Thursday, November 01, 2012

Days of Beauty: The Beauty of Planning

A little bit of planning goes a long way and really helps me add beauty to my life and days. Of course, anytime we talk about planning - it is vital to keep in mind that flexibility must remain! I will not likely get every single thing done on my list and something new may come up - but this is my goal and a guide for the day so to speak.

I've tried numerous planners and ideas and even going to doing my calendar on the iPad, but I always end up right back here. Lined notebook paper and a clipboard {a very cute clipboard thanks to my friend Angie!} are all that I use.

This takes me about five minutes each night to write out for the next day. And, I don't usually write a list out for Saturday or Sunday. But, on Sunday when I write my list for Monday - I try to jot down meal ideas for the week and start working on a grocery list.

Here's how this works for me ...

I will spend a few minutes thinking through the day coming and  try to write my list in order of the day and how things will come time wise. Here is my list for this past Monday and we had CC  thatday, I always try to do a couple of errands on the way home so that I don't have as many errands to leave home for later in the week. Plus we are already out and are done with school for the day, so I try to capitalize on that.

Planning for me means looking ahead, thinking through the known factors to help get them in some order before they arrive. Yes, unknown factors will be thrown in - but if the known things are in place - there is much more room for these other things. 

I don't do well with hurry, last minute stress - and it makes me quite grouchy {just ask my children!} so one of my goals in this planning is to not only make good use of my time and get things accomplished, but to make me a more peaceable mama.

It's important to clarify here, that I am not great at every aspect of this! And, it is one of those fluid things that I'm always tweaking. For example, I'm not great at chore consistency. I am working on more of a needs-to-be-done basis right now. And, I can work that into my lists each day. The point is that my list or daily outline serves me not the other way around!

For me, planning is more than lists. It is thinking ahead, working ahead, being as prepared as possible. Having lunch packed the night before, table set ahead {even overnight!}, etc... I figure if I can take one minute to set the table the night before {Saturday night is my favorite night to do this for Sunday morning before church} it will actually save me more time the morning of and I will really need the time more then.

This is just kind of how my brain works - I'm always thinking ahead to the next holiday or party, etc. And, I keep a small notebook for listing ideas for these kinds of events in. Then when I have a theme chosen, I can use it as a brainstorm place and eventually solidify those ideas into a party plan. It's also why something like the Organized Christmas notebook idea works for me. 

Here's the beauty for me: I enjoy spending a few minutes at night thinking through the coming day, those few minutes invested help the day go more smoothly and I find I get more done when I have a plan of some sort and it opens windows of opportunity for beauty to creep in.

When my list is well in hand and an opportunity arises, I can feel so much more free to step in and serve. For example, when I start dinner in the Crock Pot in the morning and know dinner is set for that night - I can feel freer to invite someone for dinner or share the leftovers or even have a few minutes extra to accomplish something near dinner time. It just creates a little space that helps and adds beauty!

How about you? How does planning add beauty to your life or how would planning add beauty to your life if you haven't tried it!?


Leanne said...

i've tried online calendars and apps, too! I just always go back to 4x6 index cards...but I think I'll try doing them the night before, instead of the morning of!
the best part of writing it, is the super feeling you get when you can "cross it off"!!

Mary Ann said...

I need to start making a list the night before--would help so much! I am so glad to hear someone else say they aren't always consistent with chores! I have a good cleaning routine but these things don't happen every week(life is very full!); I've been working to be more relaxed with this and give myself grace. Focusing on what needs to be done each day and then doing the other things as I can and as needed! :-)

Lauren (in Savannah) said...

I am definitely a list maker too. Sometimes I feel like my head is going in a hundred different directions and it makes me grouchy too. Also when my house is cluttered I feel grouchy! A while back I came up with a plan I loved but then it fell to the wayside when things got crazy. I plan to start it again. I would divide the rooms in my house up by the days of the week (Mon-Fri) and would declutter and clean specific rooms on those days. That way when I was done no guilt on what didn't get done!
Also I love my crockpot! When I start it in the morning and leave the house by the time I come home I am like "Wow! Someone cooked dinner!"-lol

Anonymous said...

I have tried all sorts of planners as well. I always end up going back to a cute spiral-bound notebook. Without a list, not much gets done in my day. I enjoy your blog so much. Thank you!

Sally said...

yo sound just like me! i even tried make up my own planner to have printed and bound....a plain notbook and lists are all I end up doing!

Mom said...

Well, you come by the planning trait honestly! :) Planning makes my life POSSIBLE!! Glad you've found some routines and tools that work for you -- love you! Mom

Nikki said...

I came over from Tracey's Girls to Grow, and I thought I would say "hey!"

I'm a planner, too! I love making a list and checking things off. I usually make my schedule for the whole week, though, on the weekend before. I jot down all the things I want to get done on the days I want to do them...and try to get everything done.

By the way, we do CC, too. This is our first year, and we love it!

angie said...

Looks like I need to get out my clipboard and write a daily list. I find that I don't have enough room when I use the daily blocks in my calendar. I like to list items that need to be done everyday because it feels more productive when I have something to cross off after an hour or two of productivity. But those things alone could fill up my calendar block. Do you list all of the daily tasks?