I am a doer, so I am. I have always been one, come to think of it, but my lists shaped up and started to feature consistently in my life after a few summers of working in Switzerland in children’s camps. I learned so many things during those summers but most of all, I understood the importance of sanitation, organisation and discipline :-).
You see, I am a firm believer in “plan for success.” In my opinion, a mentality of “good things happen to those who believe in good things” characterises people who are too lazy to plan and work. As a family, we live our lives according to the slogan “good things happen to those who plan ahead!”
As I wrote in a previous post last week, when it comes to juggling modern parenting tasks, good organisational skills are essential for the smooth running of a household. I try at the moment to balance many “plates” and as any juggler worth his/her salt, I need to know my tricks really well in order to maintain harmony in our lives. I am, at the moment, studying, building a home business, expecting a baby and being a mummy, all at once. My tips?
- Prioritise daily and hourly. Be flexible about when things get done, as long as everything gets done in the end!
This week I will need to tick several very important things on my to-do list. I need to hand in my first assignment. Write five blog posts. Chauffeur Emma around to some of her after-school activities. Pack our belongings as we’ll be moving house on Saturday!!
How do I plan to do it? By breaking the days into hours and by filling every hour with a task, in order of priority and circumstances.
For example, Emma woke up this morning at 6.30. I was intending to read for my assignment but since reading is impossible with a small child around, I recruited hubby who started work late today and we managed to do some much needed packing in that hour and a half before he headed out!
- Plan ahead! Especially for big things like holidays, life insurance cover, Christmas expenditure…etc.
Hubby has started budgeting carefully our income a year ago, when we realised with horror that our outgoings were larger than our incomes! We also sat down and spoke about serious situations, like illness or sudden death of one or both of us, and we decided that life insurance was an expense worth making in order to provide a safety net for each other in the very unfortunate case.
He also budgets every month for our summer holidays and we think ahead when it comes to birthday parties (I paid for Emma’s in April, since the soft play area she likes was running a promotion!) and Christmas expenses (as I said in a previous post, I asked Emma to choose only two items, which I already got in the half price sales Sainsbury’s is running at the moment!)
- Don’t put things off, it will only make you stress out and ultimately cram your days!
Planning and to-do lists are not meant to “cramp your style”, as some people think, but they are there to help you uncram your days! If you have a written down or mental plan for the day you will be more efficient in achieving your short and long-term goals.You will also feel satisfied and happy once things get ticked off your list as you will know the end is in sight!
Avoid planning and you may end up running around like a headless chicken, trying to achieve unreasonable tasks for the amount of time and energy you have at your disposal.
This entry is my blog post contribution to the challenge the Mumsnet team and Aviva launched recently regarding life insurance. The opinions and views expressed are entirely my own. If you want to learn more about what life insurance is and what Aviva can offer you in this sense, please watch the video below: