Thursday, 28 February 2013


Because I am now studying two papers, and I was a little worried about how I was going to manage that time-wise, plus finish the wedding afghan in time (because I had been only working on it in little bits, I don't know why), plus keep up with the housework, and continue to feed the family (Deane has become accustomed to having lunches and dinners prepared for him every day and gets a little sulky when that doesn't happen.  Spoilt.), I decided I needed to become a little more organised with my time, rather than just winging it.  So I created this:

My everything schedule.  Top left is my daily schedule which breaks down weekdays into one hour-ish lots (some are one and a half, two, or three hour blocks depending on what I'm doing (or supposed to be doing)).  The day generally goes like this:

6-7am run, 7-8.30am breakfast, make lunches, bake bread and organise kids for school, 8.30-9am shower etc, 9-10am daily cleaning chores (part of the schedule, I'll get to that), 10-12.30pm study, 12.30-1pm lunch, 1-2.30pm more study, 2.30-3 exercise (because cross training is important for running), 3-4pm kids homework, empty school bags, lunch boxes etc, 4-5.30pm cook dinner, 5.30-6pm, eat dinner and clean the kitchen, 6-8.30pm knitting and getting the kids organised for bed, 8.30-10.30pm watch stuff with Deane, knit, and organise baking (muffins and biscuits if the kids need them for school, or sorting out the bread for the next morning), 10.30-11pm reading to wind down before lights out.  Although Deane keeps hijacking that half hour with more stuff to watch.  Grr.

Top right is my 'cleaning calendar' - something I found on Pinterest and thought was an excellent idea.  Turns out it is a huge help with the whole time management thing.  This is the stuff that fits into that hour of 'daily cleaning chores' on my daily schedule.  It looks a little like this:

Morning - make beds, wipe bathroom counters and sinks, empty dishwasher, chore of the day.
Evening - load dishwasher, wipe kitchen counters, quick sweep/spot clean kitchen floor, wipe dining table, pick up clutter.

Monday - vacuum and dust
Tuesday - clean windows and mirrors
Wednesday - scrub toilets and showers
Thursday - mop floors (although I might swap Tuesday and Thursday)
Friday - swing day
Saturday - laundry and catch-up day

1st - gardening
2nd - scrub oven, microwave and fridge
3rd - wipe down furniture and cabinets
4th - wipe down walls, baseboards and doors

Of course, not all of it fits into that one hour window, little bits get done when and where they fit in (like making the beds and wiping the bathroom counters and sinks while organising the kids for school, emptying the dishwasher while making breakfast and packing lunches, etc).

Then the schedule at the bottom is for my study (eg: when I should be studying which module, when the assignments are due etc).  Under that is my race number for the upcoming Auckland Round the Bays Fun Run :D  So far this method of organisation has been going quite well (I say that, and yet it's only the first week.  We'll see how it goes long-term).  I've pretty much stuck to the plan (although I'm not militant about it.  I'm not that crazy!), and I'm already ahead of where I need to be study-wise.  I'm up to the first assignments, and they're not due for another few weeks!  I'm happy with that, as it gives me plenty of time to get them done.  For me, the course work and reading is relatively quick, but the assignments take forever.  And my house is clean and tidy!!!  I'll have to see what it looks like by Sunday afternoon (Deane and the boys tend to trash the place a bit over the weekends), but so far, so good.  I like just having one main task per day.  It works better than just doing everything all at once, which can take about six hours.  And oddly enough, having a list that tells me what to do and when to do it seems to really work for me.  I don't really like being told what to do (most people don't), but because I have the list there, my brain is all like "Ugh, I can't be bothered.  I'll do it later" and then it's all like "No!  It's on the list, and it's supposed to be done now.  Just do it!".  And this is working well for my knitting too!  Last Sunday, I was only a quarter of the way through the afghan after having worked on it for about two weeks.  A pretty poor effort if I do say so myself.  Now, because I have my 'regularly scheduled knitting time', and my brain is aware of this whole 'allocated time' thing (refer to previous brain-conversation), I've managed to get quite a bit done and am now nearly halfway through!  I may just get it done in time after all.  Two weeks to go...

