MOM-enomics with Booth Parker, CPA

Are you in control of your week? Mastering your calendar and to-do lists makes a big difference in how much stress you take on each day! Between planning, color coding, time blocking, and other time management tactics, Booth shows you her methods for staying on top things each day.

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  • (00:00) -
  • (00:14) - How I Plan: Calendars and Color-Coding
  • (01:50) - Talking About Meal Planning
  • (03:10) - Planning for the Week Ahead: Have To, Need To, Want To
  • (06:55) - Strategies for Effective To-Do Lists
  • (10:23) - Outro

This podcast is produced by Rooster High Productions.

Creators & Guests

Booth Parker, CPA
Financial guru by day; domestic diva by night and sharing it all in between.

What is MOM-enomics with Booth Parker, CPA?

Real moms. Real mom financial issues. Real moms in business. Real stories. I am Booth Parker. A CPA, wife, and mom that loves all things home and family. In this podcast, I talk all things money for moms, families, and small business. From tips to ideas to info you just need to know, I break it down so moms can apply it to their own families and businesses!

Mastering Your Calendar


How I Plan: Calendars and Color-Coding

If you know anything about me, you know that I am a planner. So today I'm going to kind of walk you through some things that I do each week to make sure my calendar stays on task, and that I get all of my priorities complete.

One of my all time favorite quotes, and you could probably even call it my life quote, if you wanted to, is the Benjamin Franklin: "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail." So I like to have everything planned out, and that way I know that I'm going to be able to get everything done. So while I do use a Google calendar for when I'm on the go, maybe I'm, you know, at a doctor's office and need to make another appointment, things like that. I put all of those kind of things in my Google calendar when I'm on the go. [00:01:00] But as far as like my true plan for how I'm gonna get everything done, that goes on paper. So I like to sit down on the weekends. A lot of times I'll do it on Saturday mornings and I'll look at what has gotten put into my Google calendar, and then I lay it all out into my paper planner. When you write things down, they tend to kind of get in your mind a little bit better than, if you don't. So I'm a big fan of writing them down. Color coding is a big one. I honestly think my favorite thing at Christmas every year is my stocking full of fresh new pens and highlighters because.

Everyone in my house knows not to touch my pens. It's kind of a joke. but I do love color coding, everything, and just being able to have a really clear visual of how my week is going to go.

Talking About Meal Planning

So first and foremost, also, if you've ever seen anything I've done, you know that I'm really big on meal planning and prepping now that I don't [00:02:00] work, you know, a corporate America type job outside of the home all day, every day. I don't prep as much as I used to because I generally have time to actually cook in the evenings, but I still like to.

Meal plan and have less time spent stopping at the grocery store all the time, or having to go out and get takeout or anything like that, which I'm not a big takeout fan. That goes into my, my budgeting stuff, but we're not gonna talk about that today. So the meal planning is really good when you're looking at your calendar for the week.

Say you do have an evening that's going to be slower than others and you don't have a lot going on. Well, that's a great night to put lasagna on the menu. Something that takes a little bit longer to prep and cook versus maybe you have a ball game or a meeting or something that's gonna run into, dinnertime hour.

Those are the days you want to, throw something in the slow cooker in the morning and be able to walk right in and have an easy dinner. So [00:03:00] that is first and foremost when you're looking for your meal planning and prepping is you want to make sure you plan your meals, in accordance with what else you have going on for the week.

Planning for the Week Ahead: Have To, Need To, Want To

So the first thing I do is I take basically like a week at a glance, look calendar, and I time block the week. So this is really key of making sure the things you have to get done find space on the calendar. So you need to divide all of the tasks between have to do need to do and want to do. And that's not always the easiest task because a lot of times we want to put some of those wants ahead of the others, but you need to kind of categorize the things between have to, need to and want to.

And so the first thing that hits that week at a glance time block. Is the have to dos. This would be, going to work. This actually also includes packing the lunchbox [00:04:00] and things like that in the morning, so make sure that those things hit the calendar first, doctor's appointments, important meetings, all of those kind of things hit the calendar first.

I also like to do one other thing. When I'm doing, these have-tos, so the morning routine, I just kind of block out the morning routine and that's let the dogs out, cook breakfast, pack the lunchbox. I know how long that takes. I block it on out on the calendar. But then things like, say I have a doctor's appointment or a meeting, things of that nature.

