This post is by Tami Rodriguez.
Planning can make life so much easier. It can obviously help us be more prepared but it can also lessen stress and even increase our confidence. It’s amazing how as women we beat ourselves up when we forget something or an event sneaks up on us. If you’re not a regular planner, you probably have no idea how much you’re juggling and have swirling in your brain. You may know you’re overwhelmed, but once you write it all down you’ll suddenly have great sympathy for yourself when you realize what you’ve been trying to do in your head!
Sometimes people try planning and think it just doesn’t work for them. Others may try 50 different planners thinking they just can’t find the right one. The real problem may be in not understanding that planning is a process. My best advice to someone wanting to become a better planner is to think of planning in three steps. 1. Monthly 2. Weekly 3. Daily.
About two weeks from the end of the month, I will sit down and look at the coming month. I have several kids with birthdays at the beginning of months, and I can’t tell you how often I’ve been happily enjoying summer in July and then realize my son’s birthday is 2 days away because surprise! It’s August! So I started monthly planning to avoid that particular situation but have since found it to be so helpful in remembering friends' birthdays and for planning fun seasonal things for my family. Thinking ahead helps me remember I want to go apple picking in September or to plan silly pranks for April Fools. Those fun extras decided at the last minute feel stressful to me, but when planned ahead, I feel put together and like a “good mom” doing the things I always wanted to.
Next up is weekly planning. Some people do Sundays but for me that is just not enough time to prepare for a Monday morning need I may have forgotten. I usually plan Friday evening or Saturday morning. I will write out appointments and activities for the coming week, dinners that will match the busyness of our days and any extras going on that week. I also use that time to make or confirm an online grocery order. As thoughts pop to mind during the week, like needing to stop at the library or an odd store run, I look at my weekly layout and see where that fits best and plug it in.
Last is daily planning. With the week set out it’s usually just a quick glance, but sometimes the day is so busy, I need to write when and how I’m going to get it all done. This may be a simple checklist or a more detailed timeline. Whatever works best for your brain, use it! I do this in the evening when my family is watching tv or kids are gone at activities. Knowing what the coming day holds helps me sleep better and gives me a chance to prepare by setting out my outfit and gathering any supplies I may need for the next day.
Not having things sneak up on me, preparing fun things for my family, and being able to sleep well, knowing what the coming day holds are just a few of the many reasons I love planning. No more feeling like everything is urgent. There is time for all God has called me to. My goal is to be planned and peaceful, not rushed and stressed. You can be too by spending even as little as 15 minutes on monthly and weekly planning and then checking that plan each evening before you head to bed. Give it a try!
Tami Rodriguez has been married to her high school sweetheart for 29 years and has 5 children plus a lovely daughter in law! She has homeschooled for 18 years and still has 5 more to go...send coffee! Tami is a lifelong learner who loves to study God’s Word and share with others whenever given the opportunity. You can find her living life as “just a mom who likes to write” over on instagram @rodfamily007.
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