Establish a Routine and End the Chaos

mutli-tasking momOrder Or Chaos Keys Shows Either Organized Or UnorganizedBusinesswoman hand drawing an organization chart in a whiteboard


How often have you heard someone say that they have a million things to do?  I have often repeated the common quote that states, “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much!” Is it really that we are so busy, or is that we aren’t organized enough and find ourselves doing things at the last minute thus creating chaos?

Last we I talked about the importance of making sure your children have a daily routine to help with back to school schedules.  It not only keeps things running smoothly, but it teaches your child(ren) what is expected and ways to accomplish those expectations.

As adults, we also need to stay on task.  We are never going to have more than 24 hours a day and if we set up a routine or a schedule of everything we have to accomplish, it will help us to know in advance what is expected of us.

You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.  The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.  Unknown

I’ve heard it said that the busiest people often accomplish nothing.  I think that statement is true for many reasons.  Let’s say that you have to go to the grocery, the bank and the dry cleaner after working all day.  On the way home, you only stop at the dry cleaner. Twenty minutes after you arrive home, you realize you forgot to go to the grocery and bank.  You waste a lot of time getting back in to the car and heading to the grocery.  In reality, the bank is now closed so you have to add it to the list of things you need to do the following day, creating frustration at the added task for tomorrow.  In addition, you are now late starting on dinner preparations and your evening activities.

It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants.  The question is, what are we busy about?  Henry David Thoreau

Create a schedule that works for you and your family.  Make a list of everything that has to be done for the week.  In addition to the laundry, housework, grocery, bank, and dry cleaning, do you have doctor appointments, children’s activities or a card or book club?  Take out five 3×5 cards and place the day of the week on the top of each one.  Start with appointments and children’s activities and place those on the corresponding card.  Think about activities that can be bundled. For example, while your daughter is at girl scouts, you can stop by the pharmacy and pick up your prescription.  You can drop your son off at ball practice, go to the grocery be finished in time to pick him up.  Creating a schedule that works is like building a puzzle.  Each piece must fit together. It important to take the time to look to see what is expected of you.

I learned quickly when my sons were young that I didn’t have to sit at practice, I could run errands and stop back to pick them up.  Although I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the car and reading a book, the chaos that was created by having a list of things to do AFTER practice was eliminated by doing them DURING practice.  Being able to spend quality time with your family knowing that everything is checked off your “to do” list creates a sense of calm in the evenings.

As a young mom and new home owner, I wanted everything to always be perfect in my home.  Growing up, my mom would say that our home always needed to be “company ready”.  She managed to keep our home spotless, our laundry done, cook all of our meals, have freshly baked treats ready when we arrived home from school and take us to all of our activities.  I honestly thought she had ‘WW’ tattooed on her chest representing “Wonder Woman” and I wanted to be just like her. It wasn’t long before my house was a mess, laundry was not done and I was overwhelmed with stress.  Why?  Because I had no plan, no routine and no schedule.  I tried to just get by and was quickly was overrun by all of the responsibilities.  I shrugged it off by saying that it was because I worked in addition to all of my household responsibilities, unlike my mom who was a stay at home mother.  The truth was that I didn’t have a plan.

My mom sat down with me one day when I was in tears and explained that early on, she had developed a schedule so that everything could be completed on time.  Mondays she did laundry and vacuumed and cleaned the living room, dining room and kitchen while baking our after school snacks and starting dinner.  Tuesdays she cleaned the family room and did her grocery shopping.  Wednesdays…..   It was clear that my mom was simply way more organized that I had ever realized.  She had developed a routine that she followed week after week and she was able to accomplish everything that was expected of her, and more!

Organization isn’t about perfection, it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money and improving your overall quality of life.  Christine Scalise

So how do we create a routine that works?  I started by purchasing a package of 3×5 cards.  On the first 5, I wrote Monday – Friday.  On those cards, I divided my household chores.  Breaking down cleaning a 3 floor home over five days seemed to make the tasks less daunting.  By cleaning my house after work every day, I wasn’t stuck spending my weekends cleaning.  I also learned that I could do a load of laundry while I was cooking dinner, put it in the dryer as I was doing dishes and fold it and put it away before I went to bed.  I went as far as to do my whites on Monday, darks on Tuesday, etc and we never ran out of clean clothes!

On Sunday evening, I would look at our schedule for the week and take 5 new 3×5 cards and write down any appointments, practices, or club meetings we had.  I kept these cards in my purse so at any given moment, I knew what I had after work each day. I had no more missed appointments!

Every year, I make a 3×5 card for each member of my family.  As I purchase gifts for Christmas, I write it on the corresponding card.  When someone mentions something they’d like, I write it on the back of their card.  It organizes my shopping and I spend less time trying to remember what each person has asked for.

My challenge to you this week is the following:

Choose one area of your life that you’d like to improve.  Is it your household tasks?  Your daily responsibilities after work?  Making sure your children do not miss any of their sports practices or scout meetings?

Start with a 3×5 card system. They are inexpensive and easy to carry with you.  After a while, you won’t need them anymore.  You will have established a routine that works for you and your family, and hopefully, found more time to enjoy the simple things in life.

As working women, we are often stretched far beyond our limits.  Trying to stay organized at home will simply take some of the stress out of our lives.

I attend a 4 hour class each month with Indy Business Success and one of the biggest things I’ve gotten from the class is that things do not have to be perfect.  As business women, we try to be perfect. Good is GOOD ENOUGH!!

Have a fabulous week!

I am the owner of Gardner Promotional Solutions, an independently owned Promotional Products company.  We pride ourselves in customer service and offer over 1 million products!  I will sit down and help you find the perfect promotional item to fit your need and stay within your budget.  I am happy to sit down with you over a cup of coffee and help you with your next project!

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