Interval Planning: PREP Week

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I’ve written for years now about interval planning, and it’s a concept I continue to practice and teach. At its heart, interval planning chooses goals and plans projects and works within manageable increments (6-12 weeks, usually) instead of short bursts (a week or month) or long stretches (quarters or years). Then, between intervals, time (a day or a week) is taken to step back, wrap up loose ends, and plan for the next stretch. The interval is for doing mode … Read More

5 ENFP Organization Tips

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By Betsy Farquhar: ENFP, homeschooling mother of three middle school students, and managing editor of Redeemed Reader. How to Turn ENFP Possibility into Productivity There are lovely pictures on Instagram of cheerful, color-coded planner pages, meticulously filled out; clever, completed habit trackers; and beautiful #BuJo spreads. Those people are not ENFPs. ENFPs are busy instead managing relationships, enthusiastically brainstorming, and rising to the occasion (also known as “winging it”). “Friend” or “relationship-builder” are legitimate ENFP vocations. Skills normally associated with … Read More

How to Organize a Brain Dump

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All the time I tell people to “write it down, right away” – that is, to do mini brain dumps all day long, whenever something pops up that we need to remember. Our minds are unreliable reminder-ers – we need a system for not losing track of our ideas and our commitments. And all the time I hear women wonder how to organize a brain dump because the mess of information feels overwhelming. Before we tackle organizing a brain dump, … Read More

Three Surprising Reasons to Organize Your Life

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How many attempts at organization have you attempted and abandoned? How many times have you failed at meeting your plans and expectations for getting organized? It’s easy to look back at what hasn’t worked and how many times our hopes and dreams and visions of organization have crashed and burned – how many times we’ve boomed, only to bust – and decide that it’s just not worth it. But it is worth it, and that’s why you keep getting drawn … Read More

Escapist Planning, and how to make plans that aren’t

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You have done it. I know I have – and too often still do. Life is not going as planned, so we break out the notepad and start a new plan. The new plan is not a way to faithfully respond to our current reality, but rather a way to escape into a pretend future reality where our plans will work out. Turns out we ate all the fudge scraps while making a dessert plate. Clearly time to make a … Read More

For moms, SMART goals aren’t. Let’s make REAL goals.

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SMART goals is a common thing you’ll see, especially this time of year, in business and productivity circles. SMART is an acronym describing the characteristics of goals that will, supposedly, work: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound. The problem with SMART goals for moms is that we have less control over our situations and circumstances than we’d like to think. SMART goals assume that level of control we wish we had, so when we set goals like that, we end up … Read More

Life Management Tips from Simplified Organization Members

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It’s hard to say. Does life slow down as we roll into the holidays because school is lighter or off and Christmas music is playing or is it more of a hubbub because of all the holiday extras? Whether it’s because now we have some more head space to think about just what our problems have been this school year or because with the holiday extras we realize our need for better organization, there’s no denying the phenomenon: January is … Read More

Troubleshoot Your Goals: Motives and Habits

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We’re coming up on December, and it will seem inevitable: We must examine how the year went, how we’ve done, how far we’ve come. Most of us will be disappointed. I know I will be. I will see my list of goals, of things I had wanted to do in 2019, and they will not all be crossed off. Some (like weight loss, cough) will have seen no progress. I did not make these goals and then forget them, hoping … Read More

The Pros & Cons of Schedules, Routines, and Winging It

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We’re all starting back to regular routines right about now, and trying to gear ourselves up to stick with the plan as best we can. We’ve probably all tried all three of the options before – schedules, routines, and winging it – and found none of them satisfactory. What should we try next? So often, those first days back, when our good intentions are so strong, something happens: kids get sick, someone breaks an arm, the baby gives up on … Read More

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