After a while I resolved to find an organization system or make one of my own. I have tried several ones and I have spent countless of hours trying to make my own over the last 8 years and I was still not fully satisfied with what I came up with, it just did not work very efficiently for me.
Because life is so busy as a mum, wife, minister, business woman, household manager and whatever else I do, it is so easy to loose focus of the essential and important and get lost in the urgency of the moment or many small little things that I wonder if I was even meant to do. This caused unnecessary stress and frustration in my life, made me feel life circumstances were leading me rather than God and stole my peace at times.
So I tried one more time to see if anyone else developed a system that helps you stay organized on the basis of priorities, so God is not forgotten in my business, or just He has to fit in when I can fit Him in, children don’t miss out on what I am meant to be for them, my marriage partner doesn’t feel marginalized by the multitude of tasks and tiredness that comes with a busy life for women and the household work gets done regularly and not just from time to time. Also, even more importantly, I wanted to make sure that I get time to fulfil my call and stay healthy and not just put everyone else ahead of me to the point of burnout. I could say a lot more in this area, we women do so much and have to be such multi-taskers that it is easy to get off track and out of balance, focused more on some things than others and not living life with purpose and direction that is set in heaven for us.
After prayer, I have finally found a system which works on an Excel spreadsheet and then modified it and added a lot of my own needs and values and purpose filled actions that I want to implement in order to see happen what I believe God wants to do in and through my life. The link with the attachment is at the bottom of this article and instructions lower below as well as inside the spreadsheet.
This system can be used by anyone and adopt it to their own needs and requirements. It works on a point system, where you rate each task you have to do based on how high it lies in importance among your major categories of life, how urgent it is and how much effort it takes to accomplish it. Then you total the points and the higher the total the earlier it gets inserted in your calendar as a task to do. There are a number of other tabs where you can first of all write down your life priorities and goals, based on God’s will for your life, where you can setup your Daily Routines, you can keep track of your spending, you can make a meal roster, write a shopping list and write down a list of ideas for activities to do in holidays with the kids, etc.
The categories are rated with codes by importance , effort and urgency. So when you record a task in the task list, you first check to see where it fits in your big picture of life, in what category number, then what code of urgency should it receive (from 1-5 each code is defined) and how much time it will take to accomplish.
These are the steps to use this system: Write your life categories (see my spreadsheet for a model) based on what you believe in your heart that it’s right for you and as you think God thinks about them, for your life. Then define what each category looks like by chopping the big category more and more down into small categories, then goals and till you get to simple tasks. You can use some of my ideas but best to know for yourself from God. Write even the specific tasks you know God wants you to do already.
Once you have done this, you will end up with a list of tasks. Some will be things you must do regularly, others will be one offs. The regular tasks then need to be included in the daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly routine in the Routines tab. The one off tasks need to be included in the Tasks tab.
Any other new tasks you get on a day to day basis can then just be added to the tasks list (unless they are deemed to be regular tasks), and rated by the code point system and the total calculated. Once the total is calculated, sort the spreadsheet by the highest total.
Then you enter the the tasks in the calendar from the highest total given first priority and closer fulfil date to lower totals. If the task has a deadline, insert it in time to fulfil the deadline. Add the routines first in your calendar for every day and then add the tasks based on the points system – this way you have a calendar with what you are meant to do every day to live a purposeful and fruitful life on course with God’s priorities and will for your life.
Believe me, there is a great feeling to feel organized and not out of control, it releases a deep peace and renewed motivation to do your best and stay focused.
So I invite you to download the file below and check it out and if it is useful to you, may God make you faithful in using it regularly. If you have any questions, if something is unclear, just drop me a comment or an email and I will do my best to help, though put a lot of effort in the Legend explaining everything as well as in each tab to make it easy for you.
In short this is the flow of the system:
1. Write down your life categories (relationship with God, yourself, family, ministry, other relationships, household management, finances management, work, etc) and define how they would each look in the ideal world. Define this in detail. Might be worth spending half a day or a day to get this worked out and the system down to how you want it. Write the categories down in order of the priority you give to those areas in your heart and give them a code, the most important area of your life should have the highest number.
2. Write down your routines of MUSTs that are non-negotiable that must happen in your life regularly if you are to fulfil those categories of priorities mentioned at point 1. This step is important because who you are daily is really who you are. Make sure you put down who you would want to be, what you feel it’s necessary to achieve that, but not make it unrealistic and unachievable, in fact leave yourself some free time.
3. Write down the one off tasks that will help you achieve all at point one in detail and other tasks you are aware of that await to be done, this is like your to do list. Rate them according to code points as mentioned in the spreadsheet and then total the points.
4. Input the tasks into the calendar according to this system. The task with the higher points is a task that is more important, requires more effort and is more urgent, these are the tasks that can be put earlier rather than later on your calendar. Enter your daily routines and weekly in each day of the calendar first so you can be realistic of how much extra you can add from your task list. Then add tasks from your to do list and go to work to fulfil your list. Also enter tasks that have a particular deadline in the calendar so they can be achieved by the deadline. I have set up a different spreadsheet with a tab for each day of the month (31 tabs) and a tab for specific dates throughout the year. Each month I modify it for the following month. This system makes it easy to copy and paste the routines and the tasks in.
What can’t be done today, re-schedule and don’t stress if you were not able to do everything in the list, that will only work to discourage you and weaken you in your motivation. Just be thankful for what you achieved and try to consider what caused the rest not to be done. No one can do anything about certain kind of unexpected circumstances, but we can do something about ourselves being disciplined and focused.
Don’t worry about what is not under your control and make a choice to do what you can where you can change and think about how you will apply this for tomorrow. If your daily routine is too huge, and makes it impossible to actually fulfil it and other tasks in one day, you might need to re-evaluate and have a more realistic daily routine rather than an idealistic world that is unachievable. Then leave it at that, don’t stress over it, it’s counter-productive.
Thank God at the end of each day for the strength and wisdom to stick to the plan and achieve what He wanted you to do.
5. Then you can also make a food roster for the week so you can eat for health, record your spending to keep yourself accountable, make your shopping list and add holiday ideas and present ideas. These are optional, they help me but you might do things differently.
Please right click on the link and Click on Download to get the file: