You’ve got goals for your homestead, and those goals will enable you to really make something out of it. The problem is how to translate those goals into actual “moving parts” that will get you closer to achieving them. Not to mention, handle everything else you need to do in a day. In this post, I’ll show you how to get it all done in a day and move the ball forward on your homestead goals every single week.
It’s not enough to have our goals written out somewhere. Goals are meant to be achieved, amiright? Goals that are not achieved are just dreams, and dreams don’t put food on the table. It’s the consistent, focused work that we do that achieves goals and makes our dreams come true.
You might ask, “But what about all the other things that need to be done every day like cleaning, cooking meals, and daily homesteading chores? I’m overwhelmed enough just trying to get those done!” My friend, I get you! And there is a way to get it all done, we just have to pace ourselves.
So how do we pace ourselves? How do we translate our goals into consistent, focused work and still stay on top of everything else? It’s in the planning, my friend. I have a tool for your that can help, which you can grab at the end of this post.
How Do You Like to Plan?
Planning can be problematic if we don’t have the right tools, so I suggest you get those together. But later. First, let’s talk about you. NOTE: If you already have the tools you like for planning, you can skip down to the heading called “How to Get It All Done in a Day”. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended. 🙂
How do you like to plan? If you’ve planned anything before, you will probably know if you like a certain type of media for planning. There are so many options out there for making our weekly plans, but here are a few to get you thinking about what you might prefer to use.
This is the most obvious choice for getting started with a weekly plan. Because most planners come with a monthly and weekly view, it is very easy to jot down and keep straight all that needs to be done on your homestead, inside and out. These notebooks usually have all you need inside to keep track of your life for the 12 or 18 months ahead of you. This is probably the best choice if you want to be pretty detailed about what you are doing for the week, and for the year.
For 2018, I used the See It Bigger planner, which worked out nicely for me. Being a super busy person, I did have to make some tweaks to some of the layout. For the most part, it did what I needed it to.
There are a ton of printable planners out there on the internet to be had. Many are free, but there are some paid planners (like this one that I’m using for 2019) that have more bells and whistles than their free counterparts. These printable planners make it easy to add pages in where they are needed, and leave pages out that you don’t need.
I have my free Quick Start Planner available in my resource library that has a day, week, and month view, and can be printed out week by week, or for the full year. You can get the password to my resource library at the bottom of this post.
This is a great option, because it’s free. Anyone can get a google calendar in 5 minutes, and be on their way to a more organized week. It’s not quite a planner, though, so there isn’t as much flexibility for notes and such. Unlike the planner notebook option, this is for the less detailed homesteader.
What can be used within Google Calendar is a method called “time blocking”.
Time blocking is when you block out certain stretches of time for specific tasks. For instance, every morning, I block out an hour for outdoor chores: feeding the chickens and goats, harvesting, cleaning up the garden area, raking pens, or whatever needs to be done. There’s no set order things need to be done, they just need to be done between 7 and 8am. At 8am, I switch gears to whatever is in the next time block, usually writing for this blog.
How do I know what’s in each time block? I add specific tasks into the notes section of each time block entry. What I do is to click on each time block to it shows the uneditable view of the block. I scroll down and do each thing on my numbered list that I made in the notes section. There’s no satisfying checkboxes that I can check off, but it still works quite well for me.
Giant Wall Calendar
I love giant wall calendars! These come in monthly or weekly options, and both are handy for at-a-glance type of referencing. The weekly would be the more detailed of the two wall calendars, but monthly can work quite well if you don’t mind just having a short list of tasks for each day.
This option is great if you need a quick visual of what you need to do each day. Hanging it on your wall will help you see what needs to be done today. It will also allow you to see at a glance what’s coming up for the week. You can grab one of these wall calendars at any local big box store, or a local office supply store.
How to Get It All Done in a Day
Ok so here’s the practical part of all of this. It’s going to take a little time to learn the planning process, but once you do, you will have a plan that can help you master your day. Mastering your days will help you feel less frazzled, and more on top of what’s happening on your homestead.
