Since becoming a mother, I have really stepped up my organization systems. I had no choice! I’ve said this multiple times on this blog but – being organized allows me to do two things;
- Consistently and steadily meet my family’s needs.
- Consistently and steadily meet my own needs.
I have a collection of lists that I refer to on daily/weekly basis that really helped me stay on top of things. These lists remind me of next steps to take without having to think too much about it, and they also help to capture important information.
I thought I’d share some of the lists I make and how I use them with little glimpses on a few items from each of my lists too! If you get a little kick out of organizing things like I do, you might enjoy this!
Braindump + To Do’s
This list really contains a few different smaller lists; the brain dump, a daily to-do, daily rituals, and weekly to-do.
After entering every single thing thats on my mind into a good ol’ brain dump on the page, I then categorize each item into the type of to-do it is.
My categories are: Work, E-mails, Texts/messages, Phone calls, To buy, Errands, Organization, Instagram/Blog/Youtube, Self.
Once categorized, I slot each item into it’s place in my daily and weekly to-do list.
Here’s a peak at my to-do list:
- Edit personal statement (Work)
- Send personal statement for feedback (Work, E-mails)
- Order Spring/Summer clothes for Reya (To buy)
- Complete module 3 of Statistics course (Work)
- Edit manuscript (Work)
- Complete reparenting exercise (Self)
- Start Reya’s 2020 time capsule (Errand/Self) (Note: If there’s ever a time to start a time capsule for your child or family, 2020 is the year!)
- Edit my birthday video (Blog)
The daily ritual list is a part of my braindum + to-dos. At the beginning of every month, I usually commit to a few daily rituals/habits. Since these recur every single day, I have a specific list for them.
Examples of my daily rituals for this month:
- Visualization practice + heart Chakra opener
- Work out
- 10 minutes digital decluttering
- Piano practice
- Statistics course
- Responding to e-mails/messages/comments
When Reya was a little younger, sometimes she’d take her afternoon nap in the car while we were out and about on a weekend. It was a good time for us to get some errands done whilst not interrupting her sleep. So we created a list on google docs and my husband and I both have a copy on our phones.
Here, we add things like errands to run that we can batch together and do when we’re out (pre-covid 19) – things like “print photos, drop off old baby clothes for donation, make a return, wash car.”
We also add weekend projects we’ve been meaning to get to (build new shelves for the pantry, and reorganize, declutter storage) or day trips/events we want to attend like (Dr Seuss exhibit, strawberry picking etc).
We don’t really have anything on our running to-do list right now because…coronavirus.
This is my most packed list. Every time I get a topic idea for a blog post I throw it onto this list. Ideas take time to marinate and form. Sometimes an idea remains a bullet point on this list for months before it turns into a blog post. Sometimes an idea is so hot it only remains for a couple hours. Sometimes one idea is too small to become a whole blog post – in that case, it becomes a instagram post or story instead. When I have time to write on my blog, I look at this list and pick the topics that I feel most inspired to write.
Here’s a peak at my ideas list;
- Little things that have made a big difference in my life
- Tips to take your meditation practice to the next level
- Meaningful conversation with toddlers: Why doesn’t Reya listen to me?
- Laws of an awakened relationship
- How to introduce your baby to meditation
- Ways we create hell within + how to create heaven instead
I’d love to know – which of these are you most looking forward to reading?
Here is a collection of recipes I’ve tried that have received the family stamp of approval. I make note of any adaptations I’ve made to the recipe and helpful notes for myself like how long it takes to make (longer recipes better suited for weekend cooking) or specific preferences of my husband and babe. I usually check this list as I formulate our weekly meal plan.
Latest addition to this list:
This sticky toffee pudding recipe. I’ve tried a few different recipes and variations of this dessert. I’m really happy with this one.
Notes: Blend the dates before adding to the mixture – it makes the cake SO soft. Double the sauce if you’re feeling extra saucy. If you are feeling like a sensible human being – do NOT double the sauce. (Ps. Bottle sauce and add as you please)
Meal plan + Groceries
Self explanatory. I have a pre-made list of our weekly grocery staples that speed up the process.
The two most important routine lists I have are my weekly and monthly resets. They are checklists of things I do on a Sunday and at the end of the month to prepare me for the week/month ahead.
I also have few cleaning routines: daily, weekly, monthly – don’t look at these much as most of it is second nature to me now. This is probably my least accessed list, but I still find it helpful to refer to from time to time.
I am making a routine chart with stickers for Reya so that she can start claim more authority over her day.
