New Strategy – Managing life

So, I needed to do something. It was getting out of control.  I couldn’t keep up to begin with, and since DH’s injury and subsequent surgery – I was getting further and further behind.   I am talking about housework and managing the many “mom” jobs around the house.

I suck (like most people with depression) at doing normal mom/wife things.  I don’t take care of the house like I should, I don’t take care of my family really like I should.  I always find ways that stupid stuff takes priority.  Excuses like ‘I earned this’ or ‘I just need one day to myself.   Great if any of that were actually true.

Let’s be honest.  I am not great at adulting. Never have been.  I am pretty much a child when it comes to doing what I should instead of what I want.

After a few discussions and hearing repeatedly from DH, “why don’t you just be ok with what you’re good at”, I took a look at my life.  How can I manage it better?  The one thing that he says I do better than most people is sticking to a schedule and maintaining a schedule.

Light bulb moment.

I need to get a home planner scheduler for everything I should do outside of work.  I have a planner for work and it does me just fine. However, I knew a traditional planner or calendar wouldn’t exactly do what I needed/wanted in terms of what I thought would work for me.   Begin research phase.

I learned about bullet journaling.  I thought this would be a great idea. I watched quite a few youtube videos on the topic and it didn’t take me long to realize the one glaring thing that was going to cause me to fail using this.

It was too fluid and creative.   I quickly realized this would be one of those things that I knew, I would spend all my time looking up ways to make mine easier and never actually use it as I would keep ‘redoing’ the sections in new layouts.

While researching that, I learned about planners like Erin Condren and Happy Planner.  These peaked my interest.  Flexible enough that I can add things to it and combine it with aspects of bullet journaling – but not so flexible that I would be inclined to reinvent the wheel every few weeks with a new idea.

The first thing I realized after watching many youtube videos on these planners… These women were insane. I say that in the nicest way I know how.  They took planning to a place I had never dreamed.  They had these elaborately decorated planners — stickers, stencils, stamps, post its… you name it.  I watched them set up their plans in their ‘plan with me’ videos where they show people how they set up their planners.  All I remember thinking is, how the hell do they actually know whats going on with all that busyness?

However, there was enough there for me to realize, I could possibly work with this.  I went to Hobby Lobby and with a 40% off coupon, picked up my Happy Planner. I also picked up one sticker set that was more functional than decorative. I then went to Michales and picked up a couple additions to my planner.  Some pocket folders, larger disks, a notepad style insert set, the home planner, and the budget set.  These gave me the additional options I was looking for help in managing, and I wouldn’t really need the bullet journaling for those if I had these.

Below is the layout for my planner.  The start is a notes section, then it goes into the starter info for the month then it has a summary of the bills for the previous month, expense tracker, and budget review. Then a todo/notes as well as a budget for the current month.  The monthly block is for events or other action items. Then it goes into a weekly block segment, and each week I inserted one of the weekly cleaning checklists and a meal planner.

Now because I put them in each week instead of leaving them together in a tab like a pack came, it means some of these things don’t function quite as usefully as they could.  I think going forward I will get the paper cutter and print out a version of those pages so I can make them a tad more intuitively useful.

I do take it a step farther on the weekly cleaning by actually selecting what days in my planner I will do each task so I can make sure it gets accomplished.  If I don’t get to it that day, it moves to the next day.

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Now, I don’t have all the fancy stickers and such that you will see in most of the videos because I dislike that much clutter in my planner. I have branched out into different colors for different people/events in a way that makes things stand out and at a glance, I can see what is going on.

I have only used this method for a few days now, and already it is helping me stay on task. Time will tell next month when I add in the budgeting items and tracking to see how much I keep up with that.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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