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Old 06-20-2009, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone want to join me?

I've never been one for schedules, but with summer in full swing, ds entering a homeschool/classroom-hybrid kindergarten in the fall, a new puppy, a larger garden, and a serious need to lower the food budget, I really feel like I've got to get my act together!

Here's my plan so far...
  • Post a weekly time map on the fridge. I need to see all my "hard-edge" time commitments in a highly visible place.
  • Write dinner and breakfast menus on the time map.
  • Get up at the same time every day. Usually, I just get up whenever the kids get up, but that could be anywhere from 6 to 8. It totally throws my day off when I get up late.
  • Stick to a morning routine. It takes 30 days to form a new habit, right? Well, I'm going to try posting about it here.

There's so much more that I want to do to get my time sucks under control, but I figure that I should start with these four.

Do any of you mamas have a great time management suggestion to help me get it together? Maybe if you've got your own time management issues, we can commiserate. Anyway, I'm hoping that this will be a place to bounce around ideas. Thanks!

Kelly
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I can't believe that I am going to admit this publicly, but I have days when I don't get around to brushing my teeth until 11... sometimes even later.: I get so distracted by my kids that my mornings are totally unpredictable. So I'm going to try the whole official Morning Routine thing for 30 days. At least, that's my goal.

Here's the list:
  • Wake up at 6:30 every morning.
  • Make and drink coffee
  • Empty dishwasher while the coffee is brewing
  • Brush teeth, change clothes
  • Make and eat breakfast
  • Put away breakfast dishes
  • Help kids finish getting dressed
  • Ten minute morning pick-up

I want to get through this list by 8:00. Does that sound do-able? I'm sure that I'll want to revise this list a few times, but this seems like my absolute basic minimum things that need to be done to start the day. Anyone have a different morning routine that we can compare?

Kelly
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:13 AM
 
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Oh, man, I so need this kind of a thread. With four kids of such varying ages, homeschooling, their activities, various appointments...I feel like I'm drowning. Our easiest days of the week, the ones where I feel like I can breathe and not stress about time, are the ones where we only have four places to be throughout the day. For instance, tomorrow is an easy day. One kid has a chiropractor appointment at 11:00. The girls and I have bellydance 1:00-3:00. One child has tae kwon do at 6:00, two more and dh have tae kwon do at 7:30. Somewhere in there I need to feed us all, do basic housecleaning, and I do two loads of laundry every day. Oh, and, uh, the homeschooling. And driver's ed.

So, yeah, I need help with time management. It's really not my strong suit.

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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Old 06-22-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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Oh, and? The 4-year old broke his arm last week, so basic things like using the bathroom, feeding himself, playing with Legos...are now not something he can do. He's frustrated, I'm frustrated, it's a vicious cycle. And a time suck.

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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Old 06-22-2009, 04:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, TwinMom, you are way more advanced than me. That kind of schedule would leave my head spinning. And sorry to hear about your kiddo's arm. Poor guy!

So I did make up a totally cute-looking time map for the fridge and a reminder list of my morning and evening routines. I didn't meal plan yet. That is probably my greatest time, money and household management weakness. I've got to get that under control.

I also found a few very helpful websites.
http://organizedhome.com/
lots of info about a home management binder

http://shesorganized.organizedhome.c...nized-with-SHE
good essays about using a tickler system for chores

http://dawnathome.typepad.com/by_sun.../organization/
Okay, this person's blog gave me a massive inferiority complex. But, once I got over it, I felt really inspired to try some of her ideas -- the file folders, notebooks, etc.

I also recently got an iPhone. ::: This thing has saved my rear a few times since I got it. My plan is to always use the iPhone or my desktop calendar to use as my collection bucket, then transfer events to the posted weekly time map.

Kelly
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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I'm joining in! I need to re-read Julie Morgenstern's book (loaned it out and asked for it back LOL). I want to do a time map, and I'm getting a planner in July. I need to get my life back on track and accomplish all my goals. :

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Old 06-22-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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OMG, I could spend all day on the third link yllek posted. THAT is who I want to be!

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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Old 06-22-2009, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinMom View Post
OMG, I could spend all day on the third link yllek posted. THAT is who I want to be!
Seriously! That is just how I felt!

Okay, so now I'm just going to check in with my little progress report after this morning. Here's the good and bad:

Good stuff:
  • Woke up at 6:30. First goal accomplished.
  • Laid out clothes the night before. This is always a major stumbling block in the morning, since I'm trying to find matching socks, shoes, clean shirts, etc.
  • Got my morning coffee and emptied the dishwasher first thing. My kitchen does not stay clean during the day if the dishwasher is full, so this was major.
  • Wore a timer and actually did a 10-minute pick-up. It was great. I threw in a load of laundry, cleared the breakfast dishes, swept the floor in two rooms, picked up some random toys, and then actually stopped when the alarm went off. I think this is KEY. Otherwise, I get caught up in some random cleaning minutae instead of making overall progress.
  • Having the list of items on my morning routine and a time map was very motivating this morning.

Bad stuff:
  • Um, I wanted to get done with my morning routine by 8, but it didn't get done until 9. :
  • I need to take into account that my dd (almost 2) likes to linger over her morning milkies as much as I like to sip my morning coffee. Maybe I should get up at 6???
  • I really need to get breakfast figured out the night before. It's too chaotic in the morning to try to slap something together.

Okay, I gotta rush off to an appointment. Hope everyone has a great day.

Kelly
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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Kelly~ How do you use your iPhone to stay organized?

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, that question makes me giggle because while I have an iPhone and I’m using it, I am not even close to staying organized. (Yet.)

