For those who might benefit from it, I wanted to share my system for staying on top of things from week to week (or at least trying my hardest to). This current system has been in use for several years now, though it has evolved during that time as my needs changed.
The basic framework for my to-do list is the same each week. Rather than writing down everything by hand, I made up a blank template, to fill in each week as necessary. Since I typically finish up loose ends and plan the week ahead on Sundays, my schedule runs Monday - Sunday.
Today, I am sharing that basic template. You should be able to download the file to your own computer, and edit it in Microsoft Word to suit your own needs, if you wish. You can find the template here.
This system works very well for me, because errands or meals that didn't get done one week, get transferred to next, and I am reminded of them as I do so. The list is small enough to keep on my counter during the day, and in my purse while out and about.
I know you are curious to take a peek at this list in action, right? Here is this week's list. And yes, the paper was fresh and crisp just yesterday, but has seen much use already in the last 24 hours, and it shows. Which, by the way, is the reason why I use new sheets each week, rather than a notebook or planner - they would never stand up to extended use. Not to mention they are too bulky to double as shopping lists etc.
How's that for a candid peek at my life?? Some comments:
- The meal plan is not yet fully filled in, because I add to it throughout the week as I see what needs to be used or what I feel like making.
- The to-do and shopping lists are looking a little overwhelming already this week, but I often combine a lot of errands into one day, or stop at just one of those stores while already out and about. Or ask my husband to take a store off my hands, like tomorrow when I will ask him to stop at TJ's after he takes the kids to P.E.
- For my shopping list, if an item is sold at multiple stores, I add it to each of those lists, and buy it at whichever one I go to first. Quick shout-out to Costco: our store just started carrying organic beef kielbasa. Oh joy!!! And while we are on the subject, Whole Foods just started selling organic ground pork for $7/lb. Finding organic pork is exciting in and of itself, but that is a very good price to boot.
- On the "things going on this week," I do not list stuff we do weekly, like the kids' P.E. and piano lessons - just extracurricular stuff that I need to be reminded of. I use this in conjunction with Google calendar, where I keep track of every single event for my husband, myself, and the kids.
Some of you may find your name on my list - you know who you are! :)
Running a family and helping our husbands is a huge job. Keeping all the plates spinning can become overwhelming, but this helps me, and I hope it helps you, too.
Okay, off to work down that list now!