Today's weekly planner entry (where I usually keep my task list) was left purposefully blank for celebrating Thanksgiving.
(Bonus Tip - Note that I've started a new thing where I journal, in my highlighter color, one thing that I want to remember about each day as I cross out the previous day's entry. It's a simple way to make a record of my life.)
Still, I used a combination of my planner and some organizing tricks to make the day go smoothly, even though I had sixteen guests and made about a dozen different dishes. In the spirit of the holiday, I'm going to share my tricks for a smooth holiday celebration with you.
1. I had a dedicated location for my planner all day long.
I generally keep my planner in only a couple of places in the house anyway, but it was especially important in all the chaos that I have one place for it. I used it throughout the day, including to check off each dish as it was prepared.
2. I used my planner as an instant solution to problems that cropped up.
For example, I used it to create a running list of times when things needed to be done (like "take out the turkey at 10:30 a.m." or "baste the ham at 11:15 a.m."). I have two alarms near the stove, but with up to five or six dishes going at once, jotting the times in my planner meant I could set the alarm for just the next time something was due. It would ring, I would reset it for the next time on the list, and do the task. (Teachers can use this trick for timed lesson plans, parents can use this trick for homeschooling, and anyone can use this trick for any big project that is on a tight schedule during one day.)
I used the other alarm as a running countdown of when the guests would arrive.
3. I have a rule that people ask permission to use my planner.
Even my husband, who used my planner tonight to make Black Friday purchases off of our Christmas list, asked permission to use the planner first. That way, I knew exactly where it was, could make sure it was returned, and could ensure that he understood to only write on blank pages at the front of the planner.
Those three rules serve me well everyday, but especially on crazy days like today. Come on - you knew that a blank planner entry could only mean trouble, right?
My only other rule?
I cooked. The rest of the people who live with me and gorged themselves on the yummy food can clean. That's called fairness.