Welcome to Part 6 of the Home Management Series! Today we begin by delving into the systems in our homes. When I talk about systems, I am referring to the specific tools (read: planners & calendars) and activities that help us to stay on track with everything we have covered so far in this series. Below I will dive into some of the things that have helped me the most. Let’s get started.
Pick a Scheduling System
The best place to start is to figure out a scheduling system. This includes maintaining a family calendar and that running list of to-dos. How you are going to keep track of everything on your plate? And as an added bonus, does this system allow everyone in your family to be on the same page? I use a variety of Trello boards, Google Calendars, and a paper planner. This works well for my family but it’s definitely a lot to manage. If you are just starting out, I would suggest you pick one and use it regularly. My favorite for beginners is Google Calendar!
How it works for me: Trello boards are used to keep the bigger picture items on track. I especially recommend Trello for anyone on-the-go. Google Calendar works wonderfully because I can share our scheduled appointments with David and I also like to share select events with my parents (for babysitting or planning purposes). I use Rachel Hollis’ Priority Planner for my daily & weekly goal planning. It is quite bulky and large so it stays on my desk, which is also why I like to also have the digital options when I’m out and about.
Family Planning Meeting
Our Family Planning Meeting has been a huge game-changer for us and helps to get everyone on the same page as we start a new week. Each Sunday night, David and I pour a glass of wine and go through the week ahead in detail. It takes us about 1-hour start to finish. We talk about any evening activities, David’s work events, additional child-care needs, our plan for date night, and generally catch up about the week ahead. Eventually, our goal is to include the kids in this meeting when they get a little bit older.
Recently, after listening to a Nancy Ray podcast, we additionally started incorporating specific questions at the end of each meeting. It has been so life-giving to our marriage to hear what is on the heart of each other. It’s honestly amazing the discussions that have come from these simple questions. Here they are:
- What brought you joy this week?
- What was something that was hard this week?
- What’s one specific thing I can do for you this week?
- How can I pray for you this week?
- Is there anything left unspoken or unsaid?
- What’s a dream, desire or thought on your mind this week?
If you want to get started, there are tons of good online resources for the general Sunday night framework and I’ve linked a few in the below resources for you.
Typically the last Saturday of the month is my “duty day”. The goal is to check off all the must-do items on my list for the month ahead in one swoop. I got this idea from Ashlyn Writes and you can read more about it in this blog post. Here is the list of everything I do:
- Monthly goal planning with Power Sheets
- Book any babysitters for special events
- Schedule monthly donation pick-up. I like the Salvation Army.
- Plan out the 4 books to read and order them, if necessary
- Write and postmark any birthday cards
- Purchase birthday presents
- Clean out iPhone photos & move to hard-drive
- Clean out digital files & office paperwork
This typically takes a significant part of the morning and afternoon but saves me so much time and energy throughout the month. I like to do it on Saturdays so David can help with the child-care! It’s best when I can shut myself in the office for a few hours.
Currently, I use Friday afternoons for my weekly planning. This includes my meal planning, grocery delivery and planning out the week ahead in my Priority Planner. The Priority Planner has been a great way to keep on track with my personal and family goals. This isn’t a calendar – it is a strategic way to make time for what matters to you. Highly recommend. This entire planning process takes me about 1.5 hours (during naps) and I enjoy getting it all done before the weekend begins.
Another one of the systems that work great is theming your days. I batch all the items together to save time and mental capacity. Here is what my typical week looks like:
- Sunday = Rest
- Monday = Admin Days (errands, to-do)
- Tuesday = Kids
- Wednesday = Content Creation
- Thursday = Kids
- Friday = Self
- Saturday = Home/Family
Power Sheets for yearly goal planning
Priority Planner for daily goal planning
Thanks for tuning in for our talk about systems! You can see the entire home management series here and as always you can leave a comment below or shoot an email to me here. See you back here next week as kick-off a new week about traditions. XO