Scheduling Simplicity? {Streamlined Schedules}

The multiple distractions of our modern life eat away at our time and lives, making organization and discipline ever more necessary. Perhaps even more so for folks like me, who work from home. With few actual deadlines to meet, it’s far too easy to procrastinate! And leaving things undone eventually creates problems. Yet I’d hate to become so structured that I miss out on life’s simple pleasures, like leisurely strolls, watching sunsets, and visits with friends!

But can we really schedule a simple life? Or does simple living mean just taking things as they come?

True simple life, I think, is about tending to the necessary, while making time for the meaningful. So I find some kind of schedule helps, although today’s popular time blocking does not work for me. My old brain can’t keep track of that much detail, making it too easy to get off track! Plus for me, getting things done is more important than when I do them.

What I find works are simple, super streamlined lists!

  • They’re short enough to easily memorize!
  • Especially since each item matches that day’s name, like Tuesday Tidy up!
  • And it’s so simple that it quickly becomes routine, and starts the day on the right track!

A quick glance at them shows what needs to be done each day.

  1. Start with the Household Chores: a list of standard, ongoing household chores.
  2. Then consult the simple menu, allowing time to defrost things if needed.
  3. Check the work or office list, which in my case is blogging.
  4. Keep the super streamlined time schedule in mind throughout the day.

# 1 Streamlined Household Chore Schedule:

Because our home is tiny and simplified, each day (except market and Thursday) only takes 5-15 minutes!

DAY TASK
Monday Off
Tuesday Tidy up
Wednesday Windows & Shopping (our street-market day!)
Thursday Other*
Friday Floors (sweep & mop)
Saturday Surfaces (dust/wash/scrub furniture/counters/fixtures, etc.
Sunday Sweep

[*Other = yard work or deep cleaning chores: clean out cupboards, closets, fridge, etc., as needed.]

#2 Streamlined Menu Plan:

DAY BASIC MEAL 
Monday Meat
Tuesday Eggs & Cheese
Wednesday Wings (chicken day)
Thursday Legumes
Friday Fish
Saturday Soup and/or Salad
Sunday Sauce (pasta, polenta, rice)

[Though Tuesday’s and Thursday’s items don’t match the day, they’re easy to remember since they’re in alphabetical order!]

Cooking is an area where it’s so easy to fall into ruts. Either fixing quick and easy, or always eating the same things. But that often means poor nutrition or improper balance. The healthiest diet is a varied one.

This meal plan, though it may seem over simplified, works well. The main items ensure variety. And by adding various side dishes like potatoes, rice or grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy — you’ve got a well-balanced, varied menu in a snap. Just buy a variety of fruits and vegetables each week, and use the more perishable first. It’s easy to remember, and the days can be swapped, if necessary!

#3 Streamlined Office-Work List:

(In my case, suggested blog themes for each day.)

DAY TASK
Monday Ministry posts
Tuesday Travel (life in Italy) posts
Wednesday Way-to-Live (lifestyle) posts
Thursday Thoughtful (misc posts)
Friday Faith-filled posts
Saturday Society (relationships) posts
Sunday Silent (an image & verse) posts

#4 Streamlined Daily Time Schedule:

I guess this could be considered a form of time blocking. But it’s so streamlined, it’s easy to remember and keep up with! It does help to have a general idea when to do things!

TIME FRAME TO-DO
Sunrise Straighten house, Dress, Wash
Morning Meditations, Writing
Noon Lunch, Dishes
Afternoon Chores, Walk, Visits, Writing
Suppertime Supper, Shower, Writing/Projects
Bedtime Brush teeth

[*Sunrise doesn’t mean I rise with the sun. I needed a word that started with S. ‘Sunrise Straightening.’ Little tricks like these help me keep mental track of things. After a few weeks they become habit, and I rarely have to refer to my lists! Noon/lunch don’t match, but it’s too logical to get confused!]

For me, simplicity is about making time for the most meaningful things in life, and finding time to just BE.

But from my experience, we enjoy free time and relaxation all the more when we’ve fulfilled our duties. Things undone usually nag at the back of our minds, robbing us of the serenity and peace of mind our souls crave. And it undoubtedly helps that I work at home, and don’t have kids to keep track of. Plus I’m grateful to have a husband who encourages and enjoys my writing passion. 🙂 (Though not so much if I don’t keep up with cleaning, meals, and laundry!)

And now, over to you. Do you have any schedules or other methods to keep you on track? Or do you just take each day as it comes? And why? I’d really like to hear, because I’m always willing to learn new ways and ideas!

But for now, I’m off to mop the floors. It’s on the schedule, you know! 😉

[Image ©TheScorziellos-Sheila]

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