Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Planning a Month, and the Weeks Inside It

Once I have planned the month it's time to make all those things happen by plugging them into actual weeks and days. 

Some things are easy--special events, trips, etc. go right on the calendar. Animal chores happen on certain days of the month too.

Next I look for easy match-ups. This month, for instance, all my special monthly cleaning is in the kitchen. And Tuesdays are days when I clean the kitchen sort of thoroughly. So I take my list of special cleaning tasks and add a few to each Tuesday of the month.

Shopping tasks I put on my usual errand days--Friday. I schedule haircuts and such for Thursday afternoons when Daisy is at co-op.

If I have a bigger goal--say to bill 60 work hours--I break that up into weeks, and then days, and note that I need to bill three hours each workday of the month to get there, so "bill 3 hours" will be an entry on each weekday.

If I've got special reading planned I put the books by the bathtub--that's where it happens. If I've got a handwork project planned it comes out into a basket in the living room.

If I want to get the kitchen baseboards painted (and I do) I look for a Thursday or Friday (least busy days) and block in a couple of hours for that project.

If I want to complete four speed workouts this month I block one in on each Wednesday.  Eight arm-strength workouts can go in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

And so on. The calendar fills up, but you know, the days are going to fill up anyway, and this way I at least am aware of where I am aiming, even if I don't get to every last thing. I get a lot of satisfaction from getting my things done, and the days and weeks turn into months well-spent.


jenny_o said...

" least am aware of where I am aiming, even if I don't get to every last thing ..."
This phrase is most helpful for me. I get overwhelmed by the amount of work and/or crushed when I can't do it all. I need to remember that I don't need to do 100% to be doing well.

Thank you for sharing your methods and schedules.

Unknown said...

I love reading about your planning and categories as 2016 is going to be my year for getting organised and this is just the sort of practical advice I can use, thanks!

silly lillys said...

This is so helpful. One of my focus words in 2016 is PLAN. I am SUCH a poor planner, and it causes much unneeded stress. I've always been a spur of the moment, fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. However, the older I get, the more I crave routine and especially need it in taking care of our large family! Looking forward to being more organized! Thanks for sharing.

Rose said...

I am nodding along with your plug-in method Anna, I follow a similar method. If I try to wing it I find that, inevitably, the days fill with ephemera and the big goal stuff goes missing. Thanks also for the two new categories you gave me the other day. An example of a win there is that oranges are dirt cheap at the moment so marmalade is now in my near culinary future.

I'd be interested to learn what goes on your seasonal cleaning task list over and above monthly tasks.

Anonymous said...

What tool(s) do you use, please Anna? Are you working with paper and pencil, or something else?
I also love these practical posts.

Anna said...

Sandra, I have a loose-leaf planner with a week on two pages. I like to be able to see the whole week at a glance and balance the days out.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you, Anna.

The Hobbit said...

I am a list maker.........but you are the queen!!I generally make a list at the end of the month of things that need to be done for the following month. Each week if filled with have to do, better do and I know you don't want to but, you must!!! To all who are trying to get organized I have always found that writing it down on paper makes it seem more real. You probably won't get everything done but, you will accomplish more than usual.

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