I've been looking at my (ahem) routine and wondering:
1. Why I need one in the first place, and
2. How I could get more out of it, if let's say, I had one.
First off, my excuse: my days are anything but routine. Some days I'm on a jobsite painting, other days I'm in my office on Facebook Twitter Pinterest writing, some days I'm cleaning like June Cleaver. You just never know. Hence, no "real" schedule.
And that may be true on the surface, but the reality is, I DO have a routine, and whether I admit it or not, it could be improved upon. I took a birds-eye view of a typical day and found that there are a few simple things I could do to make my day run more smoothly. Maybe you'd like to try these with me.
1. Start the day by going to bed the night before - at a regular time.
I typically crawl into bed around 10:30 and catch up on Facebook. An hour later I say, "Oh, crud! I just wasted an hour!" And then I try to fall asleep without thinking about all the funny cat videos I watched, or the distractify posts I laughed about, or everyone's dinner pictures. Julie, your Chicken Alfredo looked divine.
Discipline yourself to turn off the light at a set time.
2. Get up and get going.
Build in a little extra time for morning devotions and/or exercise. BHAHAHAHAHAHA.
No, really. These are both things that I tend to push to the end of the day, and by then I feel much more haphazard and less likely to follow through.
Set your alarm fifteen minutes earlier.
3. Do hard things first.
You know, that thing you've been putting off? That task that's tough to do? Balancing the checkbook, making that appointment, paying that bill, writing that article. It's usually not the task itself that causes stress, it's the procrastination of it that wears you down. Tackle it early.
Write down your top three things to accomplish and do those first.
4. Look for pockets.
Did you know that most household tasks can be done in 15 minutes or less? True. It's just that we say to ourselves, "I must clean the house and that will take four hours." And who, really, has four whole hours?
It would be better to say, "I need to fold this load of laundry and put it away." Fifteen minutes, BOOM.
Make a cheat sheet of quick tasks you can do, and bite off small chunks until it becomes a habit.
5. Ask yourself: What good can I do today? Ala Ben Franklin.
I love how Mr. Franklin asked himself this in the morning, and then again at night. It gave purpose and meaning to the rest of his routine...and I think we can all use that. It's the intentionality that makes all the difference.
Look for ways to add value to others.
6. Stop the leaks. Or the hemorrhages. Whichever.
I think I'm leaking time with my phone. I wrote about that recently. I'm working on checking it less so I can focus more. Maybe you're leaking time on TV or Netflix. Perhaps waiting in lines. Maybe making too many trips to the store because you're flying without a menu plan.
Simply taking a look, numbering our days and making small adjustments can shore up those leaks and make us more effective women.
And I'm all for being effective - an effective mama, an effective employee, an effective creator-lady, an effective Jesus-follower.
Do you struggle with a routine? Does the word "routine" sound nicer than "schedule?" It does to me. Let's make friends with Routine and see if she doesn't become THAT THING that takes us to the next level!
How will you use today's challenge?