Our lives are so busy and we rarely eat at home. I know we need a better routine, but I can't seem to stay on top of it all. How do I stay organized so I can balance everything that's going on?
A) Just figuring out a routine can be hard and then on top of that you have to maintain it day after day!
And it seems like no matter what, something always throws it off.
One of the kids gets sick,
Or there's a school break or vacation,
Or you have to travel out-of-town for work.
Getting sick and the holidays are guaranteed to throw routines off in my house!
No matter what it is, balancing everything can be challenging when routines are disrupted.
One of the first things I ask my busy mom coaching clients about is their personal organization system.
I want to hear about their methods (or lack there of) for keeping track of EVERYTHING.
Whether you're well-organized or not, the role of Record Keeper and Appointment Time-Rememberer almost always falls to Mom.
Check out these tips for creating an organization system that's personalized, easy to maintain, and can help you find balance through better organization.
Paper versus Electronic
Do you like to write things down on a paper calendar? Do you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you buy a new planner for the year?
Maybe you're a gadget geek instead? Are you lost without your phone?
Or you could be like me and use both. I like the convenience of having a digital calendar with me everywhere I go. And I love my grocery list app, but I find that writing out a meal plan works better for me.
If you choose a paper planner or calendar, make sure that it can fit in your purse and that you have something to write with. If something is tentative, I like to use pencil.
My little notebook collection (and these are just the ones pretty enough to photograph)
And if you don't want to carry a bulky planner with you at all times, you'll need a method for remembering to put things in it later.
An app like Evernote would be great for recording things in the moment. (Learn more about it here.)
If you find that you just have to write things down, get a little notebook that fits into your purse.
Trial and Error
If something isn't working, don't give up. Whatever methods you chose, there's no right or wrong way to organize yourself. It's all about what's going to work for you, your family, and the way you life is set up.
Don't think you have to do something a certain way just because it's the way others have found success or the way you think you should be doing it.
I went through probably half a dozen To Do List apps before I found one that works for me. It's all about what you'll be able to maintain and what works with your family. Make it easy on yourself.
Who all will be accessing the organization system? Does your husband add things to the grocery list? Are your children involved in the meal planning?
Make sure your organization system works for the whole family. Right now, my kids are smaller so they don't contribute much to planning and organization.
If you prefer paper, find a magnetic pad to put on the fridge so anyone can add an grocery item when you run out.
A lot of apps can be synced between devices, so everyone can access the same account. I love that my husband and I share our calendars with one another. We don't have to check in every time we want to schedule something.
These are just a few of the things to take into consideration when developing your own personal organization system.
Also check out my article on A Surprising Way to Find More Hours in the Day for more tips for better time management.
Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of it all?
Thanks for taking the time,
Amanda is a licensed counselor with a practice in Westfield, just north of Indianapolis. She counsels worry warts, distant couples & also offers online coaching packages for busy moms who want to have it all on their terms. She lives with her husband, two boys, and not-to-be-ignored cat Sphinx.