Journey with me through a year of finding the joy in our lives, traveling the pathway to H.O.P.E. – Harmony, Orderliness, Prosperity and Excellence! Let’s commit to charting our course over the days of the week, navigating our way from clutter to clarity – one step, one decision, one action at a time!
“Plan your Work and Work Your Plan” – Napolean Hill
A plan, no matter how brilliant will never work – IF you don’t work the plan! Famous self-help author, Napolean Hill teaches us many lessons in his writings. But he wasn’t always the successful businessman he appeared to be. He had many failures along his pathway. But he didn’t give up. He planned his work and worked his plan. And that’s what we will be talking about this week. Creating our Daily, Weekly, Monthly Plan. The goal is to create a reasonable, realistic and results oriented plan that allows us to keep our home in good shape, while also allowing us time to enjoy family, fun, fitness & friendship!
1. TUESDAY – Plan your Daily Tasks
Hopefully you selected an organizing system last week. If you didn’t, then let’s forge onward using my index card system for now. No index cards in the house? No worries, make your own temporary cards with printer paper, cut into 4 “cards”. You’ll need about 10-12 cards. If you have kids old enough to assist, ask them to help fold & cut. Write at the top centre of each card the word DAILY. In the top left corner write the word Est. Time and draw a line beside it. In the top right corner write Who with a line beside it. In the bottom left corner write Last Done with a line beside it and in the bottom right corner write Next Due with a line beside it. In the centre of the card write the daily task to be done. Prepare the rest of the cards. You may not use all of them or you may need more cards, depending on your Daily Routine.
Think about what tasks need to be done daily; for example, Meal Preparation. If you live alone, you probably don’t need a card for this, but if you have a life partner or teenagers consider sharing this task with them. (We’ll talk about teenagers in more depth in the weeks to come) For younger kids who don’t read yet read you could make cards for them with pictures on them, like a bed that’s made, toys sorted into bins, etc. When my kids were very young, e sang the Tidy-Up song when it was time to do their tasks. Little did they know I was preparing them for the Grown-up version for their teen years!
Continue making cards for the rest of your daily tasks. Pencil in the temporary information like the estimated time, name of person assigned, last done, next due etc. The estimated time may surprise you. Many tasks don’t take as long as we think they do. Once you realize that you can tidy up the bathroom in less than 10 minutes, you’ll be more inclined to “Just Do It” as the famous slogan goes. Be reasonable in your goals. No one wants to sign up for 2 hours of housework everyday (well, maybe some people, but not me!) I can however, whirl through a few cards everyday to keep things looking decent until I get to my Weekly Routine.
Once you’ve got your Daily cards prepared start on your Weekly and Monthly tasks. Same method as above. As you go through the year, you’ll also have Annual tasks (like renewing your licence plate, booking a furnace tune-up or a physical check-up) and Seasonal Tasks (like preparing the garden beds or power washing the house). You’ll need to store your cards in a container (like a recipe box) and sort with dividers marked 1–31 and January to December. You can buy these at a local office supply store.
There were times in my life when I hired a house cleaner, thinking this would solve all my problems and I wouldn’t need the cards. Guess what? I still had the job of figuring out dinner, laundry, pet care, remembering to renew my driver licence and where to store everything – like batteries, first aid supplies & off-season sports stuff. I quickly learned that vacuuming the carpets and mopping the floors were the easy part of managing a home – it was all the other stuff that overwhelmed me. But we’ll deal with that stuff a bit further on.
For now, let’s get our Daily Routine up & running! Please know that occasionally, the wheels will fall off and whatever we planned for the day will have to be adjusted. Maybe it’s an emergency work deadline, or a flu bug, or the furnace broke down, or the dog got out of the yard and we’re on the chase around the neighbourhood. Things happen that we didn’t make a card for. On these days, we need to adjust our plans and take care of the urgency or illness. We are not robots and life is sometimes unpredictable. The cards are a plan – not a demand! If, however, we find we’re dumping the card system everyday, then it’s time to re-assess what we consider an urgency. Hopefully our lives are not that strained that everyday brings a new emergency!
2. Wednesday through Monday – work your Cards the best you can.
If it has always been a struggle for you to be consistent then it will take a bit of time to develop the self discipline needed. I’m a creative spirit by nature and love letting myself fall down rabbit holes, but over the years I’ve learned the value of getting my basic tasks done first so that I can let myself free fall afterwards – with paying for the fall out. And that, dear readers, is the real reason I use an index card organizing system – for the free fall of it!
3. TUESDAY, Next Week – Meet me here next Tuesday to continue our journey together.
Please tune into to my weekly radio show on The Rogue, CFTR, to hear my guest panel share their own home management challenges, tips and tricks!
H.O.P.E. is on the horizon my fellow Pathways traveller – one step, one decision, one action at a time!