What is your daily routine? Maybe you're a stay at home mom. Maybe you're a career woman. Maybe you work from home. Maybe you have kids. Maybe not.... No matter what your life looks like, the secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
I wanted to share my experience about this with you because it took me time to realize just how important this is. It's not what you do every once in a while, it's what you do on a regular basis that makes the difference. This sounds so simple, but I must admit, this is not something I used to be good at. Now that I've embraced it, it really has enhanced the quality of my life...and my family's life.
I used to eat right....every once in a while.
I used to workout...every once in a while.
I used to make my bed...every once in a while.
I used to have a perfectly clean house...not often enough!
Living this way is no way to live! It's uncomfortable and can cause stress for the whole family.
It was actually easier for me to have a daily routine when I used to work 10 hour days outside the home, because I had to. When I stopped working outside the home and stayed home to help raise my stepsons, it was quite a change for me. It takes more self discipline to structure my day. I didn't know how to be a "housewife", let alone a "mom". It didn't feel like it came naturally to me. At times I felt overwhelmed and wondered if I'd ever get the hang of it. But I wanted to be good at it...so I jumped in, learned as I went, and now my stepsons are off to college! With even more time on my hands, I'm now SO excited to have finally found my passion in life, giving back, helping others, getting really happy and healthy myself...so I can help others do the same. Whatever your days look like, you still need to have a daily routine.
When I started to develop a daily routine, it helped me add structure to my day. In the beginning, schedule your day like you would appointments, until you get used to it. It will actually simplify your life. If you work from home, schedule your day like you would if you worked outside the home. Work for a set amount of time, with scheduled breaks and lunch. Schedule the end of your "work day" at a set time. Once you get used to this, you'll start to follow your routine more than you follow the clock.
Start your day off right. Make the beds, throw a load of laundry in, unload the dishwasher...these things can help jumpstart your day if done first thing.
Keep your house clean. Don't get lazy on this, take pride in your home. Your family will appreciate it and it will set a good example for your kids when they leave home. Trust me, you don't have to be Martha Stewart, just keep it clean. It's important to take pride in your home. No matter what kind of home you have, it will look better clean. You shouldn't have a panic attack if someone drops by unexpectedly. When I was working on this, it helped me to always keep my house in a condition as if I was expecting someone. THIS works!
I schedule my daily routine to keep my household running smoothly. I schedule my chores, my errands, and my work. Make a list of what you need to do on a daily basis. Make a list of what you need to do on a weekly basis. Make a list of what you need to do on a monthly basis. Make a list of what you need to do seasonally. Decide what works best on which days and put them on a calendar! Start letting your SCHEDULE dictate your day. Trust me, this is easier than looking around your house and seeing EVERYTHING that needs to get done and not knowing how you'll ever have the time!! It can cause panic and anxiety, right? Make a plan and let your schedule dictate your day. You don't have to do everything at once, as you start using a daily routine schedule, you will be able to keep up with tasks easier.
Here are The Daily 7 For a Highly Successful Household: -by Stephanie O'Dea of totallytogetherjournal.com
- Make Beds Right Away (simplify your bedding if you haven't, you really don't need 100 throw pillows! Pull beds away from walls)
- Do One Complete Load of Laundry (this means wash, dry, fold, put away)
- Empty All Garbage Cans (especially the kitchen...great chore for kids!)
- Keep Your Kitchen Sink Empty (once one dish gets left in the sink, other dishes are attracted to it like a magnet, you know this is true!)
- Clean Up After Yourself and Help Children Do the Same
- Bathroom Wipe-Down (keep cleaning wipes in each bathroom or use something from the dirty hamper to do a quick wipedown!)
- Before Bed 10-Minute Clean Up (tidy up, put things away, straighten couch pillows, fold throw blankets...you'll be happier each morning!)
Get your kids involved in learning to develop a daily routine too. Kids love and crave structure. Even at a young age, they'll still learn routine by knowing what's coming next. For example, dinner, then playtime, then bath time, then teeth brushing, then reading, then bed. As they get old enough have them help out around the house. This will help create healthy habits for them in the future. Having a daily routine for kids helps them expect what's coming next so there's less stress at bedtime. Routines help families feel more relaxed.
Get some exercise. Even if it's walking with your kids in a stroller, an evening stroll with your spouse, a workout class, make sure you get moving and stay moving...it will keep you happier and healthier. I encourage you to work this into your routine so it becomes a habit.
Schedule your time off. Don't forget this one. If you don't schedule it, it won't happen. When you don't work outside the home or are a stay at home mom....people don't realize it's still A LOT of work! You need to schedule some down time just for you. Maybe it's a little time each day. Maybe it's a whole day, or days, off if that works for you. I like scheduling a time because it leaves you "guilt free". I hate the image of moms dropping their kids off at school and spending their days watching soap operas on the couch eating Bon Bons! I don't, and have never known, any moms who actually do that! I don't think moms get enough credit. Busy moms tend to go go go and don't take any time for themselves. You need this for your sanity! If you feel like you couldn't possibly find the time for you....try. Even a little will help.
It's a mindset I had to adjust to. I would often feel guilty for taking "me time" because I wasn't officially "working" anymore. But running a household is a lot of work, I wasn't giving myself enough credit. I've since gotten over that. ;) I just make sure my husband is happy and all my other stuff is done first!
Be efficient. Don't create a lot of busy work just to seem busy. Now this doesn't apply to the truly busy moms out there who literally have trouble finding enough personal time to take a shower or go to the bathroom by themselves! I'm talking about women who work from home, kids are older, or are empty nesters like me...it can leave you with free time! Use it wisely. Finish chores, errands, etc efficiently and guess what? You can have more time to do something else you enjoy!! What's next? Take a class, learn something new, what is something that you've always wanted to do? What's your passion? Maybe your spouse has more time off and you can learn something together! Start thinking about your next adventure.
End the day right. A key to starting each day right is ending each day right. Remember the power of ten minutes. Find out what small routines work at what times, and adjust. Tidy up. Fold laundry. Ending the day with a clean kitchen will ensure the next day starts off right.
Last but DEFINITELY not least, if spending time with your spouse is not happening....schedule time with your spouse, when it's just the two of you. This gets missed too often with busy lives and little kids. Plan a date night, a date day...get creative and plan it! I've even heard that couples with young kids who can't get a babysitter are starting to have "dates" at home! After really young kids go to bed they are planning elaborate dinner dates at home, getting dressed up and everything! That's the key with this, since you're still at home you have to make it really special so you don't slip and it ends up being like any other night. Don't skimp on the details. This is one time you don't want it to be routine;)
Having a daily routine will help you accomplish more, more efficiently. Daily routines establish expectations for your family. It will make you happier because you know there's a time for everything and you'll be less likely to feel overwhelmed. When you feel like you're accomplishing the things in your daily routine, it's a good feeling. If you're just starting out, or feeling overwhelmed, start small an build on it. You'll get the hang of it. Running a household takes practice. It took practice for me. If I can do it, you can too;)