Pencil It All In
Whichever medium you choose to plan into, the method is just about the same. Before you start these steps you will need to download and print daily, weekly, and monthly planner pages. My instructions will work fine with any planner pages, but if you don’t have a planner already bought or printed, you can download my free Quick Start Planner which is in my resource library. You can get the password for that at the end of this post.
- MONTHLY VIEW PAGE: I know we are talking about organizing our week, but to do that, we first need to see what our month has in store for us. If you have a calendar where you write important dates, refer to the present month. If not, print one and add all the non-negotiable items to the appropriate days: birthdays, appointments, work, days off, baseball practices,etc., for the month. This monthly calendar is what you’ll use to plan each week, so don’t skip this part.
- WEEKLY VIEW PAGE: Next, look at the weekly view page in your planner for the week you are planning today. Look at the corresponding week on the monthly view calendar, and add anything to the page that you don’t want to forget. Fill out the rest of your weekly view with your priorities for the week.
If you are using my free Quick Start Planner, you’ll notice that there is a place to write down “Home Priorities This Week” and “Homestead Goals This Week”. I bring everything off my calendar, like birthdays, meetings, etc. and add those to my “home priorities” section. This is because I will need to consider those while I’m planning things I want to get done inside the home. Under “Homestead Goals This Week”, I jot down the homestead goal I’m working on this week. Then I jot down some of the tasks that will push the ball forward on that goal. (Don’t have any homestead goals? Read this post, set some goals, and then come back to this part of your planning.) There is also a “Weekly Tracker” section on the Quick Start Planner. This is a habit tracker, and will help you keep your important daily and weekly habits.
- DAILY VIEW PAGE: Once you are familiar with what your week is going to look like, you will want to now fill in each day’s page. Let’s start with Monday for now. Look at your calendar to see what’s on the agenda for the day. Add in any errands, meetings, holidays, or anything else you absolutely have to do. (You can use the “Home Tasks for the Day” section for this if you are using the free Quick Start Planner). If there is a time it needs to be done, write that down as well. In the same section, add in anything you need to get done around the house. These would be chores, phone calls, balancing the checkbook, etc. Next, add in your meal plans according to what’s happening that day. (Don’t know how to meal plan? Check out this post for help.) For instance, if you know there is baseball practice today, maybe you might choose a crockpot meal you can throw in at a less busy time of the day. If you are taking a course at night and won’t be home on night in the week, you can make it a “FFY (fend for yourself)” night if you have older kids. Pencil in the most convenient meal plans for whatever is happening each day. Of course, if it’s just a regular, not too busy day, you might opt for making lasagne or some other more complicated meal. For those using the Quick Start Planner, find the “Homestead Goals This Week” section on your weekly view page, and add 2-3 homestead tasks for the day.
- PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: Now that you have those three filled out, you may want to finish printing and filling out weekly view pages for the rest of the month, or simply just printing and filling out daily view pages for the rest of the week. It is up to you how you want to do this, but if you prefer to fill these out week by week, just make sure you get a planning day on the calendar so you actually don’t forget to do your planning. Add these pages to a notebook and keep it in a handy location so you won’t forget to look at it every day.
Do Your Thing
You’re all done! Now it’s time to buckle down and actually follow your newly laid out plans! You’ve gotten this far, and I know you can do all you need to do to keep your plans each day. Look at your new planner every day, and do the tasks that are on each day’s page.
You will now have control of your day! The peace you will feel because you know you are working toward not only keeping your home clean, your day running smoothly, but also working toward your homesteading goals will be unmatched! I promise!
Some days, you will probably feel like skipping some of the tasks you’ve planned. But wait–don’t do that to yourself! Make sure that you keep the planned commitments that you make, even if they are just to yourself. It matters if you want to learn how to get it all done in a day!
Get My FREE “Quick Start Planner” and Start Organizing Your Weeks
Print out my Quick Start Planner, get it into a notebook, and start organizing your week today!