I wish I was one of those organised women. You know who I mean, those women who plan everything, from the colour of their toenails and what they’re going to accessorise with for the day, to their shopping lists and the activities their children are going to participate in after school.
I am not naturally one of those people, so I have had to learn in a hurry. Ever had one of those life-flashing-before-your-eyes/where-did-the-time-go moments? I have had numerous of those moments, especially since I started studying while working, trying to maintain a household and manage my tween’s life too.
So, in order manage our family’s lives, I have had to teach myself how to schedule our lives. Diaries don’t work for me. I’ve tried using them to plan, but more often than not, I end up journaling or minuting meetings than for organising. However, there are a few different tools you can use to make your life easier.
There are countless online tools you can use. I found the most useful apps to be ones for my cell phone, because let’s face it, we carry our phones everywhere.
My partner, who is playing the role of live-in IT guy at the moment, introduced me to Doit.im and SimpleMind, which are both available in the App Store and Google Play. Both of these are free and you can use Doit to create lists of tasks and allocate them to projects. SimpleMind is a mind mapping app so you can create images of the tasks you need to complete.
If using the technology confuses you, then consider a project board for the home. My partner also introduced me to the Kanban project management system, and I must admit, this is the one I use the most to manage my tasks.
Kanban can become quite involved, but I find using a simple three board system works best. The first board is allocated to tasks “to do”, the second to tasks you are “doing” and the third to tasks “done”. Learn more here: https://leankit.com/learn/kanban/what-is-kanban/
Now before you say “That’s too much effort,” or “I’m not putting up three boards in my living room”, I was at an art gallery once admiring the paintings, when a family walked in to fetch their specially framed Kanban boards.
I like talking to people so I asked them why they were putting up these Kanban boards in their dining room—didn’t it make their home look a bit like a factory?
The dad actually explained that they have four children going through high school, both he and his wife have high level jobs and if they wanted to be successful, be in charge of their lives, and teach their children good coping methods, then sacrificing a little wall space for a few years was nothing.
For some people having a visual aid that shows them what to do, and more importantly what to expect, makes all the difference, and that is what is key to organisational skills. Once you know what you need to do and what to expect, you automatically feel prepared and confident about completing your tasks.
By Keshina Thaver