Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part Three

Fail-to-planThis week is full of activities; yesterday we had a field trip, today I had a doctor appointment, tomorrow is grocery shopping and dental appointments, and don’t even get me started on this weekend. Not every week is this busy, but when it is, there are some key things that I can do to ensure events are as stress-free as possible.

Before planning out an event, there are some questions I should ask myself:        

•Did I pray about this? (Perhaps the Lord has other plans?)                                            •Did my husband say it was okay? (As a Christian wife, I respectfully keep my husband   aware of all that I plan to do.)                                                                                            •Will it take away from my first responsibility? (My first job is to be the Keeper of my home.  If this event will prevent me from doing that, I need to rethink going.)                               •Will my family benefit from the event? (Not all good ideas are good for us.)                  •Will I stress out trying to make the event possible? (Do I already have too many events planned on the same day?)

If my event has passed “inspection”; off to the calendar I go. I prefer to do my scheduling on my computer, there I can schedule email reminders and sinc with my iPod. It will also allow me to add notes regarding the event, such as “pack swimsuits”.

Prep for the event by getting any necessary materials ahead of time. Certain events, such as potlucks, often require me to bring along some food. When putting the event on my calendar, I will make sure to add these items onto my grocery list. If I have a birthday present to purchase, that will be added to my errand list. (See Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part One) The day before the event, I usually try to make sure my car has enough fuel; it is always a pain to get in the car and realize I now have to stop for gas… talk about stress!

On the day of the event, I map it out. Knowing what time your event starts is helpful, IMG_8050but (especially having kids) that information isn’t always enough. How long will it take me to get to the event? How long will it take me to get out the door? How long does it take to straighten up my house and kids before heading out the door? Do I have anything else going that morning that also needs to be done? See what I mean; lots of factors will determine how the day goes. I don’t like leaving things to chance; therefore I like to “work backwards”. It looks something like this:

Event Time:          3:00pm (With a drive time of 1hr.)

Leave Time:         1:45pm ( I like to have extra time.)

Kids shoes on:     1:30pm (Plenty of time to brush teeth, hair, shoes on, and get in car.)

Straighten House:1:00pm(If not decent, I don’t leave.I can’t tell you how often that pays off.)

Lunch:                  12:00 (Plenty of time to eat in peace, wash up, and grab food/presents.)

This schedule works very well for morning events too. I simply plug in my start time and “work backwards”. This will help me determine what time I need to wake up, what time my kids need to be up, and everything else that needs to get done before heading out the door.

Because my event was organized to the best of my ability, I am not rushing around trying to do things last minute. Everything I need is set in place and ready to go.  Barring any last minute changes, I am free to enjoy my day and anticipate a wonderful afternoon.

13 thoughts on “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part Three

  1. I love the idea of working backward from your event time – it makes a lot of sense! I can relate to your not leaving the house unless it’s decent. No matter how rushed I am, I always put the necessary things away so that when I walk back in the door I’m not greeted with an immediate stress…a messy house.


    • Thanks! I have found that this method of working backwards helps me so much. I use it daily! As for not returning to a messy house; I am in total agreement! When I walk in, I am not immediately faced with work! A contributing factor to my neatness is the fact that my husband works from home. I don’t have the privilege of leaving my house until later in the day and then cleaning up before Pop gets home. He is always home! (Chuckling) Because people know my husband is home, they feel free to stop by without calling, knowing that one of us is usually here. So, I have on occasion returned home and found people here waiting for me! Knowing my house is at least straightened takes some of the stress out of those situations as well. A bonus is that when I am out with friends and we want to continue visiting, I can just invite them over. I don’t have to worry about rushing home and cleaning up for guests! Anything that reduces the stress of life!


  2. Reblogged this on A Homeschool Mom and commented:

    As this coming school year is already beginning to fill up with events, this portion of my “master plan” will definitely remain in affect. I can always tells when I haven’t done my part and the day is poorly planned. Both prayer and wisdom must come into play when building our family’s events schedule. Cristina


    • Coming home to a clean house is key, for me at least. I can’t imagine walking in the door, from being out and about, and walking in on a mess. It would immediately cause discouragement, make me even more tired, and possibly frustrated.

      Plus, as I mentioned, we often have people stop in unannounced or with little notice. (I’ve returned home to find I have company! Eeeekk!) It helps to have things in reasonable order before leaving.


  3. Pingback: Planning to Avoid Failure | A Homeschool Mom

  4. Pingback: Series Review: If You Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail | A Homeschool Mom

  5. Pingback: Fail to Plan; Plan to Fail: A Series Review! | A Homeschool Mom

  6. Pingback: If You Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail; A Series Review! | A Homeschool Mom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.