Saturday, June 28, 2014

Organizing your Busy Life

I will forever profess my love of checklists, especially as a way to get myself through any kind of schooling. I have long said that checklists are what saved my collective behind when I first started graduate school and then landed my first teaching job wherein I had a 4th/5th split (which had children who had been allowed to color for 3 months before I arrived) and kiddos who were 3, 4 and 10.

I love checklists. I also love calendars. They are definitely a busy lady's best friend. Since I will be busier than a beaver for the next 3-4 years with my online doctoral program, my only real breaks coming at Christmas, I decided it was high time to get myself back in gear and organize my calendar and whatnot for the busy months ahead.

Summer is, of course, supposed to be carefree and fun, right? This is a little less so for me this July. The beginning of July isn't too bad but from July 14-30, I am going to be crazy busy. The Littles have horse day camp for a week with a family night on Thursday; the day horse camp ends, I am doing a Thirty-One party for a lovely lady who works in our after school program (her daughter was in my class this year); the day after horse camp ends, The Hubby has his 25th year class reunion; the week after that, I'm headed to Columbus, Ohio for the fabulous Thirty-One Conference, it's also The Hubby's birthday that week; the following week after I get back, The Youngest is getting her tonsils and adenoids removed and has to spend a night in the hospital. Whew! On top of all of that, I have to find some time to do my course work. Is your head spinning yet?? :)

It sounds worse than it is. While the girls are at horse camp, I will have the days to do whatever I want, it's just the running around that will be rough (they have to be to the YMCA to get on the bus at 7:20 am -- ugh!). The hardest part is going to be the conference in Columbus. It's basically hailed as the biggest slumber party of the year. The events go late (until around 9:30). I am so glad I chose to room alone because, like it or not, I am going to have to log in and do some course work while I'm there. I can't just basically take a week off in the middle of the class. Not going to work.

So what does a girl do to keep herself from going crazy? She makes LOTS of calendars, that's what. 
Google Calendar and I might become Besties over the next 36-48 months!


One thing I love about calendar programs such as Google Calendar and iCal is that you can actually have multiple calendars but display them all on one calendar. I have had an iPhone for the past few years but was not digging it so recently I upgraded to a Galaxy S5 which I might just be in love with. Galaxy runs on an Android platform which of course is Google related (what isn't Google related these days unless it is Apple related?). I LOVE this calendar format because I can add a calendar for each aspect of my life and (hopefully) keep myself from going crazy with all of the various things going on.

I have 5 calendars. Ridiculous, right? I have one for The Oldest (to keep track of her appointments and work schedule so I know when she is around to babysit her sisters if I need her to); one for Work (which is joyously blank for July); one for Family (to keep track of all of the crazy things we have going on such as the horse camp, therapy and other doctor visits); one for Thirty-One (so I can keep track of my parties, events and deadlines for that); and finally one for Concordia (which currently doesn't have much listed because the class doesn't start until tomorrow). I love that I can input everything onto my computer and then it will sync with my phone so I can glance at my calendar on my phone each morning, see what I have going on and go from there.

I also found a really cool app for my phone called Lists Alarmed! and I love it! You can make as many categories as you like and then create lists inside of them. 

The top two are blurry because they list names, FYI.

There are actually four categories, I just forgot to add one before I took the screenshot. I love that I can make my checklists on my phone and then check them off as I go. It a) saves paper and b) I can add or subtract from my lists anywhere because very, very rarely do I ever go anywhere without my cell. 

I'm really excited to see how these two programs keep me organized, especially once school starts again and I have meetings, IEPs and other things also competing for my time. I do know that no matter what, once the school year begins in September, I will be scheduling one day per week that is completely off limits for anything school related (both work and grad school). I have to do this to a) maintain my sanity and b) make sure that my kids don't feel neglected because I always am working on school of some kind. 

We'll see how that goes ;) 

The Caffeinated Teacher

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