Do you ever have those weeks where you wonder, “Where did the week go? What did I get done?” It happens to the best of us, and it can easily be fixed. Organize your life in these two easy steps and you will feel more intentional about each day.
Set Different Routines
You don’t have to live your life like an ex-drill sergeant. If you train yourself to follow set routines, you will automatically do them without much thought. You already have set routines in place, for example, you might check your email while watching the coffee pot brew your morning liquid gold. The goal is to train yourself to follow routines that make you productive and efficient.
I suggest starting with a morning and night routine. If you are just getting started with routines, then start by setting a wake-up time and bedtime, and stick with it. It will be hard to stick with at first, but eventually, your body will get used to it, and you will benefit from a regular sleep cycle.
How to Make a Morning and Night Time Routine
You want to make a list of five doable items you can do each morning and night. Here are a few ideas:
- Make Bed
- Read a chapter of a book
- Journal or plan your day
- Start a Load of Laundry
- Get ready for the day
- Wipe down bathroom counter
- Clean kitchen
- Make lunch for the next day or get dinner out of the freezer
- Set out your clothes for the next day
- Read for a set amount of time
- Journal or plan your day
Your morning and night time routine should include tasks that will make your day run smoothly. When planning what your morning routine should contain, ask yourself, “What five things should I accomplish to make me feel productive?” For the night time routine, ask yourself, “What five things can I do to make my morning easier?”
Once you have a few ideas on what you want to include in your routine, write it down and look at it daily. Remember, you are establishing a new habit, so give yourself a few weeks to make it stick.
Have a Plan for Every Aspect
Have you heard the saying, “Fail to plan; plan to fail?” A general plan for several areas in your life will help your days to run smoother. If you are not a natural planner, do not worry. You don’t have to be an A-type personality or are you required to write down every single thing to have a usable plan.
Five Plans Everyone Should Have
Here are the five plans I make on a regular basis:
- Yearly Goal Plan – This includes about six major goals I want to accomplish for the year. Similar to New Year’s resolutions, but I then break it down into doable monthly and weekly action steps. I make a goal for my finances, marriage, motherhood, physical health, personal development, spiritual, and career.
- Weekly/Daily Plan – This looks pretty similar to my to-do list, but instead of just dumping down everything I want to accomplish into list form, I only list things I know are possible to accomplish within a week’s time. I look at my list of deadlines and add those to my weekly to-do list. There are so many different ways to plan your week and day, so find a method that works for you.
- Meal Plan – I have a running list of my freezer inventory, and I will quickly make a tentative meal plan for the next few weeks. This makes it easy to know what I need to pull out or prepare ahead before the dinner scramble hits. This will also help me with my grocery list.
- Cleaning Plan – A written plan helps me to tackle weekly cleaning chores. A list of quick cleaning tasks I need to do daily helps my house to stay in shape and saves my sanity.
- Work Plan – On the days that I write at Starbucks, I jot down a quick work plan. I make sure to have something scheduled for every 15-minute section so that I stay focused. I will use this 15-minute schedule after the kids go to bed too.
Why Organize Your Life with Routines and Plans?
So this might sound a little more involved than two easy steps, but once you jot down a few routines and plans, it is not as complicated as it sounds. Know that your routines and plans will continually change as you tweak them or as your life evolves.
When I was first married, I would wake up 20 minutes before I had to be at work. I would then come home and pass out from tiredness, scramble to make something for dinner, and then be too exhausted to clean. I would watch TV with my husband or browse the internet until late at night and repeat the same schedule. It was a miserable way to live, and I got nothing done. I could never accomplish my goals or pursue my passions. That is why routines and plans are so important to me because they literally transformed my life to an intentional and productive life.
Question: What type of routines and plans do you follow? Do you follow any special programs or lists? I would love to know what you do.