I’m not a particularly routine or organised person. I’m fairly ‘laid back’ (which makes it sound like a positive trait when truth be told I’m a tad lazy, I often leave things until the last minute and my quiet life can sometimes feel a bit chaotic).
As you all know, I’ve recently started my own business with Thermomix. I’m also a part time student (although this session I’m taking Summer holidays (already, I’ve only done 2 units!), a full time SAHM, wife, friend, human etc. My husband works a 4 weeks roster which means he works different days and shifts each week and as our girls get older and I try to run a successful hobby business and earn another degree there are a lot of balls to juggle. My ‘laid back’ approach just isn’t going to cut it if I want to make 2016 a successful one. So its time to diarise our lives – to have it all there, in black and white (well, not just black and white, I can’t have a boring planner!) so we all know what is going on and when. So after lots of pinning, reading, glueing/taping/stickering and diary shopping here are a few ideas I would like to share with you 3 tips for how I’m going to get organised and stay organised in 2016.
I’m tripling up with my diarising – it might seem like a lot but its actually not. I have my big green thermomix planner which I keep handy at all times at home and take with me to demos and Thermomix meetings etc, a small diary that lives in my handbag so even if I don’t have my big, bulky planner I still can make appts, demos and plans when I’m out and about AND a large print calendar which lives on our kitchen wall (when our kitchen isn’t being renovated – it currently lives on our dining room wall.) so that if I’m out with my diary and planner, Mr Mixie still knows whats going on. If you’re tech savy you could probably find an awesome ap to make this process less time consuming but pen and paper works for me 🙂
My diary has to work for me! I have to want to use it so that I continue to use it. For me that means decorating it; assorted washi tapes, pretty post its, stickers. This can be as simple or extravagant, expensive or budget friendly as you like. Kmart and eBay and magic scotch tape are my best friends. My diary is visually appealing to me as well as easy to see whats happening at a glance because I decorate it to be that way.
Another important part in personalising your diary is to not feel stuck by the sections, headings etc it may have – use those pages in a way that will be most productive and beneficial for you. Also stick in extra paper and pages if you need them.
On every week page of my planner I have a menu plan taped in – its a notepad page with the days of the week listed on it, I write down our meals and then I can quickly see what we are having each day, easily create a shopping list, know what foods I need to prepare in advance etc. Each weekly page also has a huge section labels notes for each week day. I don’t need that much space so instead I divided the space with washi tape and now have a to-do list/action plan on the bottom of one page and a follow up area on the bottom of the second page.
On the reverse of every month view page the planner I have had an expenses list – I glued some cute post it notes over the titles so instead its now my ‘Hola’ page – a list of people I need to contact, follow up calls to see how my customers are going with their thermomix, people who wanted to book a demo in a month or 2, customers who have asked me to contact them about specific incentives which are now running etc.
In the back of my planner there is a page for recording staff holidays – I don’t have any staff! Instead I use this to keep track of my business actions (demos, sales, meetings, blogs, newsletters, deliveries etc etc) in the top 3rd of the page, the middle section of the page I have marked uni session, school terms, school holidays, uni study breaks and my husbands leave times. The bottom section I used for a brilliant idea I got from Tash Guthrie – Work Business Motherhood on how to keep on tract with your blog. This section I have divided up into over 100 boxes and each box has a blog topic idea in it. If I’m feeling a bit of writers block I can look at the boxes, pick a topic and get to writing. I can also highlight a topic once I’ve written about it which helps me see where I’m up to. I’ve left myself space to jot down 25 more ideas in case I think of something to write at a later time. I can blog from my mobile phone so if I find myself somewhere quiet with 15 minutes to spare I can easily look in my planer for an idea, write and publish a quick blog. Its a great way to keep the momentum going for Not Your Typical 50s Housewife.
Know when you are available!
My very wise branch manager says that you need to diarise because you need to know when you are open for business and my equally wise team manager introduced me to the concepts of Go time, Slow time and No time. These concepts are perfect for creating success in home based business but to me, they really are also very helpful in getting your life organised – business or no business. So basically, from what I’ve learnt on the subject, this is how I diarise.
Write down what you have to do first – work times, daycare & school days, important appointments, classes etc. I do these as far in advance as I can so I can look pages ahead in my planner and know where I’m up to. Next add the things you need to do – chores if you’re anything like me and a totally hopeless house keeper!, fitness time, hobbies that stop you going crazy, time with your family (this is a need which really has to be prioritised – its a busy world, always schedule time to connect with your family over less important things!) etc. I do this weekly mostly and some of these needs are flexible so are a to-do list for the week rather than a scheduled time slot. And finally fill the gaps with the things you want to do – coffee dates, play dates, shopping trips, make hair/beauty etc appointments that haven’t already been scheduled, leisure activities and anything else that comes up along the way.