Let’s start this straight… making detailed schedules, routines & plans for my day, week or month… don’t have the greatest impact on me.
Eeek. I know what some of you are thinking right now…. What?! Are you out of your mind?!!
Let me explain.
I’m not saying planning & having a schedule is wrong. Oh, no. On the contrary, if you are able to manage a detailed schedule & can stick to your planning-I’m so proud of you. I wish I was more like you. I really do. I’d simply like to explain my relationship with them & what I do to stay on top of things.
This is what works for me (right now). & who knows, maybe someday I’ll be able to master the concept & even talk to you guys about how to apply routines [; However, for now, all I can offer is how I stay productive without a harsh schedule/routine.
Fun fact: I am a woman that tends to over-think a bunch. (Like not-funny-kind-of-bunch.) I’m also a super perfectionist, and on top of that, I’m super sensitive to anxiety & stress. Combine all those ingredients together and waaa-laaa you’ll have an ultra-ultra-nuclear weapon.
The sad truth is that I’m a mess when it comes to obeying a schedule. I don’t know if it’s because of the reasons mentioned above or that I’m simply not dedicated enough but I just can’t seem to make it happen.
(Side-note: This doesn’t mean I hate planning, or organizing my day. I love knowing what the day is going to bring I just do it in a less rigid matter. )
The problem with me though, I think is that if one thing on the schedule messes up, the rest of my time is doomed. & when that happens, I get super discouraged.
To me it’s the worst feeling ever. (It may be part of my perfectionist issue.) & because I get super disappointed for messing up a plan, I completely stop the plan. That’s right, I don’t even try to make it right. I literally, will ignore the rest of my perfect schedule. This can even last for the rest of the week or worse the whole month. It’s like “why even try if it’s going to mess up anyway?”
I’m speaking with the truth. It’s an ugly truth I hate admitting but that is what it is.
However here’s what I do to stay somewhat organized despite the mishaps.
>> I focus on only what needs to get done.
In my journal or planner (you could also use sticky notes if you have neither) I write a maximum of 5 things I’d like to get done that day. (Everything after 5 to-do’s would be extras [;) I only acknowledge the things I truly MUST do. That way, if anything happens, I know I don’t have an overwhelming list of things to do. In other words, it’s do-able.
For example; After my morning “routine”, I write in my journal & at the end before I stop writing, I write 2-5 things I’d like to get done today.
( I don’t do it the day or night before because that is encouraging me to think way ahead than I’d like to. Remember that these are tips to help cope with anxiety & stress.)
- Meal Plan for next week (grocery list)
- Take Briella a bath.
- Edit/ schedule blog drafts.
That’s it. That, to me, looks like an already productive day. If I get those 3 things done, I am more than accomplished!
[Note: Cooking & cleaning tasks are a daily thing so this wouldn’t go on my list. However, I still include them somewhere in my writing. *I have pre-assigned a cleaning task for each day.]
>>There’s no scheduled time.
So, after I’ve made this list, I go on about my day. In between this list of things, I could wash dishes, read a chapter, spend time with Briella, whatever it may be, & as long I marked off my list before the day is over – I am content!
Usually the earlier it’s crossed out, the better, but I don’t feel anxious to getting it done at a certain time.
>> Intention over precision.
Things don’t always work out the way it’s supposed to. Good days, bad days, exciting days, lazy days. We won’t always get our list done or as detailed as we’d like to. Yes, even if it’s that short. I’ve understood that it’s not about the precision per say, but about the overall intention.
I’ve had to be real honest about what my intention for the day was. If I knew that from the moment, I woke up I wasn’t going to get much done- I have to accept it. I can’t lie down and complain about how bad of a person I am. Because I pretty much chose to have a day like that.
On the other hand, if you really had the fire to get things done, but didn’t quite get to it all – it’s okay. As long as you know you truly tried to accomplish that short do-able list. This leads me to the next point…
Guys I can’t tell you how many times I beat myself up for not sticking to my routines. I’ve felt as a horrible homemaker or a terrible person in general for not accomplishing my plan (still do, occasionally). I have to remind myself that I must forgive myself. Especially since stress & anxiety are my triggers for disaster.
I’m my own harshest judge & if I (being the mean old judge that I am) don’t give myself a pat in the back & say “it’s okay you are forgiven”- then who will? (other than, Jesus ofcourse [: )
Life is too short for us not forgive ourselves. Practice grace.
>> You over schedule. Rather than, schedule over you.
I got the following quote from the book Hello Mornings by Kat Lee;
“Our schedules and our plans should always be a sacrifice rather than an idol. It’s all too easy to take control and cling tightly to our plans but [unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain- Psalm 127:1]”
Meaning, that we should not let the plans take control of our life. It should be the other way around.
When we allow the schedule, routine, or plan take control we open doors for anxiety, stress & disappointment. This is my opinion, as I’ve experienced this myself. I’m not perfect, but I’m finding a way to balance organization with MY well-being.
We also need to let Jesus take the wheel. It’s very important to involve Him in our planning weather that is regular daily planning or a vacation trip- it’s best to let Him guide us. It can all come crashing down if we don’t involve Him. He brings tranquility in the storm.
Peace, my friends. There’s nothing better than having peace in our life. Even if you are the most successful or the most organized person on the planet, if there is no peace within you, it’s all in vain.
You don’t want to feel overwhelmed in the morning, as you look at your day ahead. You should be able to feel in control of your day rather than going all over the place like a mad woman. Stepping away from a time frame can help at first because it will give you the freedom to do whatever you need to do at YOUR OWN TIME. (Unless it has an official deadline- then do so accordingly.)
Remember that your intentions counts more than how much you actually done. Be super honest to yourself about why you didn’t get things done. Don’t complain. Accept it & try again tomorrow. Forgive yourself for not having a productive day. We can’t always function 100% all the time. The more you bash on yourself, the more likely you will have a negative mentality of anything you do.
Be in control of your day. You should not feel like a slave to your to-do’s. Your list works for you not the other way around. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed with how you’re managing your tasks, ask yourself what you could be doing differently. What well help you feel less pressured?
We all have to start somewhere. Like I said, this is my relationship with schedules, routines, & plans for now. I am an overly anxious woman that is working on herself to dominate this aspect of her life. How much more could I wish to be ultra-productive & effective the majority of my days! I long to be at that level, but the truth is, I have to take care of my well-being first.
So, I hope this relaxes you a bit, if you too feel like you’re a failure at organizing your days. Work with what you can.
This is what I do to get things done. It may not be a luxurious schedule template, but it’s what works for me at the moment & it may work for you too.
Like always, I hope you found some kind of value on this blog post. If you, too struggle with sticking to a routine, schedule or plan, let me know! What are things you do to help cope with your to-do’s? Or if you feel confident in this particular area- help us out! Leave a comment below (or on the blog’s Instagram post) of some tips you’ve found useful.
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This is me finding my spark, hoping you are finding yours,