Playing Catch-up

With a planner jam-packed full of stuff, it’s not uncommon for some things to get missed, forgotten, or just plain skipped due to a lack of time. Every once in a while you just need a catch-up day. And yet I keep forgetting to schedule one! So tomorrow, after a little Halloween fun in the morning, we’ll be running some errands. And hopefully I’ll be able to take care of some other miscellaneous tasks in the afternoon and evening.

It’s so easy to forget the small errands, and they have a tendency to start piling up after a while. Not to mention the quick paperwork-type tasks: filling out forms, writing out thank-you notes, sending e-mails. And yet those errands and tasks can have a big impact on our lives. If I forget to pick up juice and crackers at the store, suddenly Avery’s school lunches are all messed up. If I don’t remember to review and fill out a form, we can lose out on free money (like we almost did on an FSA contribution form with employer match).

I need to find a way to not lose track of these little errands and tasks. The simplest way is to schedule a catch-up day, but what happens if I forget what I’m supposed to do, even on a catch-up day? And what about the urgent things that come up between catch-up days? It may seem like a silly thing to worry about, especially with everything else I have going on, but these things are important, too. Does this mean I’m going to have to tweak my plans again?

As a part of my cleaning and organizing project, I plan on having a “station” where I can keep paperwork and important information. Bill stuff, forms, checkbooks, stamps — all the little things that can get lost in the shuffle. If I have a tray of things to do — an “inbox,” just like at an office, I think this would help. I wouldn’t have to worry about losing forms or information, and I could build in a little time each morning or evening to simply look in the tray and see if there’s anything urgent I need to take care of. I already have time set aside on Thursday evenings for bills and paperwork, so I could take care of any less-urgent tasks then. That should help clear up any paperwork-type tasks that build up. But what about the errands?

I try to run quick errands after dropping Avery off at school, or after I get out of work. It can be tricky to fit things in, though, especially with doctors’ appointments and other obligations popping up. Lately it feels I haven’t had time to go anywhere! I think that’s why the errands have been building up. With a little organization and planning, though, I think I can continue to fit them in here and there. Once I’ve played catch-up and stocked up on the necessities, we should be good for a while. And if I actually remember to schedule another catch-up day, that should help with anything new that builds up.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the bigger projects that the day-to-day tasks slip through the cracks. But those are important, too! I just have to find a way to make sure they don’t get left behind.

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