One Bag Nation

For a while now I’ve been using a modified version of simplemom’s Daily Docket to help me manage my schedule. Working part-time from home makes me feel scattered, and my Hour by Hour plan helps me set realistic expectations for my day and my week.

Each day I schedule time in my Hour by Hour to Take Stock. I pull out my Docket, review what I’ve planned for the day, then take stock of what I’ve accomplished and what still needs to be done. Checking in like this gives me a much-needed rest from the computer (or housework, or laundry, etc) and allows me to re-think my plans – if necessary – or give myself a big pat on the back for sticking to my knitting and being productive.

I’ve discovered that if I don’t pause and review, the day is gone before I know it and I’m frustrated that I didn’t accomplish what I had set out to do.

How do you stay on track as your day unfolds?


I bought a new Day Runner (binder and pages) for 2009. My old one was smallish, and with my new job the monthly calendar squares were just too cramped and I could hardly read what I had written.

I love my old book. I got it on sale at Filofax several years ago and I’m still attached! But I had to move on. My 2009 pages are in the new book and I have to deal with it.

Why has it been so hard to make the change? In my typical way I shopped and searched and shopped some more and had a terrible time making a decision, but I chose this new book and I like it. The cover is attractive and the squares have the room I need – so what’s the problem?

I can only say that I’m almost physically uncomfortable using this new format and I’m pining for my sweet little red leather Filofax. I know from experience that I just have to hang in there and eventually I’ll be perfectly happy. But in the meantime, I’m a bit cranky!

Have you ever had a similiar experience?

Inspired by the New Year’s Challenge posed by Leo from, I decided that my only serious New Year’s resolution would be to establish a new habit, and that my habit would be to write (and say aloud) three affirmations daily.

forgetmenotThe problem is, it’s so easy to forget to do it! I decided to type mine out, rather than handwrite them, so I created a document and saved it to my desktop where it would be easy to retrieve. But still I forget . . .

Leo recommends finding a “trigger”, another action that will prompt you to practice your new habit. I don’t like the word trigger; I associate it with trigger foods and that’s not a happy association for me.

Whatever I call it – how about prompt, nudge, poke or ???? – I have to come up with something that will, well, remind me to write my affirmations.

If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Photo by Lively Images

hitthewallThe last month or so really challenged my ability to keep lots of balls in the air; my little blog was one of the first to drop, and I’ve missed it!

I was feeling so discouraged that I couldn’t even rally to make any New Year’s Resolutions; somehow “get organized” is starting to sound really worn out and meaningless.

Instead I have committed to daily affirmations. I have three, which I write and say 15 times each, every day. My affirmations are big in scope; as I write them I think about the small steps required to fulfill their promise.

Do any of you make affirmations? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

Yesterday Kelly at Almost Frugal posted about the similarities of living with a chronic illness (in her case fybromyalgia) and her efforts to live frugally.

The post resonated with me because I feel the same way about my quest for order and organization. I’ll be going along for a while, feeling pretty good, and then suddenly, the %$&* hits the fan and I’m feeling completely out of control.

Just like with managing an illness, my journey is really about a lifestyle change – perhaps taken one teeny, tiny step at a time – until finally, those little steps add up to something big. This is a major shift for me; I’m much more prone to “all or nothing thinking”, despite the fact that it does’t really work, in any areas of my life!

Perhaps I am learning . . .

busydesktopMany of us have a lot to do around the holidays. Despite my attempt to plan a more frugal and simple holiday season for my family, I still have long to do lists. I’m not feeling stressed, though. I found a great way to get my tasks done without feeling completely overwhelmed.

The idea was inspired by Marelisa at Abundance Blog, who first introduced me to the concept of “micromovements” a while back, and she wrote about it again recently in a post about productivity. All it means is that you break down projects into very small pieces, and work away, little by little, until the project is finished.

Each day I’ve reviewed my holiday list, and identified something – even just a tiny something – I could accomplish, .

Some examples: one day I took inventory of our holiday cards, and another day I ordered stamps.

One day I pulled out my holiday cooking binder and located all the recipes I’m planning to use; another day I bought canning jars and cello bags.

One day I got out the patterns for the knitting projects I wanted to do; another day I put yarn, needles and patterns together into tote bags so I could easily grab them when I had time to knit.

By committing to do a little something every day I’ve managed to chip away at my list pretty efficiently. I also set aside a couple of days for shopping and errands, and I’ll be doing that again tomorrow, hopefully for the last time this season.

Micromovements have really made a difference for me this year, and if you need help managing everything you’re trying to accomplish right now, give it a try!

If you have other holiday survival tips or tricks, please share!

hbhfoodThis week wraps up our six-week Holidays by Hand series. Several bloggers submitted recipes for their favorite holiday treats.

Please visit my other blog, to see my recipes and photos, along with links to the other bloggers’ Holidays by Hand food posts.