As I was saying last week, I haven’t had much energy as of late. One of the ways I have been able to keep up with our home is by relying on certain routines. There are other things engrained in my life that enable me to achieve goals (or at least not go completely crazy) without a lot of effort.
- Meal planning: I don’t love to cook but I also don’t like to eat out regularly or skip meals. I find that knowing ahead of time what we are eating and having shopped for it, makes the cooking process go smoother. I have to confess that we haven’t been planning in the last few weeks and we have been enduring the consequences of unsatisfactory meals or lighter-than-needed meals. To make it easier to pick, we compiled a list of meals we already enjoy and usually stick to those.
- Auto-saving: There is a portion of my paycheck that I never see because it automatically goes into a savings account. Never having access to that money removes it from the spending budget and significantly decreases the temptation to use it. It also makes us live on a more realistic budget based on different needs in our life, instead of based on wants.
- Decluttering into a specific room: I love a good decluttering session where I can clear some space from things unused or not needed. At times I would declutter them but leave them in the same space, creating a visual mess. I have started to move these items to our pantry in order to get them out of the way, group them and get them much closer to where the cars live and increase the possibility of these leaving my home quicker.
- Recognizing my productive times: I continue to learn more and more and adapt how I work, the more my life changes with responsibilities. There are different things that I want to accomplish, but after a certain time of the day, I have no desire to work. Exercise is a great example. I rather jog in the morning than doing it after work or at night. However, I might have some energy for an inclined walk, and I challenge myself to do so. Doing things when I have more mental availability is giving me permission to be efficient and to take a breather. Grace for myself.
- To-do list: This is a simple way to remind myself what I need to get accomplished in a day. It helps me start my day focused and I am alert to squeeze-in the different tasks whenever I can. It also avoids things piling up and helps me take a step back at what are the recurrent things I need to do that I might be able to remove or set up in a routine for.
These techniques require some thought ahead of time but are a bang for your buck (of time and energy). Making decisions in advance allows you to make them in bulk, thus saving time and headache. You can also make them while you are in a better mood and state of mind. I have realized that when I have to put effort into things, I want to put the least of it possible. Having guidelines makes it easier to get stuff done and requires less mental energy. Less is more, in so many ways!