Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Schedule (Or If I Don't Have One Soon I May Loose My Mind!)

In attempting to wrangle the headlessness, I'm trying to come up with a workable schedule for myself. Putting out fires is just not working. (Hello, worst strategy in the world.)

In the very near future I will have 2 boys in 4 sports total. (Disclaimer: I have never allowed this to happen before, and don't necessarily agree with it, but that is a post for another day, and I was the one that let it happen.) This is in addition to all of the other stuff that we do on a weekly basis. I'm thinking that if I don't plan ahead I will drown in the first week.

I need your help. Please comment with your schedule, your best hints for time management, your blog posts on the subject, links to ideas that might help. Do you use a spreadsheet? The list method? Do you schedule everything? Or just the Must-Do stuff? Do you schedule things by the minute? Hour? Morning/afternoon/evening? Week?

How often do you meal plan/grocery shop? And on what day? What do you prepare ahead?

How much time do you allow/give yourself for blogging (reading and writing)/other social media? Do you schedule it or do you fit it in between other things? How do you stay away from it when it's not 'on the schedule'? (This has become a major issue for me. I admit it. I own it.)

How much do you require out of your family/spouse/kids? Do they have daily/weekly/monthly responsibilities? Do you ask for help or do they just do their thing?

I know that this is a lot of questions but if I'm going to make this work for the long haul (or at least until June!) I need to gather all of the information that I can.

In the coming weeks, in addition to implementing them here at home, I'll be sharing the best ideas and giving credit where credit is due. I've already found a couple of links that I'll be sharing when I begin.

Let me have it!

So, can I count on your help?

PS- Don't forget to enter my giveaway-you can enter once a day between now and Friday!

PPS-Head back to Shannons for more WFMW posts!

Headless Mom


Sam said...

I know you don't need another site to read, but try something like:




particularly this one, maybe:


Just find a few articles to start with. I think they both have feeds, so you can add them to your reader and check the headlines that way for something that looks a propos.

I have a Google calendar for *my* appointments (Dr's visits, get together with Jeff) and Alice has a calendar from the school that has all the school days off and such, but she writes on there the different activities that the girls have (choir, sports, etc). If it's not on that calendar, it doesn't happen. :) (I just wrote my stuff in on that calendar so she knows what I'm doing, too. I'd like to get her on an online calendar, but...yeah.)

In short, I think whatever works. I know that's not helpful, but you have to start somewhere. Is this all for just you? Then it's up to you to make it and keep it. Just like your situp challenge and pushup challenge. We can give you all the advice in the world, but you're the one who makes the magic happen. :)

headless girl :] said...

i use ical on my MacBook..you'll have it too
i can show you how to use it..but it works WONDERS for me..you can print out a day, week, or month view and it shows all the appointments and things you have to do, you can create to do lists and put dates on them AND set reminder alarms!!

Sam said...

Headless Mom, if you used a Google calendar, you could share it with HG and coordinate stuff that way, too.

Natalie said...

we just don't let our kids participate in anything. that makes it easy!

actually that's not really true. since we've been back in the states they haven't signed up for any extra stuff which i am glad about. will is in athletics at school, but he was too late for basketball. he'll try out for track soon. the other three haven't even asked to participate in anything...yet.

we are also church shopping which frees up our wednesday nights for the most part until we find a place.

so basically what i'm saying is i have no advice since we don't do anything but go to school and come home.

you're welcome.

Anonymous said...

The computer comes last. It has to - or my kids are going to fail their classes.

I plan meals once a week ad try to shop in advance.

You know what has SET ME FREE, though? My iPhone. Don't know what I did without it. But now, at least while I'm in the carpool line, music lessons and sports, I can access email, Twitter, Facebook and my Reader.


Sam said...

Oh, and you misspelled "lose". Guess the mind is already going, eh? :)

Tracey said...

I use a large calendar for daily events, every day gets a list of tasks to complete...with the new baby...it's become a weekly list of goals. I clean one are a day. Samuel will have chores when he's older...even 3 or 4 year olds can pick things up or put the laundry in the hamper. I set myself a limit of 1 hour blogging, but I write ahead so the posts will appear even if I don't have time. Once everything else is done then I'll do more as a presant to myself. I plan meals once a week around what is in the pantry and on sale and I shop once a week if necessary. I'm always working on improving how I do things....so my schedule is a living, breathing, changing thing.

Kathy said...

*disclaimer - I am sitting at my desk at school NOT grading papers that I should be looking at before leaving for the day...

I plan meals a week in advance and have been making double and freezing (this week is freezer week - all I have to do is press start on the micro, steam a veg and throw a salad together)

I shop once a week after weighing in at WW - that is motivational for me. I could coupon better but I am planning based on sales (whole chickens were .88/pound last week, for example)

I spend about an hour on Sunday afternoon (except for this Sunday when I'll be dipping a chip or munching on something yummy at your house!) pre-prepping all of the crock pot stuff (chunking the pre-cooked chicken - a headless family favorite :), browning ground beef or turkey, chopping veggies)

Most stuff is five minutes away from throwing in the crockpot the night before and it goes on in the am or when Bill comes home for lunch. Clean up is a breeze.

The family time we have gained back with this new system is amazing.

Blogging - I'm a lurker - I let myself have about 10 minutes to read you and/or Screaming masses and another friend of mine who blogs.

What do I require from my family - the little one must help set the table and clear her place, she puts the salad dressing back in the fridge, and must put her clothes in the laundry before bath. Toys that are left in anyone's path are mine for a week and shoes not in the basket - same thing.

Bill - litter box and laundry folding - I'll do the wash but I hate the folding so I recruit.

