• Sumo

Balancing work and family is the key.  Do your ToDo lists and shopping lists ever collide?

I was sitting in my car, just prior to a meeting the other day.  I was a few minutes early on purpose as I had two things to do before the meeting…

On my office wall-board I have post-its with ToDo tasks on them.  I can count 15 if I don’t lift any up.  There are more post-its, but with notes about other things.

At least one of the ToDo post-its has a February date on it, five items and only three ticked through.

I have ToDo lists in my diary and in spreadsheets, most of which I have finally consolidated into one.

With all these, I actually find that I know all the long-time outstanding tasks and those that actually need to get done are also pretty close to the front of my mind.  That may not continue as I get closer to dementia, but for now…

But when I am in the kitchen, or thinking ‘house’ rather than ‘work’, things are organised differently.

If I run out of something in the house, I keep the container in view on my kitchen surface until it is replaced.  But I also write it on a shopping post-it pad.

On that pad I add foods as they are used up and other errands.

One place, one pad, one post-it at a time.  Good, disciplined and as fail-safe as I can manage.

Now to combine the two

In the beginning, I would sit down to write or make phone calls but be distracted by knowing there was an errand to run or something important to buy for the house.

Now that at least my household planning is more under control, I can relax in the knowledge that there is a system to take care of things.  But when & where?

I spend quite a lot of my time meeting people.  Whether a client, a supplier or a business colleague.  I work from home and live in an outlying village so I don’t often set the meeting in my office.

So I need a Starbucks, Costa or equivalent.  And if I am out anyway, am often happy to make it nearer the person I am meeting.

The simple solution is that many supermarkets have a coffee shop.  And if I get there early or leave myself a few minutes after the meeting, I can pop around the store and pick up the items on my list.

They are also often easier to find and easier to park than agreeing to meet in a “lovely little coffee shop in the middle of the high street”.

And by the way, there is one of those lovely little coffee shops next door to my regular hardware shop, so if I need something from there off my list, guess where I set the meeting!

Back to me sitting in my car the other day.  I was in the supermarket car park, making a couple of my morning phone calls, but had a post-it in my pocket with “ketchup” written on it.  I had to buy some as we ran out the previous evening and my daughter does like her sauce…

With a system and a little planning, two sets of priorities have come together, which gives me peace of mind and a few saved minutes here and there.

What is your best system for combining “Ketchup and calls”?  Do leave a comment below about your efforts of balancing work and family.

Originally posted on MumsandBusiness.com