of minutiae for anyone else to sift through. It's probably all too random to be helpful to anyone because your minutiae will be different from mine. The goal is to get your life scheduled and get done what you want to get done.

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Thank you so much! That is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Movie night is starting right now, so I have to run.... but THANK YOU again.

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Just put the books on hold at the library. I cannot wait to read them!! I totally need this. I have no consistency and I am a big picture gal so I absolutely LOVE that you are supposed to sit down and look at everything, all together, at once.

 

My question (because I cannot wait until I read the books :rolleyes: ) is what happens when you get off schedule if something comes up or whatever. Do you just "skip" whatever was supposed to occur during those times or push stuff back or what?

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:bigear: This is an awesome thread! I have seen those books suggested before, in different settings. It must be fate. Must read them. Now, if only I could schedule the time in to read and implement them. :p I have so many "must reads" sitting around waiting to be read, or finished. I've started several.

 

Hmmm. Perhaps these two books will be my Christmas wish list. Then I can schedule myself to read them in January.

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I am definitely subscribing to this! At the end of last school-year and beginning of this one I was really feeling overwhelmed. I put the first parts of a routine in place and it has helped me a lot. I have a schedule on paper for school, a loose schedule for housework and my dc are doing daily chores. It has been going well for 4 months (even when it goes off track I am able to recover). Now I'm ready to take another step, so I am watching this thread and have the books on hold. Perhaps the break around Christmas and New Years will be a time to implement the next change(s).

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This is exactly what I needed! My library doesn't have Switch so I'll need to buy it but I'm planning to add GTD to my list for the library tomorrow. This is great; hope to read more ideas.

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Well this has been fascinating! I have done some of these things in the past (making list, auto-reminders that pop up, blah blah). I'm probably the last one to do this, but I've finally started using Pinterest. It's such a happy way to keep all my ideas organized, and it's so visual. Crafts, travel ideas, etc. can all go there, neat and tidy. I need less paper in my life, lol. Can't handle any more binders. I think Pinterest is going to be the way for me to go with that.

 

Like the others, I'm fascinated by the books you mentioned and have several coming from the library! I'm excited about the little changes I'm making to my evening routine. It's helping me get more done without significantly more effort. (uploading pictures to edit while I scan a particular board, things like that where I just needed a new habit)

 

Now I'm off to my other habit I realized I could put into my evening, a healthful, brisk walk! :)

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I used to be hyper-organized before I had kids, to the point that people would tease me about it. Once I had kids it went all to heck. I really need to get back into it because I am much more productive and comfortable when my life is scheduled and organized.

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Well this has been fascinating! I have done some of these things in the past (making list, auto-reminders that pop up, blah blah). I'm probably the last one to do this, but I've finally started using Pinterest. It's such a happy way to keep all my ideas organized, and it's so visual. Crafts, travel ideas, etc. can all go there, neat and tidy. I need less paper in my life, lol. Can't handle any more binders. I think Pinterest is going to be the way for me to go with that

 

I so wish Pinterest would be all neat and tidy for me. I have such a hard time coming up with appropriate categories and knowing where to place things that it sometimes takes me a while to find things I know I pinned....somewhere. I have the same problem with organizing the house; I can never remember where I put things because what seems like a logical place today turns out to make no sense at all tomorrow.

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For those needing help with home routines - FlyLady really is great. You can get frequent or daily emails with steps to take to get your home and meal planning under control. She emphasizes decluttering and using a timer on chores. When I follow her plan my home looks awesome and stuff gets done!

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I was pm'ing with an IRL friend this morning. We have been discussing how to implement this in our homes. I thought I would share my message here in case it is helpful to anyone.

 

Here it is:

Well for one, I have to be aware that this is going to have to be more of a "baby steps" thing for me. My (our) kiddos are younger than [AVA’s] and that makes a big difference.

 

So I have spent last night and this morning thinking about what is working. That is a good place to start. I want to work around what is working and NOT CHANGE those things. I have caught myself doing that a couple times as I have been planning. (I have been doing this since shortly after I woke up at 5:30 this morning!)

