One benefit of maintaining order and organization is that it frees not only time but also creative energy and our ability to be fully present in the moment. My hope is that 31 Days to GTD for Homemakers will help us reclaim calm self-control and self-possession, so that we can fulfill our roles and responsibilities to the best of our ability.
Previous Post: Setting Aside Time for Weekly Planning & Review
What & When: Infrequent Long-Term Evaluation
Long-term, big-picture thinking is not really David Allen’s gig in Getting Things Done. He’s all about the mundane, daily, nitty-gritty. However, he mentions that having a a high-level, big-picture planning session once or twice a year is very valuable in making sure all the mundane business is taking you where you want to go. If you want help focussing on visions and goals and such, I’d recommend starting with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, or A Mother’s Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul.
The homemaker & homeschooler’s life does lend itself to a twice-yearly vision-clarification. We have the New Year, cleaned out from all the Christmas extras, when we tend to think about personal goals like decluttering, weight loss, and such. Then we have the end of the summer, when our thoughts turn toward curriculum plans & purchases. We can save a tremendous amount of money if we know what our educational goals are and how we can achieve them before we buy books and materials.
For myself, I listed out all the roles and responsibilities I have that I could think of, then I wrote out what my vision of success is for each (and I tried to keep it both realistic and idealistic — is that possible?). Then, under the vision, I wrote the one main thing I am working on to work toward that vision. So, here are a couple examples:
- Housekeeper: Maintain a peaceful, orderly home. Action: Restore kitchen in the evenings.
- Cook: Provide healthy meals 3 times a day. Action: Menu plan all meals weekly.
- Laundress: Keep clean, appropriate clothes available. Action: Do one load daily.
This is probably overkill and unnecessary, but for myself I find it encouraging to think through things in this way. Then, instead of suddenly remembering some area I haven’t thought about while working in another area and stressing out, I can regularly review everything and know it’s all under control (um, or at least thought-about, anyway). I even have several areas (like yardwork) where the goal point says “On hold.” It’s ok to acknowledge that some good goals and even roles need to be on hold and saved for the future. Writing that down and making that acknowledgement can go a long way towards peace of mind and destressing life.
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