“You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence…” Psalm 16:11

Detailed plans made the difference

I admit, I’ve been energized by my children being back in school.  Before you think that I just want them out of here, that’s not really the case at all.  I do miss them when they are gone and actually really miss our home school years—I wouldn’t trade those years for anything and often wish we were still learning together each day.

You’ve probably heard the sayings, “Failing to plan is planning to fail” or “If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time”.  That’s how I felt all summer.  It was draining.

I know that I’m much more efficient and peaceful when I have a game plan for accomplishing all I need to do each day. ( I guess I should ‘fess up–I love it even more when it’s color-coded.)  With 6 children still at home (#7 is off at college), you can imagine the busyness around our house.  Not to mention little people stuff everywhere.  It was really hard to be consistent and have my routine and structure to our days with the lazy days of summer.  Some days I felt like I didn’t accomplish anything and it seemed that I never saw the bottom of Mt. Washmore.

But………I’m back!  :)  Or I should say, “the system” is back.

I know what works best for me and what will put me in “my sweet spot”.  I do best when I have a lot to do, and also when I have it all written out and planned—– down to the very last detail.  For some reason, I can get “a lot” done easier than I can do “a little”.  (Does that make sense?)

I went back to what I used to do and am using a card system.  I took every little thing you can possibly imagine needing to do in a home throughout the year and I made a card for it.  I have cards for things that need to be done daily, every other day, weekly, 2 times a week, monthly, twice a month, and seasonally.  They are all in an index card filing box with tabs numbered 1-31 and also with the months of the year.  I won’t go into all the boring details for you here, but I just pull out the cards for each day and that is what I need to do that morning. When I’m finished with them, I just file them back into the next day that they need to be done.

The beauty of it is that I fly through my cards and get so much more done this way than I do when I don’t hold myself accountable like that.  It would maybe stress someone else out, but for me, it’s very energizing and simplifies my life.  If I’m unable to do something that day, I just refile it to the next time it would normally be done.  No pressure, and at the end of the day I can actually see what I did with my time.

It has given me time to not only get my regular daily tasks finished, but to routinely get to the other things that I never seemed to have time for.  And no more Mt. Washmore!  (Hallelujah!)  I also have my days loosely planned out— errand day, heavy cleaning, light cleaning, free day, paperwork and office type things, etc.  (Goodness, I guess I’m a structure junkie…)

It will take several months to tackle all of the big projects around here, but I’m finally getting things done again.  I get more done in just a few hours now than I did all day this summer. Not only can I see the progress, but I can feel the progress.  That’s a wonderful feeling.

It’s amazing how something so simple such as writing tasks down on cards can really make a difference for me.   My husband would be the total opposite.  The cards would make it more complicated and draining instead of energizing for him.

What about you?

  • What little things can you do that will make a big impact on your life?
  • What is something in your life that has really worked in the past?  Is it time to maybe implement that again?
  • How could you add energy and simplicity to your day?
  • What needs to go?  What needs to stay?
  • What makes you most effective and efficient?
  • What is working in your life?    What isn’t?

Each person has a different personality and what may energize one will drain energy from another.  Knowing who you are and how you function best makes all the difference!

So, what puts you in your sweet spot?

(By the way, I’ll ‘fess up to one more thing………….my cards are color-coded.)

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