Friday, January 9, 2009

January, Week 2: Creating Schedules and Routines

Week 2 focuses on the importance of creating regular schedules and organizing your life with a calendar.

I just blogged about a great tool I recently discovered to track our family appointments...important in a family of five! It's a free program called Cozi. We have started using it to attempt to help us organize our time better and to make sure that no appointments fall through the cracks on either of our calendars.

Regina Leeds advises readers to "invest in a good calendar." In our case, we have a plethora of calendars! I track my work (and some personal) appointments on Microsoft Outlook--which synchronizes with my Blackberry; we have a calendar by our telephone and a few more calendars throughout the house; and now we have Cozi. Mike is a fan of calendars; in his eyes, the more the better! I just hope that we don't have too many now! Cozi should tie all our paper calendars (and Outlook) together, if we use it effectively.

Leeds recognizes that readers think like organizers and do not agree to commit to anything until we have consulted our calendars (and our partners, if applicable). She also talks about the importance of creating regular routines and identifying ways to save yourself time in your life. For example, setting the breakfast table the night before, or setting out your clothes before you go to bed.

She recommends that we make a list of the most common time traps in our home, and then create a routine that will eliminate this opportunity to waste time. She mentions her own tendency to want to get distracted by less-important tasks (for example, rearranging her furniture) when she is facing a deadline. I can definitely identify with this tendency, and sometimes I wonder if I have attention-deficit disorder! I will meet deadlines, but I often wait until the deadline is facing me in the face...and my product would have been much better if I had been more methodical and allowed myself to revise along the way.

This is why I've decided to tackle this organization project in a more methodical way. I need a structured routine to get myself to stick with it. And starting a blog to document my progress is one sure way to get myself to follow through!

The last activity for this week is to "get the kids on board." I've been thinking about how to do that...and I will blog more about that next time. I know Mike is anxious to see what I come up with! And onto more kitchen cabinets!!


  1. Would love to here the time traps you identify.

  2. Marie-

    I am also using Regina's book to get myself (and my home) organized. I have three kids too so I empathize with your struggles! It's wonderful your husband is helping out. Mine is coming around to the idea of at least helping keep the house picked up. Maybe we can support each other through this endeavor (unless you really start showing me up)! My blog is:
    I'll be sure to add a link to you. Good luck!