How do I do it?

Without wanting to blow my own trumpet, I am an organised person. Friends will often comment, “how do you get it all done?”. Well today I am going to share with you how I organise my life.

Firstly, my diary is a hard copy, paper based diary on my desk open to the current week (my Christmas gift from my parents each year!). It has the kids and my own appointments (and any nights hubby is out or traveling); birthdays anniversaries and key dates; plus school reminders eg field trips or swimming. If I’m traveling, my diary comes with me, I literally cannot function without it.

I categorise my life on two apps on my phone. The first one is Notes which is the apple product, I use this for keeping private information such as passport numbers and expiry dates. Not that I don’t trust google, but I know how hard it is to log into my cloud account so I figure the information is relatively safe. I used to use Notes for everything, but it’s actually really hard to share information if someone doesn’t use an iPhone.

Then I use Google Keep for everything else to do with my life, and the reason I switched is it is so easy to share!! Here are some examples of what I keep:

  • my shopping list (which my husband can also update)
  • photos of everything associated with our apartment (such as the AC remote translated to English and the fuse box so I know which one has blown)
  • wine labels of those we like and want to find again
  • holiday destinations or recommendations
  • business cards and addresses of shops and shopping area
  • walks and mountain hikes I want to do

I also have a list on my desk of everything I have to do each week, from errands such as post office to a business idea I am working on. Because I’m a tactile person I really do love to cross things off and no app gives me the same satisfaction.

Most importantly perhaps is how I actually organise my time.

I plan our family menu each week, so that I only have to do one grocery shop a week (or ten days if I plan really well!). Grocery shopping requires visiting a couple of different areas in Taipei, so this in itself takes a little time. It definitely saves time to do a weekly shop, but it also means we save money, with only one visit to the grocery store, there are less impulse buys too 🙂

For the past few months, I have been going with hubby to drop the kids at school so I can walk home and get my exercise in before my day really starts. This has been great, not only for the activity, but it’s become my meditation time as well. I absorb the activity around me, the stunning riverside walkway, and reflect on what has been happening and what needs to happen in my day/life.

At least three days a week I try to keep ‘clear’ for work. From writing this blog, to planning the next Coffee Call. From researching topics of interest to expats and mums, to learning more about marketing and running a business.

I keep one/two days a week flexible, sometimes it becomes an opportunity to squeeze in a little more work, but often is my opportunity to catch up with friends and do any of the extra things that might need to happen such as school field trips or school council meetings. These are also the days I do the floors/bathrooms etc. Laundry continues almost every day of the week, I just keep it turning 🙂

The weekends are family time, I try really hard to stay away from my business (although it’s often on my mind) and plan at least one excursion or activity for us as a family to connect. Lately I have been doing the baking for the week ahead on the weekends, my girls love being in the kitchen, and this is a great opportunity for us to spend time together. I then freeze everything, not only so I don’t eat it (I don’t need muffins tempting me on a daily basis!), but also to keep it as fresh as possible. I put the frozen muffin or cookie in their lunch box in the morning, and by the time they need it is defrosted and fresh.

I book the babysitter in advance every second Saturday night, not only because she is in high demand, but because if I don’t plan a ‘date night’ it is too easy to get comfy on the couch and do nothing. When hubby and I get out of the home together, we talk more. Our walk into the village is about 15/20 minutes depending on my footwear! And we can meet up with friends, or just walk down to our local wine shop for a glass of wine.

Within all this, I try and respond to emails as required. If it’s something I want to read later I have a folder on my desktop where I drop it. My in box is generally empty or only got a couple of items in it.

I do try to limit my time on social media to when I’m in the car, I figure I can’t do much else at that time 🙂 I love the new folders in Facebook Saves, so I can come back to things I want to actually read later without getting distracted with the social platform! And when hubby gets home at night, I turn my phone off. So if you want me after hours, you have to call hubby!

I always sort the girls clothes for the following day before they go to bed. I also make sure their backpacks are ready to go, the only thing I add is snacks, lunch and water bottle the next morning.

I go to bed around 9pm and I read for 40(ish) minutes, so I am asleep by 10pm. I’m a nanna and I need my 8 hours sleep!! Our day then starts around 6.00am at the moment, in summer its earlier as dawn breaks around 5am.

So there you have it, my life laid out! I’m not saying my approach is for everyone, but people do ask me how I achieve so much. I am a productive person, and I love being busy. You won’t find me sitting on the couch during the day, if I need to sit with a cuppa for a few minutes I tend to use that time to skype my parents or a friend 🙂

How do you organise your time? Please share your favourite tips or apps in the comments.

To download your video series “3 Steps to Deal with the Overwhelm and Stress of Being an Expat Mum” click here!

Please follow and like us:

4 thoughts on “How do I do it?

  1. Marlies Reply

    Sounds good! I have a weekly scedule as well and indeed… shop big! My weeks can shift a bit but with my new idea around the corner, will have to get set times then. Then planning will be even easier.

    • EmilyRogers Post authorReply

      Thanks for sharing Marlies, I can only imagine your big shop!! With all those boys!!

      I’m so excited to see where you take your new idea!! And yes, you will definitely need to start setting time aside for it 🙂

  2. Helen Murphy Reply

    I think we have a lot of similar habits Emily! I am also a fan of Google Keep and use Google calendar not only for appointments but also to remind myself to do things (such as run to the 7-11 to pick up concert tickets or whatever). If I don’t write it down it doesn’t happen! I’m not so good on scheduling nights out with the husband but I am in the good habit of planning nights out with a friend: we go and see something cultural every month – one month she chooses and then the next month it’s my turn. We end up seeing some wierd stuff sometimes because our tastes are very different but it seems to work!

    • EmilyRogers Post authorReply

      Funny that we have so much in common!

      That’s a really great idea, sharing the planning with a friend!

      Thanks for sharing Helen 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *