As a work from home mom, I usually have to juggle client demands, project deadlines, house chores, cooking and school schedules which makes any normal week day a juggling circus act.
Even with two day planners I sometimes used to commit to both my kids school’s PTA meetings on the same evening. Once I discovered that the school event I’d been involved with planning for the last two months was taking place on the same day as an out of town wedding that we had committed to and had been anticipating for months!
It’s not that my life is all that glamorous, it’s just that with two children at school, a business to run, a blog and it’s multiple social media accounts to manage, and various committee obligations, I do tend to feel like a hamster running on a track wheel and it would be very easy to drop the ball.
Somewhere along the line I gradually started to develop more healthy habits by making a few small changes to my daily routine. In doing so I ensured that I was better prepared for the next day and I even set myself up to be more productive.
Here is how I achieved this:
1. Organization is key
I have learned the value of keeping a day planner to make note of any appointments, school necessities, work deadlines, business goals, meal plans and personal goals I hope to achieve during the next day. I even use my day planner to make note of any inspiration blog post ideas and my editorial calendar. Of course I don’t always accomplish all of what I have planned for the next day, but I have a general expectation of what the next day will hold and I feel prepared.
2. Start the day off with quiet time
Wake up an hour earlier in the morning and use that hour to prepare your mind and soul for the day ahead in whichever way puts you in a peaceful frame of mind. For me its a strong cup of coffee and some quiet reflection with my bible or sometimes even a solitary walk in the still of the predawn hour. For you it might be yoga or a good workout. You could even use this time to spend planning out your day. However you choose to use your free hour, remember that it is your time to do with whatever gives you peace of mind before the demands of other people enter into your day.
3. Get enough rest
I am guilty of not always adhering to this rule. I am a bit of an insomniac and am never able to fully switch off which means that some nights I don’t get enough rest leaving me feeling sluggish the next day. In my defense this is due to having young kids. Even though both my kids have been sleeping through the night for quite some time, my body has never fully recovered from the interrupted sleep of feeding schedules and as a result I am still a very light sleeper.
It is vital to give your body time to unwind and relax. Although I am not able to sleep early at night, I do however use the evening time to read or do any other quiet activity until I fall asleep.
Getting enough rest at night will ensure that you are a happier person to be around the next day.
4. Take breaks and snack times often throughout the day
I actually need to put break and snack times into my schedule otherwise I forget, especially when on a deadline! But this is because I am a web developer! As a coder I have conditioned my body and mind to focus on a single task for many hours at a time.
You actually do need to reboot your mind and your tired eyes by getting up to stretch or make a cup of tea every so often throughout the day. If you are like me you might also need to set a recurring reminder on your phone!
5. Have a thankful heart
I can’t stress enough how important it is to live gratefully. I often compare what we have to others and find us coming up short. This is normal. But the truth is that I have never been more abundantly blessed than now. I might not own a big house or the car of my dreams, but our home is blessed with great JOY and for this I am so very grateful. I am even thankful for the unobstructed view of Table Mountain from my kitchen window. I have learned to appreciate the small joys in the everyday.
Make a mental list for yourself and see how many things in your life you are grateful for. It’s so easy to get caught up in the business of surviving and forgetting to appreciate life. We will never live in this time and place again – so we need to make the most of it.
If reading this post has helped you please share! Have you tried any of the above and has it worked for you? What are your coping mechanisms?