How is everyone doing today? Are you keeping up with your three daily things? It can be tough to be consistent when you first get started, I know I’ve been struggling a little with this.
Instead of kicking myself over this, I decided to spend a little time figuring out what was holding me back. What was making it hard for me to manage to get these three, relatively little things done each day? My conclusion was that I didn’t take the time to really think about these things and what steps I needed to take to do them. More importantly, I didn’t take a moment to think about ways I could support these new mini-goals.
So today I want to chat a bit about how things you can do to set yourself up for success as you work towards taking back your time and reclaiming your life.
Setting Yourself Up For Success
I started my new three things a few days before the beginning of the month and I’ve been puzzling over how I could make it easier to get these things done. I mean, really, they’re just three things, this should be a breeze.
But it’s not just three things. It’s three new things we’re adding to our day. Or maybe it’s not three new things, but they are three things we’re focusing more on each day. For some, these three things might require us to change our thinking or our habitual behaviour.
So it’s important that we take a little time to think about ways we can support ourselves as we go on this journey. It’s important to take time to figure out how to set ourselves up for success.
How to Set Yourself Up For Success
When it comes to building new routines and creating new systems, it is often easy to overlook the things we do every day that can have an impact on our new start. Oftentimes these are things we no longer think about. Habits we’ve developed over time can help or hinder our progress or that could mean adjusting our expectations.
I mentioned on Day 4, I used to love to do dishes in the morning. It worked really well for me for many years. I would get everything ready the night before and as the boys were eating breakfast I would wash up all the dishes. That no longer works with the flow of our lives, and I need to make adjustments in some way, or it will always remain a struggle.
So how do you set yourself up for success? Below you’ll find a few things that might help.
How Does Your Day Flow?
Take a few minutes to think about how a typical day for you usually goes. Think about your typical day in general.
- What is your basic daily routine? Don’t get to specific, just think about how your day naturally progresses.
- When do you have the most energy?
- Do you tend to be more productive during a certain part of the day?
- When does your energy start to fade?
- Do you take a while to get started in the morning?
Understanding the rhythm and flow of our days can help us figure out the best time and way to implement new routines. Match your daily three to the times where they fit in the best. If your three are tasks that require lots of energy, don’t try to do them during the time when your energy level is typically in a lull. Set yourself up for success by fitting your daily three tasks into the time that works best for you.
Attach Them to an Already Established Routine
This little trick can effect a huge benefit in terms of successfully starting a new routine. Even when we’re not aware of it, many of us have routines or habits already in place. Those routines and habits shape our days in a general way as I mentioned above.
We don’t have to change everything to make a new routine work for us. Sometimes the best thing we can do is team it up with an old routine. We do this by finding an existing routine to tie our new tasks to.
For example – say doing one load of laundry a day is one of your daily tasks. You know from following the first suggestion that you tend to fold the laundry in the evening while watching your favourite shows. So instead of starting the laundry in the morning when you’re likely to forget about it until dinner time, you could put a load in the washer right after getting home from work or picking up the kids.
Depending on the time, either before you start cooking dinner or right after dinner it should be ready for the dryer. By the time your show comes on, or the kids are in bed, it’s ready to be folded.
You’ve attached each step of the laundry process to an already existing routine and you’re working within your typical daily flow. By working with yourself you’re more likely to have an easier time establishing this new routine.
Figure Out Supportive Things You Can Do
This is sort of like a blending of the two above. Figuring out what things you can do to help support yourself while building this new routine is a great way to really think about the tasks you’re doing and how they fit into your life.
Take a look at your three tasks and think about some things you can do that will make it easier for you to do these things. I don’t want you to schedule these in your planner or anything. We’re not trying to add more to our to-do list, we’re just looking at what we can do to make those three things easier. Things we don’t HAVE to do but would be nice if we could. Some ideas to get you started
- setting aside a designated time to focus on one or all your tasks
- things you could do during the day that will make your three tasks easier
- ideas for how to quickly get your tasks done, or alternative cheat ways for those days you just can’t get them done exactly how you want them
- things others in your home or work could do
- can you delegate a part of your tasks
- are their tools you can get to help make the job easier
To help keep your ideas in one place I whipped up a worksheet printable to help. I often find writing things down really helps me to focus.
Down the left side jot down your three tasks and then use the space on the right to collect your ideas. To download your copy simply click the pic!
Below you will see that I started with my dinner clean up tasks and I jotted down a few things that will help me when it comes time to do that.
HOw I Set Myself Up
There are a few other things on that list that I didn’t write down before making up the graphic, so here’s the full list, to give you an idea of what I mean.
- empty dishwasher in the morning – this way we can load it all day long
- load dishwasher throughout the day – that way the work is easier after dinner
- clean as I cook – always a good one but sometimes forgotten or put off because I usually need one sink empty and I don’t have a dish drying rack.
- one of those dish washing wands that you can put dish soap in – makes cleaning as I cook or throughout the day, really fast (also helps keep that one sink free while I’m cooking)
- have family set and clear the table – it only takes two minutes, but this way I can focus on starting clean up
- fill sink with hot soapy water while I dish up the meal – this way all cooking pans can go straight in to soak
- set clean up deadline for 7 pm – this way I’m not as likely to put it off
- assign other tasks to family – this way we can get it done in no time, and we can have fun chatting while we work
As you can see, there are a number of things I can do to help make that one task easier.
You can follow these steps for all three of your tasks, and even incorporate them into other areas of your life. The idea is to create a routine that will work for you, as easily as possible. You know the saying
Work smarter not harder!
That’s exactly what we’re aiming for in this challenge. A system that works for us, not the other way around. Taking a few minutes to think about how you can set yourself up for success, is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Now it’s your turn. What can you do to set yourself up for success? Drop me a line in the comments and share your thoughts.