Feb 22, 2024
Do you find yourself in a two-career household trying to get all the things done?
It can feel like insanity!
Work and kids’ schedules can keep you on the go most weeks (and even weekends), and the simplest of tasks at home can pile up way too quickly. Laundry. Making food. Home repairs. Cleaning. Grocery shopping.
Not only does it clutter your house, but even worse it can clutter your brain.
In this week’s episode, Tiffany introduces the first tool in her Own the Ordinary course that will help you get those tasks out of your head, onto paper and into a system that works for you. By implementing the Task Planner tool into your routine, you will feel confident in knowing that your household tasks are already built into your busy schedule. Tune in to learn about this tool that Tiffany has created to help her family and yours Own the Ordinary things in life.
[03:01] Introducing the Task Planner tool and the 3 major components of it
[06:53] Task List PDF explanation
[08:40] Overview of the daily Task Planner
[11:10] What's in Tiffany's 'morning roundup'
[11:56] Tiffany's 'evening wind-down' list
[15:41] Overview of the weekly and recurring Task Planner
[21:10] An editable PDF is in process and will be available soon
Tiffany Sauder: I have been talking about how we are working on a course called Own the Ordinary, and I'm excited to bring kind of the first tool forward for you to try and give me feedback on, and so I'm going to walk through that in a little bit of detail today. If you want to follow along, there'll be a link in the show notes that you can go and download the templates that I'm going to be talking through.
But I think as I've You know, began to export and externalize that I'm passionate about helping people who are living a life just like me and we're not trying to run away from our careers. We're not trying to figure out a way to replace our income so that we can stay home. We're trying to figure out how do we have a life inside.
our careers. How do we have a life inside of our dreams? How do I have a life inside of all these expectations that I have for myself and what life is going to look like and all the things I want to experience and the things I want to do and be with my kids? Like, how do I do my job inside of all of that?
Instead of feeling like I have to exchange. a life or a career. And I've been there before. If you're feeling that way, I like see you in a way that I think I can't possibly communicate with the English, English language. And I have felt what it feels like to feel so alone. And I feel like somehow my marriage has devolved into these pissing matches of who's done the most lately, who dropped the kids off the most often, who unloaded the dishwasher last time, who folded laundry.
And I remember thinking to myself, like, there's no way. This is what my marriage has like become there's no way that Both of both of us like how smart we are how kind we are to people our? Expectations of our lives like how is this what we've become and there's like this massive boulder of guilt and tasks that just gets shuttled between the two of you and it's like there's got to be something more and so as J.
R. and I have worked not just bring peace and sustainability and sanity into our home, but doing it in a way where we're still saying yes to a lot of stuff.
so, I want to walk through the first tool and we're calling it the task planner and there are three kind of major components to it.
The first one is a daily task planner.
Those things that have to happen every single day. I say have to happen. Uh, we'll talk about that word in a moment. So there's a daily task planner, a weekly task planner and a recurring task planner. So The scope of this is really just what has to happen inside the home. So managing your space and laundry, those are kind of the two things.
and you're going to need to customize it to your. Life where you live like we don't have a pool. That's not a thing. I have to manage. We don't have pets That's not a thing. I have to manage like if you have that stuff, you're gonna have to bring it in what has to happen every day what has to happen every week and then what has to happen on a recurring basis?
So it could be every month every other month twice a month quarterly like all of that stuff I don't have the energy to micro solve but I've learned if I put things into systems I do have the capacity to manage a system so I use the word have to, one of the things that can happen is that the things I believe have to happen are different than the list of Jr's things in his head that have to happen every day.
And I would say, stereotypically the, I don't know, the woman's list is longer of stuff that has to get done I see the house more specifically. I get more annoyed when the counters are dirty. if our space is cluttered, my mind is. cluttered. Like I have things that for me have to be done.
