Here at Padtastic, you know we are ALL about the planning! It helps clear our minds, prioritise our tasks, and allows us to make time for ourselves.
But, of course, everyone plans a little differently. Whether you plan your daily work life, your family plans and events, your meal prepping, or your whole year! - there are so many diverse ways to keep yourself organised.
If you are looking for some inspiration to help you keep on top of your to-do list, your busy social life or family day-to-day life, we have asked our Creative Feedback Team for their tips and tricks!
I am not a naturally organised person, so it doesn’t come easy, but with 14 and 11-year-old daughters who both do after school activities and have a better social life than us, we need to keep on top of things.
Every Sunday I will sit down and set out my week. I make sure it is all written in my LBD diary and my work diary, then I update our household weekly planner hanging in the kitchen. I am in the process of setting up a command centre in my kitchen which will feature our weekly planner, meal plan and chore chart.
On Friday afternoons, I plan out my weekend. I make a list of what to cook and any cleaning that needs doing. I try to do a lot of lunch box cooking on weekends as Miss 14 is on the bus at 6.50am. Sandwiches are not a favourite, so I tend to cook finger foods such as meatballs and chicken strips.
I set aside 5-10 minutes before I head to bed to look over the lists and cross off jobs or add more. Invitations and events are added straight away to one of the diaries. I throw a load of washing on every second night and set it to finish when I wake.
For a long time, I have struggled with anxiety. I would go to bed at night and not be able to sleep, a million things running through my brain. Then I came across a blog that said to keep a notepad and pen beside your bed and when you have these things running through your mind to write them down as it gets them on paper; somewhere you can see it and hence alleviates the anxiety so you’re not worried you will forget.
That’s the best thing I ever did!
Now I have notepads scattered through the house so I can write the things I need to remember, appointments, parties, school events for the kids. Then on a Saturday afternoon, I will collect the pages and transfer it all into my planner.
If I don’t take the Saturday to nut out our week and my shopping and meals then the week ahead feels chaotic and I feel dizzy, but if it’s down on paper I just feel less anxious, more in control, and just better equipped to handle the other unplanned things life throws at me.
Amanda asked for our best planning tips. But how do you start planning to begin with? I'm still on my starting to plan journey so I'm am nowhere near an expert but am happy to share what has or hasn't worked for me.
I'd like to say now that flexibility is the key but that isn't true for me. I give myself an inch and I take 10 miles and then get cranky at myself for not succeeding.
I have an image in my brain of a filled-in diary, complete meal plans, 15-minute cleaning zone roster and a tidy, organised house to boot. The reality is trying to tackle all of these at once isn't working ... it's a Shar's brain explosion mess!
So, I need to focus on one thing at a time and go from there. Currently, I've been successful at keeping my washing under control (today after camping on the weekend is the first time I've had a basket of washing lying around in 6 months).
My current challenge is meal planning. I'm sick of the 'what am I going to cook for dinner tonight' brain train on my way home from work or the 'what am I taking for lunch ... bugger it, I'll just buy it' which means a good $10 out of the budget.
I've got my notepad to start ... first mission, meal plan from what is already in the freezer. I'm happy to report breakfast is under control. I cook a batch of porridge on a Sunday night and portion it up for the week for me. Mr 3 has Weet-Bix and jam toast every day so that is easy. Small steps, right?
It doesn’t matter if it’s just you or a family of 10, we are all busy. I myself run a household of 5 - 3 sons (13,6 and 2, two of which have additional needs), my “man child” as I fondly refer to him as (who works away a large majority of the time) and I also run a small business from home.
How do I keep it all together? You guessed it... Planners and lists. Our main family planner is displayed on a book stand in our entryway for easy viewing, I also then have separate planners for business, events, crafting and more. On Sundays I plan out our next week, not only is this functional for me but it is also the day I enjoy most where I spend time expressing some decorative flair onto the pages.
It is very important to find a planning style that suits you, this may take time with trial and error since there are so many options out there but if you are really struggling I suggest seeing if you have a local planner meet group in your area. After planning for as long as I can remember I started one of these groups where we meet monthly, chat and view each other’s planning styles. This is an amazing way of sharing ideas and getting a feel for if someone else has an example of a style perfect for you.
Remember though the person in charge of your day is you!
I don't come from a family that's "into" plans, our family is all about 'winging it'. I, however, can't do that - I like to plan out my entire day hour by hour in my LBD planner, I write out our family dinners on my Padtastic meal planning notepad.
I give our family a "peek at the week" in our household command centre - as well as noting out important dates/events in our communal monthly calendar.
For me planning everything gets all the craziness out of my head and onto paper in front of me, so I can easily see what needs to be done - I don't need to stress out about forgetting anything.
At any point in the day, I (or my family members) can see what's on and what needs to be done. It calms my anxious thoughts and gives me peace of mind.
We'd love to know how you plan, so drop us a line or two below to let us in on your planning method.