Daily Routines

Daily routines give us some structure by which to complete our days without feeling disorganized and they reduce the fear of forgetting to do something.

Do you ever walk around knowing you have a million things that need to get done, but just can't get them started. Or you walk in one room to do something and see something else and do that instead, and then the original thing you intended to do gets forgotten?

Been there, done that!

So, I still get things done, but not what I intended, and then I realize I didn't get anything done (that I planned) and feel stressed and disappointed as though I hadn't been doing anything and I'm still at the top of my to do list.

I'm a to do list person, but sometimes it's hard to stick to those lists! It's very easy to get lost on some other thing that needs to get done (that isn't on the list). That's why it's important to develop daily routines, like a to do list that's the same every single day and will eventually become a natural habit type of thing. It will eventually feel like things must be doing themselves because they're just getting done.

I will admit, I have fought the daily routine thing, and still do sometimes. But I will also admit, that I actually get more done and feel much more accomplished on the days that I stick to my routine. Who would have thought! But old habits are hard to break. Plus, having children around always makes things more challenging and can change plans at any time, and not to mention the pull of the computer to come waste time on it!

Creating a Daily Routine

What types of things are on a daily routine? The basics. And it shouldn't be a very long list to be done daily. If it's too long, it will feel overwhelming and it won't get done.

My daily routine isn't perfect, and I change it as my family and personal needs change. Right now, my daily routine includes the following:

Morning:

  • Feed everyone breakfast
  • Shower and dress
  • Unload and load dishwasher
  • Make the beds
  • Start a load of laundry

Evening:

  • Cook dinner
  • Eat dinner
  • Clean up kitchen
  • Kids baths and to bed
  • Relax at the computer or TV
  • Get myself ready for bed

Now, I will admit that in a perfect world, perhaps I would get up earlier and exercise, and I would shower and dress before I get everyone started with their day. I would love that, but I also love sleep. And right now, I still feel entitled to catch up on some sleep after a couple years or so of sleep deprivation due to little children.

This routine is pretty simple and it basically gets done eventually even if I don't write it down. But since it's been written down and I follow it more regularly, it has become more routine than a to do list. It also helps guide me to not wait until I'm cooking dinner to unload the dishwasher and clear off the kitchen counter to cook and make a mess again.

Go ahead and put together a simple routine for yourself. It doesn't have to be perfect, and you can change it any time you want. Do what works for you. Add new things on your list that you want to try to remember to do daily, things that aren't currently habit, such as taking your vitamins.

Creating a Weekly Routine

There are obviously other things that need to be done regularly, but not daily. Some things are more of a weekly thing. Therefore, the weekly routine!

My weekly routine includes things such as:

  • Paying bills
  • Taking the garbage out
  • Changing sheets
  • Vacuuming
  • Dusting
  • Grocery shopping

My Grandma used to have a different day of the week for each chore. Apparently that really worked because it seems to still work today. For myself, I like to break up my weekly chores into different days instead of doing them all on one day. I pay bills on Monday, change sheets on Tuesday, grocery shop on Fridays. You get the picture.

Make a list of things that should be done every week. Then break them up and add one item, or two if you have more than seven, to one day of the week.

I actually have an informal page typed up of my daily routine. I printed it out seven times, once for each day of the week. Also on my daily "to do" list is the weekly item that I slotted for that day. I felt it was easier to see what was expected each day, rather than having a separate weekly list to look at. I put the pages in plastic covers to protect them and I rotate them through the week as I need them. You can even check the items off when they're done, which is a nice perk.

You could certainly put together a monthly routine as well! Work with your routine, tweak it, change it, make it yours. Nothing is engraved in stone. It shouldn't feel overwhelming. It should feel like a helping friend, gently keeping you on track.



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