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Thursday, August 2, 2007

so how do you manage your time?

lately i've felt a bit like the rabbit in alice in wonderland... always late, with never quite enough time on my hands! cooking, cleaning, crafting, exercising, working & simply living seems to have overwhelmed me. i'm not very good with schedules, but i think that is exactly what i need... a system and some definite organization. i'm a flybaby flunkie, but maybe i just need to give it another try!

how do organize your life? how do you stay on top of everything so that it doesn't consume you? how do you manage to do the zillions of things required of you without going crazy?


Rochelleht said...

I hate schedules, too, but it seems that I just naturally drift toward one, anyway. Summer is slow, so I don't have much I HAVE to do. My church calling gets a break in the summer. There's no WAY I'm taking all 4 kids shopping, so I'm here most days. But, I still need to have structure. All the rooms and beds are made by 9 and the tv is off for the day. If I didn't do that, I'd go crazy.

Anyway, I guess for me, I can handle anything as long as the house is clean first.

Mique said...

It IS tricky...but I actually feel so much better when we have a schedule around our crazy house. For me, making a meal plan by Sunday for the whole week, going grocery shopping on Tues (when I have a babysitter- so Monday I plan to make something that I already have all the ingredients for)- that has made a huge difference. I don't have to stress everday around 5pm..I have a plan.
But I still feel by about 10pm every night that I have tons to do!! AUGHHHHH....Hopefully someday it won't be as busy for us.
And I agree with Rochelle- didn't use to be a neat freak, but I am just a happier person if my house is at least picked up. If not, I just think about it all day long and can't relax.

Mom2fur said...

If I really let myself think about all that is on my plate, I go crazy. So I don't think about it...much. I just do little things that help keep my head above water. One is "My Ta-Da Lists." I love this site. You make up your own to-do lists. I have one for ev every room in the house (well, I don't do the kids' rooms now) and I just check things off as I finish them. Once a list is done, I start it again. But I rarely go through any list all at once. This a.m., for example, I'm checking off a few items at a time in the kitchen between doing 'fun stuff' on the computer. There are something like 38 different jobs in the kitchen. Don't be scared, or impressed...I really, really broke the kitchen down into microjobs. And some of them don't need to be done every day (like making sure the meat thermometer is clean and put away). But before the morning is over, the kitchen will look presentable.
Anyhoo, I highly recommend "My Ta-Da lists."
In addition, I do some OAMC (once a month cooking). I said 'some' because I don't spend an afternoon cooking 30 or so meals to freeze. I just use a few recipes I like and make maybe one or two a week to put in the freezer. So I always have a few meals in there. I take them out a day or two ahead to thaw. It's nice to know dinner is ready to pop in the oven (like the Mexican-style chicken we had last night) and that I have a sort of 'free' afternoon.
Take a tip from Rachael Ray...prep foods when you buy them. Honestly, her meals aren't really 30 minutes from start to finish. She just did all her prep work ahead of time. If you already have the cutting board out for chopping onions, why not chop twice as much to use later? Same with anything else. might know this, but you never, ever wash any kind of berry ahead of time. I think it makes them go moldy. big ones are scrapbooking, crochet and sewing. I try to do at least a little of each every day. It might take me 3 months to finish a blouse, but it does get done. I'm not a schedule type, either--I'm doing my crafts for the enjoyment and therapeutic value, not to meet a deadline.
Wow, I think I'm 'talking' too much here. If you want, I'll tell you how I keep up with my bills, LOL!
PS...I'd guess about 3/4 of the zillion things required of you aren't all that important, in the long run!

Kelly said...

i'm so glad to hear i'm not the only one the can go crazy about cleaning the house. i'm not typically a neat freak... but when it comes to my house - i just find i function alot better when it's clean. but i totally have to stay on top of it, because it can go from clean to disaster in a heart beat!

lainakay said...

I am totally with you! No advice just commiseration... Unfortunately, I am a neat freak and with three kids... FRUSTRATION! I've given up all schedules, calendars, planning lately because it seems impossible to stick to them as closely as I would like. We're flying by the seat of our pants here... there's just not enough time in the day! I'm struggling to find a balance so that I can re-implement an organized lifestyle. I don't know though, I keep waiting for things to calm down so that I can get a fresh start but they never seem to... and I'm just so TIRED!

Sorry for the whine. I'll let you know if I find a magic solution! Good luck with your quest!

Mom2fur said...

Hi, again. A much shorter comment this time...I promise! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Natasha of "Rickrack and Ribbons" was kind enough to send a swap link to me...
It looks like a fun site to check out!

Holly said...

I have no aha-moment advice, since I suffer from the same affliction (but with only 1 child--sad!) I try to keep the clutter under control, keep the kitchen clean (per Flylady) and do quick cleanings here and there to stay somewhat on top of things. I do this best when I get my exercise done early in the morning and then clean up around the house before I get myself cleaned up for the day.

