Want to be more organized tomorrow? You can make it happen today. Right now. Spend a little bit of time tonight – maybe 30 minutes – and you can have a simpler, less stressful day tomorrow. Here’s what I do each night to keep my days organized:
I read an article recently that talked about Micro-Resolutions and how instead of hoping for good intentions to work out, you could use these micro-goals to shrink down and reach big goals one at a time. I love this. I’m often setting enormous goals and excitedly thinking of how to break them down into smaller pieces – but I love the idea of starting with the smaller goal from the very beginning.
I had to make many changes this year for my goals. After a year of aggressive goals that failed, I needed to re-focus and make goals that would actually work and micro-goals have served me well. Here’s what I learned:
I love to plan and love to organize. Love it. But I realized that I was using my planning and organization as a crutch to ignore “living in the moment” and accepted I needed to make a change. Sure, planning and organization has a time and a place, but to really experience life – sometimes you need to be more aware of what is happening right now and be ready to take advantage of your opportunities. Here’s what I’ve learned that I think will benefit you too:
Be Present In The Moment.
When I am in planning mode, I’m sometimes so focused on where I’m going, I’m not thinking about where I already am. I realized this after I had both of my kids. I needed to be more present with what was happening now. It’s something I still have to work toward each day. I have to physically stop what I’m doing and purposefully think about what I should be doing right now. And then I have to focus on being present in the moment. Remember, there are many times where your undivided focus is essential – it’s with the things that really matter – and those are often not things. Be present with the people who matter to you. It may take focus, but it’s worth it.
On more days than I’d like to admit I’m too tired. Lie on the bed all night and binge-watch TV tired. Can’t do anything else for the day tired. And that doesn’t work so well for me to get anything done. And then a few months ago, I realized that I was trying to do my day backwards. I was trying to do too much during my low point of the day, and it wasn’t working for me. Here’s what I remembered to boost my productivity each day, and I think it will help you too:
Your Productive Time Matters.
I’m pretty productive at work, so much so that I’m mentally exhausted by the time I make it home. I’ve realized I’ll sacrifice my personal energy to maintain my professional energy. So I work when I’m best – when I first wake up in the morning. My goal each day is to get one productive thing done at home before I go into work. And on most days, I can accomplish this task, which makes me feel more productive as I go into work. Try to work at the time that works best for you – early in the morning, during your lunch hour or late at night – if it works for you, it works. And remember to write it down, so you remember what needs to be done!
I woke up this morning knowing I needed to get a lot done. We just finished one of our busy seasons at work, I have people coming over tonight and I’ve let my house cleaning and cooking take a back seat in my priorities. I got up ready to start working on everything and hit the ground running and after about 15 minutes, I realized I wasn’t making much progress on anything. Every time I got started on one task, I’d start to see something else I needed to do and I’d switch to this – I was running in circles.
And then I stopped, got some breakfast, and sat down to make a list (and I do love my lists). Here’s why you need to follow my “list first” strategy:
Today is almost over, but it doesn’t have to be in vain. Did you just survive today or are you making purposeful decisions to thrive today?
Take regular breaks from the daily grind to pursue what excites you most
This can be anything, but let it be something that allows your mind to wander and your imagination to grow. Yes, there are days that I need to binge-watch my favorite TV show, but I’m not sure that can count as what excites me most (except after 1/2 marathon days – then not moving the rest of the day does excite me most). Even if you only have 15 minutes to spend, use it on something you enjoy and you’ll look forward to. Today, I went on a run, I worked on designs and I spent time writing. I had to make purposeful decisions – and sometimes sacrifices – to make this time with my favorite activities happen. But it’s worth it. You are worth it.
When you’re thinking about your week, you don’t have to make a wildly difficult master plan for your meals. Figure out what you like and use the same strategy over and over to make everything easier. Plan out your week with these easy, breezy meal prep strategies. Here are the meals you need to add to your repertoire:
The Easy Meal
We always keep basics for our easy meal on hand. It’s easy to buy, easy to prep and everyone likes it. If we can’t think of any thing else to eat, our easy meal saves us a trip for take out. You need to pick an easy meal that works for you. Here are some ideas:
- Spaghetti with whole wheat or yellow-squash “noodles”
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Scrambled Eggs & Bacon