Everyone needs times dedicated to pausing and updating their life and family plan. There is truth in the saying, “For every minute spent organising, an hour is earned.” Instead of being on fast-forward, rewind, or even continuous play—stop, plan, and get organised.
At this point, I have seen many run to the hills of disorganisation, the land of the known and familiar. Instead of planning and implementing, they procrastinate. I challenge you to eat the elephant beetle—which means conquering the hardest and least desirable task first—so you can forever overcome disharmony and overwhelm.
There are countless time management and organisational resources out there—books, blogs, experts, and online forms. Some will work and some won’t. To get you started here are some of my suggested organisation and routine activities. My biggest piece of advice though—as time never changes, yet what can change are the choices made in the time available, always practise choice management, rather than time management.
Have a weekly plan, which creates a flexible routine.
A routine provides the freedom to focus on what is being done in the moment, knowing that all the activities to be accomplished will be done efficiently and effectively—the right things, in the right order. Many stumble whilst doing the right things in the wrong order. Meaningful routines create a happier, calmer, and less stressful environment.
Without a plan or routine days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months it all becomes a blur – the purpose of it all can be drowned out by the constant demands. Many times, I have viewed my days as a stream of things to do and busy-ness.
Take a moment now and reflect on your past week. Each week should contain all or some of the following activities and tasks. Did yours?
- You time—reading, relaxing, entertainment, rest, hobby, fun, gardening, meditating, journaling, and time to generate new ideas.
- Body time—Exercise, Yoga, massage, sport.
- Connecting with others—Family, friends, sport, volunteer or community involvement.
- Parenting duties—School drop offs and pick-ups, sporting events, tutoring, general running around, homework, fun time together, connecting and being present with your child/ren.
- Home duties—cleaning, maintaining, general upkeep of house, groceries, finances, ironing, cooking.
- Study—Assignments, credentialing, recognition from a regulatory body, seminars, researching, continual learning.
- Work—Employed position.
- Work—Own business. Delivering the product/ service that is core to your role, admin, course/product development, finances, networking, and professional collaboration.
I would like to point out that you time is at the top of this list. You time is commonly the first thing to go or be down graded to an activity of least importance. If this is happening for you or a member of your family, take time to re-prioritise. Without looking after you first, any routine is difficult to maintain and run-down people get sick.
An example of my weekly planner (which is pictured below) is printed on a sheet of paper I have on my pin-board. I like choosing a different colour for each area, as indicated in the picture, as this has more impact visually for me. In each coloured section I also have written what particular activity it is that I plan to do in that time.
This is a valuable tool for me and has been used by many of my clients. You may like to make your own, change colours, times, or activities. What matters is that this gives you a chance to view your whole week, what you do and how you can do it better.
Have a list.
I love a good list. I have an overall to-do list, a daily to-do list, a grocery list, a work list, a home list, list for gifts, and the list goes on! From watching me make lists over the years my children now have the list-making bug. My youngest son has lists of movies he wants to see, a list for Santa (usually started in April), and a list of jobs to do. My daughter makes lists for presents (she is a gift- giver by nature), a shopping list, which she calls a budget, and a dream list.
A question that I ask myself at numerous times during the day is, “What is the best use of my time right now?” This question is an opportunity to look at my list and see what I could be doing in the time I have right now and the energy I have available to me. Without my lists, I can very easily be distracted and taken off task.
Lists and weekly planning are the most effective way to improve overall performance, both personally and professionally. Wasted time is irreplaceable.
Stick with it to create a habit.
Daily disciplines create the changes in our lives. It takes about 28 days to create new habits. At about week two resistance, distraction, and lack of focus raise their unhelpful heads. This is the testing time. This is the time to push that bit harder, knowing why it is important to be organised and on purpose. Seek and gain support and take one day at a time. You can do it!