 

I went room by room through the house (in my head) and listed what needed to be done daily(make beds, do dishes)/weekly(vacuum, clean microwave)/seasonally(wash windows, go through clothes)to keep up in each room. I have a weekly/yearly schedule that I am transferring each of these to. I did basically the same thing with all the other aspects of life she listed. The house was the hardest - some areas didn't really take any time.

 

I have come up with a rough schedule that I will tweak a bit through the month. Here are my problems: 1)I feel like I could keep up easier if I was starting from a better place. I'm going to spend the weekend trying to catch up a little and I'm going to give myself some breathing room by planning to not fully implement this til after the new year. I am going to go to minimum school days for the month of December to play catch up with my house, but I really want to kick school up a notch in the new year.

 

2)This is even harder - actually sticking to it. She mentioned going in robot mode. I think that is what I need to do. Give myself a month or so where I just promise to stick to my schedule as much as humanly possible. Just keep swimming and hope that at some point it becomes second nature. That is also where the baby steps come in though. I'm going to try to keep to a rough outline of a schedule through December, but not REALLY keep strictly to it until Jan. I will use this time to continue to think about how exactly I want this to look in my home and doing what need to be done to implement it painlessly.

 

This is a helpful exercise. I want to start a family game/movie night. We do this sporadically, but I'd like to be more purposeful. Same thing with a date night - even though ours will also be in house. I want to do more science and art. The kids love that stuff, and I need to make it a priority.

 

I'm also thinking about this as my job. Everyone else showers/exercises/check email/etc. before work, then puts in their day and comes home to do housework and put their feet up. I'm lucky enough to not have to come home and do housework. I can fit that into my day. I think looking at my days that way helps me to see how much time I waste. I don't consider myself lazy, but I would NOT want a hidden camera on me. The time wasted would be utterly embarrassing on many days.

 

Anyways, that was long and possibly not pertinent to you. :) It helped me to write it out, in fact I'm going to save it for myself. I would love to hear your thoughts whenever you have time.

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Thanks for reposting that. I just put Switch on hold from the library.

 

I love GTD! I've gone through his organizing process 3 times now and will be starting a fourth time in January (just had baby #5 by unexpected c-section 4 weeks ago and things have been slowly falling apart my whole pregnancy and now rapidly falling apart w/ recovery and baby and holidays).

 

I wrote up a summary of GTD, applying it to homeschool moms instead of businessmen, and ran the series on my blog: 31 Days of GTD for Homemakers. I think getting a system like that going is a 6-12 month project, especially with the reality that you can't dedicate huge chunks of time to it in the midst of homeschooling life.

 

I am planning on focusing on organizing and getting a handle on things again in 2013. There are home decorating or renovating projects and book reading projects and craft projects I'd love to accomplish, but I've decided that it would be better to spend one year really focusing on getting a handle on life and my own habits and use of time before adding those things to my "I should" mental guilt list. In addition to GTD, I've been reading Zen to Done, which focuses more on the habits GTD requires; it also simplifies GTD and applies it more to life goals than business.

 

So, I was thinking I'd blog once a week in 2013 about growing organization habits, focusing on one a month. My hope is that if I can get a grip on managing life and home and school and also lose my baby weight and get my energy back, then in the years to come I can add in those projects I'd like to accomplish without it stressing me out or being overwhelming. We'll see. I've always been stellar at making plans and terrible at follow-through. But in one more year my oldest will be in middle school and we'll have to take things up a notch again. So if I don't learn the self-discipline of follow-through now, the hole I am in is only going to get deeper. Moving from all babies and preschoolers to babies and preschoolers AND elementary and REAL homeschooling has been a huge shift, much more than I anticipated.

 

So, anyway, any one else interested in committing to change and accountability in this area for 2013? Maybe we could start a weekly check-in thread like the Weekly Reports? Is that an acceptable use of the general forum now? Maybe it's self-education? :)

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I would love to be able to be held accountable. I always seem to have great plans, and they usually start out ok, but eventually things usually get derailed.

