Trying to get lots of projects done at home can make your head spin.
You want to sit down and focus on this work idea that’s been pulling at you, but you also want to get the living room picked up and a load of laundry in.
Then there’s that craft project you promised your daughter you would do together sometime this week. But you don’t want to forget to read aloud to her every day like your promised yourself you would do.
Monthly trackers are a great way to achieve some balance! They help you corral all those routine tasks that life constantly throws at you into one place.
You’ll be able see every little mundane task you’ve already done today, so you can see where you stand. You only have to fill them out once and
And if you need a monthly tracker, grab my free printable, which is perfectly formatted to slip onto a clipboard.
Ready? Let’s get started.
1. Write Your Prescription
First, you can use your monthly tracker to create a consistent daily/weekly to do list that you don’t have to write down over and over again!
In the left hand column, list out all the tasks and activities you want to make sure you complete on the regular.
You can group your tasks in the list by time of day you want to complete them, or by category.
Think about including tasks from these areas of your life:
Area 1: Self-care
What self-care routines do you want to make sure you complete?
Consider including little things you know will make you feel great in the long run if you do a little bit each day.
Add lines for exercise, meal prep, and grooming stuff you don’t want to forget to work into your day.
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated to make a difference in your well-being.
Area 2: Family
What are your routines for supporting your family?
Here you can make sure you are getting around to daily and periodic tasks that support you while taking care of them!
Add lines for things you do for your family as well as things you want to do with them. And if you have children, think about where you can start including them in these tasks so that they can gradually learn to be in charge of them.
When you write down the tasks you complete for your family, you’ll see how much of your time and effort is already taken up by your commitments to other people.
Area 3: Home
Your home can be a great source of comfort, but it also requires some of your care.
Add a section for home tasks you’d like to get to every day or week.
You can separate out daily and weekly tasks into their own mini lists, and use a highlighter to show the days of the week you plan to do your weekly tasks.
Home tasks can be really annoying because you constantly see them as you do other things at home. By recording them on your monthly tracker, you’ll be able to ignore them until you have time to clean.
Area 4: Work
While it might make sense to keep your work tasks separate from your personal life, if you find they intermingle during your morning routine or other parts of your personal life, you can add them to the tracker.
Do you need to monitor anything, like social media or email? Do you have a skill you want to learn that supports your work?
Again, separating out these tasks somewhere on the list will let you see at a glance whether you’ve completed those reoccurring work tasks each day.
You might find it hard to switch on and off from work to other tasks when you do everything at home! I like to keep my work tasks in separate place from my monthly tracker, but if I have a daily task I really want to stay on top of, I choose to include it.
Area 5: Fun
Don’t forget to plan to have fun!
Even a small habit or hobby will make you feel great when you are able to get to it consistently.
Also consider putting down regular tasks that help you enjoy your hobby more, like tidying up your craft space or taking a class online.
This is my favorite part of keeping a monthly tracker – when you see that you’ve done enough home, family and work stuff, you’ll feel good about getting around to your hobbies!
2. Observe How You Work
Next, use a monthly tracker to record different types of activities in the left hand column as you actually do them. Then each time you repeat the task, check off the date.
I like to use the past tense of my verb to make it clear I’m keeping a record, rather than a to do list.
Here’s my exercise example:
- Did cardio
- Did arm workout
- Drank enough water
This will give you a great overview of what routine tasks you get to regularly, and which ones you tend to forget. Instead of fretting about how little you dust, you might find you dust enough, or you can decide you need to create a better cleaning routine.
(Or maybe you like your dust bunnies.)
When you use a monthly tracker to see how often you really do things, the choice is yours.
Be gentle with yourself! If you find you’re not doing the things that are truly important to you, now you know where you are. Use that information to set a new goal for how often you do those tasks.
3. Start the Month Strong
You may not want the pressure of using a monthly tracker day in and day out every month of the year. But you can easily pull out a fresh tracker at the beginning of a month whenever you need to.
(No, the planner police won’t come and arrest you if you don’t use every planning tool all the time!)
Select tasks for your monthly tracker that will help you focus on the opportunities you have with this fresh start. Maybe you want to refocus on managing your health, or having a great summer break with your kids.
When you use a tracker for observation, like I described above, you can follow up the next month by using a new tracker to lay out how you want to reset your routine for the better.
4. Finish the Month Strong
Similarly, you can totally use a tracker just for the second half of a month. Sometimes it’s easy to get distracted by a big project and have everything else fall by the wayside! Print a new tracker and support yourself getting back to your everyday routine.
There’s really no reason to wait until the beginning of the next month to “get it together.” Feel free to start any day of the year if you know you need it.
Notice how you talk to yourself about your routines. Is it really a bad thing when you can’t get to every routine task, plus every project, and have you and your house look amazing all at the same time?
Using a monthly tracker will make it easier to switch your focus when you can’t do it all at the same time. From routine to projects and back again, you’ll feel more in control of your days.
5. Manage a Difficult Season
Finally, monthly trackers are great to use during a tough time. They’re super helpful in times of transition and change.
You can free up space in your mind for pressing problems when you write out your routine on paper. When you have a free minute or a little burst of energy, check your clipboard and decide what you can do to keep your normal routine going.
When you commit to keeping your usual routines going when life around you changes for the worse, you’ll feel like the current difficulties aren’t costing you everything. You’ll feel more confident knowing you have a way to support yourself.
You can also use the monthly tracker to capture the new tasks that have cropped up around your life change. When you aren’t used to a new routine and you feel worried, the tracker will help remind you!
Using my free printable monthly tracker, or one of your own, you’ll be able to see exactly where you stand on your everyday routine over any period of time.
Whether you want to manage a healthy to do list, figure out what you are and aren’t getting done, or do some concentrated planning for a special time period, monthly trackers can help you feel in control.