I like to think we’re flexible around here and I try to go with the flow as much as possible (With 3 young children, how can you not?) but I am not a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of gal. I like to have a plan and however much we eventually deviate from that plan I find that simply having it gives me focus and sense of control over our day. ~~ That’s sense of control not actual control. Please know that I understand the difference ;-) Anyway, for what it’s worth here’s how I plan my week.
All of my actual appointments and possible appointments are kept in MS Outlook (I could use any calendar I suppose but this is what we have around here.) By possible appointments I mean all of the fun/educational/interesting events I hear about that I might want to go to but don’t know right now if I’ll be able to attend. (ie every event for the library’s summer reading program went in my calendar but by the end of summer we only actually attended 3 or 4 activities.) This keeps all the clutter of notices and flyers from accumulating in my inbox or in my mind but also insures I don’t miss something fun when it comes around.
Also, in my calendar are “appointments” for Today’s Laundry and Today’s Cleaning Zone as well as for every meal and snack. (More on how I’ve streamlined my meal planning and house cleaning in separate posts.) This way when I print my schedule for the week everything is in one place.
So, it’s Sunday night. The kids are asleep. The house is quiet. I pull up my calendar for the coming week. Adjust my menu as necessary (making out my shopping list as I go), note any special appointments, delete any “extras” I know we won’t be attending, and click the print button. This process takes about 20 minutes. It used to take over an hour and wasn’t nearly as neat or clear in the end.
Even with all of that done, I still need something to keep me focused each day. So I created my own Daily Docket. Originally, I read about this idea here when I was working on a home management notebook. I have since shelved my home management notebook (using Outlook instead) and adapted the Daily Docket to fit my needs. Why? Because it “is a marriage of scheduled routine and flexibility. It provides the skeleton for me to hang my agenda, but it allows for wiggle room because I fill out a new sheet each day.”
Here’s what my docket looks like before I fill it out. You are more than welcome to copy it for you own use if it would be helpful.
Both sheets go on my fridge in the morning though by evening time I often find my Daily Docket is in my pocket filled with notes and scribbles from the days activities. But that’s okay because after the kids go to bed I move those notes wherever I need them and fill out a new, crisp and clean Docket for the morrow. :-)
So that’s it. All you ever wanted to know and more about how I maintain my sanity. Planning and prayer, people. Planning and prayer.