Over the past decade I've taken on quite a few big, new roles and responsibilities....I got married, popped out four babies, decided to homeschool them and then decided to start my own business from home.
Needless to say, this mama's hands are very, very full (according to the half dozen or so strangers that tell me so anytime we go out in public!)
By nature I'm a pretty organized and task-oriented kind of person (hello, Enneagram Type 1!!) I like for there to be a rhythm, flow and order to our days which helps me feel free to make the most of every moment, instead of constantly running around putting out chaotic fires.
I've always loved using planners and notebooks and calendars to map out my schedule, to-do lists, goals, and so on.
The problem is that at this point in my life, keeping track of everything on paper just isn't realistic anymore. There are too many things that are constantly changing, between juggling the lives and schedules of six family members, the different tasks and to-do's in our home and homeschooling, and an online business with many moving parts.
A Quick Behind-the-Scenes Peek at My Life Currently
We are in a season of life where both my husband and I own our own businesses and get to set our own schedules (which is really nice, but requires a new level of intention, discipline, communication and teamwork!)
Monday through Friday from about 8:30am-6:30pm Andrew is out of the house working and I'm at home with the kids.
This year, as I've continued in my journey to simplify and take better care of myself, we started having a babysitter come twice a week for a few hours so I can get work done during reasonable hours (without having to get up super early or stay up really late like I did for so long!)
On an average day I get up around 6am and spend the first few hours of my morning before the kids get up at 8am taking care of myself spiritually, physically and mentally.
(Side note - I am a HUGE advocate for getting up early to start your day before the kids get up so you are able to fill your own cup before jumping right into pouring out!)
Once the kids are up, I help get them ready for the day and fed, and the rest of the morning is spent playing, doing school, running errands, etc (currently my kids are 8, 7, 5 and 3.5).
As I mentioned, twice a week a babysitter comes during this morning block, during which I crank out several hours of dedicated work.
Next up is lunch and nap time (which is sacred in my house - yes, EVERYONE is required to have rest time, including me if possible!!)
Tough I do use nap time to get some more work done, as an introverted mama I usually need a restful recharge in the middle of the day, so I try to make myself take that time - at least a quick 15 minute catnap!
When nap time is over I get the kids up, make a snack, and then we dig into more school, playing, errands, chores, etc before getting dinner ready.
We have dinner as a family most nights (unless Andrew is working late) and after dinner we tidy up the house together before getting the kids ready and off to bed.
I try not to work in the evenings anymore unless strictly necessary. We have a standing weekly date night, family night, and fellowship group night, but the remaining few are left open.
How I Plan, Organize & Manage Our Life
When I sit down and think about all of the "categories" of my life, I can pretty much sum them up as follows: faith, self care, marriage, parenting, home management, homeschooling, business and community.
Most likely your life categories look fairly similar - we all have full lives, with lots of dreams, goals, plans and to-do's!
But the question is: how in the world are we supposed to manage it all with clear focus and intention?
But this reality begs an inevitable question: how in the world are we supposed to keep up with it all?! If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me, "How do you do it all??" I'd be a very wealthy woman sitting here typing to you today!
Here's the truth: I don't do it all....at least not all at the same time, with equal focus, and well. That form of balance is a myth, it just doesn't exist! And I'm learning to be okay with that.
What I have learned, however, is there are things and resources out there that can help you simplify your busy, filled-to-the-brim life and manage it more efficiently.
Case in point? Trello!
What Exactly is Trello?
I'm so glad you asked! Honestly, I'm a total geek about my love for Trello and could sit here and gush about it to you all day long. BUT, ain't nobody got time for that, so I'll do my best to keep this short.
In a nutshell, Trello is a free digital management and organizational tool that helps you keep track of everything in your life, from the big picture to the minute details.
It helps you create an organizational framework to manage the different parts of your life or business, freeing you up to get more done with less stress.
Sound too good to be true? Think again!
How I Use Trello to Simplify My Life & Business
Going back to the categories I mentioned earlier, I have figured out how to use Trello to simplify and organize my approach to each of those categories in a way that makes me feel like I'm not just flying by the seat of my pants and letting life happen to me.
Below I'm going to show you a snapshot of each of my personal "boards" (the places you organize each area of your life) as well as a little bit about how I actually use them.
Goal Planning & Intentional Living
This is the board I use to do my big picture thinking, dreaming, brainstorming and planning for my life as a whole. It's really helpful for ensuring that I prioritize intentional living and goal setting, as well as celebrating milestones and learning through reflection of what has and hasn't worked in my life.
Schedule & Task Management
This is the board I pretty much spend every day of my life in. I list out all the things I need to do personally and in my business, then I assign them throughout the week to keep me on track.
The Home Base board is a complete lifesaver because I can keep track of all important family-related information in one easy-to-access spot. Plus, I've added my husband to the board so he's able to see and access it all for himself too.
When I first got started with using Trello it was to have an organized, efficient way to manage my online business. I have a couple of boards to manage the different pieces of my business, and I honestly don't know how I would keep up with it all without Trello!
We are just getting to the point where my bigger girls are old enough that I have to stay organized and keep track of details, lesson plans, ideas, etc for their schooling. Having one spot to store and see everything make it sooooo much simpler on this mama!
How You Can Get Started with Trello Yourself
Simply put, Trello has radically transformed the way that I live my life on a daily basis. It's helped me simplify and streamline in a season of life that could be (and often is!) very overwhelming.
But I will let you in on a secret.....when I was first introduced to Trello, I actually hated it! True story! I had built up high expectations in my mind because of what other people had told me, but when I created a free account and sat down to get it set up.....I felt totally lost.
I really believe that Trello could be the answer you've been looking for to help you feel more in control of your daily life and all the moving pieces in it. But I don't want you to have the same experience I did in getting started on your own!
To make sure that doesn't happen, I decided to create a new course called Simplify Your Life with Trello that will walk you through all the ins and outs of getting started with Trello and customizing it for your specific needs.
The course will be released on May 31st, but....I didn't want you to have to wait that long! So, if you're anxious to try Trello out for yourself and would love a little bit of hand-holding through the process, click the button below to access my FREE Trello Quickstart Guide.
In the Trello Quickstart Guide you'll receive a sampling of video tutorials, downloadable PDFs and I'm even throwing in a free template of the My Week board that you can copy, customize and use for yourself!
When you sign up to receive the Trello Quickstart Guide, you'll also be notified before anyone else when Simplify Your Life with Trello is available for purchase (and there might even be a special surprise in store as well!)