The thing about party planning (and really, life in general) is there are a lot of details. It’s really easy to forget something or let something slide until it’s too late. This often happens with supply orders that need to be made in time to receive them for an event... I’ve had more than my share of “OH NO... we didn’t order the fluffy slippers and wind-up clacking teeth, and we need them by Friday!” moments. And yes... I have Fed Ex and UPS on speed dial.
To try and alleviate some of this panic and stress, I created what I call my “to-do board.” It’s a simple, visual way to keep my responsibilities lined up. All I did was take a rectangular piece of cardboard and write: TO DO, IN PROGRESS, and ALMOST DONE on the three usable sides of the board (nothing of course goes on the bottom, since that’s where the board is propped up). I have a Ziplock baggie filled with old wooden clothes pins, and 3 colors of spike tape (but you could use any kind of tape - I like spike tape because it’s bright, colorful, and ½ inch thick, which is perfect for marking clothes pins). Each color represents a chore: yellow for phone calls, lime green for party proposals, and orange for orders.
As work comes in, I simply write the name of the client on the appropriate color of tape, and clip
it to the board.
I think part of the reason that I really like this technique is that it lets me see very quickly how much I have to do, and at what stage I’m at with each task. I think this would work really well with kids and homework. I know I personally get great satisfaction of removing a clip from the board. It feels really good to “clear the board,” as they say.
Unfortunately, the board never seems to empty all the way... but I guess that’s a good thing in many ways... it means we’re busy!