The Bizzaro Blueprint: Getting Back on Track- Week 1

Getting back on track isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to reach your goal

So I’ve confessed to the world that my first shot at this was a dismal failure, but I did promise that I would tell you how I finally got myself back under control and am currently defeating the anti-motivation, dishes, and disorganization monsters. It’s true. I did it, and a few weeks later, I’m still doing it. I’m going to tell you how I did it, and how you can do it too.

If you can remember the first stage is all about priorities and planning. You’ve got to know what you actually have on your plate and the time frame in which you have to do it. The first week or so really does involved staying in and getting it done.

Week  1: Planning and Priorities

Step One: List it

Calendars didn’t really work for me. So what I did was write up a list of the things I just need to get a hold of. Which looked pretty much like this:

  • Defeat Mount Laundry
  • Clean the dishes already…every day
  • Make the Living Room look less like an explosion…keep it looking that way
  • Get my work from home work done
  • Read with Little G every day
  • Make meals at home- most days
  • Clean my floors
  • Clean my room
  • Clean Little G’s room

The trick to the Bizzaro Blueprint is balance. You need to take things on that you can fit around your daily needs. My Dailies include:

  • working
  • reading with Little G
  • Dishes
  • Meals

Meals are one of those things that aren’t super priorities for me. If the day becomes to overwhelming to make dinner, then we can take out. I know that it doesn’t work like that for everyone, so if this is a priority…make it one. It’s all about scheduling your time effectively.

Then you have your big things, which are the rest:

  • Defeat Mount Laundry
  • Living room
  • Little G’s room
  • My room
  • floors

I picked two for Week 1.

So week 1 list of things looked like this:

  • Defeat Mount Laundry
  • Living room
  • Dishes
  • Meals
  • Work
  • Reading with Little G

Step 2: Take a vow

Once you’ve come up with your list, raise your right hand and say the following:

“This week I’m going to complete everything on my list. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I don’t fail myself. I know that I’m not perfect, and I might fail, and if I do I’ll reassess next week, but I vow to myself to make sure I try my darnedest.”

Step 3: Make a game plan

This part needs to start on the Sunday night before Week 1 begins.

My Game Plan is that I wanted to make sure I could do all of these things and be able to take the weekends off. Eventually I’d love to have Mondays off too, so that I can have a day when I’m just being a little lazy and only doing the dailies. This week, however, there is no day off. You’ve got five days to get it done. How are you going to do it?

Here’s what my plan looked like.

  • Do 2-3 complete loads of laundry every day.
  • Dishes first thing in the morning
  • Work during naptime, and as needed
  • Read 1 book before opening computer
  • Read 1 book before naptime
  • Read 1 book after she eats her lunch
  • Monday- pick up all the garbage from the living room
  • Tuesday- pick up, and put away all the things that don’t belong in the living room (mostly Grace’s toys etc.)
  • Wednesday- dust the furniture, clean the coffee table
  • Thursday-Vacuume
  • Friday- Maintain

Step 4: Execute

This really means, follow your game plan. Do your best to keep to whatever schedule it is you made. Make notes, either mental or on paper, to what works or not. Maybe doing the dishes in the morning doesn’t work for you. Find a time that you can do them, and do them at that time every day. Tomorrow I’ll post about how I managed the laundry situation and actually conquered it, along with some tips and tricks that made it easier to accomplish this for me. Later this week I’ll post my assessment of how the week went.

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The Bizzaro Blueprint- Phase One- Step One- The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Moms

The best laid plans of mice and moms most often go awry. This is why we’ve given up on making plans, right? Life happens and we never have a chance to catch up. Our lists get carried over to the following week and that means that other things don’t happen when they should?

All that is about to change for you. The Bizzaro Blueprint was created with all of this in mind. The truth is we don’t know where to start. There are things we’re so good at, and things that come up, and things we stink at. Unless we figure out a way to get it all done, it’s going to stay that way. We’re going to find ourselves in endless cycles of not getting it done, and feeling simply incapable.

Let’s change that, right now.

Step 1: Planning.

If you’re old fashioned get out a paper and a pen. Otherwise open a word document.

Make a list of everything that you have to do. Try and be complete. Include the things you have to get done right now, the things that you know need to get done, but you’ve been ignoring, and the things you wish you could do.

