Last year I wrote a Blog about my Happy Planner. If you don’t know what one is, just Google it. When I did my blog, I thought they were sold specifically at Michael’s. In the last week, I’ve seen them at JoAnn Fabrics and was told that select ones are 70% off at Target.
I was a planner gal way back in the 1980’s when you actually mail ordered these books. The company (At A Glance) would mail you next year’s in October, along with any other type of sheets. It was very business-like. No stickers. It was a 5 ring binder that totally organized your business life, and let you squeeze in a bit of your personal life. You literally had only 3 choices of leatherette colors.
Today there are so many types of planners, that you can find one to fit any lifestyle. I chose The Happy Planner for quite a few reasons. The first was that I could make it any way I wished. You can simply slip sheets in and out to organize it the way you wish. You can focus on a year, a month, a week or even a day on one sheet. There are many sticker books available on just about any subject you can think of as well as page markers, craft tape and other accessories.
I have chosen to focus a week at a time, on 2 pages. I also insert a blank page in between so I can journal daily. Each Sunday, I take time out to organize the upcoming week. It takes about 30 minutes, and saves me a lot of time and anxiety.
First thing I do is decide on the week’s theme. The stickers you buy, along with the crafting tape help you do this. I focused on Being Grateful with my religious sticker pack and coordinated the colors (orange this week) with crafting tape. I like writing with gel pens, so I use a color that is highlighted in the tape (brown this week). It just so happens that all are fall colors.
After setting my week up, I look to see what this week’s activities are. For instance this week, my husband has a meeting this Tuesday night which means we will need to have a crock pot meal that is ready as soon as he gets home. I have appointments on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning, so my meal prep will need to be done in the afternoon. I have found that deciding on your menu not only takes a lot of stress out of your week, but on busy nights dinner can be so easy. This week I learned I should also look at the weather when deciding on a meal, so my family isn’t eating mexican soup when it’s so hot and humid!
This week, we’ll have hot beef sandwiches, pork chops, leftovers (garbage night), Chicken Legs and 3 cheese Zita (meatless Friday). I make sure that Monday is easy and I have all of the ingredients for it. I make a list of items I will need throughout the week and will pick them up Tuesday, on my way home from Mass. No extra trips needed. No panic when 3pm hits and I don’t have dinner figured out. No missing ingredients or substitutes.
I realize that I am able to start dinner much easier than women who work outside the home. By planning, shopping for ingredients, and crock potting on busy nights this helps whenever you are able to be home and start a meal.
Lastly, I make attainable goals for the week. For instance, Laundry and light house cleaning is in my planner each Monday. I make easy goals for my business on Tuesday – Friday. All work will need to be done in the office due to the heat in the attic. I don’t think it’s too far out to think that I can have a prototype cut out by Friday afternoon. I write that down and decide what will need to be done Tuesday-Thursday in order to attain that goal. After writing that down, I literally have my week planned, right down to the last entrée.
The first time, it might take a couple of hours to complete all of this in your planner but it is well spent. If your life is chaos and you’re constantly on the move, a planner can make life so much easier. If your kids are older, you can encourage them to tell you each Sunday what activities they have. Don’t forget your husband’s schedule as well. This keeps chaos to a minimum if the whole family.
So the next weeknight, you find yourself standing there at 6:30pm with nothing defrosted and your child informing you he has a game at 7pm…. Remember that all of this could have gone better if you just taken 30 minutes and organized it in your happy planner.