And when I force that on him without engaging in a thoughtful commitment and agreement together, it causes a ton of resentment and that resentment builds that boulder catches steam and it becomes the whole of your relationship. And if you've been there, you know exactly what it feels like. And it's very gross.
It's not good. So this process is not just about getting to a place where you can visualize it all, which is very helpful. Like seeing it. Oh yeah. Like twice a year I have to be sure the carpets get cleaned instead of being like two years have gone by and I haven't done it. So things like that, when I can see them, it creates a behavioral prompt for me where I can get it done and not feel this like, Oh, it's in my head.
I haven't done it. This like guilt for not getting to it, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So getting it all on paper. Allows you to visualize it. That's the first thing. The second thing it allows you to do is it allows you to be able have the other people in your house, see it and decide, are we going to commit to this together?
Like, will we agree for this level of. Things to get done inside of our home. Do we agree to those things together so that we're working as a team? And then you can go through the exercise of figuring out who's gonna be accountable for it. Who's gonna do it? Are you gonna do it? Are you gonna delegate it to somebody in your home?
Are you gonna delegate it to somebody who comes inside of your home and helps you with stuff? We have a whole bunch of help. Maybe that's another episode if you're interested in me kind of walking through how that Process has gone. Um, I'm happy to be an open book about what that looks like. It's either done or it's not done.
And if it's going to get done, you have to decide who's going to do it. And if you don't have time to do it all, you've got to figure out where it gets delegated. And for me, having these visual tools of the daily, weekly, and recurring task planner, like literally for me, it's printed 1984.
And we have an expo marker that's blue that stays in the laundry room and that's how we check it off. It's very rudimentary. But on Saturday morning, part of my routine is to go in there and kind of look through the weekly task planner. what did we get done? What did, we not get done.
And then I go through the recurring task planner and see if there's anything that needs to be scheduled. If there's a puck that I need to throw into the washing machine so that it gets washed, that kind of stuff. It's just part of my routine. So when I can see it, I do it. And that's part of me managing me.
So my team and I okay, Sam and I Sam has written a lot of this done. I've exported it She's like such a gift to my life. Oh my goodness. I can't even handle it We have created a tool for you and it's a PDF And what you're gonna see inside of that PDF is a couple of things one is instructions, obviously Second is a master task list.
So I've tried to export for you. Here's all the stuff in my House that we're managing and maybe some things that are outside of my house so that it gives you kind of a prompt of like, what the hell is this shit going on inside my house? And how do I even think of it because thinking of it is sometimes hard.
So we've given you a master task list to serve as like a prompt so that you can get a complete inventory of what needs to happen in your house.
The second thing that you'll see in there is an example, not an example, like literally it's my house. These are the tasks inside of my house that are happening, and you'll see my daily, weekly, and recurring.
So you'll see that as an example to kind of see the level of detail that I use. Now you've got to figure out the level of detail that works for you, level of delegation that works for you, but you'll see my example, and then we have two options for you. If you're a paper and pencil person, you can print off some blank forms like PDFs, and fill those out.
Manually, if you want to like kind of if you're tactile and want to do that, and then we also have an Excel version that you can make a copy of it, just type in what it is at your stuff. You'll see the master task list on a tab, and then you'll see the daily and recurring weekly tabs will be available for you and like ready to print and all that kind of stuff.
So, two versions, typing, tactile, whatever works better for you. Or if you do a tactile and then go into the Excel, whatever works, but we've created tools for you to be able to do this inside of your own home. I can tell you, this has been a game changer for me.
I'll tell you one thing in particular. I want to talk about the daily task planner.
I'm not going to go through each one of these. Cause I think the podcast episode, frankly, really long and boring. If you have questions, please reach out to me directly and we'll answer those. But the daily task planner for me has turned into two things. There's the morning roundup and the evening wind down those two periods of time.
The morning, it is so important to me that my girls leave the house. and Jr and I leave the house feeling like this was an easy morning and we are leaving. Joyfully. Okay. Do we skip out the front door? I mean, no, but you know what I mean? I wanted to feel Good in the morning. I don't want to be barking at people.