Her morning routine chart:
- 3 deep breaths and do a big stretch
- What’s the weather? (She loves looking out the window and naming the weather in the morning)
- Make the bed
- Brush your teeth
- Change your diaper
- Get dressed
- Brush your hair
- Make breakfast with mama
- Eat breakfast
Other honourable mentions of lists that I don’t use on a daily basis, but still prove to be incredibly useful (especially since having a little one) is a packing list (for her and myself) for when we travel, and a diaper bag list (more so when she was newborn. Now we just wing it!).
Goal Ideas/Things to try
Whenever I come across something I’d like to try, I put it in this list. Things like;
- Eat a plate of raw/lightly cooked veggies before dinner as an appetizer!
- Go Vegan/Raw for a month.
- Take new photographs for my blog
- Spend time outside in nature every single day for a month.
- Take an online course to learn excel.
- Focus on flexibility – work towards doing the splits/hanumanasana.
- Eat meals without distractions (no TV, no phone)
- Work on my handstands
- Learn a locking routine
At the start of a new month, I take a look at this list and pick a couple of things to commit to for the month.
This is one of my most important lists I make. Each month I try out a number of different things. Some things work well for me, and some don’t. Some things need to be tweaked to fit better into my life, and some must be abandoned completely. In this list, I keep track of what works. It’s as simple as that. At the end of the month, I look through my daily/weekly habits and self-discoveries – and add to the list what worked well for me.
An example of something I tried that worked:
I had set myself a goal of waking up at least 1 hour earlier than I “needed to.” and it was clear throughout the whole month that this habit served me very well.
An example of something I tried that needed to be tweaked:
One month I set out to spend one whole month learning one piece of music on the piano (piano level = amateur/beginner). I ended up realizing that one month was too long to dedicate to one piece and I ended up getting bored. 2 per month is more enjoyable, while still remaining achievable for my skill level.
An example of something I tried that I abandoned: This one might make you laugh. Last year, I set out to reconnect with 1 old friend and 1 new friend every week. As you can imagine, “reconnecting” is not a one time event/message. Naturally, it opens up longer and deeper ongoing conversations. Don’t get me wrong – I so enjoyed this and having conversations with people who have touched my life at some point. However, after a few months I realized that I had about 30 intense conversations ongoing (LOL!!!) and I just did not have the time to sustain this level or depth of communication. Responding to e-mails and messages became a permanent fixture on my to-do list.It started to feel like a chore that would never get done – because as soon as I responded to, let’s say, 10 people – and checked it off my list, I would have about an hour of relief, and then…everyone would respond (as expected and as desired)!!! And I was back where I started. LOL. It was absolute insanity. From this whole hilarious ordeal, I have learned that YES, connections are so important to me. BUT I will not take such a systematic approach to it. I will reach out to friends (old and new) at times when when it makes sense. I will take care with my correspondence, speak from the heart, mean what I say, and nurture my relationships.
A few examples of things on my what works list:
- When 30 minutes of HIIT feels like too much – do two sessions of 15 minutes in the day.
- On Sunday night, lay out Reya’s outfits for the whole week, and re-stock diaper bag.
- Load the dishwasher in the same order that you unload it.
- Grocery shopping on a Friday night – the stores are so empty! (Or order online – but sometimes I miss browsing) Walmart on a Saturday is a special kind of hell.
- Read your monthly goals/focuses every morning before you start the day.
I refer to this list often, weekly usually. It’s packed with so much practical daily wisdom. It is a reliable source of what is tried and tested and true for me.
Reflections/Observations on life
Here is where I collect all my life lessons that eventually up becoming my birthday blog posts (29, 28. 27, 25, ). Not everything makes it onto the blog, as some of my lessons are specific only to me and I don’t want to assume it is true for you too.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the lessons I’ve learned from my 30th year (I haven’t decided if I will publish the whole list this year or not!)
- Don’t go looking for happiness where you once lost it
- Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.
- Correct mistakes before they become habits.
- Gather with a small group of people who believe in you.
- Be part of a small group of people who believes in someone.
One to try: The Happiness List
A list idea that I would quite like to try is a happiness list. Pay attention to your life and notice the things that nourish you, and bring you contentment and happiness. Note down these activities. On days when you’re feeling far away from your joy, pick a few items and do it.
Things that I would put on my list:
- A date with a friend
- A cup of coffee and conversation with my husband
- Reading funny autocorrects (always makes me laugh)
- A long drive, windows down, music.
- Make a plan.
- Cuddle with my husband
- Ice cream
- Play the piano
- Extra long meditation
- Take a nap
I’d love to hear from you too – how do you organize your to-do lists? How do you keep on top of everything? What are your go-to lists?
Ps. I’m contemplating posting on the first of every month (as well as the Full Moon and New Moon posts that I have already committed to this year) – which is why you’re reading this post today! Just wanted to experiment and see if I’ve got it in me to put out 3 blog posts a month. Let’s see!