Best Laid Plans life Parenting Weekend

Monday Thoughts

July 12, 2021

Podcast re-air that is related to today’s topic

In Episode 112 of his Deep Questions podcast, Cal Newport came up with what he referred to as “Productivity Baby Steps” (as a nod to Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps). Of course, I was moved to create my own. They are still in development but WILL involve:

Define routines + habits that serve you and build into day. Place a reminder of these somewhere!

Definine inboxes + setting a time to review all loose ends (CAPTURE, originally from David Allen)

Processing email to zero each week (capturing all relevant tasks where they need to be)

Having a personal retreat where you define goals: yearly, quintile or quarter and/or monthly. (Can use a fun tool like Cultivate What Matters PowerSheets, a plain notebook, or an app)

Scheduling + conducting a weekly review

Planning each day either on paper or electronic equivalent

Making sure to plan in some kind of downtime, fun, and/or self care and an adequate amount of sleep

Still thinking about it!

In the meantime, I am happy to report we had a nice not-too-full weekend. Yesterday’s tasks were all accomplished except “plan NC trip”. Hopefully today. Organizing the kids’ books was quite the task – Annabel is now in her own room so I moved all of her books up there, and sorted the rest of them. Our shelves have gotten quite full and It is probably time to let some more books go, but that is h a r d – so much sentimentality wrapped up in kids’ books.

In lieu of buying more, we will try to make better use of the library for the kids – I’m in the habit for myself but am just starting to include their reserves in my routine.

pool time = check. G is making progress with swimming! Not water safe by any stretch yet but she’s catching on. And she has a 3 more weeks of daily swim lessons at camp.

basically only wants to read Dog Man, but I am THRILLED to see this!

Coming up: SCREEN TIME. We have revamped some of our family policies out of pure necessity. Will discuss tomorrow or Weds.


  • Reply Gillian July 12, 2021 at 7:09 am

    If C likes Dogman he might also like the InvestiGators–graphic novels about sleuthing Gators with a similar silly sensibility. My little boys (8 and 5) read all of these books over and and over again on repeat.

  • Reply Chelsea July 12, 2021 at 8:24 am

    The 13-Storey (it’s Australian) Treehouse and Wayside School series have also been big hits with our Dogman loving, crew (as well as InvestiGators).

  • Reply MP July 12, 2021 at 8:55 am

    Oh sister. Wait until C only wants to read Captain Underpants:). Seriously, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a good next step up series. Bet anything you can get both the traditional book and the audio book from the library.

    A may like Ivy and Bean and Alex Morgan’s Kicks series.

    Clearly feeling nostalgic myself for books our kids enjoyed:).

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns July 12, 2021 at 9:32 am

    I’m debating giving up on swimming lessons for our 3yo and trying in a year or so. He did great with the mom+baby ones, but then we had a year off from lessons due to covid and at his age, he goes in the pool without me. There’s only 3 kids + the teacher so it’s very high touch. They’ve tried everything to get him more comfortable but nothing is working… I hate to give up on something like swim lessons but he just might not be ready yet. 🙁 But it’s great that G is doing so well!!

    I’m impressed you got so much done on your list! Way to go!! I bet organizing the books was really satisfying. I did that last fall but now i need to pull out some of the books that the baby would like. But our shelves are full so I don’t know where they are going to go. It’s a good problem to have, though. We have been using the library a ton, though. Our 3yo loves the Mo Willems books so I brought 5 of them home for him last week. He loves to look at pictures of other books from the series that are on the back of each book and then tells me which ones to request from the library.

    I remember my oldest nephews going through the Captain Underpants, Dogman, Wimpy Kid phase. They could read each book so quickly! I still bought them as gifts (I only give books and/or money for birthdays) even though I knew they’d entertain them for a very short period of time. But I guess it’s better than NOT reading!

  • Reply Elisabeth July 12, 2021 at 11:27 am

    I am a minimalist at heart. I also LOVE books. I read voraciously – for myself and with the kids (10 YO + 6 YO). I have a single shelf on a bookshelf with kids picture books because I just cannot take having a huge stack. I have a small drawer in the guest room that has a dozen board books for when we might have little company. My daughter has 2-3 shelves in her room with books she’s acquired, but we go through that stack relatively frequently, too, and cycle things out. Other than that – I’ve passed on all our books.

    I have been taking out stacks from the library for years; most of the time I spend 20 minutes every few weeks going through online book reviews or looking at what new releases my library system has for kids books. Once I get too many on order, I just start delaying the delivery date. I fail miserably – we always have a massive stack of books – but it’s a pretty good thing to fail at!

    For a while I felt really guilty that I didn’t buy more books, especially ones the kids really loved. What I’ve started doing in the last few years is keeping track of our favourites (only 4 or 5 star reviews) on Goodreads on a kid-lit shelf. Then, if I ever want to go buy those books for some reason (or have an idea of books to gift someone else) I have a record of our highlights.

  • Reply Dana July 12, 2021 at 11:28 am

    My son re-read DogMan for over a year! Over and over… He did also like InvestiGators and Max Meow which are very similar. When he’s ready to level up just a little, Science Comics are the same graphic format but nonfiction. Those are currently my son’s favorite books and I highly recommend them.

  • Reply Ana July 12, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    I haven’t really been able to make the library work (using holds) for my kids yet—I can’t predict when they will be done and need the next in the series, and if they don’t have certain ones they end up forgetting what was going on. Right now buying books for the kids is something I’m accepting, as I do want to keep them reading, and they are both really into series, so random one-off books aren’t interesting them. I also bought several books off the summer reading list for each kid, so they can travel with them, get them wet at the beach or camping, and not have to worry.

    Pruning and organizing bookshelves is on my list for this summer.

    Sounds like a nice weekend 🙂

  • Reply Kersti July 12, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Going to the library to choose books is one of my favorite childhood memories. I am grateful my mom taught me how to use the card catalog and Dewey Decimal system to find books. My husband never learned so I’ve had to show him how to find things! IMO learning to use the library is a great skill to have, even if the catalog is now online!

  • Reply Cbs July 13, 2021 at 3:54 am

    I love the library but I also will buy books without guilt – supporting authors, supporting my local bookshop. I am not a rereader so pass books to friends, charity shops, etc. I also wish we had a little free library. The zero waste shop does a free table on Friday and I am trying to get into the routine to drop off a few new releases from my pile, such a nice treat for people to find a nearly new book rather than the usual suspects of old, worn paperbacks.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 13, 2021 at 5:34 am

      I definitely don’t mind buying some books. There is a balance for us though mostly dictated by clutter! I need to be better about donating (I do donate books but need to make it a regular thing not just when we are overloaded!)

      • Reply CBS July 13, 2021 at 10:07 am

        Yes, I feel like the pandemic has disrupted my really good donation routines. I wish we had a little free library nearby.

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