I read A Mother's Rule of Life this past spring and set up a basic routine for our days, but that has really fallen apart since dd3 arrived and I need to find some stability again!

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All I can say is you rock. Seriously.

 

:iagree:

 

And I need to go back and finish reading Switch. I have it on my kindle and dh has a hard cover copy (He's finding it handy for a college paper he's writing.). No excuses!

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I would love to be able to be held accountable. I always seem to have great plans, and they usually start out ok, but eventually things usually get derailed.

I read A Mother's Rule of Life this past spring and set up a basic routine for our days, but that has really fallen apart since dd3 arrived and I need to find some stability again!

I like this thread and the wisdom from so many of you, but as I clicked on the link about the other book, I found myself feeling overwhelmed at one more book on organization!

 

Thank you for mentioning A Mother's Rule of Life-- I already have it! I used to routinely follow a schedule I developed after reading it. That was back when I felt I had things pulled together. As I was reading this thread I was thinking that I used to have a better organized household/homeschool, but I couldn't quite figure out why I don't now. My old scheudule and routines don't reflect my present realities and goals. Slowly my schedule slipped away from me, different activities crowded out things I value, plus one of my dc turned out to have an unscheduled learning disability. I definately relate to the "ball girl at the tennis match" analogy! It's well past time to re-work my daily schedule!

 

Advent just started yesterday and I find that's a good time to for re-reading books of a spiritual nature and implement positive changes. A Mother's Rule of Life is written by a Catholic homeschool mom. I'll have to dig it out and re-read it this Advent. I had thought about giving up this forum and severly restricting my computer usage for Advent, but I really didn't want to and I didn't think it would really be a good thing to do that. But--I really should be more mindful of the amount of time I spend on the internet. Back when I followed a more structured schedule, I did that. And now I know what I want to do for Advent.

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Thanks for reposting that. I just put Switch on hold from the library.

 

I love GTD! I've gone through his organizing process 3 times now and will be starting a fourth time in January (just had baby #5 by unexpected c-section 4 weeks ago and things have been slowly falling apart my whole pregnancy and now rapidly falling apart w/ recovery and baby and holidays).

 

I wrote up a summary of GTD, applying it to homeschool moms instead of businessmen, and ran the series on my blog: 31 Days of GTD for Homemakers. I think getting a system like that going is a 6-12 month project, especially with the reality that you can't dedicate huge chunks of time to it in the midst of homeschooling life.

 

I am planning on focusing on organizing and getting a handle on things again in 2013. There are home decorating or renovating projects and book reading projects and craft projects I'd love to accomplish, but I've decided that it would be better to spend one year really focusing on getting a handle on life and my own habits and use of time before adding those things to my "I should" mental guilt list. In addition to GTD, I've been reading Zen to Done, which focuses more on the habits GTD requires; it also simplifies GTD and applies it more to life goals than business.

 

So, I was thinking I'd blog once a week in 2013 about growing organization habits, focusing on one a month. My hope is that if I can get a grip on managing life and home and school and also lose my baby weight and get my energy back, then in the years to come I can add in those projects I'd like to accomplish without it stressing me out or being overwhelming. We'll see. I've always been stellar at making plans and terrible at follow-through. But in one more year my oldest will be in middle school and we'll have to take things up a notch again. So if I don't learn the self-discipline of follow-through now, the hole I am in is only going to get deeper. Moving from all babies and preschoolers to babies and preschoolers AND elementary and REAL homeschooling has been a huge shift, much more than I anticipated.

 

So, anyway, any one else interested in committing to change and accountability in this area for 2013? Maybe we could start a weekly check-in thread like the Weekly Reports? Is that an acceptable use of the general forum now? Maybe it's self-education? :)

 

 

This was AWESOME!! Thank you! I read through the whole series and I cannot wait to get the book. I am getting started by following your series. I also found a flow chart online for GTD that is helpful

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Thank you for the recommendation for "Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard." (I learn a lot from reading these boards!). As other posters have mentioned, it has a lot of examples from the business world but some about changing personal habits as well. It's an easy, enjoyable, and optimistic read. I'm going to ask my 13-year-old to read it, because I think the ideas could be very "sticky" and helpful throughout her life.

