Last week I focused on tasks that need to be done on a weekly basis, & talked about assigning each of those tasks to a different day of the week. But what about those things that need to be done daily? Well, you can use the same strategy, only this time assign them to a different time of the day.
You might remember that last week I mentioned a book called Sink Reflections (which I highly recommend). The book suggests developing a Morning Routine & a Before Bed Routine to help get those daily tasks accomplished. For instance, the author shares that before bed she puts dirty dishes in the dishwasher, opens mail, lays out clothes for tomorrow, etc. Her Morning Routine, on the other hand, not only consists of taking a shower & getting dressed, but also putting on a load of laundry and checking email. While those particular routines didn't meet my needs or work with my schedule, I did like the general idea, so I went to work assigning my daily tasks to the different routines. I found it helpful to add an Afternoon Routine, too.
Now I must admit that in writing this, I am talking to myself as well! There are many weeks, especially lately, when I don't follow my routines, but I've found that when I do, I feel much more in control, organized, & energized! While it may seem complicated, it really simplifies life! When your routines become a habit, you can fly right through them, and once finished, your mind can be at ease for the rest of the day! I also found that gradually adding tasks to the routines, rather than trying to do everything right away, helped keep me from becoming too overwhelmed in the beginning.
To give you an idea of what my routines look like, here is what I put together for my Afternoon Routine, which I do immediately after I get home from work (when I'm actually following my routines!):
- Clean Trash Out of Car (as I'm getting out of the car)
- Sort Through Mail (File, Shred, Trash, etc.)
- Pick Up Clutter (When I'm keeping up with my routines, things don't seem to get nearly as messy. So I simply spend about 5-10 minutes walking through the house & picking up any clutter that's accumulated in the last day....shoes, dishes, etc. Now when I'm not following my weekly schedule & routines, there is way too much clutter to pick up in that amount of time, but at least I can get a few things picked up.)
- Start a Load of Laundry if needed
- Start the Dishwasher or Unload Clean Dishes if needed
- Change into My Workout Clothes (I find that if I change into my workout clothes, I'm much more likely to actually workout!)
- Charge Cell Phone
All of this takes me about 45 minutes tops.....less if there is no laundry or dishes to do. The important thing is to adjust it to fit your own needs. Maybe an afternoon routine doesn't work for you, but a dinner time routine would be helpful. In the beginning you might try only one or two tasks, and after they become habit, add another one or two. Do what you have to do to make it work for you!
I'm ready to get back to simplifying my life! How about you?