Do you struggle with getting things done on time or even at all? Do you struggle with staying focused and completing tasks? Whether at work or at home, having focus to get things done is one of the best skills you can build for your sanity.
I am not the most organized person in the world. But I have found things that work for me. That is the most important thing you can learn – everyone has their own way of doing things, but if you can figure out what will work for you, your personality, your lifestyle, you will have a winner. Because you can take a system that may be a great system, but if it doesn’t work for you and your life, than it is pointless.
My entire life has been waves of chaos and calm – figuring out what works, then having to reassess and adjust accordingly.
I can remember the feeling when other people make comments to me about my inconsistency and lack of focus – and they may have been right. What if this is a blessing? I have learned to turn some of my weaknesses into strengths.
I am inconsistent, quite often and I get bored, easily, always looking for the next thing. I took this weakness of getting distracted and learned how to make it work for me.
Here is what I know about myself
- I don’t like to get bored.
- I like to mix things up.
- I like some routine, but I really love freedom and flexibility.
Looking back on all the times in my life, when I got things done and was focused, I had a solid routine.
Read more about Building Consistency for the Type B Personality
Planning Your Week
Every Sunday night, I look at my week and I list out everything that I want to get done for the whole week – a massive braindump – and then I plan it out and decide what day each of those tasks are going to get done.
Prioritize your braindump with a 1) MUST GET DONE 2) Needs done, but not urgent 3) Would be nice to have done.
Plan out your week and plug in your list over the week with 1s first, then the 2s. To keep me from getting too overwhelmed – I have a tendency to take on too much stuff, at one time – is to pick 3 things I want to get done that day. More on Work Life Balance
This way you have a clear plan each day and you know where to focus your attention.
Planning out your meals is so important and can be the difference between a calm or chaotic week.
Have you ever had weeks, where you were getting food last minute and eating a lot of stuff based on impulse? Planning ahead is the key to success, whether you are trying to lose weight or just want to feel less stressed.
1. Plan your meals for the week.
2. Make ahead meals and snacks.
3. Precut any fruits or veggies to save time in the kitchen.
Group Like Tasks
Another thing I do is I group like tasks together, like bulk cooking or running errands. How much time do you waste, cooking and cleaning every night? Is there something you could double up on while taking the kids to school?
Is there anything you do every day or every week that you can double up on a certain day of the week? Are you always running last minute errands, several times a week? What if you hit all your errands on 1 or 2 set days of the week.
Some examples of how I have grouped things and made my life easier
- Sunday grocery shop and prep
- Wednesday errand day – post office, library, dry cleaner
- Friday – catch up, return calls, emails
How Can This Be Easier?
I frequently ask myself how can this be easier? How can you cluster things together to make yourself more efficient and more productive and so that you’re not running around like a chicken with their head cut off, right?
You cannot keep adding things to your plate, without taking something off. Who can help you? Can you delegate some things to your husband, your kids, a coworker? Can you hire some help – housecleaning, get the groceries delivered, or invest in weekly meal prep?
What needs your focus? What needs to be a priority? Grab my Focus Goal Planner to get you Focused and crushing your goals
Do you ever feel like you are constantly busy, but still not getting anything done? This used to be my life.
I found myself, constantly, distracted. I was so busy trying to do all the things and nothing actually would get accomplished.
I would start to work and then, I remembered the dishes need done or laundry needs switched.
For years, I had no idea my dirty kitchen or messy car was affecting my energy and my focus. And it seemed every time I cleaned the house, it would only last a few hours. It felt like a never ending chore.
Some things I have found that work – to keep me focused. my energy up and the house clean.
- Do household chores in the morning and evening. This frees up my time and space, in the middle of the day, so I can focus on work, family or self care.
- Create routines for everything. I have a routine for cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and even homework with the kids.
- Keeping my physical space clear and uncluttered.
- Recruit my kids to help with household chores. My kids love to help and if you start them early, they will learn to continue when they are older.
My favorite site to help you get your house under control – http://www.flylady.net/
Some of the routines that keep me focused
- Kitchen – gets cleaned up after dinner or while making dinner. Empty the dishwasher, first thing in the morning, while cooking breakfast.
