Keeping on task and getting things done are both important skills to have. As a stay at home wife and mum my time can easily be taken up with the urgent instead of the important. As a person that volunteers her time and skills I can fall into the trap of having other people tell me how and when to use my time. And as a small business owner + grower I can become consumed with all the to dos and loose sight of the bigger picture.
I have used a few different time management systems over the years but I often found that I was spending lots of time maintaining the system, instead of completing the tasks. This was defeating the point. Through trial and error I have moved to a simple system and have used a version of this with these tools for a while now.
The three main tools that I use to stay organised are available at your local office supply shop and don’t cost a lot of money. But they are simple to use and after all, the best tools to stay organised are the ones you actually use.
Here’s a quick rundown of my favourite tools and how I use them.
Daily planner + weekly schedule – I prefer a week to a page layout style diary or planner. It helps me to keep an eye over the week as a whole. This is where I record appointments, commitments, holidays and plans. I also make a note of anything specific that I want to get done on a particular day. In conjunction with this I have a weekly schedule that I have printed and on display near my planner. Many of my tasks are repeated weekly, so it makes sense to me to assign them to a day and repeat the schedule each week. This way things like cleaning, meal prep, shopping and errands all have a place and I don’t have to think about where I can fit them in during my week.
Notebook or notes app – Alongside my planner I have a small notebook that I use to braindump (write down everything) and keep a running list of all the things I want and need to get done within the week or so. I have been trying to use my iPhones notes application in place of this. I find that I often have my phone on me when I need to add something to the list. This way I can have different lists for different things and they are always at my fingertips.
Quick tip – Ladies keep a list of all your favourite makeup products, nail polishes and face and hair care products in your phone. Then you won’t be caught at the makeup counter wondering if you are buying the right shade. This works well for me as a person that doesnt buy these kinds of products often and easily forgets what I use at home.
Family calendar – This is just a printed a4 landscape calendar that is on our fridge. I keep track of birthdays as well as anything that affects the whole family. It also allows me to keep an eye on the month as a whole at a glance and helps with our budgeting and planning ahead.
Those three things are all I use at the moment to keep things here running smoothly. I would love to hear about what you use to stay organised with your time and schedule?