Everyone these days seems to be in a hurry. They’re in a rush to get to work, pick the kids up, make it to a meeting in time, to climb the corporate ladder, to get their book written and published but what are we rushing for? More importantly what are missing out on in the mad dash to fill our 24 hours with mediocrity and stress rather than doing less but doing it better? The question we should be asking is: are you filling your time with worthwhile pursuits that will create great memories and a feeling of wellness or simply filling your hours to ‘make it’?
Regardless of your answers, all of us have to do some things that we would rather not. Some of us have responsibilities we would rather avoid, others of us have jobs that get in the way of the things we would really rather be doing. A fortunate few can fill their hours with pursuits of pleasure. But for the majority of us at least some of our time is taken up with things we ‘have’ to do. One way to make sure that these ‘must do chores’ don’t exhaust us so we are too tired to do the things we enjoy is by organising our lives better.
Perhaps like me your a lapsed organising junkie who after a long day and week at work really wants to take a couple of days off and enjoy the quite, revel in the calmness. This is quality time away from the frantic, frenetic pace of work where everyone seems to be stressed, overworked and a coffee away from a complete meltdown. The only way to run the calm parts of your life smoothly and efficiently is to make sure you are organised and ready for the frantic sections of your life.So here’s my top ten tips for staying calm and keeping your head while everyone about you is loosing theirs:
- Plan your week.
Make sure you know what activities, events and social occasions you have planned for the week. Keep a diary or if your feeling creative make a weekly notice board to record what’s happening in the week to come.
- Make a menu planner
Once you know what you are up to for the coming week you can write up a menu planner. I know it may sound dull but once you know what you’re going to have to eat each lunch and evening your week will run a lot more smoothly. Not only that but you’ll also save money and resources by reducing the amount of wasted and unused food you throw away. It also stops those impulse buys at the supermarket.
3. Be prepared
Yes I know its not my idea of a fun Sunday either but if you have all your laundry cleaned and dried by Saturday, then it only takes a couple of hours on Sunday to make sure all your clothes for the week are ironed and put away ready to wear. It also stops the mad dash in the morning when you have little time to spare.
4. Lunch Bunch
Take 15 minutes every night to prepare your lunch ready for the next day. No more manic morning making lunches and no more spending good money after bad buying your lunch in everyday.
5.Take your time
Make time every evening to unwind for at least half an hour before bed. A relaxed you is more likely to sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed and energised. Sounds like common sense right? But many of us take our stress with us to bed and then wonder why we can’t sleep. You need time to relax whether that’s a long hot bath, a book in bed or a short meditation you deserve and need to have some ‘me’ time
6. Put away as you go along
Don’t leave the washing up on the worktop, either wash it up or put in the dishwasher or put it away. It’s less of a task if you clean as you go along and only takes a couple of minutes to do.
7. Have a Cleaning Rota
I hate dust and untidy floors so I’ve created a rota to make sure there is a time for each household chore to be done. You can be functional or creative, make one by hand or go wild on excel creating a chart. As long as you know what needs to be done and when the house never feels like a tip and chores like a set of mammoth tasks that have got to be undertaken.
8. Birthday Boo boo’s
How many of us have had those ‘oh shit’ moments when a birthday, anniversary, mother’s day or father’s day has slipped from our memories. So make sure you have a calendar/planner for all those special events coming up in the month to come and erase all those last minute rushes to the post box. Here are a few of my favourite birthday planners, which could easily be adapted to be used for any special occasion
9. Organise your household Bills
I pay all of my bills by direct debit but any ad hoc bills, mail or paper work goes straight into my handy paper holder (originally a ceramic sponge holder for the kitchen sink bought in Brittany) and is either filed away, recycled or shredded. If you sort this once a week you’ll always stay on top of loose paper in the house.
Carrying on from tip no. 9, is organising your paper work. There are a plethora of fun and handy filing organisers you can get now with multiple pockets or why not get a box filing system. These can be picked up for not very much money and means you will always know where your important paper work is stored. No chance of it being thrown away or recycled by accident!
Once you’re organised you’ll find that there is time to relax and to actually do the things that you want to do. So get organised and make time to enjoy life!