I was asked by a first-year homeschooling mom to post something about organization, but when people mention my organizational skills I laugh so hard I cry. Well, at least on the inside. It would probably be rude to laugh in front of them. Maybe I shouldn't feel that way, but I don't think I have any organizational skills. Organization is definitely not a gift OR ability God gave to me. I love to research and teach; these are my gifts.
However, I will try to give you an idea of what I do. As I have thought about writing this, I have already come up with things that may help me. You probably already do these things, but for me it will be a new experience.
I work 39 hours a week as a medical language specialist (aka medical transcriptionist), and I homeschool our three kids. I also teach two classes at our homeschool co-op on Fridays and lead a 4H project one Thursday a month. I write my blog. I sometimes teach Sunday school. I sometimes sell on eBay. I try to get laundry and dishes done. Have you ever read an ingredient list on a packaged food product? The ingredient that is most abundant is listed first; the item that is least is last. That is how my list of my activities is ordered. Do you notice what is last? The house. That is what gets done when I have time or when it absolutely has to be done, like when we have no spoons to use to eat our cereal in the morning or the kids begin to say, "Mom, I have no clean pants." You may wonder where in that list are the things I do for me such as reading or crafting. The time spent doing these things is negligible so they aren't even included. LOL. I'm just kidding. I get around to doing at least one thing I enjoy at least once a week...sometimes. I digress.
For my job, I keep to the same schedule every week. This ensures that my work gets done. I'm sure if I didn't have a schedule I'd be working 39 hours straight starting Friday at 12:01 a.m. in order to get done by Saturday midnight. I also schedule school. It fits in between my morning and afternoon hours of work. My preparation for co-op and 4H happens usually in the evenings before I start working at night. So, it seems that I am organized to a point, and it is because all those things are scheduled.
Perhaps scheduling is the key to organization? It seems to work in order to accomplish all of those tasks. I will try scheduling the rest of them. Maybe Monday becomes laundry day, and Tuesday becomes a day of vacuuming. Of course, the kids can help with these things. I can't be expected to do all of the chores (refer to previous post on the chore chart). I have also decided to create a to-do list. This is the thing that most of you probably already have. I'm a little slow. :-(
A few months back, I finally realized that because of my aging brain, or because I just have too many things to do, I need to write all of our activities and appointments down on a calendar so that I don't forget anything. It works. If I write down all of the other things that need done, maybe they will get done, too. I'm one of those people who thinks of everything that needs done and feels so overwhelmed that I don't do anything. I think I would function better if I could check things off of a list. When one thing is erased, the list would then become smaller and feel less unsurmountable.
I will write my lists and mark my calendars and let you know how it goes. Maybe when someone asks me in the future how I can be so organized I won't laugh but will be happy to share my secrets.