When you go on vacation, you map out your plans. If you’re flying somewhere, you map out the best flight plan. If you’re driving, you map out the directions ahead of time. So why wouldn’t you spend the same amount of time on your family map?
Download our 7 day time mapping sheet blank (if you have trouble downloading or can’t see the lines, email me for a copy) to help you map out your time. Or if you have our Appointment Pages you can use those too. The point is to plan out each day as detailed as you can the first few days.
In the beginning, start with the time you wake up, but consider if you’ll need to wake up earlier to get yourself ready for your day and feeling great! Will that take 1/2 hour, 1 1/2 hour, or more? I’ve recently timed how long it takes me to wake up, saunter around the house for a bit, shower, get dressed, put make-up on, get my lunch ready, get my other things together, feed the dog, and get out of the house.
When I was a stay at home and home schooling mom, I had every bit of time mapped out. After 3 weeks I knew how much time it took to do every daily tasks. Therefore when I wanted or needed to deviate from our schedule I could easily do it without throwing the kids off track. After all, we all know how important it is for kids to have some absolutes or constants in their day. Being on a schedule is comforting to children, as well as adults.
Now let’s take the next part of your day. If you work, you know when you have to leave to get to work on time and approximately when you get home. So obviously there are only so many hours left in your day for you to get the chores done, including fixing dinner, and a good nights rest.
But if you’re a stay at home mom, the next step would be to get the kids ready for the day and this includes writing down on the schedule how long it takes them to get ready or how long it takes “you” to get them ready for their day. Do you know how long it takes them to eat breakfast when they aren’t rushing, or how long it takes to go through a morning wake up ritual?
My 16 yr. old hates mornings, but during the school year, she’s up earlier than the rest of us because in the beginning she did not map out her time and therefore her hair and make-up didn’t look as good as she wanted. So she got fed up with not looking her best at school and mapped out her time so she could wake up early enough to get her hair and face looking just right. This made her feel good.
My son on the other hand does all of his primping and cleaning the night before so he can just pop out of bed, jump into his clothes, brush his teeth and out the door he goes.
With the grandchildren in the house, I’ve noticed that the 4 yr. old quietly gets up and ready for the day. He moves slowly and steadily until it’s time to head out the door. The 21 month old on the other hand gets up energetic and raring to go. He’s hyper, loud and happy. Get him in clothing and a new diaper quickly because he’s “off and running”!
We’ve spent most of this article on morning issues because mapping out your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day. Next is mapping out how long these things take: the mid morning play, chores, lunch hour, getting dinner ready before everyone walks through the door or is starving and cranky.
You’ll only need to write down every time increment for a few days before you start to see the pattern of the family and get a handle on how to manage it all. On about the third day you’ll be able to map the day in blocks of time, for example:
6 – 7 Mom gets ready for her day
7 – 8 Get kids ready for their day
8 – 10 Play time for kids, chores for mom
10 – 12 Clean up, lunch, nap time, mom does dishes, laundry, and anything else looming
12 – 2 Projects, play time with kids, chores, start preparing dinner
2 – 5 FREE TIME for kids, mom checks email, pop dinner into the oven, set table
5 – 8 Dinner, baths, get kids ready and/or into bed
8 – 9 Mom and dad have a few seconds of quiet time before bed.
Now obviously not everyone will have the same schedule but as you can see, after a few days you won’t have to be so detailed. Here’s a link of a final time map when I home schooled. We had our routine down so we only needed to put the basics of school so the kids could check to see what was next. It made them feel better.
I promise you that if you invest the time now, life will be easier later. Can you see how this takes everyone’s personality into consideration as you plan the day? It’s not rocket science, but rather patience and persistence. And the rewards are invaluable!
©2006 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.
Organizing can become an easier task when you learn to compartmentalize to organize. When I ran a daycare, the children were taught how to sort & categorize at one of our learning centers. By doing these exercises, they eventually learned how to compartmentalize their things, then organize. I had the parents bring 10 – 20 of one type of item, in a bag, to the center. I gave each child the same size container, then mixed up the items in one big bin and dumped them into the center of the floor. The kids were to choose “one item,” then find all that looked like it and put them in their bin.
