Monday, January 13, 2014

B is for Basics

Diary from St Giles Home
The one big thing that emerged from my assessment of my life is that I had too many things going on at once.

Some of it are the result of life and I have very little control over it, but there are also many things which I could simplify if I put in a little effort.  

And simplifying for me means going back to basics:


  • Doing a  medical check up so doctors can catch silent illnesses, like cancer or diabetes, early if any are lurking in there.
  • Making sure that I have enough medical cover
  • Registering with the public health care system, so I can also access that service if the need arises. Yes, their clinics are crowded, but taking Mma through the system has taught me that the medical expertise is just as good, and even though the staff services way too many people on fewer resources, they do try.
  • Setting aside time each day to take care of myself – to grow my food, prepare it, eat well, exercise etc.
  • Filing all our health- related paperwork as it comes through, so any family member can easily access it if needed.


  • Drawing an editorial calendar that encompasses all current client work and my own writing and publishing projects on cozi.
  • Setting deadlines for each project/note client deadlines. However, be realistic about what you can achieve in any single day without getting too busy. Leave room for unexpected developments. The  idea is to simplify life, not set unreasonable goals. The good thing about integrating both the life and work schedules is that it will show if I'm packing too much in any given day. And I can't double-book myself either.
  • Following the editorial calendar. Print weekly calendar and post on notice board. Add to cozi calendar as needs arise and then print a To Do List at the beginning of each day.
  • Doing nothing but write during time set for writing.
  • Doing nothing  but business admin during the time set for business admin.
  • Doing nothing but personal admin during the time set for personal admin.  Gets repetitive, doesn't it? Yet, that's how simple I need to keep it.

  • Buying everything cash. If you can't pay for it, you can't have it. Yes, I know that's rough, but a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do!
  • Updating and reconciling the budget weekly.
  • Tracking each expense category to see if it’s reasonable, or if we’re overspending.
  • Finding simple ways to reduce spending. For example, I want to reduce impulsive buying (stick to the list) and reduce our use of packaged foods.
  • Making a list of all creditors, including home loan, credit cards, overdrafts etc and making sure that they are all in my banking beneficiary list.
  • Setting aside money to pay them off, adding every little bit of extra cash to the payments.
  • Becoming more religious about adding to the savings fund


  • Adapting thefree homemaking schedules from Simple Living, which have routine and once-off tasks set out. Install them into my cozi and set reminders 
  • Developing gardening schedule, with planting dates included. Follow schedule.
  • Assigning tasks to other family members to help and then monitor their progress regularly (cozi allows you to automatically send reminders to the cellphones of your helpers.)
  • Setting aside time for myself each week. Arrange to have a mom-sitter for that period. Rest. Relax. Socialise. Hang out.

 P.S A lot of the work outlined here has already begun. I just need to keep doing certain tasks until they are so much part of my routine I don't think too much about them anymore. That, I think, will be my key to success.

This post is part of the VA Tips & Tricks Blogging Challenge. Follow the link to read my first post for the challenge, A is for Assessment. 

The next post, to be published next week Monday is C for Content. If you struggle with writing posts for your blog/writing feels like a chore or you have a hard time making time for it, then that post is for you.


Shawn said...

The basics is a good place to start and it looks like you have a solid base to build on from there. Good luck!

Gaynor said...

Ah... it sounds so easy!! Hahahah! I know it isn't. But it all makes so much sense, and now is a good time to start - everyone tends to get a bit out of synch in December and needs to get back on track in January. You and I are on the same wavelength - I'm posting about basics on Thursday. Gaynor Paynter

Damaria Senne said...

You're right. It sounds very easy. And at the back of my mind, these are systems that should already be in place. Yet, as we know, it's the simple and easy things that create problems. For example, right now I'm on medical aid, but I'm not registered with the public healthcare system. Which means that in theory, if my medical aid refused to pay for some treatment I need, I would have to go through the bureacracy of registering into the system, while I'm sick, instead of having files there already and just being admitted. Minor thing, but painful if you have to do it while sick.

And good luck with your basics piece on Thursday. will check it out.

Damaria Senne said...

@Shawn - Thanks for coming by.

Unknown said...

What a great post. Sometimes stripping things back to basics is the only way to truly grab a hold of things and get yourself organized. That's what I'm trying to do this year also.

Good luck with it and thank's for sharing.

Kristi said...

Great tips and principals to live by here! I especially love the health ones of course ;) but good for you realizing that money, your career, and self-care, etc. are all apart of your wellbeing... They all fall under what I call "primary foods" (what you put into your mouth is secondary). Keep up the good work and goal setting, you're ahead of the game =)

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