I might not be able to do everything, but at least I have it all laid out, recorded and able to understand what I can and can’t do during this time period!!

monthly planner insert

Before I started using a planner, I remember my life seemed so overwhelming. I had so much to do! My boys had sports events to attend, my dogs had visits to the vet and groomers, monthly medications, walks in the parks; I had school assignment deadlines; my work not only entailed work assignment deadlines, but social obligations to attend; I was making soap and lotions as a hobby that blossomed into selling the products and had to register for festivals to sell my products – not to mention my personal life of visiting my grandparents, attending my parents social events and “hanging with the girls”! I also, had to remember my husband’s poker nights, camping weekends, and all of his social activities. So much to do and I had no idea how or if I could get it all done!

It was all just too much. I got a calendar out and started writing everything down on the dates that I needed to remember. I then started a “to do” list for things that needed to be completed before the events.

Once I started putting everything into compartments, I was able to take a breath and see that it was all doable as I saw that it spread out over time. No wonder I felt the need to organize my life into sections to make it less overwhelming.

Thus, the different calendars. I wanted to see everything laid out for the month, but then I saw the need to start seeing just a week at a time.

As I became more organized with my events, I then wanted to start organizing the different subjects in my life. To Do for the week, To Do for the month, To Do for the year… grocery lists, meal planning, road trips, house upkeep, memories to record, movies I wanted to see, books I want to read.. and the list goes on.

It was so cathartic for me to organize everything that was going on in my life, and I found that as I recorded everything, my life became less overwhelming…

Just to give you one example – my son had a soccer tournament over a weekend, it was my turn to provide snacks, and one of his friends had a birthday party that same weekend. To simplify all of this:
  • I entered the date of tournament on my monthly calendar
  • I put the times of each game on my weekly calendar, notating the ones that may be optional depending on if they won the first game, etc
  • I added the snacks to my grocery list
  • I added buying a birthday gift to my to do list
  • I added checking to see if I had wrapping paper to my to do list
  • I added the birthday to my monthly calendar
  • I added the time of the birthday to my weekly calendar to see how it worked out with the possible tournament games

This enabled to me to see if this interfered with any other activities that I needed to attend over this tournament weekend, it allowed me to get everything I needed in advance and it allowed me to communicate with other family members if I would or wouldn’t be able to accommodate their needs. This is how I found planning so cathartic! I might not be able to do everything, but at least I have it all laid out, recorded and able to understand what I can and can’t do during this time period!!

After I got into such a great routine of recording everything, I saw that I wanted to make it fun! So I started adding stickers to certain events: a birthday cake on birthdays to remember, holiday stickers to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s events. My lists were now starting to have fun flair and as I turned each page of the week or each page of the month, a whole new world of color and fun stickers seemed to get me excited about the new weeks and the new months!

Now, not only is my life less overwhelming, but it’s just colorful world of fun!!

I now have a weekly habit of working on my next week’s events! I either get up Saturday morning with a cup of hot coffee and start working on my next week or if my Saturday is busy, I find time during Sunday to work on the next week. Usually, Sunday evenings, watching TV and having my dogs all at my side, a glass of wine in hand, stickers and markers in front of me – can it seriously get better than this?!

For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.

Sped up for fun, however, this was filmed in one shot without edits and was 12 minutes from start to finish.