Prioritizing, Time Blocking for Productivity, Time Management

Creating Systems

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People think I’m crazy when they hear how busy I am and how much I get accomplished on any particular day.  Let me just start off by saying I do not wear a Wonder Woman outfit underneath my clothes. Out of necessity, I’ve learned that by creating systems I can keep better order out of the chaos that life sometime brings.

Systems and gears to keep things moving

Why I do what I do

I’m the mom to 5 adult age children, (blended family), who live in 4 different states.  The last of the 5 graduates high school this year. I’m the grandma to two boys, ages 10 and 13.  Also, I’m the wife of a US Army Veteran, and his caretaker. I volunteer, organize 2 annual craft fairs, and write this blog 5 days per week. Plus, I am in the midst of starting a digital planner business.  (More on that as we get closer to the launch, so stay tuned. I’m so excited!)

My life is busy.  In fact, today I drove (Russell can’t drive long distances) 5 hours to get him to a doctor’s appointment. He has another appointment at the same facility tomorrow, so we are staying over night. And yet another appointment on Thursday at another facility, two hours from our home. It’s a never-ending series of appointments and driving long distances to get him where he needs to go, not only for his medical appointments, but also for his position within the American Legion. One of the many hats I wear is Chauffer.

Now, I don’t believe in wearing the phrase “I’m busy” as a badge of honor. Don’t get me wrong. I tell you all of this, to tell you why I do what I do.

Creating Systems

I’ve been creating systems for organizations for years out of a need to keep me, my schedule, and my home from running amuck. Yes, I was probably born with an extra organizational gene, but I believe it’s been amplified out of necessity.

My planner allows me to create systems for managing my time

Typically, on Sunday of each week, I sit down with my planner. I schedule EVERYTHING, and I mean everything for the coming week.

Meal Planning

Meal Plan Worksheet

I do my meal planning and create my grocery list. Each day of the week is themed to make it easier to figure out what we are having. Monday is Meatless Monday. Tuesday is Souper Tuesday. Wednesday is One Pot Wonder Wednesday. Thursday is Chicken/Turkey Thursday. Friday is Fish Friday. Saturday is Simple Saturday and Sunday is Satisfying Sunday. Because I know the theme of each day, it’s easy to figure out and answer the question of “What’s for dinner?” as I create my meal plan for the week.

Family doing the dishes together

I also plan out my chores for the week. What day(s) am I doing laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, washing sheets, vacuuming, doing the grocery shopping, etc. Most of these happen the same day every week, but because of travel and other obligations, it does vary. But you get the idea. If I know what needs to be done around the house and when I plan to do it, things don’t fall to the wayside even on the busiest of weeks and I don’t feel overwhelmed by all the clutter or dust bunnies that crawl out from underneath the end table.

Use your planner and schedule everything

Creating Systems and Scheduling

Additionally, I schedule everything that I need to do, from going to the gym 3 days per week to when I will eat lunch or make dinner, to training workshops I’ve signed up for, or when I am going to write a blog post such as this. I schedule everything, typically in one-to-two-hour blocks of time. The one hours blocks typically contain a bunch of small items that need to be accomplished that I can group together. The two-hour blocks are usually for a project that I am focusing on and need a bit more time, and less transitions between tasks. I put all my tasks on my calendar, as if they were scheduled appointments. This helps me to focus, know what’s next, and hold myself accountable to what needs to be done.

Now, I know you don’t lead my life. Be grateful you don’t. But I encourage you to take just 1 hour on Sunday and pull out your planner. Determine what’s for dinner; when and even who will do the various chores that need done; and plan your week in detail. When you do, you’ll be amazed at how much more efficient you feel and how much more you accomplish in the coming week.

Creating systems and time blocking

My hope for you is that you take some time and plan out your coming week so you can live life more efficiently. Here’s to creating systems to maintain order and RESETTING your life!


Organization isn’t about perfection; it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life.” – CHRISTINA SCALISE

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