Archive for the ‘responsibilty’ Category

Routines

August 8, 2017

girl gymnast athlete isolated

Last week I talked to you about habits. Some habits are good habits and easy to maintain, some are not so great and can be replaced with better habits.

What about routines? What is the difference between a habit and a routine?

First, let’s talk about what makes it a routine.

A routine is a series of actions that is repeated so often that it becomes automatic.

We know that gymnasts have routines (a series of acrobatic moves) that they practice on the balance beam, on the floor mats, on the parallel bars – you get the idea.

 I can think of all sorts of routines that happen and I bet you can too. Professional athletes, for instance, have routines they follow to warm up their muscles before they either practice or play their sport.

I have routines which I practice every day. I have a morning routine and an evening routine. These twice daily routines help me move quickly through some regular chores in my home. I don’t even think about them anymore. I just move quickly through my morning routine and when I get home in the late afternoon I settle into my evening routine.

My morning routine goes like this: I get up, let my dogs outside, feed both the dogs and myself breakfast, water my plants, tidy the kitchen, walk the dogs, quickly vacuum the kitchen (my dogs shed a lot), and then shower and start the rest of my day.

Are you thinking, that’s a lot to take care of. Well, honestly, I take the most time on my morning walk and in the shower. The other things take no more than a few minutes. And, I’ve done this routine for so long that I don’t even think about doing these tasks. I just do them.

My evening routine is different. I come home from work, update my client files, do a final check of email and respond to some – if necessary. Then I spend a few minutes tidying my desk and workspace. This way it is ready for me in the morning. The last thing I do is make my list for the next day. I review my appointments, think about what I want to do for my business, any volunteer responsibilities I have and how I might fit them into my day, and plan my day. I do this with the understanding that something may come up to prevent me from accomplishing what I set out to do. This way when the unexpected happens I am prepared!

I sleep well because I’m not trying to remember what I have to do the next day. I am certain, because I follow this routine, that I have written out my plan for the day.

My routines keep my house tidy and my business running smoothly. Like most things my routines get tweaked from time to time.

Do you have a routine you follow?

Child girl doing gymnastic exercises

Do your children have routines?

Even the youngest of children can follow a short routine. It provides structure to their mornings and evenings. A friend of mine was telling me that her 9 month old grand-daughter has an evening routine. She has a bath, puts on her pajamas, turns on a white noise machine, gets her lovey and goes to sleep. Of course, her mother or her grandmother do most of these things for her. But, this is the routine they follow and this little girl is content. She can predict what comes next.

Write me back and tell me about your routines. If your routines aren’t working for you I’d be happy to talk with you to help you to create ones that better fir your lifestyle.

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Do You Ever Feel Like A Hamster?

September 28, 2016

Business loop

I’ve been talking about moving and changing routines the past few blogposts. I was going to say weeks but I know I haven’t been posting every week – life has been getting in the way.  That leads me to the title of my blogpost this week.

Do you ever feel like a hamster? I’m not talking about a hamster who is idly nibbling on a carrot or a piece of apple. I’m talking about a hamster who is stuck in a wheel. No matter how fast or how long the hamster runs he never gets out of the wheel – until he steps jumps off.

Well, that’s how I’m feeling these days. No matter how much I do or what I change I can’t seem to catch up to the point that I feel in control. This might (you know it does) have something to do with the fact that I sometimes (often) take on many challenges at once.

Have you ever felt this way? Like there’s simply too much on your plate?

I want to tell you how I plan to get on top of all that I have going on. Maybe you can apply some of these strategies to your sense of overwhelm.

1.      Make a comprehensive list of all I have going on

a.      Chores

b.      Volunteer responsibilities

c.      Home improvement wants and needs

d.      Business responsibilities

e.      Hobbies

2.      Under each category make notes about the next steps to take – for example

a.      Errands to run

b.      Tasks to complete before the end of the year

3.      Get out my calendar

a.      Prioritize the tasks

b.      Schedule time in my calendar to complete the tasks

4.      Make a daily list of the things I want to accomplish

a.      Refer to may calendar

b.      Take into account appointments

c.      Remember to schedule time to exercise

d.      Also take time to relax

I know I will be able to jump off this hamster wheel I’m on when I take control of all these things that I have going on.

How about you? How will you regain control and jump off the hamster wheel?

Let’s Juggle

July 16, 2014

Do you juggle all sorts of activities? Another way to ask this is how many roles do you play in life? Are you a spouse, a parent, a co-worker at the office? Do you run your own business? Perhaps you are also a golfer, a tennis player, the coach for your child’s soccer team or t-ball team. Additionally maybe you participate in a book club or a bible study group. Do you also exercise at a gym?

We juggle all sorts of things in a day. The trick is to be a good juggler or maybe really good at prioritizing. Here are some tips to keep you on track with all the activities you juggle.
1. Make a list of all the different activities you juggle
2. Think about what you want to accomplish in each different activity this week
3. Make a separate list of things to do for each different activity
4. Prioritize the lists
5. Schedule time in your calendar to do at least one thing to move each activity forward – or to keep it current

When you know what you want to take care of for each of the different aspects of your life and you dedicate at least a little time to each aspect or activity you will be in better control. You will be like the expert juggler who is able to keep multiple balls in the air at once.

Maintenance is Key!

February 5, 2014

Are you thinking about getting your home really organized? Do you like the thought that once all your belongings have a place to be you will be able to find what you need when you want it? As a professional organizer I think these are beautiful concepts. The caveat here is that once everything is organized you must maintain the system.

