When we consider our everyday lives, we think about how to live better.

  • How to eat better
  • How to sleep better
  • How to stress less
  • How to be more productive….

…and the list goes on. There is a beginning, there is a foundation, and that is you. If you’re not a fan of the way you’re living or even if you think you can be a little bit better at it, it’s time to get to work.

This can be an overwhelming task and the thought of changing is enough by itself. This is not something you have to beat yourself up about. This is not an overhaul of your life, but it’s an improvement. If you step into this thinking it will happen overnight, you will give up before you get started.

Think of it as an addiction:

  1. It’s not easy to give up
  2. There is a possibility of relapse
  3. There will be guilt
  4. It will not go away overnight

When you begin, you must learn to accept the four things listed above. It may still be hard, but it will be a pinch easier to overcome because it’s expected. When you expect something, it always feels better, even if it still hurts.

Think of it as a process:

  1. They take time
  2. They’re hard work
  3. They have an input (you and your time)
  4. They have an output (the new you)

You will determine the pace of your process. You can move faster as time passes, or you can move slower to give yourself more time to accept what’s ahead. What you shouldn’t do is slow yourself to a pace that allows you to slip, make no progress, and eventually give up.

The Plan

This plan is a general plan that will allow you to break down the things you want to work on. It’s best to list things in an order that will allow you to work through the next step smoothly.

Example:

Kelly wanted to improve her performance at work. She felt the work environment was fine, but there were days where she stepped into the best of atmospheres and she just wasn’t up for being at work. She figured this could be from (one if not all the following) not having a good night’s sleep, not eating breakfast, rushing to work, and not being able to find clothes for the kids, her husband, and herself due to clutter in her home. Kelly decided she needed to become more organized and productive at home just as she was at work.

Kelly, like many men and women in the world, has hectic home lives. She needed a plan to break her out of her routine chaos for improved work performance. Not only will she perform better at work, but she will also perform better at home.

For this plan, we will use the scenario above. We know that Kelly’s home life involves family, clutter, lack of sleep, and ignoring the most important meal of the day. Kelly must start by making a chart or a list of the things she feels makes her work day a blah and a blur from the time it starts.

Kelly’s Goal- To improve my home life by being more organized, building a healthier lifestyle, and managing my time better.

Kelly’s goal may not seem as detailed now, but she will break it down into smaller tasks. Breaking down your steps into smaller tasks will stop you from overloading yourself.

  • Being More Organized
    • Put away items after use
      • Eliminates mess and the extra cleaning on clean up days
    • Separate items in containers, files, and storage bins in the proper rooms
      • Eliminates clutter in rooms
    • Keep a cleaning schedule
      • Create a touch-up cleaning schedule and a deep cleaning schedule. (There is no need to clean your house as if your spring cleaning every time you pick up a broom or mop.)
      • Eliminates mess and clutter on a regular basis
  • Healthier Lifestyle
    • Eating well-balanced meals
      • Eat right throughout the day to feel better from start to finish
    • Eating breakfast
      • Eat breakfast with the children in the morning
    • Taking a multivitamin
    • Waking and sleeping schedule
      • Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day
  • Time Management
    • Creating daily/weekly/monthly to-do lists
    • Allow time to complete tasks (for example: eating breakfast)

Putting It into Action

At this point, you are ready to download apps, buy planners, set alarms, start a notebook, or whatever it is your do to keep yourself on track.

When putting your plan into action there are some things you should avoid doing because you will push yourself to the point of no recovery. There were many times where I started and quit, started over, and quit again. I would overwhelm myself to a point where I deleted every calendar on my phone, all the things I had on a note app, tore stick notes down and left my dry erase board blank because I felt like such a failure.

Do not do this…. …. Instead, do this
Overload your calendars and to-do lists Put all your “must do” items at their designated times before adding any errands, chores, etc.

Allow yourself to take a break (lunch break, stretching, rest after a stretch of tasks or long task)

Get upset at yourself if you cannot complete everything in one day Make sure your high priority or time sensitive tasks are complete before moving to smaller tasks if something unexpected happens or your feel time is getting away from you
Overdo multitasking. If you can, avoid it When scheduling tasks, give yourself a set amount of time to complete the task. Leave room for error
Cut into your sleep by going to sleep too late or waking up too early Be human…. sleep and wake up per your schedule

The Conclusion

You may have to try this more than once or you may get it on the first try. Remember, it is about you, what you want to do, and where you want to go. I’ve read a lot of articles and downloaded a lot of planners and apps. No one way is a one size fits all. I combined much of what I’ve read and what I’ve been through to create a simple plan for myself.

My issue wasn’t organization or keeping the house clean. I was an obsessive individual that overloaded my Monday through Friday just to have the weekend with my family. These were my mistakes, don’t be like me. You can live a happy and productive day just by limiting what you do and scheduling how you do it.

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