I cannot believe that it is already June. This means that my calm before the storm is almost at an end. June is going to be C-R-A-Z-Y busy. Good thing I’m ready to start the next step in the time management series: Adding Things Back to Your Basic Week! If you’re just checking this out for the first time, this post here, explains why I’m doing this, and you can find links to the other posts in this series at the end of each Time Management Post.
I can honestly say that after a week of not trying to do it all, I’m feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything. Well, maybe not anything, but I’m definitely ready to start adding things back. I feel more in control, which is weird because I thought I would feel totally behind at the end of the week. Before I jump on in with that one, I thought I’d share a few of the general observations I made through this past week.
- With no pressure to do it all, I felt as though I was more productive, especially during the first half of the week. Every little thing I tackled outside of the basics, felt really good.
- I discovered that my normal weekly cleaning routine needs a total overhaul. Taking a week to observe things really opened my eyes, I’m totally doing more than I have to, perfect is highly overrated!
- 6:30 pm is my wall, and I hit it every night. I think this is the result of trying to force my night owl nature to handle early bird mornings. Something here is gonna have to give.
- As a result of the last point, much of the time between 6:30 pm and my self-imposed 10:30 pm bedtime is sort of wasted. Lots of procrastination, vegging out, and lack of focus happening there.
So, there you have the short list. Most of my observations fall into one of those sort of general areas. For example, I had no trouble cleaning the bathrooms like normal (cause leaving them for a week … eeeeewww! ** shudders **) but the dusting and vacuuming and anything pertaining to cleaning the upstairs kind of was hit or miss. But the biggest observation, or at least the most eye-opening one, was hitting my wall.
That brings us to my next step in creating a loose routine, adding things back in. This part is going to take a little time. You don’t want to overload yourself right off the bat. You’ve stripped your weekly schedule back to your basics (whatever that looks like for you, and I just wanted to state, there is no WRONG way to do this), you’ve had some time to observe the rhythm of your days , and now it’s time to start focusing on those routines.
It seems like every where I look and every article I’ve found, talks about beginning with a solid morning routine. This makes a lot of sense, start the day as you mean to go on. Buuuuuuuut, I disagree! While I think having a solid morning routine is a good thing, I don’t agree that that is the best place to start for everyone.
I’ll use myself as an example. Our mornings could run a lot better than they do, however, the kids are up at a decent time to not feel rushed, breakfast is made and eaten, teeth brushed, lunches packed and we’re all out the door usually on time. There are a number of times when Liam and I are a little late leaving, but I’ve allowed extra time for that and we can make it to school before the bell rings. And there are mornings where it’s a little more frantic and I am definitely rushed, but we’re never late and nothing crucial gets forgotten. I know there are plenty of areas that could use some improving, but for now it’s working for us. (if barely)
I do have a huge chunk of time in my day that isn’t being put to the best of use. Starting right after dinner, I have a ton of time to get things done. Pack the lunches, set out clothes, have a shower instead of trying to cram one into the mornings, etc…. I’m not utilizing that time like I should, so for me, it makes sense to start at the end of the day.
I think that both, how we start our day and how we end our day, are equally important to how smoothly our days can run. So, pick one of those areas, morning or evening, and figure out what you want your routine to look like for that time. I’m not talking super structured, down the minute scheduling here. Just a list of things you want to, or have to, accomplish in that time frame. (if you want a super structured, down to the minute schedule, that’s perfectly alright! Whatever works best for you is the way to go.) Try it out for a week, and see how you feel. And don’t forget to put down some time for you! We all need to show ourselves a little TLC. Even if it is just permission to sit and drink our first cup of coffee without doing anything else.
After a week is up, you can tweak it or change it up as you need to. The idea isn’t to hit upon perfection. The idea is to find something that is workable and helps your life run a little more smoothly. They say it takes from 21-28 days of repeating something for it to turn into habit, (Unless it is something that isn’t helpful at all, then it takes 0.39479 seconds for it to become habit, or so it seems) so give yourself the three to four weeks needed.
To help get us started I whipped up this handy little printable.
Don’t worry if you don’t fill in all the blanks, you don’t have to. Each rectangle is for a different item that needs to be done. There are 7 little stars beside each rectangle so you can cross them off as the week goes on. I plan to fold it half and stick in a page protector for right now, so I can reuse mine. As always, to snag a copy of your own, just click on the picture.
Do you know which part of the day you’re going to start with? How did your week (or I guess weeks) of just doing the basics go?
Other Posts in the Series