Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Land Overwhelmdom

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.
- A. A. Milne

As I write this I am in the land of Overwhelmdom. I have a ton to do and I start one thing and then think about something else, wonder if I should be doing that, switch gears and start a new task, only to continue through this vicious cycle a few billion times and then not complete a thing. Have you ever felt that way? I know I need to get organized, write things down (and/or collect all the notes I have written and combine it into one list), set priorities, tackle one thing at a time, and not throw everything (and the kitchen sink) in to the equation.

Prior to being a SAHM, I was uber organized…my Franklin planner (I am dating myself, I know) was with me everywhere I went. If someone needed to set up a meeting, I was ready. My To Do List was by my side and organized with A, B, and C priorities. I have color-coded notebooks that kept track of various projects. My desk, although cluttered, was a place that I would knock things off my list. When my desk, head, and life would get too messy I dive into one of my favorite things…I would ORGANIZE! I loved to tackle big messes. And I still do – in fact the kid’s toys all have their places. In our playroom each toy’s “home” is labeled, making it easy for the boys to help clean up. When friends are looking for new ways to rearrange or organize their space (whether is be a tiny closet or a “great room”), I thoroughly enjoy checking out the situation and offer creative solutions and suggestions. Even so that, after friends adopted a new baby (their third child), part of my gift (at their request) was helping with them organize baby clothes, toys, and playroom. Oddly, I find that FUN – invigorating even!

So why then do I now have such a hard time organizing my life? My Franklin Planner is gone. And it is too big and bulky anyway. For years, my schedule was defined by my babies’ needs and my schedule was pretty much the same routine day to day – no need to write that down. The random meeting or event I wrote on the family calendar that hung in the kitchen. It worked. But, since the boys started preschool they have more things to do and I am busier with various meetings, volunteering, classes, and activities. We have outgrown the monthly family calendar. So now, I need to figure out the best way to keep life organized. This past weekend, I organized my home office area and developed some filing systems. It felt good and I am excited. But still, some of the daily To Dos are sliding through the cracks. I have tried out various calendars, planners, and to do lists and looked into various organizing system, but none have worked as well as I would like.

So I am looking for advice…do you have any good mommy organizing systems that you use? Specifically I am looking for something that is portable (for meetings) and paper (because I get too much satisfaction of physically taking a pen to paper and crossing things off my list).

‘Cuz what I know for sure, is that when I am organized and accomplishing valued and important tasks, I feel much better than when I am wallowing in the land of Overwhelmdom.


SeaStar Creations said...

hey kim :) i bought a smaller calendar that can slip into my (big) purse and i keep everything in it. i tried a palm pilot but it was too advanced -- i didn't need all the bells and whistles. so this little calendar from target works perfect. i was making it too complicated. and like you, things were falling through the cracks. this helps. hope you find your best solution :) i hear it only gets worse as they get older. geeesh!!! we are in for it!


chasingblue said...

I made myself a family notebook. It has our daily schedule as well as a schedule for cleaning. Every room gets a little bit of work everyday and I always have one BIG project for the week. For stuff I need to write down I have a big calendar as well as my PTA calendar. I tried an online to do list and I've seen it work for other people but like you said- there is something satisfying about crossing something out with a big old fat marker or pencil.

The most important thing is not worrying about the stuff you didn't do but celebrating the stuff that you did do! :)

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