I like several of FlyLady's tips, but I feel close to a flunkie too. Oh well!

dancin queen said...

Hey just wanted you to know I love your blog! I've been over a few time from links from friends. I think your ideas as a mom are right on. How validifying to hear others feel like flylady flunkies too. That program worked before I had kids. 3 kids later....ha! I'll probably visit your blog in the future if you don't mind. I love it! Feel free to stop by mine and make sure I'm not a crazy stalker (I promise I'm normal--well sort of!) wendi

Jessica said...

Lists. I'm addicted to lists (duh, have you seen my blog?). I make them for everything. Grocery lists, cleaning lists, work to-do lists, home to-do lists, blog event lists- I think you get the idea. Now, I almost never accomplish everything on the list. But just making the list makes me feel more organized. And having a list does make me more likely to try and tackle the items on it for the sheer joy of crossing stuff off.

Other than that, I'm not really very good at keeping up with everything, and all I have is a husband and a cat! We're two pack rats in a tiny apartment, so things get messy real fast. I have Fridays off, so I try to use that day to accomplish as much cleaning as I can while the hubster is at work. If things get cluttered over the weekend, which they undoubtedly do, at least I know the apartment is clean even if not tidy.

jessi said...

I'm a flybaby flunkie too, so I don't have much advice to give. And a one year old at home who makes it nearly impossible to clean or do anything you want to while he's awake doesn't help either. I guess I'll come back later and read your comments - I need advice too!

Marty: said...

I loved the link! When I had my 3rd kid I realized I was in over my head and I made myself a schedule...a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly schedule. (I actually MADE it! Now I just have a daytimer.) I wrote down everything I wanted to get done, from changing the beds to shopping for Christmas. I wrote everything down, just for the joy of crossing off. If I did something extra, I wrote it down later and crossed it off. Eventually I became a schedule freak and had a nervous breakdown, but that's for my blog.

Anyway, after I got the hang of it, I realized that by writing it down I didn't have to worry about it until it showed up on a day. Then I just did it. I'm very flexible and move things from day to day or eliminate them altogether if I want. At the beginning of each year I go through my old calendar and put everybody's birthday on my new one, and a few days before that I write "plan Amy's birthday" which means shop, or mail, or invite or whatever. I write down things as I think of them...just thumb through and find an empty day, and then suddenly I run into "clean out fridge" and I can either do it that day or move it to a different day, but at least I'm not thinking all the time "I've got to clean out the fridge." I know it will appear magically sometime and it will eventually get done.

I love to plan, schedule, organize...I could do it all day. In fact I do. It's making cute aprons, outfits, craft projects, etc. that I can't figure out!

Shaka said...

i like a schedule. if i can get going in the am then my day is better. my kids have a list of what they need to do and i have found that i have to let perfection go. their beds don't always look perfect but they did it. and if i have time later i straighten them, if not oh, well. the cleaning gets me though. i have found that if my floors are clean then i feel better and am more motivated to get the other cleaning done-now i just need to find a way to keep my floors clean all the time!!! i mopped them today and before i could put the chairs back thing 3 spilled her milk!!! you expected that didn't you!? i need a maid!

tara said...

I keep a calendar on the front of a kitchen cabinet and I keep on it anything I have appointments for and things that I have committed to do with/for other people. (dr's apts, people I might be babysitting for, etc.) Other than that, my day's are not totally set in stone. The necessities are monotonous and time consuming it seems. Every morning I change 2 diapers, make breakfast for 3 hungry little bochas and dress those same three. Then I need to get dressed myself and within and hour the need for feeding seems to strike again! I like to get to the YMCA at least 3x a week and go to the grocery store. I really could be better about having more of a daily/weekly routine, but having 3 youngn's 1 being a 5 month old, sometimes the dream of following a schedule becomes just that, a dream!
Anyway... I think as mothers of young children it feels like we are often living in CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) but I think it will get easier as they get older!

oh amanda said...

I hope this isn't my first comment on your blog! So, I should start off by saying I love it--fun & creative!

Flylady is just too much to live up to! So, I'm all about lists. I found the best lists on It's just easy things everyday that keep your house clean so you don't have to do that BIG HOUSECLEANING. HTH!

gab said... secrets are: always get up before my kids--exercise, do base cleaning (beds, kitchen, tidying up) first thing in the morning. In my house if it doesn't get done before's not going to happen. And while I love to clean, I enjoy having a cleaning lady twice a month to do the deep stuff. It is a lot cheaper than therapy!!!

marta said...

oh my. i love all this advice. just what i need!!! thanks for bringing this subject up.. i am gonna start some 'ta da' lists right away!