Travel Mate

Travel Smarter, Not Harder

Make Your Life Easy With Effective Systems

Make Your Life Easy With Effective Systems

Life is such a whirlwind, isn’t it? If you’re anything like me, it often seems like the weeks go by in a blur of activity…and then it’s weekend again. Or the weekends go by so quickly and when Monday comes around, you feel like you’ve just started to relax and the week is upon you once again.

The problem with this is that we never have a sense of peace, calm and control. A feeling that we are directing the course of our own lives. I go through patches of hectic too so I thought I’d share some of the systems I’ve set up to make our lives easier:

Household calendar

We have one household calendar in our kitchen where we mark off any commitments like church, other ministry commitments, meetings, gym, socials, and so on. We use a sticker system with a different colour for each area of life. The nice thing about this system is that when there are too many stickers, we know we’re too busy. I also mark off the recycling pick-up days, when the meter reader is due and of course, things like birthdays.

I couple this with diary planning for the week ahead. I look at my diary on a Sunday and put in my appointments for the week. I also add any tasks that I need or want to work on, like writing articles, e-courses, newsletters and so on.

Meal planning

I love meal planning because it saves me time. When I say this to people, they think I’m crazy because “how can all that planning save you time?” It’s quite simple – a twenty-minute planning session on the weekend saves me time from Monday to Friday, when I need it most. No more standing in front of the open fridge wondering what to make for supper.

And you can still be spontaneous within the plan. I plan meals for the working week but if I don’t feel like a particular meal that day, I change it around and cook another day’s meal. Like if it’s very hot and I planned to have baked potatoes with a topping, I’ll postpone that to another day and make a pasta salad instead.

Regular decluttering and organising
I tackle an area in our home every weekend. Let’s face it – if we are constantly buying things and bringing them into our homes and lives, clutter is constantly building up unless we get rid of some of it.

It doesn’t have to be a huge exercise. While you’re busy cooking or baking, you can sort out a cupboard or two. I don’t trust my oven timer (it is erratic) so I stay in the kitchen whenever I bake to make sure my muffins don’t burn! I then use the time constructively to sort out the cupboards, plan my menus, write out my shopping list, etc.

When you factor in just 15 minutes’ decluttering and organising every weekend, you can easily maintain your home if it is already organised. Of course, if your house is nowhere near where you’d like it, I would suggest 15 minutes every day.

Launch pad
Do you know the place in your house where you dump your bags as you enter? Flylady calls this a launch pad. I like that term because it reminds me of action. We have an interesting, little corner in our entrance hall that I use for my launch pad and my husband uses another section near the kitchen.

Mornings are one of the worst times in most families – you can’t find your keys, wallet, bag, etc. Frantic running around and screaming happens and that is just not fun.

The point is that we use our launch pads to ready ourselves for mornings. Every evening I pack my handbag, work bag and keys, and they are all left here. In the mornings all I do is grab and go. Literally once I leave the bedroom, I walk to the fridge to get my cooler bag with my lunch, set the alarm, grab my bags from my launch pad and I’m out of there. And that’s two minutes tops!

Now, over to you. Which systems can you implement to make your life easier?