If I described my dream day to you, it would include waking leisurely, sitting down to a peaceful, nutritious and delicious breakfast and spending time connecting with the people I love most. My day would be unplanned, but full of thrilling moments of unexpected adventure, while simultaneously being very productive.
This is definitely a dream. Not a reality.
Being spontaneous, doesn’t go hand in hand with being productive.
I have to admit to you that I love having time to think, to feel, to create, and to connect. I like to breathe in the present moment, taking in every blessing, feeling the wind against my face, meditating on the beauty and glory of God. Imagining. Reading stories that take me to other worlds. Experimenting with colors, textures, and techniques as I create art. Talking to my good friends for hours about life, love, family and Jesus. Honey, that’s what I call good living. I NEED time like this. It recharges me.
At the same time, I long to do work that is meaningful. That makes a difference in the lives of others, beginning with my family.
That takes planning and organization.
And oh how I detest planning and organization! Mostly, because I feel that the American culture is overly obsessed with everything being efficient, organized and planned. So much so, that I often feel that we plan the joy out of life. We squeeze as many activities as possible, into the smallest time window. We leave no margin. We leave little time to enjoy the simple things. Everything must run smoothly. No hiccups. No unexpected occurances. Everything must go as planned. Or else… well, we feel completely stressed and out of control.
By the way, we aren’t in control.
I know there are other homeschoolers out there without perfectly organized, and clean homes. Who struggle to keep their ducks in a row. If you’re like me, you don’t know where the ducks are. ” I had them right here and somebody moved the ducks! Ah!!!!” Is there anybody else out there like me?
Because I’m not a natural organizer and planner, I need organization to be super simple, and super effective.
Let me digress for a moment. Though I love living life adventurously, creatively and spontaneously, I also want my time to be impactful. I also find myself extremely overwhelmed when I’m not organized. Avoiding planning, doesn’t make all the things I have to do disappear. They still have to be done. Those tasks, and ideas stay floating around in my head. I find myself feeling overwhelmed. I forget things. And I find myself wasting time and energy.
When I plan and organize, I’m able to get more done, faster. I’m not spinning my wheels and going no where.
So I want to share a few tips and resources to help people like me get organized.
- Get help from people who are natural organizers and planners. Use what they use and adapt it. Here are planners that you can print out and use for your homeschool. I love people with this gift. They bring order to chaos.
- http://www.tinasdynamichomeschoolplus.com/free-printables/7-step-curriculum-planner/ great resources for parents homeschooling highschool students
- http://inspiredtoaction.com/ebook/ subscribe to her list in order to get the ebook for free. This isn’t a homeschool planner, but it’s great for helping a mom plan and organize her day
- http://homeschool.mardel.com/Intro you must subscribe to the list in order to get this homeschool planning resource
- http://theartofsimple.net/downloads/ several planners that you can use for your home and life
- http://theartofsimple.net/homeschoolplanner cost: $4 This is probably what I’ll be using this year since I like the author’s simple style. Remember, I need super simple!
- Keep it simple. The more complicated the system, the less likely it is that you’ll stay consistent or continue with the system. Remember planning and organizing are only tools. These tools helps us achieve our goals.
- Set aside certain times for focusing on planning and organization. I use the summer for this. I don’t do much planning or organization during the school year. If I’ve invested my time well in the summer, all I have to do is implement the systems I’ve put in place. When I don’t plan in advance, I waste time, and brain power trying to decide what to do, how to do it, etc. It’s exhausting!
- Some things just need to work on auto pilot! Think about it. If you had to think about every single thing you did all day, it would be exhausting. “Put feet on floor” “Stand up” “Ok, what’s next” “Oh yes, put one foot in front of the other” ” Now what?” Life is simplified GREATLY when we don’t have to think of what to do next. Our energy can be spent connecting with our children, dealing with difficult issues, exploring, researching, etc. etc. If your kids know what to do, they can be ALOT more independent.
- Stay flexible. Things often don’t go as you planned. Remember, there is a Master Planner. Cooperate with His Master Plan, and things will go well with you.
Here’s the weird thing. When I organize and plan, I actually have MORE time to be creative, and spontaneous. I’m more at peace. My children are more at peace. And I’m to live with greater impact and intentionality.
What planning and organization strategies or resources have worked for you? Please share in the comments below so we can all benefit.
What benefits have you enjoyed from being more organized?