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Friday, April 22, 2011

Re-evaluate after lunch

I am forever making "To Do" Lists.  I typically start each day with one.

I'm also guilty of doing the things I find easiest first.  That's not necessarily bad, I can get several of those checked off my list fairly quickly.  However, if a task is something I'm dreading I may put it off.

Lunch gives me a natural break in my day (though not always a long one!).  It's then that I re-evaluate my list.  Have I done the things that must get done today?  If not, I need to use the afternoon to focus on those tasks in order to have them completed by deadline.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More Timer Tips...

I am not advocating buying all new stuff.  However, if you do find yourself in a position where you need to replace something - look for features that make life easier.

I was reluctant to buy a washing machine with a timer feature on it ("Why do I need that?  I've never had it before and I've survived just fine...")

We got the washing machine with the timer feature that allows me to put the clothes and detergent in the machine and set the timer to start up to 7 hours later.  As it turns out, I LOVE IT!

I can put the wash in the machine in the morning and set the timer to wash the clothes later in the day.  When I get home, they're ready to throw in the dryer.  Or, during the summer we can reduce usage during peak hours by setting the washer to run overnight and the clothes are ready to move when I wake up.

The dishwasher features a similar feature.  As other appliances die around the house, this will be a feature I will look for.  I've learned it saves me time and money... and to think I thought it was a waste!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Timers aren't just for kids and kitchens

You may set the timer when cooking.  You may set the timer to let the misbehaving child know when the timeout is over.  But have you ever set the timer for yourself?

Sometimes cleaning can seem like an overwhelming task.  Try setting an inexpensive kitchen timer for 5-10 minutes.  Stay focused and do as much as you can before the timer rings.  The "beat the clock" mentality forces me to move quickly without feeling overwhelmed.  What I don't get to before the buzzer will be there later when round 2 starts!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Color Code Everything

If you come over, you'll find most of my daughter's stuff is green.  Most of my son's stuff is black, mine is red, and my husband's is blue.

In the morning when we're heading out the door, it's easy for my son to grab his backpack, black water bottle, black lunch box and be out the door.  Same thing for my daughter.  It has significantly minimized the number of "I grabbed the wrong thing" episodes and makes for less stressful mornings for all of us.

I'm not saying buy all new stuff.  Just as you replace, keep it in mind.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Run your family like a business

In my family I am the CSO (Chief Scheduling Officer).  My job is to keep track of everyone's schedules, coordinate getting people to the right place at the right time, etc.

Run your family like a business. While it may sound crazy, the only way I can get this done and not lose my mind is through my computer.  My husband, the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) set up email accounts for our kids and computer log-ins on the family computer.  If something gets scheduled, say soccer practice, a calendar notice is sent to all family members that shows up on their individual computer calendars.  It has saved the "you didn't tell me that" arguement as everyone has the same information.

And to keep my master calendar from being totally out of control, each family member's schedule shows up in a different color.  (More on color coding later...)

I currently use iCal but have used a variety of other similar calendar programs in years past.  The point is get the same information to everyone who needs it as efficiently as possible.