Building a Routine: Making an Agenda

“Failure to plan is planning to fail”- Alan Lakein. Since I’ve started this blog I have learned so much about planning and what an impact it can have on your life. One of the biggest areas planning has made a difference for me is my daily schedule. I have found that having a plan laid out for my days makes them go so much smoother. I also find that I get more accomplished and I more regularly reach my goals for the week.

However, being the Distracted Housewife means I often forget or get distracted when it comes to sitting down and making these plans. Yikes, that definitely means I am planning to fail. But I am finally committing to remedying that situation.

Ever since I have taken the time to start building routines in my day I have seen my house become much much cleaner. But other things keep getting left undone. It seems as if I am either getting my routines done and everything else is falling by the wayside, or vice versa. It wasn’t until recently that I realized making an agenda was what would change my days for the better, and after doing this simple 5 minute task for 3 days I have seen a huge jump in my productivity. I have actually been going to bed happy with what I have accomplished for the day. Which we all know, is a big deal for someone like me. Here is how I plan to go about making an agenda for myself on a daily basis.

The most important part of making an agenda is having a cup of coffee or tea at hand. Ok, maybe not the most important, but it certainly makes the process more enjoyable. Other than all you need is a pen and a pad of paper. You don’t even need the highlighters, since they mostly for the visual and to make it look pretty.

The first thing I do is write out the skeleton of the agenda. With times down the side, each line being 30 minutes. Of course, this is what works for me. If you are looking to do this for yourself please use what will work best for you.

Whole thing 1024x768 Building a Routine: Making an Agenda

I also allow an area for Meals and goals. I try to limit my goals to the day to 6 goals. Any more than that and I can’t seem to get it all in. Meaning I would most likely end up feeling discouraged and disappointed at the end of the day.

Agenda main 1024x768 Building a Routine: Making an Agenda

After the skeleton is created I write in our meals for the day. I do this so I have the meals fresh in my head for the day and I know whether or not to get something marinating or in the crock pot early on. If something does need to be done early in the day for dinner then I can put it on the schedule.Today was an easy day though, since all I had to do was get the ground beef out to thaw for dinner.

Filled in meals on the agenda 1024x768 Building a Routine: Making an Agenda


Deciding on my goals for the day is the next order of business. I make sure to look at my goals for the week so I know I am heading in the right direction. I also try and take into account what we are doing that day. If one of my goals is to grocery shop and run errands, I won’t be putting major cleaning chores down for my other goals.

goals for the agenda 1024x768 Building a Routine: Making an Agenda

Now I lay out the basis of my day, by putting the meals and the un-moveable stuff, like naps, onto the schedule. I highlighted the meals in green and the everyday chores and tasks in blue.

On the Agenda wout goals 1024x768 Building a Routine: Making an Agenda

With this I can now see where I have spare time to fit my goals in. From here its just a matter of plugging the goals in where they will fit, taking into account the time it will take and whether or not it can be done while the kids are awake.  I went ahead and highlighted the goals in purple to make it more obvious.

Final 1024x768 Building a Routine: Making an Agenda

One of the most important things I do is leave gaps in my day. As you can see I have 3 hours to vacuum. Of course it didn’t take me 3 hours to vacuum but I tied up loose ends on some of the other tasks and played with the kids outside. In the end, I am actually finding more time to play with the kids when I have a plan than when I try to wing it. Too often when I wing it, I jump from task to task trying to do it all. Only to end up feeling frustrated and burnt out when I can’t get anything 100% completed.

Am I saying that I follow this plan 100%? No, I don’t think that’s possible with a 1 year old and a 3 year old. However, it does give me an idea of how my day should flow and where I will be headed throughout the day.  So that’s why I will be making the effort to do a schedule every day from now on. By adding this simple task to the routines I have created so far.

10 thoughts on “Building a Routine: Making an Agenda

  1. Love it- but it’s not for me. My OCD kicks in if I try stuff like that. I have morning, afternoon, before bed routines, daily work, and zones. I have daily and morning routines done before leaving the house for any errands. Christopher(13months)takes one nap a day, after lunch, so as long as I’m home around 1-2 he’s ok. I don’t work at the moment so have no need for down to the minute scheduling.

    • I do struggle with ocd sometimes when I make these. I have to remember to leave big gaps throughout the day and over estimate my time for it to work. But if what you are doing works for you then keep doing it! Its hard enough being a stay at home mom, don’t do anything to make your life harder! Keep up the good work!

  2. Your agenda is so organized-I love it! I struggle a bit if I implement routines and things don’t go “as scheduled” but I really do need to get some sort of more formal routines in place around here more for myself than for the boys.

    • My kids are still really young so it is easier to keep them on a somewhat regular routine. But things happen. My son went down for a nap 2 hours early today. He was obviously ready, so what could I do? Sure that messed up my whole plan for the day, but it doesn’t stop me from starting over. I know you can do it, it just takes time.

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  5. I like this whole notebook schedule thing and, after taking advantage of the .20 cent back-to-school notebook specials, I have plenty of them…so I guess it’s time to give this a try. Now I just need to pick up some more highlighters. :)

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