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The Daily Grind

14 April, 2010

Photo by laffy4k

It’s 7:00 a.m. The children are crawling into the cereal boxes, the dog piddled on the floor and your husband is yelling at you from the shower to get him a towel. You just rolled out of bed and slammed your foot down on a Lego fort, there is someone yelling up the stairs about missing homework, and a little one is crying at your feet about a purple shirt that disappeared from the laundry pile.

Sound familiar?

For many Moms’, this is just the start of another day, but every day doesn’t have to be like this.

“What?!?”

Mornings, and days for that matter, don’t have to be a mad dash to get the next thing done. With the proper preparation, and a little organization, every day can be a little less chaotic.

Imagine this:

It’s 7:00 a.m. The children are dressed because they laid out their clothes the night before, and they are eating a yummy breakfast of pancakes and eggs. The dog is lying next to his food bowl with a full tummy, and your husband is pulling on a shirt that has been ironed. You are completely dressed and ready (no more walking to the bus stop with kiddos in a robe and slippers and feeling ashamed because the other moms’ have lipstick on). Backpacks and lunches are packed and ready to go by the door, and you are sitting at the kitchen table, with a cup of coffee, and laughing with your children.

Isn’t that image much more appealing than the first?

Now, I do not guarantee that if you implement a daily routine you will magically become organized and stress-free, but you might feel like you are actually getting things done if you have down on paper what you need to do every day.

Here are five simple ways to find your basic daily routine.

  1. Isolate the daily chores that you want to do every day and figure out when you would like them to be completed. This is as simple as making your bed, taking a shower, wiping down the bathroom, cleaning up the kitchen.
  2. Don’t set specific times to get things done. You will be setting yourself up for failure, and always be behind. Don’t write down that you want to have your bed made at 6:30 am, a shower finished by 7:00 am, and all the floors mopped by 7:15 am. Instead, just list what you want to get done every morning. After doing this for about a week, you will notice that you will do the same things around the same time every day. This also allows for some flexibility and spontaneity in your day. If your daughter wants to start an elaborate craft project at the kitchen table right after breakfast, but that’s when you normally sweep the kitchen floor, you can move onto something else knowing that you’ll do it later, and not feel like your whole schedule is shot.
  3. Break your day into three groups: Morning, Afternoon and Evening. On separate pieces of paper, write down each task you want to do every morning, afternoon and evening.
  4. Take your family’s schedule into account. If your son has tutoring every afternoon, followed by baseball practice, you obviously can’t dust the entire house in the afternoon. Also, if your evenings are hectic, do your daily planning in the morning…ideally when your kids are still sleeping.
  5. Keep it simple and flexible. You are more likely to actually follow something if it isn’t overly complicated. As your routine becomes second nature to you, you can start adding things or taking things out that aren’t working for you.

Here’s my routine broken up into morning, afternoon and evening.

View this document on Scribd

Because I work full-time, I try to maximize my evening and morning routines, and focus on dinner in the afternoons.

The main thing to remember is that your routine has to work for you AND your family. Just because your neighbor has more done before 7 am than the rest of the neighborhood has done within the week, does not mean that you are a failure. If you feel good about what you have accomplished and your home is running smoothly…or better than it was before you implemented your routines, then that is all that matter. Forget about keeping up with the Joneses.

What advice do you have for someone who has just begun implementing routines?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 14 April, 2010 8:30 pm

    This is wonderful advice. Especially the part about not planning according to the clock. I’ve tried that, and I am always left with a very uncomfortable feeling of urgency. I also find a simple “To Do” list works wonders, it keeps me from becoming distracted by other not so important projects. I am impressed with your efficiency. I guess when you work full time, you can’t afford to not use your time wisely!

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