Keeping Myself (and My Family) Organized!

Organization, Blog

I get asked all the time how I keep it all together! And yes it’s tough sometimes to keep our schedules all managed and get all the work done. On any given day I have a full day of work with my marketing job, Color Street launches to share, social media to put together, driving the kids back and forth to school and activities, cooking meals and on and on. I know I’m not unique here, but over the years, I’ve created some tools and way I keep organized so its less overwhelming.

Communication, communication, communication…then do it again!

Now I realize this seems like the most obvious thing, but really it has taken us some practice to get this down so that we all know what’s going on. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there when our spouse says, “You never told me about that,” but you know you told them at least 3 or 4 times! It’s all because we hear what we want in the moment.

Here’s how it works in our household.

  • I chat with my husband over the weekend about what he has on his plate. Any changes in his work schedule, sports games that are on his must watch list (usually Iowa State) or whatever.
  • I share if there are any BIG things happening that week for me. This is usually recordings, if I have any events, or things that might alter his schedule. This also includes events I have for Color Street in the evenings or hanging out with the girls etc.
  • Typically we do a quick run through of the kids activities, but it doesn’t change too often so it’s pretty quick.

Once that’s done I typically put everything (or make sure everything) is in the Google calendar. More on that in the next section.

Each morning we usually check in about what’s going on that day. I’ve learned that I need to repeat the big things when it’s actually relevant to the day’s activities. It just keeps frustration levels down on all fronts.

Color Coded Calendars

It doesn’t matter if your a pen or paper person, in fact, I’m both!! I like to have my Google Calendar for scheduling and for my tasks and to-dos and quick reference I use my Full Focus Planner.

We have 3 Google Calendars for the family. My personal, my husband’s personal, and a joint one for the kids. When we lived near my family, we also shared with them as they helped out a ton when my kiddos were little. That way we knew who would be available to help on certain days.

Then I have my work calendar. This is synced up to my Acuity account because I have clients that can schedule automatically with me. This is why having all my calendars in Google is critical. It makes it so much easier for me to remember to block off time on my work schedule for kids appointments or if I know I need to be available because my husband isn’t. I love being able to see it all in one place.

My Full Focus Planner is next to me at all times. Each morning I sit down and map out my big 3 goals for the day. It is also where I keep my running task list. If something pops into my head then I can easily write it down there and come back to it while I finish the project I’m working on. Yes, I do love to keep colored pens by me so that I can easily glance at the types of tasks on my list.

The final calendar we have in our household is one that lives on the fridge. It is mostly for things that are out of the norm for the week. It also says which day the kids will be having school or home lunch and what’s for dinner each night. 

I know it might seem like an excessive amount but it’s about having the information where we need it for the tasks at hand!

Planning on Sundays

I like to take a little bit of time on Sunday’s to plan out my week. I usually pull together my work obligations before I wrap on Fridays so that’s all ready for me to review.

On Sundays I sit down with my Google calendar as that’s the master one!

  1.  I start by looking for any anomolys that week.
  2. Then I build in the lunch and dinner menus.
  3. Finally I review my work schedule and make sure I have my big 3 for the week. That way I can start Monday off strong.

I like to know what is coming up so I can try to avoid surprise. I also go grocery shopping on Sunday so it’s helpful to do this in the AM before I go to the store!

Meal Prep

One of the core things to staying organized is removing excess repeated tasks like going to the grocery store. Plus, I find if I don’t meal prep then we end up eating takeout, especially when my daughter is in the middle of a musical.

There are a few things that I do to get prepped.

  1. When I’m planning on Sunday I figure out how many crockpot, casserole, ect. meals I need to prep.
  2. Take a look at my Epicure stash to see what quick meals I can make.
  3. Check my Pinterest boards to pull the rest of my recipes.

I put the menu on my calendar and make my grocery list. Then I get the breakfast from my husband (yes he manages breakfasts) and look at the lunch menus for the kids to determine what I may need to get for the week.

I try and go to the grocery store 1-2 times a week max!

Daily Planning

In the morning I have a regular routine I try and stick to so my day is organized and effective. I even have it blocked on my calendar so I can get alerts and review it. Remember that your daily planning should be geared towards your day and how you work best and what your family life looks like. This is what works best for me.

My morning routine looks like this:

  • 5:30 – Wake Up
  • 5:45 – 6:00 – Writing (journaling or free writing or business dreaming)
  • 6:00 – 6:30 – Email. I clean up my email and add any tasks that need to be done to ClickUp*. Anything that needs to be done for the family gets written down in my planner. This is also when I plan my big 3 tasks for the day.
  • 6:30 – 7:00 – workout/me time. I’ll be honest, I often work through this time but now that we’re gearing towards spring I’m hoping to use this time to take Lulu on walks on the days my husband is home and this making breakfast and getting kids ready for school time when my husbands at work.
  • 7:00 – 8:00 – shower and get ready (sometimes take my son to school)

Having this routine gets me scheduled and ready for the day.

Once I get back from dropping my daughter off at school I jump right into the tasks that need to be done that day.

The other thing I’ve done is themed my days so I focus on particular tasks on those days. When you batch tasks you work more effectively vs. trying to bounce from thing to thing.

Mine looks like this:

  • Monday – Client work
  • Tuesday – Color Street/Content Creation (social media, Pinterest, writing blogs, etc).
  • Wednesday – Content Creation (podcast recording, YouTube, show notes, etc.).
  • Thursday – Client Work
  • Friday – combo day. What needs to be done in order for me to feel like I can step away for the weekend. I also block time off on Friday’s for working on my business and ongoing education.

These are just a few things that help me throughout the week to stay sane! I hope you find some of these tips and resources helpful. Remember this is what works for us. I’ve spent many years moving through what “should” be on my calendar and how my flow “should” work. It will only work if youer honest with yourself on how your family operates!

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