passing the time

It’s been awhile! I’ve been on hiatus from the blog for a few months now since we got a puppy. I hope to post more now that she’s a little older. Keeping my fingers crossed! I figure this is as good a time as any to write about time management and keeping a schedule. Enjoy. And let me know what you think!

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One of the most important things about Micro Living is using your time and energy wisely. I’ve blogged before about not wasting anything, be it money, resources, or time, but I think it bears repeating.

I’ve always been obsessed with calendars, schedules, clocks and the like, but never seemed to get anything done. That is, until I started to budget my time like I would budget the storage space in my house… less is more! Well, less planning time and more doing time, that is.

I love the above picture because it reminds me that scheduling things can be as simple as that and that with the aid of a good clock and a good calendar, you can get just about anything accomplished.

Here are the things in my planning arsenal:

1) my new “buttoned up” planner from Franklin Covey. Franklin Covey is notorious for absurdly complex planning systems. They give classes on it for heaven’s sake. Planning shouldn’t be this difficult and this planner operates on that basic premise. I love their website too for little tips and tricks to keeping it all organized:
http://www.getbuttonedup.com/our-products/notebooks-agendas/weekly-agenda/
I would recommend getting a planner you like to USE and not one that is too fancy or too complex. It should also be one that you think is cute so you WANT to use it. I also like mine because it fits in my purse. Think about how you use your agenda before you buy one and you might be able to find one that suits your needs.

2) a chore chart. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy thinking of this one. I made a chart with two columns on one sheet of 8 1/2″ by 11″ paper and then put it in a sheet protector. This way, I can use a dry erase marker and mark off what I complete.

Column A:
Morning
Afternoon
Evening

Column B:
Weekly
Bi-weekly
Monthly
As needed

I took a lot of time thinking about what is realistic to get done in those amounts of time. I also put simple things like, “make breakfast” in the morning category so I could check something easy off the list. (I also want to make sure I eat a good breakfast!) Don’t underestimate the power of checking things off your list! The rest of the things can be anything from charge phone and ipod every evening to donate old clothes every month.

I use this chore list everyday and have it on my fridge with magnets just to make sure I remember all the tasks I need to do.

3) a nice clock. Mine has time, temperature and humidity on it and it’s easy to read.

4) a good watch. I’m shopping for one now. I like ones with times, ones that are pretty and ones with easy to read faces.

5) fun things to sprinkle into your routine. I know at around 2pm every day I’ll talk to my mom on the phone. That’s one of my favorite parts of my day. I also like to read blogs and keep up on a few forums. And I make sure to get a little walk in with my puppy to get some sunshine and stretch my legs.

6) a meal planner. This doesn’t have to be anything formal, but I like to make a tiny list on top of my grocery list of what sorts of meals we want to eat for the week. I also have a master list in my main cookbook of all of the family’s favorite meals and add new ones as needed. I like to try one new recipe a week, but that really depends on how busy the week is and what the plan for the week happens to be.

Why don’t you tell me some of your favorite planning tools? I’m happy to add them to my list!




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