The two things you need to have the peaceful, calm, and put-together life you crave on a continuous basis are SYSTEMS and PERSISTENCE.
The two keys to a good set of systems for home, work, self care, work, etc, are PRIORITIZING and SCHEDULING.
When you don’t prioritize, everything seems super urgent and hangs over your head all the time, which is like being hooked up to an IV bag filled with stress hormones. And even if you already know what’s important, if you don’t actually schedule it, you can never relax because you’re always wondering when you’re going to manage to get it done.
Here’s the idea:
1. Prioritize daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly goals
2. Chunk the goals down into manageable steps
3. Schedule the chunked down tasks in your calendar
Simplifying Challenge #4: Free your overworked mind from holding everything by taking a few minutes each week to look ahead, prioritize, and schedule.
Here’s How To Do It: Simple Scheduling Strategy for Staying Sane
Tonight, and every Sunday night, grab your calendar and look at your week. Do the following:
1. Decide on the most important overall focus/theme/ project for the coming week. Some weeks it’s a work focus, sometimes it’s home and garden, or the kids, or a craft project, or volunteering. You’ll still have to juggle everything, but everything doesn’t have to have the highest priority every single week.
Example: This week is my Big Yard Sale, so I have to be sure to make time to get ready for that.
2. Decide what the 3 most important actions you’d like to take. These should help move your overall project or theme forward.
Example: This week I need to go through my house and pull even more items to sell, research pricing, and organize the items for the actual sale.
3. For each day, decide on 3, and only 3, most important tasks are for the day. These are the things you’ll do to accomplish your 3 actions for the week and although you’ll undoubtedly do more than 3 things in a day, you’ll want to be sure to get these done. Take into account your energy level and base your decision on a realistic awareness of how much energy it actually takes to do what you propose to accomplish.
Example: One day I might decide to: sort clothes for the sale, go through all my jewelry, and research vintage jewelry prices on line. Or one day I might see clients most of the day, so my yard sale to do list won’t get the same amount of time.
4. Review your list to see if your self care is on it! Where is your exercise time? Your coffee with a friend time? Your time puttering in the garden with no agenda time? Schedule it! It’s not just important, it’s absolutely vital and necessary in order for you not to burn out.
Example: I’m planning to get my down time in this week, too!
5. Check your list again and see what you can delegate, eliminate, or get help with.
Example: I have someone coming on Friday to help do the actual set up for the sale.
6. Each morning, before you get out of bed, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I really want to get accomplished today? What’s the one thing I want to be able to look back on at the end of the day and know it’s done?” Whatever the answer is, if you can, do that thing first. Then you can ride the pride train the rest of the day because you respected your own priority!
Example: This one is easy for me, as doing some sort of spiritual practice first always makes everything else in my day flow better.
I have no doubt that if, like me, and most people, you try this system and love it, you’ll still stop doing it at some point and your life will again feel overwhelming. That’s OK, just start again! That’s why I say it takes persistence.
And that’s is why I asked you to keep the kitchen sink clean every day.
I kept my sink clean every day because I asked you to and I wanted to walk my talk, so thanks for being my accountability partners! Something magical happened for me with this. I started taking an additional few minutes to tidy up the rest of the house before bed. And I take a little extra time to make my bed nicely in the morning. Plus I notice I put things where they are supposed to go (A place for everything and everything in its place!) when I didn’t always do that. Now my house always looks neat and I am really motivated by the calm and peace of that to keep it up.
That’s the beauty of one little practice, it blossoms into lots of good, little habits. I love how my house is always pretty tidy now, and it all starts with the kitchen sink. And it’s close to being a HABIT, which means I spend less and less energy getting myself to do it, which is one great outcome of being persistent.
MOTIVATION starts the change, HABIT keeps it going.
So, make a habit of prioritizing and scheduling everything that’s important to you. When you do that you’ll notice what drops away as unimportant and you’ll be Simplifying without suffering.
All My Best,
P.S. I’d love to hear from you about your stay-sane systems in the comments area, below. And please Share this info with anyone you think could benefit.