Today's routine is a little whacked out, as my morning run ended up happening on my way to and from physio rather than at 6am, since Deane left for the airport at 5.30am.  And I haven't done any study as yet, instead going to physio and writing this blog post.  But because I'm well ahead already, I feel no guilt about it :-)  I've mopped the floors and the beds are made, and my kitchen is spotless.  Sweet as.

To further help with the whole organisation thing, we decided to give meat delivery a go.  I discovered a family business (thank you Twitter) in Taranaki that farms and butchers their own cattle, so they know (and you know) exactly what the cows have eaten, how they've lived (yay for happy cows!) and where the meat comes from (they have a neat little diagram on their site so you know what parts of the cow have gone into each meat product).  They're very good with customer service - I received an email letting me know what day my meat would be arriving, which was today.  Lo and behold, at 7am I discovered this on my doorstep:

Having prepared myself for needing to split up mince, steaks, sausages etc into separate bags before putting them in the freezer, I was about to set to work.  But when I opened the box, I was very pleased to discover I didn't need to.  They'd done it for me:

Awesome!  I'm looking forward to digging in to the porterhouse steaks a little later ;-)  The meat looks to be very good quality, and I'm very happy with the service.  Big thumbs up to Green Meadows Beef!  This will make it a lot easier to meal plan, and I only have to buy chicken, pork and lamb products at the butcher/supermarket now (although there is a business in the South Island that does lamb and venison...)

Ah, I love being organised.  It's so satisfying :-)  You may have noticed that I have running in my schedule, and that I mentioned I ran to and from physio this morning.  Yes, I am running again, hooray!  Sadly, as expected, my fitness level has suffered a significant blow.  The 5km I ran yesterday morning at 5'38" pace was bloody hard work!  Today's 5.7km was split in two, and was still hard (although the pace was pretty quick - 5'15" and 5'05" respectively).  I have quite a bit of work ahead of me if I'm going to be comfortable running this 8.4km fun run in a week and a half :-/  Not to mention all the other upcoming races (although those are a while away).  I had hopes of competing in the Warrior Dash in April.  I'll have to see how the next couple of weeks goes I guess, and decide from there.  There's always next year.

Oh, and one more thing before I get off the blog and get stuck into study - cauli rice.  Seriously.  So simple, and yet so fabulous!  I made a stirfry last night for dinner, and didn't want to have a whole whack of carbs and extra calories (because I have been eating waaaaaaaaay too much bread and junk food lately - my own fault for baking so much).  So I gave cauli rice a go.  It was fantastic!  I just whizzed up half a small cauliflower I had in my fridge, and fried it with a blob of coconut oil and some salt and pepper.  It was the perfect base for my stirfry, and I didn't feel really bad about eating it.  The amount that small half cauli made was more than enough for Deane and myself (there's no way I would be able to get the kids to eat it), and I now have crazy plans to buy ALL THE CAULIFLOWERS and making bags of it to keep in the freezer.  It's quick to make, but sometimes its nice just to have something on hand ready to go, y'know?  I just left the first lot plain as an accompaniment to the stirfry, but you can add pretty much anything to it to change the flavour, or bulk it out to make a snack or meal (like fried rice).  Ooh, while we're on the subject of food, I made a zucchini gratin the other night.  Oh. My. God.  Yum.  I made the cheese sauce with half cream and half milk (and just edam, no parmesan.  Plus I used some sourdough for the breadcrumbs and just sprayed it with a bit of rice bran oil instead of using butter).  Dude.  Why have I not done this before?  Deane went back for extra, so it must've been good!

Enjoy your weekend, people :-)


  1. Very impressive! I need to take some tips from you - I have a work schedule (I work from home) but other than that, everything is very fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants!

  2. I'm usually like that, and still am to a degree. Being at home all day, you do tend to fluff around a bit. I needed to kick my own butt and stop wasting so much time, hence the organisation. I've found it really helpful. I hope you find a solution that works for you!