Tackling the Pothead Fog: Scheduling for Stoners
This month on The Stoner Mom, I am focusing on organization and how it can vastly improve your parenting and personal life. You know the saying, failing to plan is planning to fail, and this holds true for me. As a Pisces and a stoner, it’s very easy for me to get off track, off schedule, off routine, forget why the hell I walked into the room, etc. That’s the beauty of scheduling. If you sit down and make all the decisions about how to live your day, for the rest of the day the decisions have been made. What a luxury it is to switch on autopilot and still be working to accomplish goals.
One of the big “a ha!” moments in my divorce phase is the understanding that I alone determine the path my life takes. Spending your time in a way that achieves what you want longterm does not come naturally. You really do need to step back, take control, and map out what you want, where are you heading, are you on track?
A first step to getting your life under control, is to use a calendar or journal to create a daily flow for you and your family. Possibilities are literally endless, from scheduling apps to pen and paper. Just don’t use the old brain as a calendar. It’s not one, trust me.
I have had a thing for calendars for as long as I can remember. I use three calendars to run my life:
- iCal/google calendar My mobile calendar, the one I use if I don’t have my notebook with me. I prefer paper to entering in events any day. It’s no wonder; the act of writing reinforces what you are writing in a way that texting or even typing cannot. iCal is attractive and syncs up nicely with google calendar.
- A wall calendar My “office” is a desk in the basement. I’ve hung two large bulletin boards above my desk. Here I track four months at a time and still have room to hang more stuff. This is where I do my main thestonermom.com planning. I like to plan blog posts a month at a time and like to have the upcoming two months always up so to give me writing inspiration. Having a static reminder above my head is so beneficial. Here is a problem that often happens to stoners. Sit down to do something and then… wait, what? What was I supposed to be doing. With these calendars I simply look up to get an idea of what I should be working on.
- The Bullet Journal- After discovering the Bullet Journal I immediately knew it was for me. A Bullet Journal is an analog journaling system that you can use with any notebook. It is tremendously customizable and very efficient. There is a wealth of inspiration out there for customizing your bullet journal. I pulled ideas from Pinterest to come up with my messy, totally Stoner Mom journal.
The monthly spread
The weekly spread
I have pages of house projects, blog topics, things I want to do with kids, every meal my family likes, shopping lists and ideas.
Building your schedule
- Begin by making a detailed “ideal” schedule for the week or average day. This is not a schedule that you will permanently adhere to, but rather a standard flow of how days should go, that serves as a template.
- Start with the constants things like work, school, weekly appointments. These are things that do not change, therefore you must schedule around these events.
- Include buffers for lazy time, running late, unplanned bouts of IBS, etc. As with budgeting, it is wise to plan for yourself first. Meaning, don’t write your schedule and then see where you can fit in your personal time last. Schedule in your personal time with the same level of priority as say, going to work, only with a reasonable time frame. Let appointments conform to your schedule, not the other way around.
- With your ideal schedule as a guide, plan your next day or week. It may be identical to your dream schedule, it may differ on specific events you have going on currently. Block out the time each appointment or task takes, including drive time or clean up. I like to schedule buffers with zero planned. Very useful for the perpetually stoned. Your leftover blocks of time are your opportunities to catch up on work, clean, cook, work on projects, write or read, learn photography, take a nap or play Xbox. They may be few and far between, but try to plan at least one thing that you want to do for yourself a week.
- Plan meals. Look at your schedule and plan your families meals around what the day looks like. Parent Teacher conferences are right at dinner time this week, so yup, that’s a pizza night for sure. Now that pizza is scheduled in, I won’t defrost something the night before, and I’ll wake up knowing that dinner plans are already set. I plan dinners that take more time and preparation for days when I don’t have a lot going on. Nothing worse than getting home from a day of errand running and realizing you are supposed to make a lasagna in an hour.
- Schedule in bulk. I like to tackle three months at a time, working on schedules, meals, budget, regular dental visits, household projects, seasonal chores, etc.
A schedule tells you what you are doing at various points throughout the day. A routine is a set of actions that are always performed the same or with little alterations. Parents are familiar with the Bedtime Routine. Bath, lotion, stories, lights out. Every night, the same way, giving your children a predictable routine of relaxation and love that shapes the adult they will become. Extend routines into your adult life, and find yourself as content as a toddler who knows where his next meal is coming from.
It is important to note the length of time needed for routines. From start to finish. When you know that your After Dinner Routine takes 35 minutes, it’s easy to book it into your schedule, helping you visualize the days flow.
The Stoner Mom’s Routines
- The Weed Run Routine: Every other Saturday I need weed. This means wake up at 9, get clean and dressed, pick up BFF, run by Starbucks, and then drive together to our favorite dispensary in Boulder. It’s now a standard thing, guaranteed friend time, sharing the cost of coffee and driving.
- Mama’s Primping Routine: Every Saturday or Sunday I schedule in a large chunk of time to do the grooming tasks that I consider essential. Manicure, pedicure, eyebrows, shaving, deep condition, mask treatments, that kind of junk. I have overheard many a stay at home mom lament about never having the time to shower or shave their legs. I get that, and have lived that life for years. Some things really are impossible with babies. Combat this with a mini-primping routine that gets scheduled in with priority.
- The Budget Routine: Every other Saturday after payday, I schedule a large amount of time to budget plan and pay bills. Often in bed while watching crime documentaries.
- The After Dinner Routine: Children have free time while the husband and I straighten up the kitchen (which is typically destroyed The Stoner Mom needs to learn the concept of clean as you go). After the kitchen I unpack backpacks and go through folders, reading and signing when needed. I review the days homework before I call the kids in for homework time.
- The Before School Routine: A rigid routine of waking up at the right time, dressing, packing lunch and backpacks, starting breakfast at an exact time, waking up children and guiding them into the bathroom, feeding kids healthy breakfast and vitamins and medicine, and then leaving the house at the exact right time to deal with the hell that is The School Parking Situation.
- The Cleaning Schedule: This is it’s own beast, and I will post more about it separately. The Cleaning Schedule is broken down into routines that are then scheduled over a week at a time. The goal of The Cleaning Schedule is to spent just enough time that the house is more or less always presentable (note I said presentable, not immaculate.)
This post is meant to present my style of scheduling and planning. There are many techniques on time management, so there is plenty to research if my style doesn’t suit your fancy. My most sincere point of this post is to encourage parents to take control of their time. Make that time work for you. You can always schedule in some time to while away the hours.