One of my routines on Saturday Morning is to drink my tea and watch and episode of ‘The Pioneer Woman’. ( As I was watching an episode (and I watch with pad and pen in hand) she said these words with sparked an idea for this blog… “Make ahead”, oh my goodness, yes!! It reminded me of my days of working as school secretary, two daughters in elementary school, plus all of our activities. My husband was away most of the time, saving the world, as Air Force Major! If I didn’t look ahead, plan ahead, and make ahead, I would have been running behind. It takes more energy to try to catch up when you fall behind than it does to look ahead, plan ahead, and make ahead!!
Using a Month-At-A-Glance Calendar, gives you a general overview of the main events of:
Upcoming Special Days
o Birthday days
o Birthday parties
o Anniversaries
o Holidays
School Events
o Days off
o School holidays
o Parent / Teacher conferences
o Carnivals, Plays, etc.
Extra-Curricular Events
o Piano, dance, Martial Arts lessons
o Sports practice, meets and games
o Doctor visits / appointments
o Any event that happens outside of school time
Now, let’s drill down to Week-At-A-Glance
Upcoming Special Days / School Events / Extra-Curricular Events
o Who is involved?
o How will they get there?
o How long will it take?
o What do they need for this event?
o What will we eat? (Menu planning)
o When will homework / housework be done?
Take a look at your Week-At-A-Glance. Where will you be each day of the week? This will help you get a plan of action for meals, clothes and transportation. When will the following things be done?
> Grocery Shopping
> Cooking
> Laundry
> Home Work
> House Work
> Sitting down to dinner
> Relaxing / Family fun time
These things will depend on your daily schedule. I highly recommend that these items are scheduled in your day and on your calendar! Some of these things may not go on everyday; however these are the typical things that are needed most days!
One of my go-to-plan-ahead tools is a tote bag for specific events. I drop what I need for that event or day in the bag when I think about it. That way, I can grab my bag and know everything is in it when I head out the door.
Here are the bags I have:
> Work bag (it is always packed and has everything I need for an organizing client appointment)
> Everyday bag (calendar, coupons, errand and meeting things go in this bag. If I have returns, those will go in the bag, if they fit along with the receipt.)
> Speaker bag (contains all my info and contact information for speaking to a group)
Another Make Ahead is meal planning.
While watching the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond), she cooked many chicken breasts at one time. She only used 2 or 3 in her recipe and put the rest in a freezer zip bag and saved them for a future meal. In my days of School Secretary, I would think of many ways to use a whole chicken. I boiled it and used the broth and split the chicken for different recipes. I would get three to four dishes from the one chicken.
What can you cook and use half not and freeze the other half for next week?
Make your life work! What do you need as you head out the door in the morning? Pack it up after you look ahead, plan ahead and make ahead!! You can do it!
Happy Organizing,

Marla Regan CCP, owner of Organized Time is a Productivity Specialist and Certified Family Manager ® Coach specializing in helping clients with their productivity in their home and office.
Do you feel like you want to clone yourself, so you can be in more than one place at a time?
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Are you feeling stressed? Do you stuff those feelings and keep going as though it is a normal way of life?
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