Have you ever thought about your daily routine and what is happening pretty much the same daily, weekly, monthly or yearly? Let’s examine a few:
During my childhood, we had traditions for Christmas that always involved celebrating on Christmas Eve each year. When I was older and got married, that worked out well as we were able to celebrate with my in-laws on Christmas day and my parents on Christmas Eve. Then, we had kids. Early on, we could continue the same and then we started a new occurrence where we celebrated Christmas Day at home. Christmas Eve with my parents, and either the weekend before or after with the in-laws. The point is it gets complicated the more people that are involved regardless of it being a Christmas celebration or hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for my family. You make changes, adapt and try to repeat the exact plan each year.
Bills. That’s what comes to mind initially when a monthly re-occurrence is thought of. Every month, you may set a day when you cover and pay the month’s bills received. For a home this is the case, for business, you may choose 2x a month. Having a structure in place to repeat on or around the same day each month will remove anxiety, help you better with time management and if you have a routine, you will have success each and every month.
Plan your weekends. If you are in a family, don’t let the Saturday and Sunday come along without something set aside with a plan. It is ok to have a plan to do nothing as long as it is planned. A nap is a smart plan. Mowing your lawn each week, sweeping your garage, filling up gasoline in your cars, going out to eat to a restaurant to give the house cook a break needs to be planned. Plans improve time management. Talking about them is not a plan. Plan for time to plan.
Years ago, a pastor told me that the only way to sleep well when awoken of ‘things to do’ is to keep a pencil and paper (now something digital will work) by your bedside. Setup a routine to write down immediately of what you think you have identified as a task. Then, go back to sleep. Awaken again? Do the same thing. You will find that you are sleeping much better at ease as your mind doesn’t have to keep processing that reminder. Each morning set up a list that is achievable, stop at 5 (Use the list you started last night). Prepare to accomplish at least 3 from that list. Keep the 2 leftovers for the next day. If you find yourself doing more than 3. List out 10 and do 5 each day. It is important to always list out MORE than what you can accomplish as you will then never expect to finish all items, and your list will help you identify what you have accomplished in a week. If you are super comfortable with online tools for project task tracking go for it. I find that works better for business but for tasks, there is nothing better than a digital notepad or writing notebook of things to work on.
Planning a consistent day, week, month, or year is important to keeping stress down, productivity up. Sure it takes time to plan. Some think the smallest of tasks should not matter. Yet putting these practices in place early on will protect you later when memories aren’t the strongest which is normal. I used to be known as ‘elephant’ man, not because of cosmetics but because I was known to remember everything years later. Having lists, schedules, and planning out the calendar is so important. As you get older, you typically have more people in your lives, more things to work on and as mentioned even with a Christmas celebration, complicated without a routine.
Stay tuned for Wash, Rinse Repeat II as it will be a repeated theme.