Monday, March 10, 2014

A week-at-a-glance: fitting it all in

Week at a glance #gettingorganized
Free customizable printable available here

I've studied it from every angle and finally had to admit that there is no way for me to have a regular daily schedule/routine. Not only is every day different around here but each week brings new and different activities. Our lives simply do not follow a *normal* pattern and that's all there is to it. 

So I considered my options and am going to try planning a week at a time. I've been looking at various week-at-a-glance printable forms. None are exactly what I need so I'm going to have to design my own. However, I don't have time for that rabbit hole right now (I know I could spend hours making the "perfect" form) so I just found one that will suit the general purpose until I can make my own. 

Here is how I went about filling it in. First of all, David and I discussed the upcoming week yesterday. We went over any meetings and appointments, his work schedule, etc. It's possible (likely?) that something else will come up but at least we have a starting point. 

  • Scheduled activities
I started by writing in anything that has to be done at a certain time - appointments, meetings, choir rehearsal, my piano lesson. I then highlighted those activities in yellow. At one time I had a whole set of highlighters in different colors but I have no idea where they are. Looks like a good excuse reason to make a visit to the office supply store (I'm sure I'm not the only one with a penchant for office supplies, right?). For now I'm just using markers to outline the other types of entries. 
  • Date night
Our schedules have been absolutely nuts lately. David and I have been like two ships passing in the night and that just won't do. Last Wednesday evening we attended our church's Ash Wednesday service together. I had choir rehearsal immediately following so David spent that hour sitting in the church parlor dealing with work and business emails on his phone (whatever did we do before smart phones?). Afterwards I suggested we go to Vintage 22, a local wine and dessert bar. I knew it wouldn't be very busy on a Wednesday night and we could just enjoy a glass of wine and a little bit of conversation. It was lovely and we decided to indulge in a shared piece of salted caramel cheesecake. Delicious! We both enjoyed this little outing and are going to do it again this week. I don't know if this is something we will do every week but we will make a point of doing something special together. 
  • Home projects
Even though I've got a lot of other things going on, being a good homemaker is still a priority. I want to make sure I'm including some of the things which are important to my sense of accomplishment as a homemaker. For instance, this week I am going to bake bread, make granola and spend some time cleaning and organizing the laundry room. Baking bread takes 2-3 hours from the grinding of the wheat to pulling six loaves of fragrant bread from the oven. Obviously I don't have to spend that entire time actually working on the bread but once I start the process I can't leave the house. In looking at my schedule this week Tuesday looks like my best option for bread baking so that's where I wrote it in. And since I'll already be in the kitchen I can make the granola, too. The laundry room, on the other hand, will most likely have to be tackled in short bursts of time here and there. 
  • Exercise
I am determined to make regular exercise a priority and a habit. For that reason I have scheduled it at the same time each morning. It also gives me energy so it's good to do it fairly early in the day. I'd love to be one of those people who jumps out of bed and exercises first thing but that is just not me. I have to start my day slowly, quietly and with copious quantities of hot tea. It does no good to try to be something I'm not. I must be true to what works for me. 
  • Meditation
This is one of my priorities for 2014 - making meditation a habit. I'm still trying to figure out when to fit that in each day but since today and tomorrow are going to in the upper 70s I'm going to meditate on the front porch mid-afternoon. I love the smell of incense but since I don't burn it in the house I've missed it this winter. I'll bring the Bose outside, put on my Spotify meditation playlist, and enjoy the quiet time outdoors. 
  • Piano
I'm having such a wonderful time learning to play the piano. It's not a chore for me to snatch a few minutes here and there to play but I also need larger blocks of time to really focus on new material. At this point I don't see a consistent daily time for it, although I do often play at night, so I'm just scheduling it in each day where I can. 
  • Work
I'm including committee/board work, blogging and other writing projects, as well as our new business in this category. Some tasks only take a couple of minutes and I can sandwich them in throughout the day or even from my phone when away from home. However, I also need some blocks of time devoted to specific tasks. I'm going to try to spend the first hour of my work day - after getting well-caffeinated and spending a little time checking emails, responding to blog comments, and taking a quick look at Facebook - on our business. I've put together a Facebook list which includes my close family and a few very close friends which I can skim through quickly rather than getting caught up in the Newsfeed. 
  • Cleaning
After plugging in everything above I realized that my dreams of a perfectly-clean-at-all-times home is just not realistic at this point. I'm good at keeping things picked up and I do have some regular habits and routines which keep things at a reasonable level most of the time. I'm just going to have to accept that this is not the season of my life for detailed cleaning lists followed on a set schedule. For many, many years Monday has been the day I wash our sheets and remake the bed, do a few loads of laundry, water the houseplants and generally get the house back in order after the weekend. That will continue. I'm also in the habit of cleaning the kitchen immediately after dinner each night, making the bed each morning, throwing in a load of laundry nearly every day, and straightening up as I go about my day. I'll just have to work in dusting, vacuuming, mopping and cleaning bathrooms when and where I can. I've tried to avoid major cleaning on Saturdays when David is home but I may have to do an additional hour of serious cleaning at least some Saturdays. 
  • Other tasks
Pretty soon it will be time to start getting ready to plant my garden and some flowers. I'm also hoping to get chickens again this Spring. When it gets warm and the days get longer I'll probably have to do these outdoor activities early in the morning or late in the evening.

Okay, now I'm tired. Ha! Figuring this all out is going to be an ongoing process but I feel like I at least have a handle on my priority tasks and how to make sure the most important things get done. I'll let you know how it works this week. 


  1. I love a good plan so of course I enjoyed hearing about yours. When our 3 older children were at home I always bought a Teachers Planning Calendar and planned a week at a time, similar to what you're doing, except I included meal planning. It worked well.

    1. It's hard to see on the picture but I did include my dinner plans for each day at the bottom. I always post a menu plan on Mondays on my Dee's Kitchen blog so that's already a habit. Now I just need to make the rest of it so.

      I, too, used a teachers planning calendar when we homeschooled but just for their lesson plans. I never thought of using it to include household routines. Brilliant!


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