Thanks Debbie, some good pointers. I like that 10-minute "tidy time" - it will save me from having 40-minute tidy times when I get "busy" and neglect staying on top of it!
Do You Revel In Routine?
Some people fear that following a routine or scheduling tasks and activities will stifle creativity and the ability to act spontaneously. We’ve found the opposite to be true.
As the summer comes to an end and fall begins, it’s time for many of us to settle down, refine our focus and get back into our daily routines. Whether you have kids that are heading back to school or whether you are just returning from a long summer vacation…it is the perfect time to get organized so you are able to be productive and more focused at home, work or at school.
Some people fear that following a routine or scheduling tasks and activities will stifle creativity and the ability to act spontaneously. We’ve found the opposite to be true. Routines help you get and stay organized! Focus and organization can unleash creativity. Prioritizing and working more efficiently can free up more time, allowing for spontaneity and fun.
Back to Routine Tips & Suggestions:
1) Check your email at the same time every day and never first thing in the morning. Accomplish one important task before opening your email program and then consider checking email at 10:00, 1:00 and 4:00, for example. This way you won’t be distracted from other tasks during the day that need to be completed and others will get to know your routine and expect your reply emails either in the morning, mid-day or late afternoon.
2) If you have kids, have a “homework time” (and a clear, organized, quiet study space). Honor that time each day to complete school assignments and projects. If there are no assignments, encourage your children to review textbooks, past assignments, study for upcoming tests, do an activity in an extra workbook you have handy, write a letter to a friend or relative, or read a book. By establishing this routine, your kids know what to expect and will establish good work habits.
3) Do what you can the night before. Spend a few minutes reviewing your calendar and your task list for the next day so you know what to prepare for, both mentally and physically.
• Lay out clothes the night before – for kids you can even purchase a 5 shelf sweater organizer and lay out clothes for the week (Monday on top shelf, etc.)
•Prepare and pack lunches the night before. Pack up backpacks and briefcases with any books, papers and supplies needed for the day.
•Pack any “activity” bags or set out extra supplies you’ll need to take out the door with you the night before. Place these items by the door you’ll walk out the next morning so nothing gets left behind. These steps will help reduce the chaos that the morning can often bring.
4) Create a family calendar/event center. The kitchen or home office is often the best place for this. Have one central location where everyone can look to see the schedule for the current month. This way you won’t miss a birthday party, a doctor’s appointment, a soccer game or double-book yourself. Have each family member get into the routine of regularly adding social events, meetings, sporting events, etc. to this calendar. Review the calendar together during a weekly family meeting where you see what’s on tap for the week, know who will go where, ensure transportation is worked out, and discuss who will be home for dinners each night. This is also a great time to quickly brainstorm dinner ideas and draw up a quick grocery and shopping list.
5) Plan a 10 minute family “tidy time” each evening. Have everyone start in one room and blow a whistle or set a timer to begin. Put “out of place” items back into their home. Throw out trash, put things that belong in another room in a box to take along the way and return when you get there. Once the room you started in looks good and everything is back in its home, move into the next room. Do this until each room is picked-up. Be sure to praise everyone for a job well done at the end. This makes quick work of pick-up, ensures that big build-ups don’t happen, involves all family members and teaches great lessons to little ones.
Learn more about the author, Debbie Rosemont, CPO.
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