I have spent a lot of posts wondering why I …(..cough..)
we love to make things way more complicated than they really are. And, as you might guess, while I was doing that I managed to make my own life more complicated by the minute. Ah, the beauty…
I already know that most of our needs for time management come from trying to do way too much. And still, these past few weeks I’ve felt busier and more exhausted than ever. This led me to thinking that even if we don’t consciously take on more responsibilities than we can handle, we still have the amazing talent to over-complicate our lives. Either that or we’ve got too lazy for words and I really don’t want to believe that.
So, I told myself one day that I need to evaluate my daily routines, because there seemed to be something in there that was eating up a ton of my time and obviously I do it very often. It’s always fun to do a self-assessment because you get to take a look at your life like it was somebody else’s. Well, that and having a good laugh in the face of the person you grew up to be.
Can it be that our daily routines are actually a part of the thing that complicates our lives? I think so. I noticed that I, for one, literally tend to spend 1/3 of my mornings having a very clear idea what I need to do but helplessly failing at organizing the steps into a routine that seems logical (even to myself). How does this make me feel? Logically, it causes a lot of stress and insecurity. And then the stress causes lack of sleep. And then that makes me grumpy. Not good…
This is how I came to the idea that knowing what to do and figuring out a way to do it in a way that consistently does not give you a headache are two very different things. And it’s also how I tried to put down at least three ways to not drive yourself crazy with the routines you make; and saying this I completely understand that very often your routines are not even made by you, they’re made by your kids, pets, spouses and circumstances. Still, there are ways to twist everything into being your own (at least a little).
Don’t make your mornings too hectic. Mornings are tough, especially when you have to cope with getting up really early + doing chores first thing after opening your eyes. And face it: that’s all of us. I have read and written a lot about making your mornings productive and conquering then in a whiff. Here’s the thing, though: if you’re not a morning person and you’ve been trying to be one for a long time and in spite of everything you’re still not… just leave it alone. Making your mornings count does not necessarily mean that you have to do everything then; and putting way too much stress on yourself trying to is not worth it. Do as much as you can without feeling like you’re drowning: that’s why we’ve got 24 hours in the day, no need to try to do 90% of your tasks in the first 2.5. When you get up, take a deep breath and chill: ask your spouse or roomie for help, take a few minutes to just do nothing. You don’t have to dive right away: just dip your pinkies in first.
Housework will never be done: stop stressing over it. I really know I do this one all the time, but when I come home and I see that the cat’s spilled his litter and the dog’s been onto every couch in the house I can’t keep my cool… In moments like these I feel like I need to take care of everything ASAP. But the older I get, the more I realize that having a stain on the kitchen counter is not, and should not be my top priority: my sanity should. And very often we go and exhaust ourselves just thinking that everything needs to be spick and span all the time in a world that simply cannot work like that. So, let’s all try to breathe and cope with the fact that things will always get messy and broken and spilled every once in a while. Pour yourself some wine and chill; no one will judge you for that. And if somebody does, you can always hand them the cleaning mop and they can get it done. It’s that simple.
Plan your work work. I have noticed that not having a plan to stick to in my work-day often gets me frustrated. So, what I try to do is keep a bullet journal of the most important tasks and add only 1-2 to them at most, after looking through my emails in the morning. Don’t overcrowd your mind from the get-go. Make a plan and stick to it; there will most likely be distractions but having a notion of what needs to get done and what doesn’t will always help you prioritize.