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Jan 12, 2011

The Practice of Planning

Sometimes I feel like I'm the most scatter-brained person on the planet. I'd like to think I'm an organized person, but in actuality, I have more fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants days than intentional, planned out days. I can SURVIVE this way. I have. But I cannot THRIVE this way. I'm mentioned my need to be a better planner before. And I go through seasons when I feel like I do really well, but things always seem to go downhill after a while and I find myself back in survival mode. (By the way, if you think I've about to share the answer for consistency in this area, you're reading the wrong blog post because I'm still clueless as to how to keep things running smoothly in a home all the time. If you've got answers, please share!)
I have, however, found something that helps me to recalibrate my compass when I start heading in the wrong direction. It's something I learned over at the Passionate Homemaking blog (a good one to add to your Google Reader if you haven't already!). When I read about Lindsay's weekly planning and prayer retreat last year, I decided I needed to make this one of my practices this year. The idea is basically to set aside an hour or two every week (kid free!) to plan the week ahead. Thankfully, Kevin's schedule is flexible enough that getting his help during the week is not that big of a deal as long as I communicate with him a little in advance.
These are the cues/questions I've decided to prompt myself with in an effort to make the most out of the upcoming week:
  • Pray.
  • What is something special I can do for my husband this week?
  • What special activity can I do with Silas this week?
  • Who can I minister to this week?
  • Are there any upcoming birthdays/holidays/vacations/special events to prepare for?
  • What house cleaning, errands, contacts, projects need to get done this week?
  • Review Bills/Banking for the week.
  • Make a menu plan for the week.
I plan to go through the list with a calendar in hand so that I can schedule activities on their respective days, as well as see what we already have planned for the year. I've already practiced this little exercise twice, and both times it was well worth the effort. It may take an hour or two up front, but it winds up saving me PLENTY of time in the long run. This is just one of the many ways I hope to keep PERSPECTIVE this year.

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