I don't want it to feel stressful I don't want it to feel like there's this pressure or who didn't do what like the girls are gonna go experience A lot of things in the day that I can't control and somebody might be mean to them, there might be a hard test, it might be intimidating, something might be scary.
If I can leave them in the morning with a peaceful morning experience, that is really important to me. probably comes from my own upbringing, but my mom was so good at the mornings and She would send us out the front door to the bus and she would say, be nice to somebody who needs it today. And I want my kids to have the capacity to be able to see other people, to be present for their day.
And if they're stressful and angry and didn't feel like loved and seen by me, that's not going to be how they're going to be able to show up. That's like really important to me. So this morning roundup. an evening wind down. Those 2 ingredients are a really big part of the way that I create peacefulness for our family so that those are not stressful, harried moments.
So, we have more in our evening wind down than we do in our morning round up. You can see my example in the PDF again, because in the mornings. Most mornings I work out and that is like sacred time for me. I will wake up very early to make sure that that happens. And so I have learned, I have to get things done at night so that I have time to work out so that I can get the girls out the door peacefully.
and these morning roundups and evening wind downs, you don't have to do them all. If you have a nanny that comes in early, if you're traveling and you have like an in law that's staying with you, having these things like documented and clear helps other people be able to step into the system.
So, my morning roundup is I'll just list them to you is making beds. Do I make everybody make their bed every day? I don't because I'm not interested in managing that. I make my bed. I'd say 95 percent of the mornings it's hygiene for me, and half my kids do the ones that don't care. I don't care, but that's like the time we do it in the morning, make beds, filling the kids as water bottles for school, unloading the dishwasher and checking backpacks.
Like are you taking your lunch today? That kind of stuff. That's what my morning roundup looks like. You may choose to do a hot breakfast for your kids. That's not a priority for our household. That's a choice that we have made. and so I don't feel guilty about not making a hot breakfast, because that's not something I've committed to.
so that's an example of my morning roundup
. And then my evening wind down is a little bit longer. we pack lunches at night. usually as we're cleaning up dinner because it's the kitchen is already messy. There's like already a dirty spoon on the island, like that kind of stuff. So I'm like, Hey girls, if you're packing your lunches tomorrow, come on in and let's get that done.
I'm in the kitchen cleaning up dinner. And so they like. me and I can give them ideas and that kind of stuff. So packing lunches, we'll do tomorrow's calendar review. So who's getting picked up from practice? Who's picking you up from practice? Am I going to be home when you get home from school? Am I not going to be, we like run through the tomorrow's calendar.
I put all the kids to do's like I need to be dressed up like You know, 100 year old person. I put all that stuff as tasks on my calendar so that when I do a calendar review at night, I see all that stuff the next day. Um, and I know to prepare for it.
a 10 minute family pick and put. So this, credibility goes to my sister in law page.
she talks about like picking and putting, which is like, Catchy way of just saying like cleaning up the house, but like, literally, I could never see my house the same. We're like, literally pick things up and put them somewhere, pick things up and put them somewhere. So we do a 10 minute pick and put.
It doesn't always actually take 10 minutes, but everybody does it pretty much at the same time. It's like an hour of of cleanup that happens in 10 minutes. Jera helps sometimes not always, 10 minute pick and put sweeping the floor with the Dyson, wiping down the kitchen counters, which is this like a thing for me, emptying the trash cans in the kitchen in the bathroom.
We still have diapers and that kind of thing. So getting all that out of the house, running the dishwasher. It's the last thing I do before I go to bed. No matter how much. Or a little is in it because that way the next morning we unload it and we start the day with an empty dishwasher. Such a life hack, you guys.