- Laundry – gets rotated once in the morning, once in the evening.
- Errands – I do all my errands on one day of the week. Currently Thursdays
- Doing my workout at the same time every day.
Got 15 Minutes?
One of the things I hear most often from clients, is “I don’t have time to workout”. And I used to say this, too. Actually, this was my main excuse ,for not losing weight for over 5 years!
Until, finally, I realized I wasn’t getting any younger and things were not going to change anytime soon. I had to get creative in fitting in my workouts. With two young kids, I didn’t always get to the gym, I didn’t always have a babysitter – not much has changed in that aspect. But I did manage to lose 40 pounds when I ditched my excuses.
3 ways I fit in my workout around my kids
1. Wake up early.
Some days, the only chance I get to workout, is to get up before they do. This is my favorite, by far. Getting up an hour earlier than they do allows me time to enjoy my morning tea, a workout and sometimes, even breakfast – with zero interruptions. This works well for me because I am an early bird. After the kids go to bed may be a better time for you, if you prefer late nights.
2. Get it in while you can.
I started on this fitness journey when my daughter was 5 months old. There were times I did my workout while she was content in the bouncer – for a whole 10 minutes. Do whatever you can, however you can. I didn’t always go to the gym. Now, I will find a game or activity for the kids to do at the table, while I lift weights for 15-20 minutes. Other days, they play outside while I get in some plyos in the driveway, where I can keep an eye on them and still burn some calories. Get creative.
3. Take them with you.
Include your kids in your workouts. It teaches them to be active and it burns off their energy, double win. Some family activities that keep us active include hiking, swimming, bike riding, a walk to the park or yoga. Now, my kids didn’t always want to do these things, but my persistence and them seeing me do them, has started to create a ripple effect – now they ask to ride their bikes. You are the leader. You lead and they will follow.
Ask yourself, where do I have an extra 10 minutes? Other ideas – take the stairs, do some yoga before bed, ride your bike to work, do squats while brushing your teeth.
Develop a no excuses mindset and I know you can squeeze out some extra time, in your day.
Find my favorite ultra fat burning workouts you can do at home.
Health conscious and natural minded – oh no! I was not always this way!
I grew up in a family of 6 kids. My parents did as much DIY as they could to keep costs down, but they also did a lot of things based on convenience. They grew their own garden, used disposable diapers and conventional cleaners. I mean, when you have that many kids, you do what works!
I am a big fan of doing what works for you and your family. Not every solution is the best answer for every family.
I became pregnant in 2008, it was then that we decided to use cloth diapers. We didn’t get a lot of support from our families, actually, they called us crazy and suggested that we would quit soon after the baby was born. How’s that for moral support? Good thing I am a stubborn soul! I haven’t always followed the tribe and I am not afraid of trying something new.
Our reasoning was a lot based on trends and the good of the planet, but the savings on cost was a close second. At the time, I had a good paying job and cost of diapers was not really on our radar. At that time, I was still making weekly trips to Starbucks and had regular strolls through Target, buying whatever I wanted.
After maternity leave and a layoff, I was grateful someone didn’t talk me out of using cloth. With two kids, using some of the same diapers, four years apart, we definitely benefitted from the cost savings.
As I was a new mom and learning all I could about my unborn baby and cloth diapers, I spent a lot of time in the cloth diaper forums on Babycenter. Birds of a feather flock together, hang around long enough and you will learn how to fly.
As I spent a lot of hours online with these women, I started to tune into all the other topics that they were talking about, such as toxic foods and cleaners, vaccinations, essential oils, etc.
After I had my son, I became this person I had no idea existed, a mom that was painfully aware of the plastic planet were participating in. I realized I wanted to raise my child in a way that I did not; I wanted my child to be environmentally conscious, free of harsh chemicals and free of gender requirements.
We started recycling, buying homemade soap and even traded laundry soap in for soap nuts!
This is who we are now!
We buy organic when possible, eat whole foods based diet, limit conventional cleaners, shop local, babywear, bed share, seek out natural alternatives to medicine and health as much as possible and allow our kids to play with the toys and activities they want, regardless of their gender.
Read more about me here.
Do you do anything some call you crazy for?
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