How to Schedule Your ENTIRE Life (plus free printable!)

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I love tutorials with a million photos of a project from beginning to end, including random “meanwhile” photos. I love those trending recipe videos with their upbeat music and captivating condensed actions that give us unrealistic expectations that that lovely food can easily be made in 60 seconds. I love reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series with her quaint descriptions of daily tasks. I ADORE getting the sense of accomplishment from watching Snow White whistle while she sweetly lures the animals into doing all the work for her:



I like the process of things happening and I like the end result. (So, if you just watched this clip and are also bothered by not seeing the end result – sorry.)

Yet, there was a time that I hated schedules, lists and organization – anyone that had these seemed a tad bit pretentious or obsessive to me. I liked to be free and unfettered by any plan!!! But that was before having multiple children and multiple occupations, or having ANY children or ANY occupation. Like when I was a teenager. If this sounds similar to the youthful ideals that you had, we can laugh at ourselves together now…

One of my Iron Heart mamas calls this “playing it fast and loose.” Some of you can live with no plan and thrive. I don’t understand you, but I love you and I would read your book.

As a mother to small children, I came to the point that most days my biggest accomplishments were that I had kept up on diapers and the children had eaten something other than things they found under the couch cushions while making forts in the living room.

I was rising early because my eldest was a morning person, like a 5:30 a.m. morning person. (I know that’s redundant, but it’s so wrong that only redundancy can fully express its wrongness.) I was staying up late because if I didn’t have an infant that needed to nurse every half an hour, I couldn’t sleep while there was so much that I didn’t get to while the beasties were awake. Like showering. Or thinking.

I was completely overwhelmed.

There were desperate pleas to the Lord to ask that I would be able to pull it together just until nap time…

I talked to a friend. (Enter this post. Summed up it says rejoice and pick two things, but you should just read the post. It’s good. You know, in my opinion.)

I got this book and fought throwing it out the window every day read over it for months while I worked on getting organized. I still have it and from time to time, when big changes happen, skim through it and restructure. It’s seriously a great book.



I begged my Mr. Handsome Pants to rescue me with his managerial experience and mad spreadsheet skills. Within minutes he showed me a no-frill, gray scale schedule template and it was one of the most beautiful printed things I had ever seen.

(We love to share, so download a copy of the schedule template here!)

Dozens of these templates were printed and furiously filled out, but during my few weeks of trial and error, I tried to make my children follow my schedule to the minute. {insert laughter} I tried to schedule my entire life and what I found is that you CANNOT schedule your entire life. (Don’t be mad.) BUT after those tedious weeks, and incorporating much of the wise advice I had been given, I finally had a reasonable and well laid out schedule.



The day was laid out from 5:00 a.m. to 11 p.m.  – not that I was always awake at either time, but if I was, I had a plan. By writing everything out, I was able to prioritize the most important things to accomplish in my day. This alone was huge. I did not expect 100% success, but I was surprised at the efficiency that our home began to run.

Though I followed an agrarian calendar for our school year, summer was still our busiest farm season; school and summer had their own schedule. I picked two major events a day… Cooking and baking, laundry, cleaning, shopping, project or catch-up. Laundry happened twice a week, meaning it was washed daily but folding and putting away happened twice a week during quiet time with the aide of a quality chick flick. From September to April, homeschooling was one of my two priorities. When school ended, farming became the prime occupation with the added tasks.

Now in a different stage of life, in a different place, our schedule has changed. Every six months or so, the plan needs to be tweaked or overhauled. In fact, I have a blank template waiting until I finish this blog post. Recently, I had noticed a blur of activity and household needs not being met, so after a few days of near panic, it hit me our latest schedule wasn’t working anymore. It was a relief knowing that it was a semi-quick fix since in my desperation I had been considering cutting my hair off, burning down the house and starting over… 



Do you have a schedule that works for you? Share your scheduling tips with us!

Author: Katie

Welcome! I'm Katie. Here at Forging Iron Hearts, I will be sharing the experiences of our family here in our intentional community in East Texas. You will likely see occasional posts from my wonderful husband Kevin and the other Iron Heart families, as well.

2 thoughts on “How to Schedule Your ENTIRE Life (plus free printable!)”

  1. Schedule? Hmmm…. what an interesting concept….making sure not to leave anything out….wow….

    Inspite of your OCD tendencies, (I can’t even begin to imagine where you came by that trait…oh, yeah…your Great Grandma H. yep, just like her! 😉 you are a rather spectacular Mom and Wife. I am quite proud of you!

    All of your children lived. SUCCESS!!! <3

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