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Nothing to add as I am chronically disorganised. Just to say that I will be checking these two books out...and thank you for starting this thread.

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I was so confused as to how I went from being an organized, OCD, straight-A student to an employee with exemplary performance assessments to a frazzled, mentally disorganized nitwit. :lol: :blink: :w00t:

 

 

This is exactly how I feel everyday!

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I also found a flow chart online for GTD that is helpful

 

Can you post a link to the flow chart? Thanks!

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This was AWESOME!! Thank you! I read through the whole series and I cannot wait to get the book. I am getting started by following your series. I also found a flow chart online for GTD that is helpful

 

Do you have a link for the flow chart?

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GTD Workflow Chart

 

And here's a post I wrote about using the workflow at home: Applying GTD at Home

 

So, every year I always make task-oriented new year's resolutions. I think this year I'm going to focus on organization/discipline habits in monthly bites and make it a project ala Happiness Project (which was a great book).

 

But first, more coffee.

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GTD Workflow Chart

 

And here's a post I wrote about using the workflow at home: Applying GTD at Home

 

So, every year I always make task-oriented new year's resolutions. I think this year I'm going to focus on organization/discipline habits in monthly bites and make it a project ala Happiness Project(which was a great book).

 

But first, more coffee.

 

 

I'm reading the Happiness Project right now - well, I was when I was going to physical therapy almost daily...since then it's been sitting, waiting for me to read it. I really like the monthly bite approach.

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Ok, here is a hang-up I have and perhaps you all that have already been working on this can give me your insight. How do you include school-time in your schedule? We have a long morning block, then a break, then lunch, then a short block of school, then a break, then occasionally a third block. The lengths of the blocks changes, so it is hard to know if I am going to have time to make lunch, move laundry and clean the living room, or just make lunch. I checked out the books Kristina recommended in the OP but I haven't read them yet. I'm just curious about hearing how other people handle it.

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I started reading this thread days ago, then I had my gall bladder out and forgot all about it. I'm so glad I came across it again now! I can sum up all my struggles by saying this:

 

I bought a copy of GTD a few weeks ago (and I never buy books anymore, so that says a lot). Now it is lost, and I cannot find it! What does it say about me that I promptly lost the book I bought to help me get organized? :banghead:

 

GTD Workflow Chart And here's a post I wrote about using the workflow at home: Applying GTD at Home So, every year I always make task-oriented new year's resolutions. I think this year I'm going to focus on organization/discipline habits in monthly bites and make it a project ala Happiness Project(which was a great book). But first, more coffee.

 

Thank you so much for posting all that! I have such a hard time translating books like GTD and Switch (which I read based on Kristina's rec in an earlier thread) into the home environment. I'm going to dedicate some time tonight to reading through your series. I read The Happiness Project last year and was really inspired...and then it all fell apart. I took most of December off this school year, so I think I'm going to designate my spare time to getting organized before we start schooling again on 1/5.

 

Has anyone ever looked at this?

 

http://powerofmoms.com/store/m-o-m/

 

It's supposed to be GTD, but tailored to women's/moms' needs. I'm reluctant to spend the money, but I will if it would really help me.

 

Kristina, you don't live anywhere near the East Coast, do you? I would seriously pay you to come and help me do what you described and get all set up. If you have some more time, can you tell us about the tools you use to do your schedules/calendars etc.? I've been working with Evernote to try to get everything in my brain down before it vanishes forever. (Pinterest is too photo-oriented for me--I needed something that worked better with words rather than so much with pictures.)

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GTD Workflow Chart

 

And here's a post I wrote about using the workflow at home: Applying GTD at Home

 

So, every year I always make task-oriented new year's resolutions. I think this year I'm going to focus on organization/discipline habits in monthly bites and make it a project ala Happiness Project(which was a great book).

 

But first, more coffee.

 

 

Thank you for posting the chart! Very helpful as I am waiting for my copy of GTD to be in at the library. I'm going to be proactive and head up to my kitchen island to try to sort through my "piles". :blushing:

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