Getting Things Done While Homeschooling

I saw this graphic today and laughed! It's me.... that's me this past week! I need to make a plan for being more organized. I always considered myself an organized person, but the older I get and the more that is on my plate, the less organized I feel. Now, I'm not just being Type A -- my lack of organization recently has led to things like me not being able to find the checkbook, forgetting an appointment, and not being able to locate things we need around the house. I'll give you a little background leading up to my organizational breakdown, and then share my plan of attack with you!

I've had one of those weeks that went by in a flash, and I don't know that I could tell you any one large thing that got accomplished, either! It seemed like each day was full of little "fires" to put out, and most of them weren't related to homeschooling. For instance, this week I had to:

  • spend a mind numbing amount of time talking to an insurance company and dental office to settle an eligibility and claim issues
  • solving ANOTHER medical issue with eligibility for reimbursement
  • wrap my head around having two of our bathrooms painted (one is in bad shape, the other has always been builder white) today - choose the colors, etc... )
  • cook for our Thursday co-op and provide snacks and drinks for the t-ball team on the same day
  • begin to plan for a large family Thanksgiving at my house (we've always had Thanksgiving somewhere else, but not this year).... I'm very excited about this, though.
  • work my normal amount teaching piano lessons, doing laundry, etc...
You get the picture.

I envy the homeschooling moms who have been doing this since the beginning, because they don't know any different. For me, however, I still remember what those days were like with no children at home when I was super productive. I'm struggling with how to get things done effectively in all areas of my life.

My sweet husband sent me a text in the middle of the week (as he was on his way to South Carolina for work) that said this:

"Don't worry so much about the kids today. They are smart and way ahead because of you. Take the time you need today to get things done for yourself and around the house."

That meant so much - to hear it from him, the leader of our family. I did just what he said and I actually got a handle on a few things that had to get done. Oh, and he brought home dinner that night so I didn't have to fix anything. I love my husband so much.

While I'm talking about my husband, I have to tell you he is one of the most organized people I know. He just looks like he has it all together, don't you think?

He uses something called "Remember the Milk" to keep him organized.

It is an online task management and to do list. He swears by it. I always see him updating his lists on the computer. I even tease him about it sometimes. I think I'll look into it this weekend.

Something else my husband said made a huge difference was reading the book Getting Things Done. I remember a few years ago when he read it - he started putting packs of index cards in his car and writing everything down - I thought he was a little crazy, but he's still doing it today and recommends the book to loads of people. Here's a little thing I found about the book:

So how does GTD work?

This is a really summarized version, but here it is, PowerPoint-style:

  1. identify all the stuff in your life that isn’t in the right place (close all open loops)
  2. get rid of the stuff that isn’t yours or you don’t need right now
  3. create a right place that you trust and that supports your working style and values
  4. put your stuff in the right place, consistently
  5. do your stuff in a way that honors your time, your energy, and the context of any given moment
  6. iterate and refactor mercilessly

The author knows me! I hate "stuff"! The book is downloaded to our iPad, so I think I'm just going to make myself read it. I, of course, have a list of books a mile long I want to read (most of them pertaining to homeschooling or education), but I think reading this book will be a wonderful investment in my organizational future!

If you have read this and have an organizational tool that really helps you, please let me know! I am open to suggestions.

This post is linked up to the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Hop over and see how everyone else's week went.

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