Hellow everyone! I know I made everyone sad from my last blog post but it needed to be shared. I cannot thank you all enough for all the support, prayers, and good words that were sent our way. We are still stressed looking to Valentine's day as that is Darth Vader's check up & we'll find out definitively what his life expectancy is. He has been acting better, no more pee in the house, more playful with our kitten C.C., BUT he is also sleeping more, much to my eldest's dismay. We will keep you all in the loop about our old man.
So this week, despite all the saddness, surgeries, taxes, doctors appointments, etc. I thought I'd discuss some organizational skills that I try to use, some that are successful for me and some that I struggle with. I can't guarantee that they will all be successful for you but there's no shame in trying!
1. Make a list. This is pretty basic and all my children & a lot of other people do this. It's a good way to keep organized & keeps reminding you what needs to be done that day. A lot of people, like my eldest, put the list in order of what needs to be done & will mark it down as she goes. I tend to just write everything down that needs to be done that day & mark it when it's done. As you can see from my picture for today's to-do list, mine is all out of order, but I am going to try to accomplish everything today. (I got the list for Christmas from some co-workers).
2. Do one thing at a time. Now this one is more challenging, at least for me. For example: I like to put my laundry in the washing machine, feed the cats, workout, move the laundry to the dryer, start a new load, wake up my kids, shower, make the bed, fold the dry laundry, move the new laundry, start a new load, write/edit... And that's how it goes. After every time I do something I mark it off with a checkmark like so ------------------------------>
However, my eldest daughter likes to make her to-do list in order & do it accordingly. She will also mark off everything she's finished as well. It is a good reminder of what needs to be done if you do it one thing at a time.
3. Get started ASAP. This is easier said than done. I am typically a morning person, getting up between 6-8 AM so I usually start working down my to-do list after fifteen minutes to an hour. My daughters' take more time- they take 1-2 hours to feel awake & ready to start the day. My son takes the absolute longest & that's because his sleep schedule is going to bed in the early AM and waking up in late afternoon, which I totally understand. Once you feel like you're up/awake, just start working down that list- even if the first thing on that list is to get a cup of coffee or to brush your teeth. You've started. Most days I don't want to get out of bed because my to-do list is so long. Which brings me to my next point.
4. Set an easy/workable to-do list. What I mean by that, is writing on the list an HUGE task. For example "Write entire book" when you haven't started can add stress. So instead write something like "begin writing the book", "write one chapter", "write one page", "Figure out the title". Those are more do-able goals. But don't let that discourage you, if you feel like you can write a whole book in day & get the rest of the things checked off on your list, by all means go for it! :)
5. Break up big tasks. Make the big task into small tasks so you won't feel overwhelmed & procrastinate. It also helps you to see the big picture of what you are trying to accomplish. You can also section off part of the big task throughout the day. A example from my life: feed the cats, work on book 3, do laundry, work on book 3, make the bed, shower, workout, work on book 3, etc. That way it doesn't feel like your whole day was devoted to the one big task & have that "you got nothing done" feeling.
6. Sync your to-do list to your phone, if you can. My husband actually introduced me to this. Having it synced to your phone & putting reminders/timers on it- keeps you in line. I know I get super distracted by Pinterest & Netflix so having an object that can remind you, besides your sassy kids, is always helpful.
7. Get a planner. I have a binder style planner so I can replace pages. Sometimes it helps me to write down weekly what needs to be done. I find this especially helpful remembering to clean certain things or the trash schedule. My eldest daughter has two planners- One is to keep track of her weightloss, workout, & meals. The other is to keep track of her job hours, internship hours, any appointments, and/or social events. Get however you may need to keep yourself on track. You can also use your phone- that's how my husband does his business appointments & haircuts. Having any type of planner is helpful, even if it's just to write down some ideas.
8. Take a break. You have a lot to get through day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month. Just like Smash Mouth says "the years start coming & they don't stop coming." It's not going to kill you if you take a 5 minute break & scroll through Facebook or Instagram. Go get something to drink, play a stupid game on your phone, talk to one of your children, look up pictures of cute rabbits (see below), look through an old family album, listen to a song, meditate, go outside & sit in the sunlight, etc. Don't beat yourself up about it. You have the whole day still ahead of you, even if it's 12 AM.
9. Don't procrastinate! This one is SUPER difficult. I LOVE to keep procrastinating and putting things off until another day. However, I have learned that the longer you wait to finish some tasks, the more difficult it will be . Most often (if you're like me) you’ll be annoyed with yourself for waiting so long & wishing you could go back in time & get it done. So try to get whatever you can get done! Get everything organized as soon as you can, like a to-do list & plan accordingly. It will lift a weight off your shoulders & you’ll feel like you got more done!
10. Don't discourage yourself. Yes, we can do anything we set our minds to. Just because you didn't get something done today, doesn't mean the day or your life is worthless. Stop with the productivity guilt & enjoy your day. Time time today to linger, to quiet the noise, and remember:
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