Just ducking in to say "Hi".
I've missed visiting here regularly. My life is kind of scrambled and crazy; I need to organize my chaos.
Years ago, when I was a returning student in college, I took a class called "Becoming a Master Student"; the book is for sale at amazon.com. It was in this class that I learned how to make a schedule to manage my chaos.
I was not just a returning student. I was a returning student who had recently gone through a divorce and was the custodial parent of three young children:a four year old, a 2 year old, and a nine month old. And, I was taking a full load while working part time.
I don't think my life has ever been fuller. Thank heavens for Elaine, my teacher, for the book, and for that recommended class.
The first step of organizing my schedule was to keep track, in 15 minute increments, of what I did for a few days: showering, grooming, studying, working, house keeping, shopping, visiting with friends, picking up the kids from daycare. Whatever I did, it had to be written down.
The next step was to look over the record and write down the things that I did that were the same every day. Next I had to fit in things that had happened more sporatically, giving every minute of the day a label; even free time was labeled.
The end result was a tidy, organized day: a place for everything, and everything in its place. Organizing time is really the same as organizing tangable objects. It was an amazing eye opener. My time, which was precious, had been wasted here and there throughout the day.
I found that time, like money, needs to be budgeted or it will be wasted. Unlike money, however, time cannot be saved. Each minute must be used well or it will be frittered away, never to be seen again.
Since that time I have used that same method of organizing time. When new time demands happen, like school starting or ending, a new baby born, a move to a new home, or starting a new job, a new schedule needs to be made.
I live my life for a couple of weeks without intentionally putting time restraints down, sans time allotted to get ready and arrive at set times. After that, I see what routines have naturally been made and followed. I write down those things that have worked and then look at time misused or unused. If the routine hasn't worked well, I figure out why and then make necessary adjustments. It is amazing how much can be tightly fit into a schedule and gotten done.
After living for many years with a schedule, I have come to see it as a friend. At the beginning, I have to admit, I looked at my schedule as my task master and sometimes rebelled. Sometimes I would think, "Don't tell *me* what to do!" After seeing the peace that a schedule brings, I now enjoy the schedule as a friend recommending what will bring me less worry and more peace.
A good day planner organizer is a must for those working, schooling, or just spending most of their time away from home. If you are mostly at home, a wall calendar works pretty well, but can be supplemented by a day planner organizer to be taken away from home. If you do use a wall calender and a day planner organizer together, be sure to make notes in both to reflect the day's plans, otherwise you will miss important events when you fail to look at one of them.
I highly recommend the book, "Becoming a Master Student". It has more information than just planning and organizing your day. It will give you a fresh outlook on the mundane and will help you to make the most of your time.