Realistic Planning: An Extra Day | Giftie Etcetera: Realistic Planning: An Extra Day

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Realistic Planning: An Extra Day

I always feel like a busy little bee, but April and May consistently prove to be particularly busy. Add in December, and you have the three busiest months on my calendar. In April this year, we had a First Communion (big deal for my kid) and Easter. In May, there's the school fair, end-of-the-year parties, and graduations. Also, my husband works a ton of overtime in April and May, leaving me virtually as a single mom.

I took a hard look at my calendar and knew something had to change.

The single biggest change I am making is to the time suck that is grocery shopping.

First, I'm moving the entry from the tasks list on the weekly pages to the actual monthly calendar.

Shopping is an appointment that I really strive to honor, and since it requires prep (which will remain on my weekly task lists) - such as making a list, taking inventory of the fridge and pantry, pulling coupons, and creating a weekly menu - changing the trip at random whenever something comes up means spending a lot more money and running out necessary foods. It's a money and time suck.

Second, I'm going to start shopping every 8 to 10 days, instead of every 7. Two weeks is just too long to wait for new bread and fresh produce. But I KNOW I would use food from the pantry and freezer and save money and time if I shopped less often.

In the pic below, you can see the red boxes around my 8 day shopping schedule.

There will be 10 days whenever I go from a Friday to a Monday (since I refuse to shop in the nightmare that is a weekend at the grocery store). And, occasionally, I will go 9 days if something important falls on day 8.

Another important change to my monthly calendar is actually scheduling my up to 15 hours of work each week. I was simply scheduling the number of hours I planned to work each day. It was too easy to ignore it when I had something else to do. So from now on, work is getting scheduled.

Finally, I am budgeting some money for working in coffee shops some days a week when I am driving into town anyway. This probably doesn't sound like a change in time management, especially since I mostly work from home, but for some reason, maybe because I learned to work that way during law school, I've shown myself time and time again that I have laser focus on my work in a coffee shop, so it just makes sense.

Of course, the biggest change will be getting to June. I cannot wait!



Christine Cortese said...

I like that - stretching out your grocery shop by just a few days. You won't be buying a lot more and it gives you some slack in your week. Wish I had a coffee shop nearby - working at home can be a challenge sometimes.

Unknown said...

I've noticed that I save money and time, too, when I schedule my shopping longer than a week. Congratulations to your little girl on First Communion. I remember mine. It was a big family celebration. Love your blog.

Carnan said...

I have been wanting to incorporate pages that show the whole schedule from am to pm for a whole week. During May and the end of school I really feel like I'd like this so I could find those free moments in the schedule where I could schedule working on projects, etc. Have you ever tried something like that?

Lee said...

I think you're onto something here with the less frequent grocery trip.