Here’s mine:

   It’s not the best picture, but you can see that I’ve got some domestic things like dishes, laundry, dusting and vacuuming. I’ve got things like “work”, since I also work part time from home. I’ve also got things that I really want to make time for, like leaving the house with Little G, and learning to play the Guitar with Rocksmith.

It actually doesn’t seem as terrible as usual, but that’s going to work in my favor this week.

Step 2: Prioritizing

Now the next step is to prioritize. What I did was make a table in my word document with 4 columns and 20 rows. You could also use excel, or if you’re doing it the old fashioned way, make a 4 column list. Label the first column: Critical; the second column- Daily (I used a longer version of this); the 3 column- weekly; and the 4th column- Occasional/Sporadic. Now take the list you’ve just made, and categorize each one.

Let’s be honest though, we’d love to be the kind of women who dust every day, and keep up with our mopping, but that’s just not realistic. I put each of those rooms into the weekly category. The things that I only “want” to do, I put them in the occasional/sporadic column for now. I will eventually like to make a commitment to do this more often, but for now…it’s only a wish.

As you can see my only critical task is the laundry- cause yeah, it’s that bad. In the daily column I have meals, dishes, and work.

The majority of my tasks fall into the weekly column. There’s a lot of little tasks in here, which probably won’t take more than 20/30 minutes a pop, but some of them need to happen before other. For example, I’m not going to mop the kitchen floors until I clean up the kitchen. The same goes for the vacuuming and the living room.

So when we move on to the next step, it’s important to make sure we keep that in mind.

Step 3– Organizing

So let’s make all of this information useful for us, shall we?

I made a new table with 7 columns, and 2 rows. I label each column with the days of the week starting with Sunday. You could either get a weekly calendar, use an excel sheet to do this, or draw this out yourself. Whatever works for you.

Supermom’s might work every day, but I like to keep my weekends task free. It might not always work out that way, but for now we’re going to try it. To emphasize this I’ve highlighted the entire Sunday and Saturday columns in red.

Next,  put in the concrete daily times you have in your day. For me that’s Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Naptime and Bedtime.

Since work is something that I know needs to be done every day, I’m going to put that up at the top. My work is very part time and pretty much involves me responding to requests when they come in.  There really is no way for me to schedule that. So I’m going to put it up at the top and highlight it in yellow to represent something I have to fit into my day.

Laundry is a critical task, since I have looming towers of laundry. I’m going to put that at the top in yellow as well, because I’m going to do my best to just bang it out this week. Let’s say I have 12 loads of laundry to do. I’m going to commit to washing and folding 3 loads of laundry every day. Since the drying process takes an hour at least, I’m going to find a way to fit that in to my schedule when I can. I’ll write more on the laundry situation tomorrow. I’m taking Monday off of laundry, to give me the time to plan out my schedule, and write this blog. Which means Tuesday-Friday all have laundry highlighted in yellow at the top of the page.

My next daily activity is the dishes. There’s no way around it. I have to do them in order to have things to eat off of.  That takes me roughly 20 minutes, so I’ve decided to do that right after Little G goes down for her nap.

So now it’s a matter of assigning the weekly tasks to a given day, keeping in mind the tasks that are dependent on one another. I’m also organizing this within time periods that I don’t have Little G to actively take care of. Naptime gives me a good 2-3 hours to accomplish things.

Monday, for example, I have a lot to accomplish. I have to write this blog, plan my meals, do the dishes and work. So it makes sense not to try and take on extras.

When you’ve completed your meal planning- you can insert what you’re making for each meal right into your calendar.

Now, let’s get real. As I was writing this blog a work problem reared it’s ugly head and I had to push things around. While I was working Little G woke up (thank God Big G is around this week). I’d finished my meal planning, the dishes, and put everything in the crockpot.Something might have had to move…honestly it was this blog. That’s going to happen. This is why we’re breaking things down into tasks. We need to be able to move each task around.

Pick one or two column 3 items to get done each day.Pick one column 4 item for the week. It’s going to be a busy week.

Print this and post it somewhere you can see it. It needs to be somewhere handy enough for you to write on it when you need to.

Over the course of the week take note of how long each task takes to complete. Sometimes the dishes take 20 minutes, sometimes it takes longer. You need to know about the tasks you’re setting for yourself. It becomes important later on in the Blueprint.

Now get to work! Drop me a line and tell me what works and doesn’t work for you. Ask questions too! We can all beat this together!

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