If it's a, we'll say a two o'clock doctor's appointment. And it's gonna take me, you know, probably 10 to 15 minutes to get there. And then I gotta park and walk inside and check in. So I'm gonna need to leave the house 30 minutes before the appointment. And then I'm not sure how long the appointment will be. We all know that doctor's appointments tend to take way longer than we anticipate. There's usually a lot of wait, so I [00:05:00] don't just block out, say from two to two 30 for this doctor's appointment, I will block out from one 30 to three or three 30 to make sure that I'm not trying to, create space in the day that doesn't exist because I'm going to still be at the doctor's appointment.

So with your want to dos you, you start putting them on the calendar. So I put in workout classes that I do; the days I don't go to a workout class. I block out time to go for a walk or run. And again, like with the workout classes, it might be a one hour class, say from eight to nine in the morning, but it takes me 12 minutes to get there.

I've gotta park, I've gotta go in and set up my mat and all of these things, and then at the end, clean up, walk my car, drive home. So instead of blocking out eight to nine. I block out seven 30 to nine 30, and that's where a lot of people mess up their schedules is not [00:06:00] giving time to do things like that, like the drive time and the park and the walk in that stuff takes time.

And when you don't block it out with the activity, then you think you have more time in your schedule than you actually do, and that's when stuff starts to get stressful.

And then once you've put in the need to dos, then you can put in the want to dos. This is a massage maybe. Or lunch with friends or maybe really want to do a little sewing project and make some new throw pillows or something like that. So that's when you find the space in your calendar that's not filled, and you go ahead and you set a time for yourself to do your want to dos, whether it's you know, with friends or something on your own.

That is you creating "you time" and putting it on the calendar and making it a priority.

Strategies for Effective To-Do Lists

So I love to make a to-do list, and I'm sure you do [00:07:00] too, and checking those little things off. I am guilty of, if I end up doing something that wasn't on the list, I'll write it on the list just so I can check it off. Maybe that makes me a huge dork. but that is something I do and my husband always makes fun of me for doing it.

But anyway, so if you are a list person and you like to check off that to-do list that to-do list can get very stressful when you make the list and you don't get everything checked off. So it's really important to when you make that list, you make sure that there's time on the calendar to get everything on the list done.

Making a realistic checklist for the day is key. Okay? So say you have a Monday is super, super busy. Don't put a lot of things on that list to check off. Wait until Tuesday or maybe Thursday is not nearly as busy. And try to put those tasks on those days so that your to-do list [00:08:00] not being checked off does not become a source of stress or overwhelm for you.

And after you've done your time blocking, when you have your haves and your needs and your wants all blocked out, if there is still some white space, leave it there because life happens, something's gonna come up, and that white space allows you to deal with those little life happens things without them becoming overwhelming.

So say something breaks and you've got to wait for a repair manner, things like that. That white space gives you ability to shift other things that were time blocked. Out if you need to. So white space is ideal to have when you're finished doing your time blocking for the week. Every single day might not have it, but it's great to have white space at least a few days in the week.

So if you are trying to get your calendar and schedule and everything organized, I really, really [00:09:00] encourage you to start by doing a week at a glance time block and color code it, you know, maybe do the haves, the needs and the wants, different colors or you do family work, me time, those different colors.

There's not a set way you need to do the color code, just one that works for you. That when you can visually look at the week of the glance, your brain kind registers what the activities are and how they, fit. You know, whether they're something you have to do or they're a work related thing and it helps your brain know what is priority and you kind of remember it for the whole week. And that's, that's really great too. So I will link a week at a glance, download that you can, get from my website for free and use this to do your time blocking for the week and get your calendar super organized. If you like to use a daily agenda that's, you know, can have a lot more [00:10:00] detail in it, that is great too.

I actually like to use a daily agenda. So you can take that week at a glance, you can map it all out, what it's gonna look like, and then put it down onto your individual days. So that will give you room to do those little to do checklist on your daily agendas for the days that there is time to do those tasks.


So I hope this has been helpful for you to prioritize the things you have to get done, as well as creating, you know, some self-care, me time, whatever you wanna call it, with the wants, by prioritizing them on your schedule ahead of time for the week, instead of just trying to squeeze them in whenever you can.

And we oftentimes want to do the wants more than the haves. And so having those have to dos clearly mapped out and being able to check them off and getting the stress of, of the pressure, of getting them done complete, then it gives us time to relax and really enjoy our needs and [00:11:00] wants in our schedule.

So I hope you have a super organized and productive week.