Practising what I preach – the power of Routines

As any mum of a child with ASD will know, routines are important.  We talk about the power of routines almost daily.  In our home, on a school day, socks and shoes go on at 7.20am.  Woe betide anyone who wants to change that – as my husband found out to his cost this morning.

I know the power of routines for my children but I hadn’t realised how much I needed routines to get me through the day until recently.

The Power of Routines (and why everyone should have them)As I am currently trying to practice a variety of self development ideas, I thought I would look at introducing a work routine.

I have recently gone back to planning our meals – which takes so much stress out of my week and also manages to save us money on the weekly shop.  I have also been meditating and finding that taking ten minutes each day results in me feeling like I have more time and energy to get on with the other tasks.

I then read a great post about having a Morning Routine and this made me think about having a work routine.  If you want to be inspired to have a more productive day by having a morning routine, then pop over to Growing Slower and get some ideas.

I now wanted to focus on productivity and coping with my real addiction to procrastination.  Believe me, if something can be put off until a later date, it will be.  If I was as talented at productivity as I am at procrastination, my life would be very very different.

As you know, I’m a huge advocate of the Bullet Journal but until last week, I had always written a weekly list of things to do, rather than a daily one.  However, I have found myself procrastinating all week and then spending all day Friday trying to play catch up.  The sad thing is I wasn’t even procrastinating in peace, I was constantly thinking about what needing doing and feeling guilty or stressed because I wasn’t doing them.

Last week, I decided I would plan my week.  So rather than just writing the list of things to do, I committed to doing them at certain times and days.  I set myself times, in the same way I book appointments, to work on a blog post, reply to emails, make phone calls, chase people up, etc.

The Power of Routines:

What a difference.  Setting my tasks up as appointments made my week so much easier.

What also helped was putting similar tasks together.  I write posts for here and also a few other sites, so I put the blog post writing tasks together.  I spent a whole day writing posts.

I then spent half a day sorting images out for the posts and then adding them to the posts.  I then spent an hour scheduling the posts to share on various social media.

I spent a morning making calls and then an hour or so replying to emails and sending emails.

I ended up having a really productive week but also a week of feeling much happier, less stressed and by Friday I had a full day to do what I wanted.  The extra bonus was enjoying the day off because everything that needed to be done was done!

It made me realise that this working at home can work.  In my life, before children, I had very set routines at work – sales report on a Thursday morning, phone calls/emails on Thursday afternoon to people who had not sold as expected, etc.  I had never thought to do the same thing at home, I kept thinking I needed flexibility.  However, I have realised that I can still be flexible each week, fitting in appointments for the children, reports to read, etc but I can also then plan my work tasks around these appointments.

It also meant that my evenings were free.  Instead of me sitting at my laptop or ipad trying to find the motivation to get the work done, because I was feeling guilty, I spent my evenings with my family and friends.

I have now planned next week’s work, again putting similar tasks together and am already thinking of Monday as my writing day.  I get inspired over the weekend, when I have chance to read other blogs or spend fun times with the family and friends, so it’s perfect for me to write on a Monday when the ideas are fresh.  Tuesdays will be my photos and scheduling day.

I know, however, that my life can become chaotic without any real notice so I know there will be days when the routine will have to be re-scheduled.  However, at least having the routine will make this a much simpler process.

House work Routine

My next challenge, which I am going to plan this week but start next, is a house work plan.  I find I am an all or nothing type girl so I either blitz the whole house or nothing gets done except the basics.

I do have a monthly check list for things like change water filter or descale kettle/coffee machine but I have never progressed beyond that.  Again, these are things I consider basic essentials as I drink shed loads of coffee and water through the day so I need them to taste nice.

At the suggestion of a friend, I am going to plan my housework on a monthly basis. Housework is not my forte but I know some jobs only need to be done once a month whereas others need to be done more regularly.  Pinterest is my best friend at the moment, for ideas and suggestions.  As I mentioned, I am not a fan of housework but I think that is mainly due to not having a routine.  As a result, my housework becomes a full day of blitzing, silently promising I will stay on top of it in future but knowing that isn’t going to happen because I need a plan!

So this week will see me spending time on Pinterest without any guilt, looking for housework plans and tips.   If you have any suggestions or ideas, things that work for you, please let me know.

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. Loving this series Debs! Funnily enough I have just started to schedule my weekly tasks, rather than just leaving them as a list (after finally getting to the end of 7 habits for highly effective people). It has been so helpful. Regarding housework, have a look at Flylady; she has some really good ideas about scheduling chores. Xx

    • Debs Aspland says:

      I read that a while back but had forgotten the basics, I went back and re-read it recently – this also helped to inspire the idea! I will look at FlyLady – thanks for the recommendation.

  2. As you know, this series has encouraged me to be more organised with my to do lists and that has helped with my feelings of overwhelm. But a daily or weekly routine is almost impossible because of the way appointments and crises crop up and because I have to be very flexible to meet the needs of one of my children!!!

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