Thursday, January 25, 2018

Getting Back on Track - January Edition

Last year was a year of "Fresh Starts" for our family.  We moved and because of this we got the opportunity to have a fresh start with many areas of our life.  Now that we have lived here for almost a year and have had a chance to catch our breath, we know that we need to get things organized.  We have declared this a year of "Refocusing" for our family.  It is about making sure we are staying on task to complete the things we would like to get done and seeing them all the way through.  For me this means that I need to get myself back on track, get organized, and get my systems that I use back in place so I can manage our household, homeschooling, and all the extra things we want to do.
Getting Back on Track, A Glimpse of Normal Blog, To-Do List
The place where I know I need to get back on track the most is with my to-do list.  Sure I have about 11 bazillion things I would like to get done, but that is an unrealistic number and there is absolutely no way I get everything I want to, need to, and have to get done finished in just one day.  After all, I am not Super Girl, Super Woman, or Super Organized.  I can't even pretend to be any of these people without falling over from exhaustion, burn out, and being completely overwhelmed.  Since I can't do it all in just one day, I had to come up with a system that worked for me.  I can't take full credit for the system I use to stay on track with my to-do list as a friend taught me a way to manage my to-do list years ago when I was feeling completely overwhelmed by it.

The main system is what I call "Just 5."  Since I started using this system, I don't struggle with feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list anymore.  Every morning when I get up, I make a list.  This list is just 5 tasks.  These 5 tasks are the most important things I have to do each day.  They are the things that if I don't get them done, the day will not end well or I will miss an important deadline.  During the week, one of my five tasks is school.  This is the most important thing we can complete each day during our school year.  Since I am the teacher, it needs to be one of my top priorities so my kids know it is their top priority.  The other 4 tasks on my list usually relate to whatever I need to finish that day.  It could be a blog deadline, household chores, or bills I need to get paid.  After I make this list of 5, I know what my goals are for the day.  These are the first things I need to complete in my day.  I work through these 5 tasks until I get them done.  Once they are all finished, I can add other tasks, but the original 5 need to be done first.

Narrowing down my to-do list helps me focus on the most important things.  There are many days that I will write a second list of every task floating through my head just to clear my brain, but they are not added to my "Just 5" until the first 5 have been completed and I only add 5 more at a time.  I even found a really cool note pad that fits my system.  It has areas for "Do It Now" items, "Do It Later" items, and "Do It Never" items.  I put my "Just 5" in the now blanks, extra tasks for the day in the later blanks, and my someday tasks in the never blanks.  This system helps keep me focused on my tasks and helps me bring order to my home.  If you struggle to get things done each day and get overwhelmed by your to-do list, I recommend trying the "Just 5" system that I use.  It is a place to start until your list becomes manageable.

*Parts of this blog post I originally wrote for a Homeschool Review Crew blog post, but I didn't want my readers who don't read that blog to miss out on what I had to say about my "Just 5" system of tackling my to-do list.  So if you happen across the post I wrote for the Homeschool Review Crew blog and it seems very similar to this one, it is because it is also my writing and what I based this post on.

1 comment:

  1. Great thought - just 5. May have to try this to get myself back on track with the "other" things, as well. Thanks! - Lori


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