Yesterday I shared my journey to finding and creating a routine that worked well for me in this season of life. Today I want to expand on that a little more and share with you some tips and tools that have helped me get back into a more structured routine.
When thinking through your schedule and creating a plan there are 4 things that I had to think about and work through to get to the routine that I currently use now.
1). Re-evaluate Your Current Plan
As I shared yesterday, the cleaning checklist that I purchased just wasn’t working for me. I wanted it to because I paid for it, and I stuck with it way to long. The simple truth is it was causing me more harm than good. It was making me fell overwhelmed and like a failure. I’m sure if you talked with the author of that particular cleaning checklist, that’s probably the last thing she would want me to feel too!
There were things I really liked about the current system, so I made a note to continue to incorporate those into my new routine. The things that just didn’t work for me, like assigning chores to specific days of the week, I threw out.
To be able to stick with a routine, it has to work for you. I knew that vacuuming and mopping all the floors on Monday was unrealistic for me.
2). Examine Your Priorities
I’ve shared before about my mission statement and why I think it’s so important to have one. Developing a mission statement really helps to determine what your priorities are: the people, the things, the relationships that are most important to you. You want to remember those priorities when setting up a daily routine.
Now I don’t hide the fact that I am emotionally allergic to cleaning, and if it was up to me the house would learn to clean itself! But as much as I wish for that, it isn’t going to happen. Someone has to clean it, and currently that someone is me.
I look forward to when my kids are old enough to teach them how to help around the house too, but right now I’ll settle for sweet, little Silas following me around with an empty spray bottle and a rag pretending he is cleaning alongside with me. It is so cute! 🙂
3). Make a Plan
There are hundreds of free, printable cleaning checklists available on-line. Just Google them, or better yet, search Pinterest for them! There are also many that you can purchase as well. I have found so many that are great, but I never found one that met all of my needs. So I decided to create my own. My personal daily docket, as I like to call it, helps me to stay organized and focused throughout the day. I’m a pen and paper gal, so I like to cross off things on my list.
In creating my daily docket I thought about my daily routine that I shared yesterday. I included a checklist that I could cross off as I completed them. I also created room for a to-do list, specific daily chores (like dusting, clean bathrooms, etc.), and a separate to-do list for work related items (for me that includes working on this blog).
One of the best pieces of advice came from reading the book Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider of The Art of Simple. She explains that once you created your to-do lists, identify 3 most important tasks that need to get done that day. They can be from either to-do lists. I have included a special section at the top of my daily docket for those 3 specific tasks. If they get done, then everything else seems more manageable.
I also included places to remind me to take care of myself both spiritually and physically. I included spots for Bible reading and prayer reminders. If there is a specific prayer I need to pray for, I jot that down and every time I look at my docket, I remember to say a short prayer. There is also room to write down a reading goal for the day. I have a long book list and I make reading a priority in my day, so I jot down the title of the book and a reading goal, like read 20 pages.
Lastly at the bottom I have included a spot to write out any exercise plans I have for the day and a place to record my water intake. Once I started recording how much water I drank through the day, I realized that I wasn’t drinking as much water as I though I was!
I have made my daily docket available for you to print for free if you need a place to start. I have included two different versions. The first one contains the daily routine that I use, and the second one leaves that spot blank so you can create your own daily routine.
4). Allow Room for Margin
Lastly, it’s important to leave room for margin because life happens. Some days I am super productive and my kids are very cooperative. Other days, not so much. Most days we are just at home, so I can get most of my chores done. But there are other days when we have errands to run, or we go to the park or another special outing.
So be realistic. That’s why I only included room for six tasks on my daily to-do list. I’m trying to teach myself that just because there are six lines, that doesn’t mean that I have to fill them all up!
If you still need more encouragement and practical tips, may I suggest two more resources for you?
Both eBooks are wonderful resources to use to help think through your time and create a routine and habits that will stick. Plus both eBooks are very quick reads, which is a bonus in my opinion!
Don’t forget, you can download my daily dockets here to help you plan your day, and create a routine that will work for you.
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