By the time the exercise was over, the kids saw that everyone had the same things separated into different bins. This was the first step in teaching them to sort and categorize. The next step was to give them each a box of mixed up items and have them sort several items into the appropriate bins on a shelf. When they were all done, they were able to look into each bin and see how everything matched (well, most of the time).
After you sort and categorize, put a post it with the category name on each stack or pile. This will help you when it’s time to label. (Note: You don’t necessarily need to label every container.) Compartmentalize by choosing what type of container or accessory to put those things inside of, “to contain them.” There are many choices of containers, baskets, decorated boxes, etc. to store your things. Binders can be put to good use as well.
Here are some examples:
1. Paper is probably the most difficult to contain and store. The variations for paper storage are mind numbing. So think style & simplicity to make it easier to choose a solution. There is vertical or horizontal, hanging or on the shelf, table, desk, etc. With this in mind, I recommend horizontal storage when filing for Type B women.
Horizontal: This is where your files stand upright with the tab facing you so you can see the title and it’s sort of “in your face.” For the Type B, file folders should go into upright file folder stands, file boxes, or file cabinets. If you don’t need the file very often, you are safe putting it in a file cabinet. There are some very pretty purse style file holders at Target as part of the Real Simple Collection. You could keep one of those neatly on the floor by your desk if you have to keep certain papers near you but don’t have room “on” your desk. You can also find solutions to hang files on the wall.
Vertical: Binders are a great way to store categories of papers such as recipes, organizing articles you’ve cut out of magazines, yearly tax returns, etc. Purchase ready made tabs to help you. When you use trays to store files going in or out, this too is vertical storage.
2. Photos could go into photo boxes (get different color photo boxes to add more color on a shelf), photo albums, or frames on a shelf or wall.
3. Office supplies could go into various baskets on a shelf; in separate drawer units you can buy at most stores (Sterilite or Rubbermaid), etc. I have a few small Sterilite drawer units that sit on the bookshelf right behind my desk so they’re out of sight but within reach.
4. How about the oodles of mail we receive each day? Choose something pretty that is just for mail. Make sure to purge it at the end of every day. (Worst-case scenario, once per week.) Have a junk bin for junk mail that you can recycle, near the mail container. Then you can just dump your junk right into the bin without thinking about it.
5. CD’s definitely need a spot for safekeeping. Once again there are so many to choose from: CD Albums where you take the CD’s out of their jewel cases and put them into flat sleeves; Jewel case racks that allow you to keep the jewel cases on. Some have vertical slots and fit on a shelf, some stand tall and slender (available at places like Best Buy), allowing you to stack them high instead of wide.
Remember this rule of thumb; think carefully before you settle on a place to put something. The first place you put it is most likely one of the first places you’ll look. Unfortunately, if your place isn’t organized, you won’t be able to find that stack, box, or container that has the item. And usually the first place you “think” of putting something is often the first place you’ll look. That’s why it’s important to train your brain to sort, then categorize so you’ll be able to compartmentalize, and then organize.
Find similar containers to hold your things that are stylish, functional, and not too cumbersome. If needed, have a staging area where you can lay out the various categories of items to be put away so you can decide which piles will fit into what containers. You may have 3 of this container and 6 of that. Will your large pile fit into the 3 flowered boxes or the 6 pretty, fabric lined baskets?
It’s all about visualizing what you want your space to look like and what you need at your fingertips (Remember: It cannot ALL be at your fingertips). Look through magazines, or surf the web at The Container Store, Crate and Barrel, Target, Office Depot, or department stores, to see what styles you might like and the products they have to offer. Then go back to your space and try visualizing. Next, sort, then categorize, make your list and go shopping. When you come home, lay out the containers next to where your piles are sorted and categorized. Eyeball the containers and the piles. Start putting things into different containers and see how it looks. You’ll undoubtedly spend a little time readjusting.
Note: I learned early on to buy more containers than I needed and return what I didn’t use. Whenever I didn’t do this, I ended up not having enough of the sizes I needed, putting things in larger containers or leaving them in a pile. By the time I went back to the store to get more, the ones I purchased were sold out or no longer made. Yes, I waited too long because I was too busy.