And I use the stickies on the Mac dashboard to leave notes for us and we use iCal - it also syncs wity my BlackBerry (which I also use to peek at blogs when I am in line occasionally.

So, all that being said, I could still use another hour or two in the day to really accomplish the things that are on deck.

See ya Sunday.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

For all the time I spend online, I'm very old school with schedules: an old fashioned paper calendar hung in the kitchen.

We don't do any activities outside school. The kids are 7 and 5 and theoretically have to pick up after themselves -- my son does pretty easily, but I spend more time supervising my daughter than I would doing the work myself -- we're still working on it. My husband and I used to split the housework, but since the arrival of the kids, I do the bulk of it.

I spend 15 minutes in the morning checking e-mail, then an hour and a half a day while the kids are at school doing paid writing work or blogging, reading blogs, checking e-mail. Then sometimes I spend a little more time at the end of the day (like now).

Amy said...

Google calendar is my friend. You can make multiple calendars (say, one for each person) in different colors, and then, with a few clicks, view all those calendars at one time, with their neat color-coded boxes overlapping each other so you can see who/what/where/when. I blogged about it a while back:

I try to do grocery shopping in about two big trips per month, and then on Monday afternoons I make a run to CVS/ Target/ wherever else I need to go. I'm a big coupon user, so I do coupons/ ad matching on Sunday evenings. Monday afternoons are the logical shopping time for me because my daughter is in kindergarten, my son goes with me, and I just did the coupons the night before, so the deals are fresh in my mind.

I also menu plan on Sunday nights.

As for scheduling my online time... let me know if you figure that one out. I'm guilty of spending WAY too much time reading blogs and surfing coupon sites!

Good luck! :)

kyooty said...

I'm so lost, the only schedule I have is Judo monday after school, Judo thursday night for 1, Bowling every Saturday morning for all 5 of us, Sunday church and sunday school. School MTTF get them on the bus by 710am and home by 250 and 350pm, Wednesdays home by 140-150pm. Wednesday nights I escape to my ww meetings and the rest is fill in teh blanks. Oh food is Payday every 15days or so.
oh but homework must be done the first hour they are home or I forget and leave things out and they get docked for my bad mom skills. :)
I let hubbie work the parent committee at school hehe. Delegate!

Bailey's Leaf said...

Wait. I have to take a breath. You listed so much!

First, a calendar will be your friend. Look at it faithfully. I began as a calendar mom when we were doing the foster to adopt bit with our daughter. Social worker appointments are not good things to miss.

Secondly, the crock pot will be your friend. I will make a crock pot meal and we can generally eat it for a few days. I admit that I'm not certain that would work for you, but it's an idea.

Thirdly, housework is scheduled for Thursday with Friday as my slosh day. Any remaining work flips to that day, though generally Friday is laundry day.

It's important to keep track of the kids , but to also keep track that they are keeping up. If something major school work/sleep/helping slips, then something might need to be ditched.

Housework? Certainly. I know that Daring Young Mom had a flip chart thingy for her kids that you might want to check out. I'm not certain of your kids' age.

Market day? I generally schedule that once every two weeks, but we are a three people household.

Internet? I try to be on only in the evenings after all is settled, but Bloggy Giveaways has killed me this week. That and the nasty snowstorm.

Take a deep breath. Use a calendar. It'll all be good.

J said...

I . . . um . . . kinda like the "putting out fires" method . . . ;)

However, my future husband and I have used a method we learned at work. Our company recruited an "efficiency" company to come and review the performance of each crew and each department, individually -- from the head of the department to the lowest position. What do you do? When do you have to have it done? What is its purpose? And how do you do it? All the way from the physcial labor to the never-ever-ending paperwork. It was very interesting and highly effective. It was also time consuming but what they did as we relayed the information to them was physical. Each "duty" or "procedure" was borken down to its step-by-step form and then written on "post it" notes and stuck in order on a long roll of plain brown wrapping paper. Yes ma'am -- post it notes.

Everything was stuck on it from how a project is started to how the field operations are performed (down to the individual employees jobs), the accounting procedures, daily duties, weekly reporting, payroll schedules, etc. Each "thing to be done" has steps and deadlines also documented on a post it -- priority items were on hot pink, money on green, normal daily stuff on yellow and so on. What you have when you finish is an old world flow chart. You pick the post its up and move them when you change your priority issues or order of steps and throw them away when you realize you can "skip that."

This is long and convoluted to explain. It's a simple flow chart on a large poster where you can re-arrange and move the "things to do." It eliminates duplicated efforts and tailors things down to what to do and when to do it. We used it to set our "routine" schedule and our future goals too. For instance, we have a goal for remodeling our home with each room in the order we would like to do them, the mechanical and structural issues that have to be resolved first, sheetrock work, paiting, decorating, etc. We just wrote post its out as things came in our minds. When we finished the "list" we set them to order on the roll of paper, by the date we would like to have them completed. Since we have mechanical issues such as reconfiguring the a/c and furnace in the attic, well, that has to be done after we demolish the sheetrock but before we put up the new and long before I can do the "pretty" I so long for (painting, new furnishings, decorating). We found this to be the simplest way to organize our thoughts, goals and to create our "things to do" lists.

It works as a calendar as well because we moved the post its to a hand written month. (When it's finished, you can move it to an electronic format with bells, whistles and ALARMS). It is easier to make adjustments by picking up and moving a post it than deleting from a field and hoping you remember to put it in somewhere else.

The consultants my company hired have computers and all the spreadsheets and organizational programs in the world but they still start with pen and paper . . . . SOOOOO -- no excuse for not doing because anyone can write on a post it and stick it on a poster!


Apologies for writing a blog on your blog. ((((sorry))))