During the Make Over Your Mornings ecourse, Crystal shared about writing a To Do List vs. Brain Dumping. Both super valuable, but the latter is what I had been calling writing a To Do list. I would end up with a million things written down all over the place and then I would get completely overwhelmed with all there was to do.
Now I have a new perspective. I can brain dump, but that stuff needs to stay dumped. There needs to be less brain energy spent going back over and over and over to that list to decide what to do and not do. Instead, I need to write a doable To Do list for the day, and use brain dumping as a method to get rid of excess, not burden myself with it.
I have used Google Calendar in the past, and now I have new motivation. When Crystal shared that she uses Google Calendar there were several people curious about how to utilize it. Since I know I do way more than a lot of people would, hopefully you can find something useful in my method.
First: I create all the daily events and have them repeat daily.
- Morning Routine (Repeats Every Day Except Sunday for 90 Minutes, I have even written down the whole routine in the Details section to check if I need to review or remember)
- Nursing my Baby (While I am doing on demand it is helpful to recognize the approximate times she eats because those are times I can’t really be doing something else, so as I plan things I am able to recognize that I might get interrupted or need to feed her first or after)
- Eating Meals (I will absolutely forget to eat if I don’t have someone or thing to remind me)
- Checking Email (Ditto to Eating)
- And for This Season, Skyping my Boys
The reason I put things on that I do daily is because it is so easy to fill a day with other things to do and at the end of the day think I failed when in fact I just didn’t account for the time that I need to take care of these daily routines.
Second: I Look at the Weekly Events That Repeat & Make Adjustments
Add Church & Have it Repeat Weekly (I made sure to put the start and end time from when I need to leave to when I usually get home after hanging out, etc.)
- After adding church I realized my Morning Routine would be shifted, but I don’t want to wake up way earlier with a baby still nursing and up throughout the night
- I split my morning routine by taking out Coffee & Bible Reading. I get both at church, but I also added Bible Reading in the evenings previously so Sunday I decided to have a longer Evening Quiet Time.
- I am sharing a little of my thought process here, but you will have to see what are other variables in your week that disrupt or interrupt daily routines and how you are going to make your life a Thriving Life.
- I have several friends that I see weekly, so I added those weekly engagements and adjusted the meals and Evening Quiet Times that were at the same time.
- For me my Fellowship time does not replace Quiet Time in the evening and I still need to eat
Add Bible Study
- I have a monthly Bible Study and a Weekly Bible Study available to me, and with the baby I don’t always attend, but if it isn’t on the calendar I can’t even begin to remember or prioritize that
Third: Add My Goals
At the beginning of the year I prayed through a lot of goals. I won’t talk all over again how this all came together, but one of the things I did was break the goals up from Year to Month to Week to Day as appropriate.
For Monthly Goals I decided what needed to happen each week to achieve those goals, so on Google Calendar I used the All Day & Repeat buttons to have these repeat for that week of the month. As I get to that week I create a new event on the day I decide will work best to accomplish that piece of the task.
Encouraging Louis’ Talent in Photography
Week 1: Find a List, Challenge, Technique, etc. for Louis to Try
- When I get to the first week of a month this will be already on the Google Calendar for the whole week, so I can choose a day.
- I do not change the repeating event. Instead I add a new event to the calendar on the day I am going to sit on Pinterest and choose something to give to Louis
Week 2: Ask Louis About Photography
- This can happen any time, but I know that this is a way to show Louis love so I want to make a special point of doing this. However, I might not even put this on the calendar as a new event.
Week 3: Make a Date to Look Through Pictures
This is one that will take two events
- Day 1-Make a date with Louis
- Day 2-The Date
Week 4: Upload New Pictures to Computer & Blog
- Create an event to upload
- Create an event to select some for my Blog Folder on my computer
- If there are blog posts ready in need of a picture, Create an event to find specific pictures for the blog
This is an example of how I go through my Monthly Goals, and I am not going to go through each event I have on my calendar.
Fourth: The Task List
This is a really fun part of Google Calendar where I put goals and new habits I am building. This part has due dates and you get to check things off and they will get crossed off the list! Fantastic feeling!
As I am working back up to my Quiet Time being all I love it to be, I am not trying to do everything at once. One thing I am working back up to is my actual Study. In the earlier days of my pregnancy I was reading a chapter a day of 1 Samuel, but I have been posting them once a week, so I was able to have a surplus of chapters posting ahead of me. In August that surplus will end, so I am starting to work toward my every day reading. On the Task List I put one chapter for next week, then two chapters the following week. If it turns out my adding a chapter a week doesn’t work I will change the deadlines, but I am looking to go back to reading a chapter a day every weekday.
Year Long Goals I originally split into Monthly steps, so I have added those with deadlines to my task list as well.
Hopefully this is helpful, and if you have any questions or want to share how you organize your days please comment.