Jump to content

Menu

I need a better get things done system!


Recommended Posts

I need a better system. I am not getting everything done, and I need a better system before the school year starts again. I think I fall prey to thinking that the perfect system/planner/blogpost will miraculously make me into an efficient, organized person.   :001_rolleyes:

 

Edited by Grantmom
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the same boat! I am using this app for a week or so and its helping somewhat. I don't know how to link it but it's called Home Routines by Wunderbear. I have the free version but I was able to type in my daily cleaning, I like to do 1-2 rooms a day. I like that I can even list the individual chore and check them off as I do it. I also finally started using the calendar on my phone. Looks like there are lots of apps that do similar things, maybe one of them will work for you!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think we ever get to a point of "getting everything done."  I think that maybe we should focus on getting our priorities done and scheduling in things that are a lower priority.

 

What do you mean by "everything?" Academics? Housework? Meals? Laundry? All of the above?

 

Today, I have gotten almost nothing done. None of my priorities that is. I've let little things/details sidetrack my attention all day long. Instead of really tackling the laundry I have spent time on two stains. Of course, I had to do internet research on stain removal! (not, but I did anyway). We need new glasses and instead of making a couple of quick phone calls asking about prices, I've spent at least 2 hours online reading articles, asking for input, looking at frames. Even now instead of finishing my housework, I'm enjoying the WTM message boards.

 

Although I am no longer homeschooling, I do work at a job. So it certainly IS OK for me to relax and surf the net for a few hours on my day off, I'm really not using my time very wisely today. So there is a balance between setting priorites, time management, and allowing yourself some relaxation.

 

I homeschooled 4 children for 20 years. I have plenty of ideas to help you schedule "everything". 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are just so many little details.  I work part-time, volunteer, homeschool, household stuff like cooking and cleaning, etc.  And I'm forgetting things.  Things aren't getting done.  I used to use a paper planner, and I think that seemed to work.  But it's cumbersome and I don't always have it with me, or I don't always use it.  Now, I am trying to do a mix of paper and digital.  Digital for the to do lists, calendar type of stuff.  Paper for the notes and things I need to follow up on and keep track of.  I am just not getting it all done.  I was going to buy a Thinkwell math program a few days ago because it was on sale for almost half off.  I hesitated and thought I would come back it, but I only had until midnight that night.  Of course, the night got away from me, and I completely forgot until I woke up the next morning.  So, it's mostly little things like that.  Organizing all the little details.

 

Also, this year is going to be a really academically challenging year for my oldest.  It's all what he wants to do, but I want it to go well, because it's his junior year and that has the most weight wrt college applications.  So, I just want to start the year off right.  I want to have us both organized and using a good system that will keep all of us on task and efficient.  Too optimistic??

Edited by Grantmom
Link to post
Share on other sites

What helps me (and things still fall off the radar screen) is to make a to do list every morning.  It really helps me.  Also, I have been trying to get into the habit of putting all dates for things in my phone/lap top calendar.  So I look at my calendar, I think about what's ahead for the day and the week and I make a list.  I keep it near my laptop so I can go back to it and cross things off when I get a chance.  I can jot notes down on it too that can carry over to the next day or next several days.  I don't even use a planner.  I just either type it out in word and print it out or I write it out on a pad of paper.  The trick for me is to keep it near my laptop which is 99% of the time in our dining room.  As long as I can access it a few times a day, I do well.  I do this while I am drinking my first cup of coffee, right after saying my morning prayers.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a bullet journal. The beauty of it for me is that everything is in one place. I love physically writing things down. I have special pages for my yearly calendar, lists of things like books I've read or gift ideas, and I use those stick on tabs to easily find things.

 

For me, whatever system I use needs to be all in one place. My bullet journal fits easily into my purse. For temporary notes, like grocery lists, I put a sticky note inside. If you search on the web for bullet journals you will see a lot of very artistic looking ones with beautiful lettering, washi tape, etc. Mine is VERY basic. Black pen on paper. Keeping it simple helps me keep going.

 

Good luck with whatever system you choose!

 

 

http://www.thelazygeniuscollective.com/blog/how-to-bullet-journal

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using a modified version of the bullet journal for 3.5 years now. I just can't do digital, it falls off my radar too easily. I work full time from home, do the books for both mine and DH's business, homeschool two kids, coordinate an astronomy club, and am on the board for two different organizations.

 

I needed an all-in-one planner that was small and would last me a year. I use the bullet journal method in a BN Picadilly notebook for my daily tasks, except I write out a week of entries every Saturday and add to each days lists and migrate items as needed. Each week also has a goal list, which are extras that don't have to be done but should be done, which I can quickly look at and choose from when I have down time I want to fill. This is finished off with a weekly tracking page for work purposes. I record the weather each day as well, for gardening purposes.

 

At the start of my BuJo is a yearly calendar, so I can write down things coming up in future months and keep track of birthdays. This is a two page spread. It's followed by a chart I draw up of gift occasions. I track and plan gifts and parties here (I tend to handcraft gifts or buy well in advance). Each month section then starts with a calendar page with upcoming events marked, followed by a page with the weekly menu plans, a ledger/budget page, and a page where I track exercise/monthly big goals. This is followed by the weekly pages.