Such a life hack. With a big family, if you don't start the day with an empty dishwasher, it backs up, it doesn't get run, dishes get put in the sink, then it's heckery. You know, you've seen the whole thing play out. To me, that was like a huge thing when I realized if I just run the dishwasher every single night, we start the day with a clean one.
An empty dishwasher is like a lovely site for a mom with four kids and then water the flowers. We do that at night too. So, A little bit of context, I guess, for our morning roundup and our evening wind down. Those are really, like, almost invisible routines. we used to have more of, like, a checklist that we would go through in the morning and the evening, and now it's just, like, kind of like a symphony that happens.
Everybody just knows this is what has to be done, and, sometimes we share that, sometimes it's just me, if kids are at practice or have games, but every night, The stuff gets done so that we can start our morning fresh. We can leave the house feeling fresh and clear. And, I know that we'll be coming home to a space that is mostly put together as well.
it is my hope that this tool. helps you get some of the mental clutter out on paper, helps your family get organized around. How are we going to work together as a team? I know you all picture that, like working together, having shared understanding of what your priorities are, who's going to do what.
and It's just really helpful. And like when the girls are like, Hey, we want to sit down and watch TV or whatever. I'll be like, let's do our 10 minute pick and put and get this stuff done. And the faster we get it done, the quicker we can go do what we want to for the evening.
Instead of me grumbling in my head that I have to do all this stuff. And the girls are just like, Chillin like a villain, you know, so, uh, which is maybe the least cool thing I've said in all of 2023. But anyway, that's sort of who we are.
Okay, so a quick overview of the weekly task planner. I have a housekeeper, so that is not on the weekly task planner, if that is something that you.
Manage as a family, you're going to need to put that on your weekly task planner. But for the weekly task planner for us is tidying, cleaning up, changing linens on the beds, taking all the trash out of the house the day before trash day, putting the big trash cans at the end of the lane. and so those are the things that are on the weekly task planner as an example.
And again, I do not do all of these things. Same thing. I do some, our in home help does some, my nanny does some, and my kids do some, my husband does some. So this is not the just a me thing. But it makes one place where everybody's jobs are so that we're clear about who is doing what. And it helps me know my bases are covered, because it rattles around in my head like a psychopath.
Um, when I'm like, oh, it's Thursday. We got to get the things the end of the lane. Now I know JR Does that and when he's not home when they're not at the end of the lane then our in home help will do that So it's like an example of this is what needs to happen Here's who the primary is when they're not around because in two career home The same people being home every day is like not a thing that happens all the time So you've kind of got to know this is the system.
Here's the primary when that person's not here. Here's how it's gonna operate Because it can't not happen Like that is not an option. The train is moving so fast. It has to happen every week, every day in the recurring stuff. So the recurring task planner, the things that are on here are, bedsheets would be one getting the rugs washed.
like we have one in front of our. oven like right by our Island and that is a ruggable rug. Praise the Lord for those. It has to get washed a couple times a month because it gets all kinds of schleppy business on it. cleaning the dishwasher, like, you know, that grummy filter that's inside of there, like those kinds of things.
So that's what's on my recurring task planner again, like so silly, but that stuff takes up so much mental clutter for me. Like it's got to be done. I hate it when it smells. It just like does not work. We need to live, not in a barn. I tell my kids, when it gets all schleppy, can't stand it. I'm like, do we live in a barn?
We don't live in a barn. Like this needs to look like a home. Can't stand this. So, again, those are the standards that I choose. And as a result of that, there is an expectation of things that have to be done. If that's the house that we're going to live in. Other people have looser standards. Amazing to you.
Like we all get to pick. That's the beauty of this whole thing. We get to pick. so same thing with a recurring task plan or some of it. I have automatically scheduled my window washers called the owners and I was like, Hey, I need you to let me know when it's every six months. Put me on your recurring.
Here's my credit card. Please bill me. Let me know a week ahead of time. So I know somebody is going to be there. And I just, I need that to happen automatically. So that's an example of, I did that one time, fish window cleaning. They're going to come out twice a year, do the inside and the outside. I know how much it's going to cost.
