Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Thursday, January 10, 2008
A weekly calendar page
If, like me, one of your goals for the new year is "getting organized", you might like to take a look at this weekly calendar page I made for myself.
I used to be a fairly unorganized person, though I have always longed to become more organized, especially in my household tasks and in my daily life.
For several years, I have used the pads of weekly calendar pages (these usually have magnets on the back to hold them on the fridge) to help me get organized. I would then "personalize" each week by noting down what sorts of things I needed to do on a particular day, and I also divided the activities of each week into categories. I got this idea of using categories from the Elizabeth George book A Woman's High Calling. It's really helpful, because looking at the different categories shows you at a glance what your priorities look like and if you lack balance in your life. I've had to tweak her list of categories a bit, because I needed to fit them into a small amount of space. My categories are these: Spiritual life; Home/family life; Ministry/social life; Health (both mental and physical).
This type of a schedule really helps in living out our goals on a daily basis. But one day, I ran out of pages on my weekly calendar pad, and I was unable to find more. Finally, the thought came to me: why not just design my own weekly calendar page in my word processing program? I could put in place many of the activities I do each day on a regular basis, saving myself the work of writing everything out each week. I just print out a few of these at a time, and I print on both sides, so I have 2 weeks' worth on one piece of paper.
Let's look over my page. At the top is a place to put in the dates for the particular week. To the right of that, I've left a space to note the Scripture verse I am currently memorizing.
Next comes the spiritual life category. It doesn't vary much, as my quiet time is important each day. But on Sunday, I include reading over my Sunday School lesson and getting ready to teach it.
For the home/family category, I have left a space each day to note down what FlyLady zone I am working in on a particular week. FlyLady's routines have been SO helpful to me in getting my housework organized. I don't necessarily endorse everything and everyone that FlyLady does, but her routines are marvelous and work so well for me. I will add in on these squares anything else concerning home or family -- like "watch grandkids" or "birthday party", etc.
For the ministry/social category, it includes my church responsibilities as well as blogging and other writing ministries. I might add in things like "nursing home service" or "friends over for dinner" or "potluck at church" depending on what that week holds.
For the health category, since it includes mental as well as physical health, I include crafting along with the other health essentials. In this square I will also jot down doctor or dental appointments or list a particular craft project I want to work on.
At the bottom of each square in this category, I've left a small amount of space to jot down at least the main course of our main meal that day. This helps to keep my planned meals on my radar screen, so I don't forget to thaw meat, fill the slow cooker, etc.
And at the very bottom of the page, I've put a space for notes. There was a space like this on the weekly calendar pads I used to buy, and I found it a helpful place to list some specific, ongoing goals I'm working on. You might choose to use this space for something else, or not include it at all. If you left it out, you could use that space to list your menus or something else important.
Every Saturday evening, I try to turn to a new weekly calendar page and plan my upcoming week. It is very, very helpful to do this. Some weeks, I don't get this done until Sunday afternoon, but it's usually OK because my plans for Sunday seldom vary much.
And every morning, I take a "grocery list" size piece of paper (from a purchased pad) and write my daily schedule on it, referring to my weekly page to see what I need to do that particular day. I make a list of times, usually 7 am to 9:30 pm, in half-hour increments, and list what I will do when. Do I always follow this rigidly and exactly? No. But I do find it really, really helpful in prioritizing my goals for each day.
Well, I hope that this information has been helpful to someone. I know that scheduling has been an enormous help to me in using my time more wisely and effectively, so I am assuming it would help others, too. Feel free to borrow my chart and tweak it as much as you need to to make it work for you.
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.