Two weeks ago I wrote about the concept of Life Garden and how to determine what is important to nourish and grow in our lives. With a new school year beginning, I thought I would write about how I am able to make time for the things in my Life Garden and be more efficient through daily routines.
When it comes to organization, some people make it look so easy. Being on top of things is their nature and they don’t give their efficiency a second thought. I’m sure it is a puzzle to them why everyone else around them is not so put together as they are.These are the people that back in high school and college had their A+ reports and projects done weeks ahead of the end of the semester deadline. Oh, how I envied you lot back in the day. Heck, I envy you now. 🙂
Despite my general tidiness and desire to always do my best, focus has always been a struggle for me. Combine focus issues with a constant low level of anxiety throughout the day and you have someone who struggles with being as efficient as possible. I mention this aspect of my personality only to let you know that if you have similar personality traits, you can make things easier for yourself and develop little tricks to get through the day. Written, set morning and evening routines may be one of those tricks.
Last January I began a practice that made a huge difference in how my days flowed. I physically wrote down my morning and evening routines and then hung them up where I could reference them everyday. I decided what I wanted to get done every morning to ensure a good start to the day. I also decided how I wanted to enjoy my time after work in the evenings as well as how I was going to get set up for the next work day. I figured out how long each task/activity would take and that determined how early I got up in the morning and how late I would stay up in the evening.
Now, I know this sounds like way over the top planning. I mean, don’t we all have our morning and evening routines memorized? How much can they have changed in 50+ years? Why write down 5:30 am – make the bed? That should be a no brainer that needs no reminder. Oddly enough, I found when I stuck to my written routine things really flowed and I not only got a lot done, I had more time to relax as well. When I tried to “wing it” based on common sense and 55 years experience, that would be a morning when I would run out the door without my morning journaling or meditation trying not to spill my coffee as frantically looked for my car keys or the evening where I forgot to do a load of laundry and the extra 15 minutes of evening Netflix led me to forgetting to pack my lunch and choose an outfit for the next day
It was writing down the details of my organization that I found the most useful. Instead of saying to myself ” I would like to journal in the morning.” I physically wrote on a schedule “Journal from 6:00 am to 6:15 am.” Instead of saying ” I would like to prepare for work tomorrow.” I wrote down to pack lunch and set out tomorrow’s outfit at 7:30 pm. I put on my schedule that every weeknight from 8:00 pm until 9:00 pm it was my to relax and unwind with Netflix or reading before getting ready for bed. Of course, over time the schedule becomes habit and the written schedule becomes a reference to check periodically.
Some aspects of my personality are what they are, and I still worry that I somehow am not prepared enough. (That is a life issue that I will always have to work on.) However, when I can physically see on a schedule that I have done all I can to prepare for work and my life, I am able to let go and relax. I feel more confident and successful. The things that do not go as planned are more easily put into perspective.
Routines should be a tool that make your life easier. However, along with routine and consistency there is a need to go with the flow. Unexpected glitches in our daily routines is a reality. No one is immune to having to adjust for the unexpected. Interestingly, if you have set routines and are organized, this sense of order can help you more effectively deal with the unexpected glitches in life more efficiently.
You will also find when you set up a routine and block out times to accomplish things you can actually end up with more free time to be spontaneous. That is a great bonus. I know that my neighbors are always up cleaning their house 1st thing Saturday morning. I do not see them the rest of the weekend because they are out enjoying life. Three hours of chores knocked out first thing followed by 1.5 days of relaxation. A good goal to strive for in my book.
If you are cultivating your own Life Garden, be sure to schedule these things into your routine. Some things may be everyday such as a workout or writing in a journal. Other areas of your garden may be weekend only Life Garden fun . 🙂 Either way, cultivate your garden as a part of your routines.
As always, I would love to hear from you. Do you have routines that you follow?
Thanks for stopping by the blog!
Until next time,