Thursday, January 28, 2010

Organized Chaos

Let's talk about goals. I've been dying to sit down and make some New Years resolutions, but haven't. So I'm going to do it now, in a post that most likely will be very scattered and incoherent, but I'll at least have something to show for my desire to set some goals for myself.

I've had this huge desire to become more organized. I'm not a very organized person, but I'm super jealous of those who are, so instead of turning green with envy I've decided to look inside myself and make a change. I am starting with little steps like using a planner. I'm actually using the Pocket Docket from simplemom's blog (it's a free download), and I've really enjoyed using it. It helps me think things through in advance (such as what we're having for dinner) thus making me a much more productive person. I guess I'm a list person. I like checking things off my list (my mom is like this so I come by it naturally).
Another area I am seriously lacking organization is with school. I was at the doctor's office yesterday and she said "You have four children and you're homeschooling? You must be really organized". I just nodded my head and pretended it was true. IF ONLY... So in order to make a change here, I've started planning the whole weeks worth of lessons our on Saturday and Sunday. This week it has been super successful. We have stayed on track and in some cases even gotten a little ahead! (don't get me wrong, we're not ahead of where we should be, but ahead of where we were, and that's something) Each kid has a folder for Math, and they share a Reading folder (they are on the same lesson for reading), and in each folder are page protectors (one for each day of the week). So when I'm planning the lessons for the week I put anything they will need in the corresponding pocket. I think having a schedule helps me keep up because If I fall behind I'll have to re-do all my schedule, and doing in originally was a lot of work.

Organizing my time. This one is still a struggle. I have a hard time prioritizing things (maybe thats the reason I'm still not showered and dressed for the day-it's 1:30). I read a post (also on simplemom) that talked about eating a frog first thing each day. Not an actual frog, but I guess Mark Twain said something along the lines of If you eat a live frog at the beginning of each day the rest of your day will be great in comparison. So the organizational point to this is that if you do you least pleasant tasks first (exercising, paying bills, whatever...) you will be more productive, and lets face it, I'm never going to get to the end of the day and say "I'm just too beat to watch some TV", but I always get to the end of the day and say "I'm just too beat to fold that laundry tonight". I'm still mulling this over in my mind and have yet to put it into practice, but it seem logical enough.

In order to encourage myself to spend my free time a little more productively I'm setting a reading goal for myself. I really love to read and I don't make enough time for it. I thought about setting a number of books to read goal, but I don't know if that's such a great idea. First I thought about 50 then I realized -THAT'S A TON- so then I got all self-conscious and froze up. So instead I think what I am going to do is to get involved in a book group. Our Relief Society does a girls night once a week and I though about volunteering to host a book group once a month but if this doesn't work out I will find an online book group to follow. Either way I'm excited to have a reason to pull myself away from whatever I happen to be doing to read.

Another goal I have set for myself is better maintenance of this blog. I think I do alright, but Casey printed the blog off for me as my Christmas present, and I LOVED it. I just feel like that is such a valuable thing. I did wish I had been more thorough in my blogging. My sister Sarah keeps her blog up very well and as I looked through her book (her husband printed hers off also) I noticed lots of really great experiences I had left off my blog. In order to give myself a little credit, we seem to have more than our fair share of camera problems (My father in law gave us his old camera so that has solved our problem for the time being), but I'm challenging myself to post at least twice a week (with or without pictures).

So, long story this never ending attempt to better myself, hopefully I'll look back on this post next year and say "Hey, self, you really did well!"


Kayli said...

Good luck! Those are all goals I could have too (minus preparing lessons for school) because I SUCK at being organized!!! Ugh.

Casey said...

This will probably go down as the longest (textually) blog of all your posts. Wow! Um what about a goal that we get a babysitter once a week?

Searls Stuff said...

I hope you are able to keep on track. It sounds like you have a good start. If you ever need ANYTHING for school, just ask!!

Elaine said...

Amanda you are so great. I'll be in book club with you.

Kathy said...

There's something about that first picture of Casey (that Amanda is kissing) that looks just like Miles. I never noticed that before.

Jamie said...

I love that you have a heartfelt post with intermittent silly pictures. It makes me laugh.

You're doing a great job! I mean, you have ALL your kids home with you all day and you'e obviously getting the laundry washed and teaching your kids--amazing.

I love thinking about organization. Though its not something I practice as much as I'd like I always have time to ponder the subject. Good luck with your organization endeavors.