Organizing & Time Management - Part 2

Our Command Center

As a continuation from this week's post, today I would like to post notes from the Time Management portion of my notes from a few years ago. Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines time as a particular portion or part of duration and manage is defined as to conduct; to carry on or to direct the concerns of something. Sometimes management involves training...either ourselves or others. One who has the conduct or direction of anything therefore would be a manager. From a Biblical lens then, women are exhorted to be 'managers' of their homes. How can this be accomplished? With effort, endurance and through the examples from others who do it...are good places to start.

As a participant this month's Organizing Junkies' "Command Central Round-up & Giveaway", I have posted a picture of our command center, so to speak. The kitchen is our gathering place and the refrigerator is one place that seems to be visited multiple times per day. :-) To make it easy for everyone in our family to know what is going on, I have utilized the front of the refrigerator to house a dry erase calendar and added sticky hooks to hold our various schedules, chore charts and menus. How does it work?

  • The dry erase calendar is color coded. I use one color for all appointments, a different color for school activities, another for fellowship gatherings, a fourth color for special occasion reminders (holidays/birthdays/anniversaries) and a fifth color for church events. This keeps us balanced with were we are spending our time during the month, so we aren't too heavy on one side or running too much. I also try to write one or two Scripture verses along the top of our calendar that relate to the month or virtue we are focusing on for the help remind us about our purpose each day. (You could easily choose to assign a color per person in your family, if that works better for you...)
  • The other part of our 'command center' is the sheet protected schedules, charts & menus that are hung on the three ringed hooks next to our calendar (left of the picture above). I purchased the double-sticky hooks and affixed them right onto the front of the refrigerator. I then inserted the following forms into sheet protectors:

Morning Chore Chart - I created a 'table' on Microsoft Word with columns for Monday-Saturday along the top, then the name of each person in our family (minus dad...he works daily outside the home ) down the left side. Each person's row is color coded to make it easier to read and their assigned chore is listed in the box for that day.

Afternoon Chore Chart - The same 'table' was used as above, except with different chores listed for doing each afternoon.

Daily Schedule - This schedule was modeled after the "Managers of Their Homes" method of block scheduling. I love creating tables (versus spreadsheets) if you haven't guessed already and used the same concept as listed above...The far left column is designated for Time (half hour increments...our day begins at 6am and runs through 10pm) and then the other columns across the top are the names of each person in our family (once again, except dad who is working...although before & after work he is on our schedule doing various activities with our children). If you would like to see past examples of our chore charts or schedules, look for the article on that in my blog archives.

Menus - I have a monthly menu plan for breakfast (one page), lunch (one page), afternoon snacks (one page) and dinner. My breakfast menu is the same all month, different each day...meaning all Mondays are the same, all Tuesdays are the same, etc. Our lunch schedule is bi-weekly to allow a little variation. The afternoon snack menu is the same format as our breakfast menu to keep it simple. And finally, the dinner menu is based on a five week month. I planned Mondays to be crock pot or soup meals, Tuesdays a 'meat and potatoes' type of meal, Wednesdays are soups or quick meals due to leaving early for church, Thursdays are Italian, Fridays are Mexican and Saturdays are chicken or fish. Sundays are flexible due to church and/or leftover night.

All of these schedules, charts and menus are rigid in appearance - HOWEVER - are meant to serve as a guide. They are guides to accomplish the things the Lord has purposed for us to do...Don't be discouraged when there are days things don't run as clock work - REMEMBER - "man makes the plans, but God directs the path".

This is a list of some helpful websites and other resources you may want to visit which I have gleaned from in the past and recent days:
  • Managers of Their Homes ~ a wonderful Christian site by Steve and Terri Maxwell, authors of a book titled Managers of Their that was instrumental to helping me learn to better manage our home and God-given responsibilities
  • Fly Lady ~ a site containing information on establishing routines, reducing clutter and gaining control of your house and home
  • Organized Home ~ a site where I have printed free forms to 'create' our Family Organizer notebook; also contains articles, tips and tricks for organizing, cleaning and family matters (printable forms for meal & party planning, various checklists, health & finance, etc.)
  • Donna Young ~ a site where you can print planner pages and other household forms; also has helpful forms for homeschooling & some curriculum lessons plans
  • Organizing Junkie ~ a site I recently discovered full of organization tips, posts from others with before & after pictures, meal planning and other helpful links

Realize that all systems need to be tweaked from time to time and it only works with diligence and consistency. Consider starting small if you have never tried to schedule or menu plan...if scheduling maybe make one from morning until lunch and start there. If menu planning, maybe start with one of the set of meals...breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Be encouraged in this...

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3


Mrs. Burnsed said...

I'm really thankful for your encouragement!
I've used most of the sites you've refered to at one point or another and you're right, they are extremely helpful...whether you have 10 children or 2! I would encourage anyone reading the blog to try them. Then give God the glory for what He does through them. :)

Rosario said...

Awesome, fellow flybaby. I like your idea of color coding your calendar. I just went over to Michael's craft store and found a similar dry erase calendar on sale. I had been using the huge paper calendar type. Keep up the great work Sister.