Once you’re done finding a container, bin, or basket for each pile, start labeling. Sometimes I use Martha Stewart Avery Adhesive Bookplates, sometimes I use Cardinal Self-Adhesive Label Holders for Binders, and sometimes I don’t use anything because the box is SO pretty and I know I’ll remember what’s inside.
So now off you go – Compartmentalize to Organize!
If you complete a project and want to share photos, we’d LOVE to see them!
Copyright ©2007,2014 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.
Journey of The Busy Woman – Blocking Time is Smart!
Blocking Time Works
You all would be very proud of me these past few days. I used my time management technique of blocking time to work on projects throughout the week. One of the projects was to organize my little bookcase in my new office space. It was such a small thing, yet it felt great.
All I have to say is… Blocking time is SMART!
Small baby steps are more manageable than trying to complete an entire project in one sitting. It just took convincing myself to stop after short bursts.
This is like the post on our Busy Woman Facebook Fan Page that said, “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other. ~Walter Elliot
Breaking projects down into bite sized pieces makes it easier to complete large tasks ~Susie”
Early To Bed, Early To Rise
My biggest struggle has been to get up early in the morning. In my prior life I loved waking up early to a silent morning and get ready for the day. I had my own special rhythm that included a stop at Starbucks on the way to work. Everyone knew my drink, said howdy, and that helped jump-start my day. Since coming back home, I’ve given up my daily Starbucks run in exchange for having coffee and breakfast with my dear husband.
Because I don’t have to be out of the house in the morning, I’ve been staying up late with hubby, watching the news and late night shows. While I LOVE this time with him, I love getting up early and going to bed early, even more.
These last few days I’ve gotten up early. Yay me! I also prepared meals during the week and made it to farmers market again, then spent two hours on Sunday preparing meals for the next 5 days.
I have a full week ahead, so it should be easier to follow through with the schedule I set up for myself. The great thing is… If it doesn’t work, I’ll change it!
How about the rest of you? Did you accomplish what you had hoped? Have you set up a schedule that works for you? Please help others by sharing what works for you in the comments.
©2014 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.
Journey Of The Busy Woman – Password Safety Tips etc…
I’m not sure if you heard, but Adobe’s database was hacked in October 2013. So without giving details, let’s just say it’s taken me a long time to go through my list, make sure the sites I’ve subscribed to are still active, and then update my info. This has been on my to-do list since November, when I got back from my travel adventure.
So here it is, the last week of February! The past few days consisted of errands, projects, and resting. I’m slowly chipping away at my to-do list. The to-do list however, is not ruling my days. Each day I wake up and strive to do what I can in the areas of self-improvement, business, and relationships.
I didn’t spend as much time writing this week. Instead I focused on meal preparation and planning, housework, and a project I’ve been putting off – updating and changing passwords. Check out our Investing Time Series to read more on investing time to save time, if you’re interested.
Which brings me to password safety tips.
1. Change your passwords at least every six months.
2. Do not use the same password for every site.
3. Never use names, dates, such as birth, anniversary, etc.
4. Use a variation of characters, upper and lower case letters, and numbers if the website allows it.
Read more about password safety tips here:
Google – Safety Center
Use The Busy Woman Internet Info Pages ©2002,2004 in unique ways to keep track of passwords and website information.
©2014 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.
Life is sometimes hard. It’s difficult to know what to do or how to handle things thrown our way. But this is life, and like I tell my kids, deal with it the best you can and move on. Or in this case, keep on keeping on.
How – you ask?
1. Call people you know you can call, for help.
2. Stock up on healthy, quick meals & snacks for your home and office.
3. Stay in bed that extra five minutes.
4. Take daily vitamins.
5. Take a break during the day to eat! (I think most of us forgo the food but it’s imperative that you eat.)
6. Get to bed early so you feel refreshed in the morning.
This is great advice to help us stay healthy. And when we eat right, rest and get help when we need it, we’ll be able to Keep On Keeping On.
So plan today for your business and body to be healthy tomorrow.
Feel free to share your tips below in the comments section. Someone may need to see it.
Copyright ©2006,2014 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.