Last Minute Details: Planning the Day Before a Big Event | Giftie Etcetera: Last Minute Details: Planning the Day Before a Big Event

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Last Minute Details: Planning the Day Before a Big Event

'Tis the day before Thanksgiving, 
and all through the house,
I'm thankful this year, 

that we don't have a mouse!

Seriously, y'all, last year there was a mouse and it was very uncool. The little sucker ate all our food and then, no kidding, IT TRIED TO KILL ME. I am apparently deathly allergic to rodents and ended up in the ER with a severe asthma attack.

This year, I only need to worry about the normal day before Thanksgiving stuff: a house guest (who is NOT a rodent), cooking a few dishes a day ahead (lemon meringue pie, chocolate cupcakes, ham, and cranberry sauce), and Thanksgiving Mass (where my kid is singing in the choir). Oh, right, and my husband needs his car inspected, but he has to work. Oops, and the kids are home from school.

Well, didn't this get too complicated quickly?

The day before an event tends to be a task heavy day, as opposed to a schedule heavy day. These steps allow you to plan for the day's activities without being inflexible.

1. Schedule the timed events.

In the example, choir practice and Mass is 5 p.m - 7 p.m.

TIP: Next to the event, list what needs to leave the house. In this case, we need to bring choir robes.

2. Fill in the rest of the schedule (in the example, the very top of the page) with time sensitive tasks.

I made two cooking lists. "Cook A**" is the pie crust and cupcakes, which both must be baked early and left to cool. It must be done very early in the day. "Cook B***" is the ham and cranberries, along with filling the pie and icing the cooled cupcakes. That can be done later, but must be done before we get dressed for church.

You can see how the timing decisions are made. Mandatory stuff goes first and other time sensitive stuff (to be done "before" or "after" something else) goes next.

TIP: If you cannot fit all the information on the schedule, use an * to indicate where on the page you wrote the list that corresponds to the schedule.

3. Add tentative FYI times.

It's not pictured, but I added the approximate time that my house guest is arriving.

4. Write a mandatory task list.

Under the thick grey bar, I added a short list of things that I need to get to tomorrow in the left column.

5. Add a should do task list.

In this case, the list to the right starting with "RSVP" is stuff that I will regret when I am actually doing them on Thanksgiving day if I don't get them done the day before.

6. Plan your meals.

The day will be busy. Plan out what you are going to eat.

7. Leave empty space.

Things happen. (See last year's mouse as an example.)



lyn said...

Wow, a mouse! I'm thankful we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Malaysia. It's too close to Christmas and next year's Chinese New Year. I don't think I can handle three big festivities a month apart.

ZoeAnn Yussman said...

I am thankful for you and your planner ideas! And Wow can't believe that mouse was a year ago- I read every blog till THE END OF THE MOUSE!
Seriously- I am going back through your blogs so I can use my new planner more effectively and quit letting life get out of control! Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

What a great post with a lot of good tips. I will read it again tonight and take my notes. The mouse! One year already?!! How the time really flies. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK. But, wow!, I am SOOO thankful for you and your blog!! Life saviers. Thank you xxx