Setting up systems is by far one of the most important and best benefits of getting organized. It is especially wonderful when you have already been tracking your time. When we track our time it can be monumental. It helps to see where we are wasting time, where we can be more efficient and effective, and how setting up routines and systems can benefit us.
Often times in time tracking we tend to see patterns — good or bad — that need some addressing. The negative patterns we need to learn what creates them and how to break them. The positive patterns we can learn to enhance them and actually make them work for us, instead of just happening.
Setting up systems is all about trying to get like things with like in our lives. Then we make them work for us, instead of us working so hard at our lives. Life requires work, but whose to say that we cannot enjoy it, embrace it, and love everyday.
I believe, a big part of accomplishing this is has to do with simplifying what we do. For example, are we trying to do the same things multiple times through out the day? Perhaps we need to schedule a large block at one point in the day to get it done? Maybe we need to recognize what distractions are creating this mess.
I’m a fairly spontaneous creature — I like to just be able to get up and go when I like. However, I’ve found when I simplify and create routines, things go more smoothly and create opportunities for spontaneity. By creating morning and evening routines, simplifying the way I dress, and now starting to work on more regular work hours, I am opening up a life for my flexibility. Additionally, my brain power can be used for the more necessary things. I don’t have to waste it trying to navigate through the mundane obstacles of life.
When setting up systems, look at what you already chunk together. Are there things that just don’t fit or match? Take your self back to elementary school. Which one of these is not like the rest? I have discovered that more often than not at least one sticks out like a sore thumb. Sometimes this is the item we need to be focusing on more. We need to bring everything else up to par with this activity. Other times, this is the item that needs to be minimized or eliminated in our life.
Perhaps you are trying to add in ironing clothes to your morning routine, but the ironing station is on the main level of you home and most of the rest of your tasks are on the second floor. While it seems to make sense because you want nice crisp clothes, perhaps the having to go downstairs throws off everything you do. You may even find yourself doing other tasks on the main level that distract you from your purpose of being down there.
Do you always go through the mail right after you pick up the kids? Do you undoubtedly have to put it aside because you need your spouse’s input on some things? Consider moving this task till after dinner when you both can look at it together and only touch it once.
Do you go grocery shopping before church each week and then find yourself struggling to make time to do your meal prep afterwards? Consider why you are struggling — is it because you are out of that mind set? Maybe you feel overwhelmed having so many things in the fridge. Consider splitting these tasks up on different days. Or do them back to back so that you can prep stuff as it goes into the fridge. Have family members help with breaking things down and cutting up fruits and veggies for the week.
If you are struggling with your systems and routines feel free to reach out. Go through the process of tracking your time for at least one week. We will happily give you 30 minutes and some great ideas to get you started for free!
You can do it! Believe in yourself and put your mind to it!