A saying that comes to mind is: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”?
(There’s a controversy about who came up with it, was it Harvey Mackay, Benjamin Franklin or Einstein?)
Time is something no one has enough of, and then there are times where time is just wasted by constantly checking e-mail or not being able to decide what to do next? Having a set routine ensures that I get certain things done most of the time. It gives me a sense of achievement and security; knowing what needs to be done when and how.
There are certain things that we do habitually, absolute no brainers; like getting up, brushing teeth, and getting dressed and eating breakfast. It’s all the extra stuff that we need doing over and above our commitments that become overwhelming and add to the stress and chaos.
We feel uncomfortable about anything that spells out routines and set schedules, afraid that it might crush our free spirit not realising that taking the time to plan, will give you freedom. It doesn’t matter how busy you are but if you schedule a visit to your doctor or with your hairstylist you will be there and on time!
Routines can be boring, but are effective at keeping you productive. For a production to run smoothly, the movements, speeches and actions are rehearsed over and over for hours until they are perfected. Be a producer in your own life, set priorities and let your life run smoother and see how you can actually accomplish tasks or have time for relaxation you never thought you had for because you now can schedule better.
Create a Routine
It is a good idea to have an informal family meeting to discuss schedules and ensure that everything goes onto a planner, or take time out if you are on your own to plan your activities.(Click here for Weekly Routine download) This interaction and realisation that everyone has things that need to be done is important.
- Record regular activities/tasks for each family member in the allocated time slot, i.e. work or school, family time, house work, sport events, gym, chores, shopping, homework, parties, quiet or personal time. Remember to plan time for relaxation and fun and to pad your travelling time.
- Pay attention to your own needs, instead of trying someone else’s. (It is not necessary to fill in the normal run of the mill stuff, like brush teeth @6:00, but if you would like the children to start making beds in their early morning routines, you can slot it in.)
- Start juggling things around group similar tasks together, e.g. Driving – after dropping the kids off at school, do the shopping, pick up the laundry and take the doggy to the parlour. Fit in things you really need or want to do as a reward.
- Be flexible, a routine should be a guideline and while working on it every day to make it work for you.
Don’t clutter your schedule.
You only have a certain amount of hours each day, if your schedule is too full you need to edit it.
- Eliminate- decide if the task is really necessary
- Postpone it
- Reduce – do less of it more often.
- Delegate some of the tasks to someone else. Let the domestic do the shopping, the aupair fetch and drop the children while you busy yourself with your business.
Having a daily or weekly routine, minimizes the thought that goes into trying to remember who has what on when? You can plan activities around your daily commitments and teach your children good time management skills from an early age. This will give them good self esteem confidence and security.
Once routines are established time is managed more efficiently, things start happening automatically, actions become consistent and more consideration of the other’s time is given.
Take control of your life. Set some routines and learn to follow them. Make them a habit.
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