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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Organize Your Schedule

Welcome to week 3 of my Organize Now blog series! I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am! This week we are organizing our schedules.

This is a big one for me. I have so many things that I need to and want to do each day but keeping them all organized is sometimes most of the time a challenge. At times I feel like I am on track with the daily routine and it feels great. Other times, I feel like I am off because things change and I need some time to get back on track. Can you relate to that?

If you are just checking in for the first time, you can see our week one post  Organizing your mind and life vision and our week two post  Organizing your priorities

This Week's Goals:

1. Get a daily planner 


I love the beginning of the new year when I get my new planner and start filling it in. It is important to get one that works well for you and that you love to use or you won't use it. You could print one from the internet and put it into a binder, or purchase one or use one electronically. I actually got mine for free this year from my son's orthotist's office. He was giving them out at the end of the year and I realized it was perfect for me. So far, it is great and it helps me to stay on top of things. I like that it has positive inspirational quotes for each week.

2. Plan your week or month a head of time

This is important to make sure you have the time for all of your appointments, obligations and of course priorities! You can plan meals, schedule things like babysitters, divide chores and errands with your family, etc. 

3. Make a To-Do list 

This is one that I found online. You can find several other templates on Google images.

Jennifer, the author, suggests collecting all of your post-it notes, scraps of paper, things to do that you have stored in your mind and on calendars and putting them on a to do list to keep in your planner. I had to laugh when I read this tip because I am so guilty of writing down a million post-it notes to myself and then having them all over my desk. When I am looking for one of them, I can never find it and I waste time looking. lol. Am I the only one who does this?? :)
 (apparently not....!)

4. Schedule appointments

Make all dentist and doctor appointments for the next year and put them into your planner. The same goes for your pets' veterinarian appointments. Try scheduling family member's appointments together so you make one trip to save yourself some time.

5. Keep a notebook beside your bed

I talked about this one in a previous post. I find it helpful to write things down that pop into my mind before bed. This seems to happen to me a lot! That way I won't forget or worry about remembering to do it the next day.

Additional Tips

Don't put pressure on yourself to accomplish too much in one day. Be realistic and follow through with your schedule.

Your time is valuable! Stay on schedule and it will not be wasted.

For more tips on organizing your schedule please read Organize Now.   

I get asked about my schedule on occasion and how I make time for everything between family and my business. I have been working on my own personal schedule to make the most of my time. It does change somewhat depending on the day, but here is what I do try to do each day. 

My Schedule:

6:00: 6:15: I get up and take 5-10 minutes to read scripture and pray. I have really seen a difference in my attitude and response to others and to situations during the day when I do this. Then I get in the shower and get myself ready. I eat breakfast (usually oatmeal with protein or a protein shake) and start making the boys breakfast before getting them up. Benjamin, my 17 month old, eats oatmeal with his Baby Powder Vitamins, and my 3 year old, Andrew, loves eggs. I try to give them good protein as fuel for the day.

7:15: The boys are up and I get them dressed, brush teeth and hair and  have breakfast. They have a little play time while I clean up the dishes and kitchen. I also get try to get a load of laundry going.

8:15: We leave for Andrew's preschool (3 days each week). We say our morning prayers on the way and he is dropped off by 8:30.
8:30: Benjamin and I run errands and go home for play time, a Music & Me class or play dates, snack time and straighten up the house a bit if there is time left.

11:10: leave to pick up Andrew from preschool. He is done at 11:25.

12:00: lunch. We usually have left overs from dinner the night before. I try to give them a fruit and veggie at lunch and dinner.

12:30: The boys play while I clean up the kitchen and load the dishwasher.

1:00: Benjamin's naptime. He still loves his naps so I am happy about that! Andrew and I play or do a learning game or art project during this time. Sometimes we bake something yummy:) We also do any quiet housework that may need to be done. He loves to help me clean. This is also the time when I have been trying to get a little workout in with the on demand shows through our cable network. Sometimes I do this while Andrew is at preschool.

2:00: Andrew takes his "rest time" for an hour in his room. He still needs this break even though he rarely falls asleep. He reads books during this time while I work: making calls, blogging, answering email, etc.

3:00: We have play time or books, learning time, music, etc. Sometimes we will go for a walk if the weather is nice or meet with a friend. We also complete any housework that needs to be done. (it may seem like we do housework a lot and that I may actually like this part of the routine. That isn't the case but I have found that by doing a little bit each day, it doesn't get out of control and with two little boys and all of their toys and things, it can get out of control very fast! The house always seems so much more relaxing when it is cleaned up.)

5:00: pick up toys and get ready for dinner and for my husband to get home. Both boys LOVE to help me in the kitchen. I try to find jobs for them while I am cooking. I have read that if your children help prepare meals, they are more likely to eat them. Great tip if you have picky eaters or ones that don't like healthy things on the menu. :)

6:00: My husband comes home from work. We eat dinner together and have family time with the boys.

7:00: David bathes Benjamin while I work on cleaning the kitchen and doing dishes. Andrew usually watches his favorite show, Bob the Builder, during this time:) After that, David bathes Andrew (sometimes he bathes them both together but finds it easier on himself to do one at a time) and I put Benjamin to bed. We read stories, sing songs, and pray. David does the same with Andrew and puts him to bed. I had been nursing Benjamin until recently. Now that I am done, I think we will trade off which boy we put to bed. I also set the boys' clothes aside for the following day to save time. After I put Benjamin to bed I usually change into pjs and get mostly ready for bed myself to save time later.

side note: I realize how lucky I am to have a husband who bathes the kids. He actually loves doing it as it gives him some more time with the boys. Love that! :)

8:00: David and I have some time together to read, watch TV, talk. Great part of the day!

9:00: More time for work: answering email, blogging, making my to-do list for tomorrow etc.

10:00: finish getting ready for bed if I haven't already done it and read.

10:15: my bedtime. :)

I put my schedule here to give you an example that maybe you could use for your own routine. I really found it helpful to actually write it out for myself and I encourage you to as well. I have been much more likely to stick to it and not get sidetracked when I wrote it down. It becomes a priority this way.

I hope this post has been helpful to you with organizing your own schedule. I would love to hear your comments and suggestions that work for you and to hear how it's been going so far! Please feel free to link up to your blog or your social media site to mine.

Thank you again for reading and have a great day!!



  1. I use the Cozi calendar to keep track of things. It's an online calendar that can send email reminders, has a different color for each family member and can even text reminders. You can create "To Do" lists and shopping lists & have them sent to your phone, too. (Unfortunately Cozi isn't compatible with my ancient cell phone, but I do like it since Marcus & I can coordinate schedules.

  2. Great idea, Tami! Thanks for sharing:)


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