Think about this another way. If you have a car you need to make sure it has gas in the tank. Every now and then the car will need to have the oil changed or undergo a routine servicing so that the car continues to run smoothly. The car will also need to be washed so that you can see clearly out the windshield – front and back. If there is trash in the car – like food wrappers, empty water bottles, or soda cans they can be thrown out so the car can be vacuumed. It’s also good to remove the trash so you have room for people and other things, like groceries, that you really want to carry in your car.

Your home is much the same. You can’t expect to organize once and be done. Schedule a few minutes every morning to make sure the bed is made, dirty clothes in the hamper, and the dishes washed and put away or rinsed and put in the dishwasher. Plan these chores into your morning routine so that when you return home from work you don’t have these chores to tackle before you can begin preparing for dinner.

Schedule a few minutes in the evening to sort the mail. Take the time to at least separate out the mail to be recycled or shredded from the mail that needs attention – like bills or invitations.

As you go from room to room in your house if you see a few things out of place put them where they belong. You’ll thank yourself later. A few things are easy to attend to. That will only take you a short time. It’s when things are left out of place that they tend to multiply. Then it will take you much longer to take care of the out of place items. Don’t indulge yourself by saying “I’ll do it later”. In my experience, later never comes.

Plan time into your day everyday to clean and maintain one room of your home. Just as it’s impossible to organize once and be done it’s impossible to clean once and expect your furniture to remain dust free. It doesn’t take long to dust and vacuum a room when it’s done regularly. As you’re cleaning the furniture put aside anything that has lingered in the room and doesn’t belong there. When you’re finished cleaning take the time to put those out of place items where they belong.

Rotate through the rooms in your house taking care of one a day. Doing this regularly means that nothing is actually that dusty or dirty and it won’t take you very long. This way you don’t have to dedicate an entire day to cleaning your house. It’s much more rewarding to spend your day off doing something you want to do – maybe something fun with a friend or family, maybe something indulgent like a spa treatment, maybe some gardening… the possibilities are endless.

If you have a spouse or partner and/or children involve them in the maintenance routine. Teach them to put their belongings away. You can make a game out of it. Put on some good music and let everyone know that now is the time to gather things up if they are out of place and put them away. Let each person have a part in keeping your home clean and tidy. Doing this you accomplish several things. You teach your children how to pick up and put away and you teach them to care for their home in a responsible manner.

Remember the key to having a clean and well organized home is maintenance. Create the system and then work it.

Goal Setting

February 27, 2013

Last week I talked about change and how to go about making a change in your habits.  Today I thought I’d continue that theme by talking about goal setting. I am a believer in having lots of goals. Most of my goals are short-term and very achievable. I love that because short-term goals are usually easily achieved. What do I do when I achieve my goal? Reward myself, of course!

When you are thinking about setting goals for yourself work backwards. Start with the end in mind. By what date do you want to have completed this goal. Be realistic and honest with yourself. If the goal is huge and daunting you might never achieve it – that is self-defeating. Instead why not break that goal down into small chunks and set completed by (or achieved by) dates for each chunk. After you have set the completed by date list all the steps you need to take to arrive at your goal – reminder you are still working backwards. Now set a start date. Before you actually start pick a reward. What will you get for achieving this goal? Is it a tangible reward or an intrinsic one? One of my favorite rewards is a movie afternoon or evening. I love going to the movies and I don’t get there often enough so that is a wonderful reward for me.

Now, you’ve picked your goal and made sure that it is realistic. You’ve set a finished by date and a start date. You’ve listed the steps to take to accomplish the goal. You have a reward in mind. Your final step in this process is to get out your calendar and plan when you are going to take all these step toward your stated goal. Once you have the steps scheduled into your calendar you may need to reassess your completed by date. Sometimes we have a tendancy to over-schedule ourselves or think we can actually fit one more thing into our day. Be kind to yourself. If you really want to make this happen, it has to work within the confines of your other responsibiities. Allow a little flex room, sometimes things just crop up.

Take another look at the start date, the scheduled steps, and your end date. Are you being realistic? Do you have a little wiggle room there? If so, pick your reward and then get started.

 

Summer Fun

June 7, 2012

Someone asked me today if I had started to slow down for the summer. Her question took me by surprise. I realized that I don’t slow down at all during the summer any more. I planned my time differently when my children were in school. Then I did slow down during the summer. We planned lazy days by the beach. Some days we played tennis and others we dedicated to water sports. We spent as much time as we could outside engaged in sports, relaxing in the shade, or playing board games. In other words we had lots of fun and our days were much less structured.

Of course, the organizer in me made sure we still followed a modified daily routine. There are always chores to do but you can make them into games so they become a little less onerous. Here are a few ideas for you.

1. Put on some fun music and ask your children to pick up (put away) their toys while the music is playing. When the music stops the person with the most things picked up or put away gets a reward – something like an extra few minutes riding a bike or an extra story read to them at night.

2. Have your children help you with the laundry. They can pair socks and fold some things like towels. Let them start with the easy items and work up to folding t-shirts.

3. Emptying the dishwasher is another task children can help with – particularly sorting the cutlery.

4. An extra pair of hands or two can be a big help preparing dinner.  Children can measure ingredients and stir them together.

Chores are much more fun and they are done faster when everyone pitches in to help. This also teaches the little ones responsibilty. The faster the chores are completed the sooner everyone can get outside to play – whatever the activity of the day may be.