I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks, but here’s what I’m doing so far.

I’m trying to use the Calendar religiously. It syncs with Apple’s iCal, and I’m using Spanning Sync to sync iCal with Google Calendar. My husband subscribes to my Google Calendar, so that he can always check-in with my schedule. This is VERY helpful, because there are many times that he needs to watch the kids while I have an appointment or class. It also helps that Google will email him a reminder. The fact that I can always check my calendar and enter new events so easily is reason enough for me to LOVE my iPhone.

The new thing I’m trying is to write a paper time map of my week and post that on my fridge. I enter everything in my iPhone, keep it synced, then color in my weekly time map. It’s very pretty, and I use my favorite color pencils to highlight my appointments. It keeps me motivated to use it. (Um... that is, it has kept me motivated all day, because that’s how long I’ve been doing this - lol!)

Back to the iPhone - I use ReQall to capture any random thoughts I have while on-the-go. It’s so cool! I leave a voice message, then it EMAILS me a text version of my message!! And it’s free!

I use Evernote to take quick notes, photos or screenshots of other things I want to remember - take-out menus, stuff I want to buy later, recipe clippings. Also rad, because the text in the pictures are searchable. This is also free.

For my to do lists, I use Things. I haven’t really done much with this yet, because I want to get really good about using my Calendar and doing my morning and evening routines before I do other stuff. Still, after looking around ALOT, I think this little program is going to be the best app for keeping track of all my tasks and projects.

I also have SplashShopper to help with my grocery shopping. I’m not sold on this yet, because I just don’t think my kids are going to let me stare at my phone while we’re shopping. I do think I’ll like it for other errands, to help me remember the random stuff I need while I’m at Target or the hardware store or in the next town, etc.

Okay, this post is probably more than you wanted to know. But I had a few free minutes while my kids were playing.

As a little update -- I actually had everything I needed for my appointment this morning. This is a total miracle. My organization skills are definitely not perfect around here, but my first day of time management boot camp is going well so far.

Kelly
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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Thanks so much! I have an iPod Touch and I actually got it to serve as a PDA but here is the problem- it doesn't work with my older Mac (PowerBookG4) or my Linux based : so no syncing! I was just going to sell it but I wonder if I can't try and work it just one last time...

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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magstphil - For a while, I had a Palm that was just a pda that I didn't sync to my Mac. It was very handy for certain things, but I can totally feel your pain about not being able to sync. Let us know if you get your iPod Touch up and running, or if you come up with another plan.

My check-in:

Ugh... today did NOT go according to plan. :

I cannot even go into all the details, but I will say that I didn't do my evening prep, wake up on time or follow my MR in the slightest. The rest of day went equally well. Just goes to show how important it is for me to keep to the routines as much as possible.

I did some more Internet surfing while I was in the throes of insomnia last night (one of the reasons why I was up so late this morning). I'm posting them here so I can find them again. And maybe these might be helpful to someone else.

Some links from Zen Habits
Some very useful ideas here. When I have more time , I need to take a closer look at this.

Top 10 Ways to Establish New Habits – WITHOUT Discipline

20 Tips for Finding Your Routine With Kids

A Basic Guide to Menu Planning

Getting More from Your Address Book

There's lots more to see at those last two sites too.

One last thing - I've been using my weekly time map as both a planner and a record for each day, and it's really helpful to see how the time gets spent. I love my iPhone, but for me, nothing beats paper for its immediacy and big picture view.

Kelly
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yllek View Post
Okay, TwinMom, you are way more advanced than me. That kind of schedule would leave my head spinning. And sorry to hear about your kiddo's arm. Poor guy!

So I did make up a totally cute-looking time map for the fridge and a reminder list of my morning and evening routines. I didn't meal plan yet. That is probably my greatest time, money and household management weakness. I've got to get that under control.

I also found a few very helpful websites.
http://organizedhome.com/
lots of info about a home management binder

http://shesorganized.organizedhome.c...nized-with-SHE
good essays about using a tickler system for chores

http://dawnathome.typepad.com/by_sun.../organization/
Okay, this person's blog gave me a massive inferiority complex. But, once I got over it, I felt really inspired to try some of her ideas -- the file folders, notebooks, etc.

I also recently got an iPhone. ::: This thing has saved my rear a few times since I got it. My plan is to always use the iPhone or my desktop calendar to use as my collection bucket, then transfer events to the posted weekly time map.
I love that third link. If you can believe it, I gre up with the SHE system. My mom read Pam and Peggy's book when I was a kid, and I hated it, but when I got overwhelmed with kids, where did I go? to my mom's old book! I really need to get a SHE system going again. My kids need to be on it, too. Somehow, they can't even manage morning and evening routines. I know flylady switched the system over to the binders, but I just could never seem to make it work like that. Even though I LOVE my notebook I made. I just don't USE it if that makes any sense. I wonder about having the cards and then getting photo page protectors for the binders and weekly slipping the appropriate cards into the right page. My problem with the binder method is that I just don't seem to flip back and forth between the morning/evening, daily and weekly and monthly routines. I always got distracted. Ideally I need to have a page made for each day of the year with everything on it like the motivated mom thing, but MM doesn't work for our family. For example, we do 4 loads of laundry a day...

Also I have an iPod touch. I'd love to figure out how to get myself organized on there. I've done pretty good at getting all my contacts on there, but we still live by our large monthly wall calendar that EVERYTHING goes on.

Katie, mama to Katherine 21, Christian 19, Johannah 17, Nicholas 12, Genevieve 10, Matthew 7, Andrew 11/16/09 10#6oz home waterbirth and madly in love with my husband, Scott
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