Get Organized: Divide and Conquer
I have a problem. I suffer from E.O.S. : “Easily Overwhelmed Syndrome”. It’s not an official diagnosis, but I’m sure that it should be.
Not only am I easily overwhelmed, I have a VERY short attention span. So how to I manage to home school four children, run a household and blog on a daily basis? By breaking projects into smaller pieces, doing a little at a time and splitting up tasks throughout the day.
NOTE: If you are a naturally organized person, this post is not for you. If you’re not so great at getting things done, read on.
I start dinner the night before by checking the menu to see if anything needs to thaw over night. I do any prep work for dinner the next morning, so that when rush hour arrives I only need a few minutes to finish the meal. If I wait until 5:00 p.m. to think about dinner we have jelly toast and stale banana chips because I am too tired and overwhelmed to start anything that requires cooking.
I start one load of laundry each morning before I go to the kitchen to do any prep work, as mentioned previously. I have my personal assistants (a.k.a. children) move the laundry to the dryer and I start the next load after I do some work at my desk. The children also sort, fold and put away the clean laundry (I’ve done at least one thing right in my parenting!).
In the past I made a HUGE to do list each day, but I started to get discouraged when I was unable to accomplish much of the list. Now I break my goals up into smaller pieces and divide them up over the week (you can see my Weekly Goal Sheet here and my Weekly Planner here). I like to do my “brainwork” first thing in the morning: planning, writing for the blog, making a menu and grocery list, balancing the checkbook, etc. and save most physical tasks for after lunch when my brain needs a break.
I may work for a few minutes on blogging, teaching or whatever project I have started for the day and then move to another item, but I always refer to the list to stay on track. Around 2:00 in the afternoon, my brain cells thank me.
I would love to say that I have an immaculate house. I can say that I have a system so that I’m not avoiding answering the door when someone drops by.
The “personal assistants” are an integral part of the system. Each child has a specific duty in the kitchen so that the entire kitchen is cleaned before bedtime. Each child also has weekly duties such as vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms. (If you need more help with keeping your home clean, FlyLady has some excellent ideas.)
So there you have it, my secret weapon for coping with E.O.S.. What helps you stay organized? Leave a comment.
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