 

I tend to split the book in half with a divider tab. The back half is for making lists (collections in BuJo speak), which I refer to as needed to fill out weekly and monthly goal lists. I also make collections for books to read, gardening tasks, HS planning, board notes, and stuff like that. I also have 12 pages in the very back set aside, one for each month, that I use as a 1 sentence daily diary (quick record of something memorable or important from that day). I think of these as the old time household books or ledgers people used to keep, and I at least enjoy looking back through them. Maybe someday my kids will, too :)

 

The only thing not tracked in my BuJo is grades. I keep grades and transcript info in a spreadsheet on Google Drive.

 

It took time to find the method that worked for me. The key is to find the method you will use!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are just so many little details.  I work part-time, volunteer, homeschool, household stuff like cooking and cleaning, etc.  And I'm forgetting things.  Things aren't getting done.  I used to use a paper planner, and I think that seemed to work.  But it's cumbersome and I don't always have it with me, or I don't always use it.  Now, I am trying to do a mix of paper and digital.  Digital for the to do lists, calendar type of stuff.  Paper for the notes and things I need to follow up on and keep track of.  I am just not getting it all one.  I was going to buy a Thinkwell math program a few days ago because it was on sale for almost half off.  I hesitated and thought I would come back it, but I only had until midnight that night.  Of course, the night got away from me, and I completely forgot until I woke up the next morning.  So, it's mostly little things like that.  Organizing all the little details.

 

Also, this year is going to be a really academically challenging year for my oldest.  It's all what he wants to do, but I want it to go well, because it's his junior year and that has the most weight wrt college applications.  So, I just want to start the year off right.  I want to have us both organized and using a good system that will keep all of us on task and efficient.  Too optimistic??

 

Routines help keep me on track.  I have daily, weekly, and seasonal routines.  Having a day of the week or a season to do something keeps me from being overwhelmed and protects my time.   My weekly routine, learned from Flylady/Slob Sisters years ago, is the most important to me.    Simple things like cleaning the fridge and straightening the cabinets happen the day/evening before garbage day.  Grocery shopping is the next day.  Routine medical/dental appointments only happen on Thursdays  for us.  Wednesday is "anti-procrastination day"  when I do the important stuff that's not the urgent.  Friday is my day to plan the next week.  I used to do it on Sundays, but it totally robbed my joy and stressed me out.   Not having the mental stress of things crowding into my days makes life easier. 

 

Yearly medical exams and tests are scheduled for June when I have more time.  The rest of the year, I don't have to worry about my mammogram or pap since I know when I'll have it done.  I schedule the next year while I'm there and put it on my calendar.  It's worked so far :-)    I do a bulk cooking/freezer cooking day during the last week in July to get us through the first month of our homeschool and my outside teaching commitments.  When the kiddos were little, I bulk cooked every other month.  Now I only have need to do it one time a year.  

 

Small daily things like buying the curriculum in your example get written on an index card or pad of paper that lives on my dining table which is where we do most of our daily work.  

 

As for organizing your son,  I'd suggest going through the process with him so he can find what works for him as you find what works for you.   Best wishes as you find solutions. 

Edited by Artichoke
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a Pebble Time that sends messages to my wrist for calendar events and timed reminders (and works any app that uses the iPad Notification Center or the Android equivalent). I don't have to have the phone or a piece of paper in my hand (but the phone needs to be within Bluetooth range, so somewhere in the house). Works for me. For something like the Thinkwell thing, I would have programmed a reminder to my phone for 10 pm to make sure it got done by midnight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You should check out Mystie's Simplified Organization stuff.  She has lots of free stuff on her website, but the really great stuff is in her e-courses.  

 

I think one of the biggest mental hurdles to organization, for me, is to acknowledge that you can't just organize everything and be done.  Organization is actually a task that must be done daily, weekly, and yearly as part of all the other chores of life.  If done well, it should make everything else easier and more streamlined.  But you can't just set up a system and then press "on" and expect everything to keep running smoothly.  The system needs maintenance!  I don't know why this concept is so difficult for me, but it is!!!  When I embrace it and schedule that time though, it makes a world of difference.  

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, I've had discussions like that with friends -- if we just plan everything perfectly, we will surely have the perfect year!

 

Hahahahahahaha! Let me tell you, if tidy, color-coordinated plans on OneNote could make it all perfect, I'd be the queen.

 

Checklists. A plan for the main things that need to get done daily, and in which slots. Certain things need to be done before I start school for the day (laundry, dishes), and some things get done in the afternoon, and others in the evening. Then I keep a running to do list with just a couple of things on it -- calls to make, or an infrequent chore that needs to be done. Not too many things per day.

 

I tried the motivated moms app, but it wasn't my thing. OneNote lists work better for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, for this year, I'm trying a daily list of small school tasks to do each night, and a weekly list. I got a basket to keep on a high shelf in which to keep supplemental books, art supplies, etc. for the upcoming week. I'm hoping that taking time to gather all that stuff on the weekend will mean we get around to more projects and fun stuff.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...