February is Full
Let me bullet point:
- The Pilot has overnights.
- This means I’m flying solo. 🙂
- I have deadlines.
- Our family has several upcoming appointments.
- We have a few medical issues thrown in the mix.
- I have some kind of appointment or place to be nearly every zipidee do da day.
Meals and lunches and piano lessons and medical issues, and we’re not even an over-scheduled family. Except this month, we kind of are. I have ongoing lists and a new family wall calendar that’s been everywhere but the wall, and notes on my phone, and sticky notes stuffed in my pockets.
And when I’m lucky…I even have a little bit of a meal plan.
Last month, I was staring down a particularly busy week and knew I had to do the task that would most make a difference in my day. Monday nights are filled with sports and music lessons after school. I try to get a meal in the slow cooker on those nights, all ready and waiting for us when we get home. On this night, pasta soup (their favorite).
On this day, Boy Three and I did Monday one better: we got the table set and the bowls laid out so when we walked in the door on a rushed evening, things would look ready.
Sometimes, looking ready is indeed most of the battle. (Think Mary Poppins, “Well begun is half done.”) it helps me tremendously to have begun a thing. So I left laundry in the dryer and clothes on the couch and did the job that made the most difference, creating the most organization and peace during what can be the most difficult transition of the day.
I set out the bowls. Weird, but it made me feel so…ready.
When we walked in, tripping over backpacks and lunch boxes and ourselves, at least the kitchen and dining room table were a-waitin’ on us. On this day, the dinner prep—all the way to the table setting—was the one priority thing.
Some days, the priority thing is laying out clean clothes for the church program.
Other days, just being able to finish one work project is the most important.
Often, working backwards from the end of the day works the best, just like I did with setting out the bowls. Productivity and organization pros refer to it as “reverse engineering.”
Whatever works, and works for you…I say.
When you’re overwhelmed, pick out the one thing that will relieve your mind and create the most order. And leave the other stuff for another day (or if you’re lucky, someone else).
I love the approach of doing the one thing that is weighing most heavily on your mind. Thanks for the wise advice.
You’re welcome, Dorothy! Appreciate your comment. Sometimes for me, the most important is that which comes last in the day (but is a priority.)