They have approval to run my credit card and it just happens. But if I had not chosen that and put it on my recurring task planner and said, how do I make this easier for myself? Then I don't know. I like to look out the window and not see a bunch of bug guts and like dirt from neighboring construction.
So, that's a way that I've made that a lot easier. Another thing that I've done that has been so helpful is finding a handyman that's amazing who I have and having him come quarterly. I have a note on my phone that is just called James. James, the handyman, and he comes quarterly and they like bangs out all those tasks.
So like, you know, when the doorstopper falls off in the bathroom for the 300th time, when the towel bar falls down, when the handle on the dishwasher is loose, these are not hypothetical situations. These are all the things somebody stepped on the curtain and you know, it came out of the wall,
when you're living in a house, there's stuff that happens. And when you're really busy, it's very easy to wait till later into perpetuity. And so suddenly you're like living in this house. It feels like it's falling apart. All my like friends and family, I feel like moved into new homes over the last year.
which is a thing because interest rates were 2 percent and all this stuff. But, I was like, I want to move into a new house. That was how I felt. I was like, why do I want to move into a new house? I don't really want to move into a new house. I want to move into a house where everything's not broken.
and so then I was like, well, I could just make things not broken. And then I was like, well, that's another thing to manage. And I hate managing things that pisses me off. And then I was like, well, how do I put a system in place? And so this is the system that I created is it's on my, once per quarter thing, have my handyman come and bangs out all the stuff.
And so I know that nothing's going to be broken for more than 90 days. I can manage it for 90 days. So that is an example of taking something that is a recurring problem, observing it, thinking through how do I create a system and then like solving it. And so now James knows we're going to touch base every quarter or so.
If he's got a project and it's raining, he'll be like, Hey, what do you have for me? And it just starts to happen without me feeling like I have to Microsoft. Every single time something breaks in the house. So that's an example of something that would be on the recurring task planner. I do not again do all of these things.
I rely on my big kids. I rely on my husband for some and I rely on outsourced help for some of it, but it's all in one place so that I only have one place to manage it. And everybody's clear on who is doing what.
Okay, give me feedback on this. We're continuing to make it better. We know we need to make an editable PDF.
We don't have that done yet, but we wanted to get this out into the world before we had it perfect. Sam is done with all of my new ideas and it's like people need to use this thing and we need to get some feedback. So, I know it's gonna be helpful. but it would be so valuable to me if you gave us feedback on how it's helpful, where you're getting stuck, what else you'd love to see, other examples you'd like to hear from me, that feedback is such a gift to, the work that we're doing.
And, another just huge thank you to Samantha for helping get this out of my head onto paper. And, Haley has been the designer on it to make it look pretty. And I tell you, it's just like the best squad. So, A whole team of us that are working on this and hoping that it adds, value and helps your household feel more love and more sustainable and more joy and more peace.
cause that's I think what we all want at the end of the day.
Okay. if you want to snag this resource, the task planner, for your home and family, there's two ways you can grab it. One is there'll be a link and show notes to it. And the second is you can go to tiffany souter.
com forward slash podcast. Tiffany Souter. S a u d e r. com forward slash podcast. And if you scroll to most popular episodes, you'll see this episode there. You can click to listen now, and that will take you to a. Landing page that has a link. Yes, I know it would be amazing if we had a landing page on my website for just this, but we're not there yet.
And so, uh, this is us shipping it as we're going instead of waiting for it all to be perfect for you. So thank you for playing along, as we, iterate on this together. So, they keep telling me it doesn't have to be perfect. Ship it, get it out there. So here we go. Thank you so much. and again, please, please, please, please give us your feedback, please.
This is an outlet to share the strategies, tips, hacks, and mindsets to help high-achievers who want a lot out of life. We'll drop in your inbox a couple times a month.