Scheduling Simplicity?

The multiple distractions of modern life eat away at time, 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!
  • They’re so simple that it quickly becomes routine and starts the day on the right track!
A quick glance shows what needs doing each day.
  • First thing, I check my Simple Menu, which allows time for any defrosting.
  • Then I note the day’s Household Chores: a list of standard, ongoing household chores.
  • Last, I check the Work List, which in my case is blogging.
  • And I try to keep my super streamlined Time Schedule in mind throughout the day.
# 1 My Streamlined Household Chores Schedule:

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

TASK
Monday My feet-up day (free-time)!
Tuesday Tidy up (includes dusting & sweeping)
Wednesday Window washing & Shopping ( street-market day!)
Thursday Ironing & Other*
Friday Floors (vacuum tiles & 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 My Streamlined Menu Plan:
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 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 My 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! And it does help me to have a general idea of when to do things!

TIME FRAME TO-DO
Sunrise Straightening Straighten house, Dress, Wash
Morning Meditations Meditations, Writing
Noon Meal 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.

Plus it undoubtedly helps that I work at home, and don’t have kids to keep track of. And 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 iron. It’s on the schedule, you know! 😉

[Image is our own.]

16 thoughts on “Scheduling Simplicity?

  1. “A true simple life, I think, is about tending to the necessary, while making time for the meaningful.” Oh, that’s good, Sheila! For me, “what’s necessary” includes my quiet time and then aerobic/strengthening exercises (30 minutes) before breakfast most days. But from then on, “What’s necessary” is taken care of on an as-needed basis: laundry, cleaning chores, yard work, errands, etc. Some days I also babysit our granddaughters, but not on a regular schedule. I love the freedom retirement offers to be less controlled by a schedule and the ability to make time for the meaningful–like playing with my grand-girls!

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    1. That sounds like a great idea, Mimi! I’ve tried numerous times to have a sheet-washing day. But in our rainy season here and with no clothes dryer, I have found it next to impossible. But for some reason I usually try to wash sheets toward the end of the week. Funny how we have those little preferences, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, amazing how we all have different preferences. I remember Mama only washing clothes on certain days and hanging them on the clothesline. The memory of sheets and clothing dancing in the wind is special to me. 🙂

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