How do you plan?
People have been asking me “How do you plan? How do you keep up with the everyday basics; where everyone is and who does what in the household – so you can get on with doing business?”
Everyone has a method that makes sense to them. However, there are times when methods used by others can save you time (and more importantly heartache – missing a deadline or not collecting a child!).
Here is my take on things.
Planning the week in seven steps
At the moment, I love the Plum Paper Designs – Family Planner (you can buy on Etsy).
Each Sunday – Plan the week ahead
- Update my ‘Plum Paper Family Planner’ while looking at my electronic diary (iCalendar). This planning is a good chance for me to cross reference what I have accepted via electronic invitations during the week and any other updates I have done electronically or in the paper diary (the kids also write requests in the paper diary that need to be scheduled).
- Plan meals (Kids choose, one breakfast and one dinner – I plan which day we will eat it on.)
- List out groceries (based on scheduled meals) – I can then do my Coles online order (if needed) and email my fresh fruit and vegetable (I collect my fresh goods on Monday. Meal Planning – Done!).
- Work out how activities and appointments for the week look. Are there any reschedules or cancellations required?
- Note any personal or business appointments in the Family Planner that involve the kids being picked up by someone else or me being away.
- Include other appointments like Matthew’s (Dad) travel. The kids can see this and keep track of who is home (mind you, none of them seem to take any notice, but at least I know that I have put that there for them). Also helps me to know when I am “batching”!
- List the kids’ jobs to-do, particularly on a weekend, in their dedicated rows to allow them to review the planner. They can make their ‘to-do’ list or work off the planner directly.
For us, the use of a planner for the family centralises what we need to do to systemise our basic tasks (our day-to-day appointments, meal planning, shopping list and job duties, etc.).
However, it also creates great excitement when the girls can see events coming up that they are looking forward to (visiting cousins, parties, etc.).
Another benefit of using a planner is reviewing it. We have seen this lead to retelling experiences of the past month and the opportunity to reflect on them. Highs and lows and everything in between.
How do you keep your mundane tasks from taking over?
What amazing stories are you collecting with your family on a daily basis?
For further reading about the importance of planning read The One Thing by Gary Keller.