I am a hopeless planner. I am always planning something. I think ahead and work ahead and this is one of the things that seems to simplify my life. I mean, really, if you want to add instant stress and complication in your life - keep doing things at the last minute repeatedly!
I plan using a calendar: I have a daily calendar that keeps my to-do lists in it. I do not always accomplish everything listed there - but it is written down and I will get to it when I can. I also have a calendar on the wall where I write appointments, birthdays, etc... When I go to write out my daily to-do list, I can easily incorporate these things into my daily list.
Not only do I intentionally plan using a calendar, I intentionally do not OVER plan (at least not our time away from home)! We do not need to be running hither and yon participating in every opportunity that presents itself. I don't want to live that way and I don't want my children to grow up in a life like that.
I plan using an idea journal: One of the areas I love to plan is in things I'd like to do creatively. Birthday parties around here are not thrown together the night before - I work on them for weeks or sometimes months in advance. For me, this is part of the fun and takes a lot of the stress out of it. It allows me to do a lot of extra things I wouldn't be able to do if I thought of the whole thing 48 hours before the big event!
I'm always planning ahead for the next Christmas and what gifts I'd like to make. A spot like Organized Christmas is a great tool in planning out a lot of larger tasks into smaller portions over a longer period of time.
I'm reminded of setting aside money all year to do your Christmas shopping so it is not a burden on your budget! Same is true for your time! If you are stashing ideas away part of the year and then actually doing some part of the year, when the season arrives - you will be well prepared and so thankful that you can contribute your ideas to the celebration.
One more thought -
Proverbs 14:22, "Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness."
I'd like to generate more love and faithfulness in my life and in my home. Wouldn't you? When we spend our time planning and carrying out those things which are good - this is what the Bible says we will find. I love that.
One of the most fun ways to plan is just to dream. What would you like to accomplish? How can you make that happen? How can you fit your specific gifts and abilities into this to share them to their full potential? What inspires you?
How about you? Do you plan ahead or work ahead? How does this help simplify your life? Or does planning ahead not work for you? How do you simplify without planning?