Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Challenge accepted.

Dear readers,

In union with my friend Elle, my favorite blogger, I decided to accept the challenge of Jennifer Fulwiler:  writing seven posts in seven days. She makes an excellent point about cutting out perfectionism, which pervades bloggers of all varieties, particularly this one. Not only do I spend way more time than I should editing, proofing and making insignificant changes to each post I write, but after each blog post I always feel a sense of accomplishment and relaxation. If you asked me what my current hobbies are I'd say they include (but are not limited to): reading, watching Psych, spending time with friends, baking, blogging and dabbling in crafts here and there. I also enjoy going for a nice run, listening to what I classify as, "good music" and Skyping with Lee, obviously.

By making a solid attempt at writing seven posts in seven days, I also have the opportunity to write about topics that normally wouldn't make the cut due to lack of diligence in writing a post in a timely manner.

I want to tell you how much more effective of a missionary I've been in only two days thanks to what some call a "life-saver," others claim that, "they simply couldn't live without it," and what I call...a planner. For the past few months I've decided to just put every meeting, appointment, etc in the calendar on my phone. Now don't get me wrong, that is extremely helpful as well, especially because you can set handy dandy little reminders that pop up either 1 hour, 30 minutes or even 5 minutes before your meeting reminding you, "Conference Call 1 pm" or "Discipleship Katie 7:30 pm." Gosh I love that feature.

However, FOCUS wants to make sure that we not only survive as missionaries, but thrive. With that, during the summer they make sure each of us takes home a nifty FOCUS planner, equipped with an outline of the 50-point week, the Main Thing printed at the top of each page, as well as  each day of the workweek split up into 1-hour time slots, all the way from 6 am-9 pm. Super helpful!  You know what, I'll just upload a picture so you can see what it is I'm up to all week, and what a missionary planner looks like, or well, at least what mine looks like.

A few things have helped me stay on top of life this week: one of them includes sitting down on Sunday night and actually writing this week's schedule out. Not only is it rewarding to fill in the hours with different things (Holy Hour, Mass, conference calls, discipleships.. etc), but it also helps me see the big picture of what needs to get done this week. As I've been simply inputting the events on my phone for the past couple of months, I only see the day before what I have to do the next day (and sometimes it's even the morning of before I look at it!). This has helped me so much in terms of making a to-do list, which is featured at the top of the page--you might not understand it, but don't worry, I know what every word means, and who doesn't love checking stuff off a to-do list in a planner they are constantly looking at? I know I do. In fact, I love it so much that the tasks I've been meaning to do (ahem, a few phone calls I've needed to make but have been avoiding...) got done in no time thanks to this simple planner. Yesterday I saw the time I'd have free to get administrative tasks done this week, and knew that if X, Y and Z would happen, they needed to get done within a certain time frame, because I could see all my availability for the week in front of me! It's almost the next best thing since sliced bread.

The other thing that has helped me stay on top of life is one simple thing:  making my bed. I'm a big advocate of the daily bed-make, and although I fail on occasion, my days are always much more ordered if I begin with something small to gain order in my life. I'm always surprised when people are over and see my bed, notice that it's made and comment on it. I kind of forget that not everybody does this. However, coming home to my room and seeing an unmade bed just makes me feel disorganized and unhappy. When I walk in and see Bucky Badger laid out neatly, no wrinkles, I am happy (but it might just be the UW pride.. who knows).

Lovely ladies from the bisonCatholic formal. 
Last year a friend had me over and gave me the grand tour of her apartment. She showed me her room, which I'd argue is a really nice bedroom, with a big unmade bed right in the middle of it. I asked her if she made her bed and told her I try to everyday, because I like to start my day with just a little bit of order. She was intrigued and decided to start trying it. She texted me not long after and told me how much having a made bed was helping her start the day off right. Of course I felt satisfied in hearing this, and willingly challenge any of you non-bed-makers out there to give it a try for two weeks straight. Make your bed every day for 14 days and check your results. It can be a simple thing, but in today's crazy world where people, places and things come flying at us, seeking a spot in our datebook, it's nice to have at least one small task to keep us grounded.

That's all for today. Let's see what other random facts I decide to blog about the next six days! I'm excited, woot woot!


  1. YAY! Can't wait to read your posts, Kels! Thanks for the shout-out :)

    And, I, too, have to start my day with a made bed. Love you!

  2. Hey! Do I get credit for this somewhere :) Love you girlie!