Do you ever wake up with grand plans for the day?
Today I will…
- clean the house
- take the kids to the park
- complete that do-do list from 3 months ago
- finish the laundry
- make a few long-overdue phone calls
- pay the bills
- food prep for the week
- go to the gym
- complete that task my boss needs done for Monday
I will not only do all of this but I will do it all with a great big fat smile on my face while I whistle a show tune and skip along with little bird fluttering above my shoulder.
Reality…..we prioritize, okay so what absolutely must get done? (Keep in mind that the 2 tasks from this list that will bring me most joy are numbers 2 and 8) We definitely need to make sure the bills get paid….oh and here comes the stress along with it. Once I’ve paid everything that needs to be paid, what’s left? So, now I have spent 30 minutes out of the day going through the process of online banking but am now spending another 1 hour thinking about how to cut costs, feeling guilty that I spent that extra money last week eating out instead of in, looking in the mirror at my roots that are in desperate need of a touch-up that will now need to wait until next month. Wondering if I should cancel my gym member ship because that will save a little extra, thinking about the coming season and the kids need new cloths. All the while the kids are yelling down stairs, “Ready for the park mom?” “Not right now, mommy’s busy. I NEED to get this done.” But do I, what am I actually doing. I’ve already done the task but now I’m just sitting around thinking about things out of my control and focusing on what I don’t have rather than completing task #2-the joy bringing task.
Next, I will throw that load of laundry in which could take about 2 minutes but ends up taking longer because I get distracted.
Okay so now its lunch time I need to feed the kids and then we can head to the park, but I better get that task done so I’m not behind at work.
Alright it’s 3 now. Tons of day left. I don’t necessarily have to complete food prep because I can do that tomorrow.
Alright…..so what have we learned from the previous scenario? We cannot get a head by wasting our day away. WE MUST PRIORITIZE PROPERLY! What do you want your regular habits to be? I want you to make a list right now of 3 things you want to do every day that will bring your joy.
Next, when in the day would be the best time to do these things?
For example, if you’re to the gym, When is the best time to go? Is it in the morning, day time or evening? How will you get there? Do you need someone to watch the kids? How long is your workout?
Now, set your schedule like it’s an appointment you’ve made. If you have a dentist appointment, you go, you make time for it and you schedule your day so that you arrive on time and everything else falls into place. You need to schedule your joy-bringing tasks as though they are appointments and they are not to be easily altered.
Okay, number 2; what else do you want to become a habit in your daily routine? If it’s spending quality time with your kids, spouse or friends, book the appointment! What time works best? Morning, day or evening? Pencil it in. You may want to record your new and revised schedule in your day plan. Writing things down always makes them more real.
Number 3; let’s say it is keeping a tidy kitchen. You need a daily ritual, and don’t be afraid to ask for help, delegate. Little hands should also be helping hands. Everyone does their part. Multi task. Give yourself a timer. Throw a load of clothes in and of the washing cycle is 25 minutes than you have 25 minutes to clear the table, wash the dishes (or load the dishwasher) wipe down surfaces and tidy. Okay now flip the load, in the dryer it goes for 45 minutes. You now have exactly 45 minutes to…..insert task #2….whatever may be a priority for you. Maybe its work from home, play with the kids, story time, clean the bathrooms, but whatever it is make it on the daily. These things need to become habits so that you’re less likely spending that 60 minutes doing nothing but wasting time. It will surprise you how quickly things can get done. If you time yourself doing a task (and I encourage you to actually do this) you will find that you can accomplish a lot in a little time but the key is to DO IT, not think or talk about doing it….actually do it. For example, did you know that you can vacuum and mop 400 square feet in 7 minutes? So that means that in 1440 minutes in a day you can actually have a super clean kitchen every single day for only 7 minutes of your time.
How do we create healthy habits? How can we ensure that everything gets done and we have time left for the things we truly enjoy? Well, it’s simple really, focus on what’s important to you, make it the priority, keep doubt and negativity to a minimum, do not spend extra time focusing on the negative.