Those who know me best know that I am the definition of a Type-A personality. I think that’s why I have friends who are the complete opposite of me; I couldn’t stand another Type-A! LOL. In any case, this is a brief summary of my scheduling addiction and how I use it to manage our day with a toddler.
Yes – calendars. I have two, one of which appears on all my devices electronically and one that is physical wall calendar. Working from home with a toddler around can be challenging, but after about 6 months I realized having my day planned out allowed me to enjoy more freedom. And although that sounds counterproductive, I found it very liberating to know that my clients work would be completed when my son slept or went to school.
2. Phone Reminders
Normal everyday “domestic duties” aside (who can ignore a sink full of dishes??), there are things as a mom you can tend to forget easily. Call the cable company, schedule maintenance, balance the checkbook: all things that when they come to mind, I need to remember and use my phones reminder setting to do so. “Remind me tomorrow morning to call the doctor” or “Remind me in one week to get an oil change”. It keeps me on my toes and gives me a virtual list to cross off when I complete a task. It’s very satisfying! But of course, three more tasks are added as soon as that one if finished, but so goes life!
3. Note Taking
I’ve recently adopted an e-note system Evernote for just about everything I do, from this blog, to certifications I am working on and my volunteer activities. It’s searchable, and accessible on my phone, which of course I have everywhere I go. Someone is looking for a phone number while I am on the way out of town – I’ve got it! Need to update my colleagues on an event they are managing -I’ve got it!
4. Sharing is Caring
Outsource, delegate and ask for help! This is still a struggle for me, but I am working on it! Having partners in what you are trying to accomplish can really help alleviate the burden of feeling you have to do it all. Over commitment is a common struggle with those “people pleasers” of the world, but having people who can share the responsibilities with you can be incredibly liberating. Plus, you get the added bonus of having social interactions with others, which can be the answer to the isolation some parents feel when they work from home.
Netflix is calling my name! The DVR is filling up and my son is at a stage where he wants to have active, uninterrupted time with mommy (or really just Daddy when he’s home! LOL). With so many obvious distractions and interruptions, unexpected events and times when you “just don’t feel like it” how does scheduling work?
For me, I establish the expectations with clients, friends, family and others who count on me that I WILL have these unexpected events that will disrupt my ability to stay to schedule. Especially with clients, if they are not supportive or okay with these – I will not take them on as clients and kindly refer them to other service providers. For others who can handle it, that is the key to my success – I handle the problem, interruption or just take a day off to recoup. Then as soon as I am able to, I catch back up and move forward. My e-calendar is a fluid system where when one event falls through or needs to be moved, I know my routine well enough to put it in a suitable place that will benefit everyone involved.
While scheduling life is not everyone’s forte or a necessity, I find that as a mom, wife, friend and colleague it allows me the flexibility and determination to accomplish all my goals. When I feel there are too many “balls in the air”, I will pass along or move on from juggling that particular one. It’s all about balance and determination.
What is your motivation? How do you handle your day-to-day? Share your thoughts or tweet me @nwhite05.
Image credit: photosteve101 via Flickr