Wednesday, October 19, 2011

From Office to Home (Schedules Anyone?)

When I worked in an office, one of the first things I would do in the morning was review what my tasks were for the day. Who did I need to call, what e-mails needed to be sent, what papers did I need to review? I used Outlook to schedule everything. I set up reminders to pop up at specific times, reminding me of what I needed to do at what time. It was a great system.

At home, I just guess. With the exception of meals, I have not had a set schedule for anything. And even the meals get off sometimes (anyone else have dinner at 8 pm?)

Here are a few simple steps to creating a general schedule, similar to a work-day schedule:

1. Using your "job" list from the last post, separate the tasks into morning, noon and night.
2. Once your list is broken down, review it and see if it needs to be "trimmed down" at all. Remember, it needs to be realistic.
3. Make an end time! Even if you are home all day, an end time is good to have. It gives you a goal to work towards. I suggest an end time before dinner, so that at the "end" of your at-home work day, you will only have dinner and bedtime tasks left. Any task that you don't get to before dinner simply gets left undone until the next day.

For those of you who work outside the home:

1. Separate your job list into before and after work.
2. Prioritize your list. Since you have less time at home, it might help to write down what takes priority over what.
3. Be realistic. You may want to hand wash every dish you have to save on water, but that wouldn't be a good use of your time. If you have a dishwasher, use it! And the it possible to save this for a weekend task? If not, pick out days for certain types of laundry. Monday-linens, Wednesday-Kids clothes, Friday-Work clothes, weekend-all others. Laundry is my nemesis, so breaking it down like this seems to work best for me.

Here is the daily docket I use from Crystal. I keep mine in a sleeve protector, and mark off what I've completed with a dry erase marker. I have also added a box for green tea,which is one of my goals this year (a cup of tea a day).

It really helps to wake up every morning with a a written plan for the day; if you are so tired you can't think, the list has already been done. You just have to follow it (somewhat). Don't be afraid to make changes! If you have an appointment during the day, or another time-consuming task, review your daily list and pick out a few things you know you won't get done. Cross them off your list for that day. If you work and will have a long meeting, remember to do the same!

Lastly, give yourself some grace. And even if you can't do that, God will give it to you. He understands.

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