Writer first, family second? No. Not me. I keep thinking I can do both equally. Actually, I think I can wear a half dozen hats at all times. This is not possible, however. At least, not until I can clone myself or acquire the gift of bilocation, a gift I would only share with a half-dozen other people throughout history.

So, barring those two options, how am I supposed to get everything done? Extreme organization comes to mind. But, what are the exact steps to take in organizing a life that includes working the main job, writing books, maintaining the house, gardening, a prayer life and a few side jobs. I am of the opinion that extreme organizing is necessary for those who want to wear many hats.

It is a matter of self-discipline. And it is a pain in the neck to develop. But it works for those who want to wear all those hats. You must know your limits, how much you can handle at one time. You need to be able to take each day as a separate entity, within a larger goal structure.

I had to design my own organizer. And I put it on my desk opened to the current day. I have two weekly pages, divided into goals and each day’s assignments. The goals are subdivided into business, writing, personal and financial. There is space for three of each type of goal for that week. The days’ assignments are divided into “morning”, “afternoon” and “evening”.  On succeeding pages, I have 1 page for each business day and 1 page for the weekend. Each page is divided into 6 squares, labelled “reminder”, “priorities”, “scheduled events”, “accomplishments”, “be grateful for” and “follow up”. Then I check off the list of things to do, say, buy, or whatever, during the day. By the end of the day, all the things I have yet to do get entered in the “follow up” section. I am not sure which I am better at: not filling my “to do” list too much or ignoring what I haven’t done yet. I often do not enter there. But at the end of the day, I make sure I record what I am grateful for. It is often my husband, who is so accommodating.

“Reminders” include what I did not accomplish the day before and my grocery lists, usually a pretty short list since I shop weekly, making sure to buy things that we are getting low on, even though we are not yet out. The “priorities” tend to be items like exercise, listen to a specific audio tape, or remind me of my diet. The “scheduled events” are typically the items recorded on the weekly pages. “Accomplishments” are a report to myself of what actually got done, although I sometimes just put checkmarks next to what was listed.

Since I am ADD, I tend to not do the same thing for a whole day. I give myself so many hours to do a blog, or clean the house, for example. Hence, the division on the weekly sheets into morning, afternoon, and evening.

I am still working on this organizer. So far, there isn’t a spot for reading, so it is relegated to times when I am riding in the car (not driving) or brushing my teeth. It’s a work in progress.

Any suggestions to be able to juggle my life and my organizer are cheerfully requested!