Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Organizing Life: Part 5 Smile

 I hope you have enjoyed the adventure of organizing life. Now it is time to sum it all up with part 5: Smile. It is kind of ironic that the  last post in this series has stretched my organizing "capacity" to the maximum.
In the midst of organizing my life we have sold our home. It is a good, but that is another story to come soon.  The selling of our home has meant that every daily activity we simplified , scheduled, strategized, and systematizedhas been put on hold and applied towards packing, cleaning, and organizing a move.
So, to write about smiling in the midst of organizing life has truly been easy simple okay let's face it, tough. Life doesn't always happen according to our schedules and this is only proof of that fact. I can however, say we have fared through it with some learning lessons to go with it.

1. A peculiar contraction of the features of the face, which naturally expresses pleasure, moderate joy, approbation or kindness; opposed to frown. Sweet intercourse of looks and smiles.
2. Gay or joyous appearance; as the smiles of spring.
3. Favor; countenance; propitiousness; as the smiles of providence.
 It is easy to smile through anything when we stop and truly evaluate the situation in relation to the big picture in life. The hard part is knowing when to stop the negativity roller coaster. Our emotions can get so involved with our rational thinking skills it can cloud over many problems that could be fixed rather expediently.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.  
(Psalms 42:11)
The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.  
(Proverbs 15:30)
Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. (Acts 2:28)
Our countenance is said to be a "window of the soul" to be more precise it is a quote from Marcus Tullius Cicero a Roman statesman born in 106 BC who said "The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intention."
Organizing Life is shown in our countenances to be sure. Our faces will reflect our attitudes towards what we are doing.  If it is a chore to organize everything right now, stop and re-evaluate why and how you are working towards your goal.  If your goal is to just get by, than it will be reflected in your countenance. Smiling has some great health benefits read this article Health Benefits From Smiling. Sharing a smile may sometimes be harder to do, but it sure goes much farther than a scowl or a frown. Think about what you are multiplying by a smile: joy, happiness, laughter, warmth and beauty.
Photo Courtesy of: Beauty Begins With A Smile

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Organizing Life Part 4: Scheduling

Is this how you feel in your time organization? "I'm late, I'm late, I'm late for a very important date?" Are you constantly try to catch up on getting everything needed to run a household finished in one 24 hour period of time? I know the feeling, very well. Make sure to read these articles first Organizing Life Part 1: Simplify then Part 2: Strategize and finally Part 3: Systematize if you haven't already.
Let me tell you a little secret. I hate schedules! Now, that I have confessed, I understand the reasons for needing a schedule. I can plan accordingly for items and  I use paper to help keep me accountable to the clock a little more, because I understand the value of having a plan.

An old proverb says it best. "He who fails to plan, plans to fail."

A business can't be run without schedules, neither can a home run well without one. Life in general has a schedule. After all God organized time in the Beginning...He  created years, days, and hours for a reason. In reality we all have to meet a schedule whether it is our own or that of someone else. It makes time organization a big factor in the ability to accomplish tasks or go about living in disorganized chaos.

There are several types of schedules: hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly etc. Creating your schedule will include factors that you included in getting a system that works. Let's get started:
  • Start big and then work smaller. Come up with what you want to be accomplished over the next year. Write down goals and needs large and small. This is just what you want not a set concrete system, just a plan to get started. Here is a Goal Plan Form
  • Move to a semester (3month) plan or a seasonal plan that lists specific items that need to be scheduled to get through the year systematically. Then break it down monthly. Want a great household half-size planner or purse size planner? see Donna Young Purse size planner   DonnaYoung Household Planner

Donna Young has a lot of information, worksheets and a computer excel program with her whole web site directly linked as well as a virtual planner for a school year and an automated chore chart maker. She has spent 100s of hours creating these forms and planners most of which are free for downloading to save you money and time! The computerized version planners are available on CD along with her whole website linked for you for only $25.00. Look here: for information on the Young Minds CD . It is a wonderful way to use her website without being online.
  • Work out a weekly schedule, it can be variable or the same from week to week. Include your household chores, meal planning, schooling, field trips and appointments. Vary it as needed. 
  • Daily tasks need to written out as an hourly routine or a general outline of tasks to be covered. You can work with an hour by hour chart or a handy daily checklist to ensure everything gets covered. Both types can be found here: Daily Schedule Planners

I usually go for a generalized plan of action for each day. We have a vary broad age range in our home and needs vary hour to hour and day to day. I work with a format that lists out the goals to be accomplished that day for cleaning, meals, chores, school and free time. Dad will usually let us know of at least one task he would like to have done each day as well. When everything is finished then it is free time. It may vary.
I found an excel planner for excel that I might use at DIY Planner Kits called  Chaos Oasis . I would of course now need to learn excel, well part of my study course I guess.
  DIY Planner has printable planners all downloadable for free (for non commercial use) they come in classical A4 or 81/2" X11" . I think I'll start there and save excel for later.

I won't forget the smart phone schedulers so here is a freebie  pick for scheduling Cozi Family Planner

Happy Scheduling! If you have any links or ideas please share them, we love any tips that people would like to share. I can't physically surf the net to find the "perfect" plan so feel free to list any links or resources you know of.