Many of us live increasingly busy lives – there are SO many inputs with regard to things to do, projects to complete, things to buy and eat – it’s overwhelming, and it’s easy to let it all get the better of us. We buy what we don’t need or want, ditto with food, and we take on more than we could ever complete in the time we are given. Sometimes it feels like we have to be armed to face the world!
If not armed with our own food/snacks, we’re at the mercy of fast convenience foods; if we don’t have a clear sense of financial goals, we might be swayed by the most recent shiny _____ in the department store window…
So, how do we set ourselves up for success – living to OUR standards (and not to those of the establishment)? Do we even know what our standards are – have we determined what is most important and actually set up our lives to reflect this? When we are in alignment – when our actions match stated goals – we approach life with more confidence, and freedom, and we get more of the right things done.
Life’s Tipping Points
I reached my own tipping point years ago when I met and married my husband, moved further from the city (and work), and my personal responsibilities got stretched. I had a really difficult time managing the day to day, and quite frankly, I was tired of being pissed off – at everything – all the time. EVERYthing felt like an obligation, and all I wanted to do was sit down, turn-off, and relax.
In time, I sought systems to help me manage various aspects of life… I found David Allen’s, Getting Things Done and Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz’s, Power of Full Engagement. I was fascinated by the systematic approach to the fundamentals of life. A couple years later, my husband and I began Dave Ramsey’s program for financial freedom/peace. I was amazed by the effects of these… my life became easier and most of all, I complained less. Along the way I picked up a new sense of confidence and even, maturity.
the birth of LivingBluPrints :: endeavoring to live life more seamlessly
All of the (aforementioned) systems (plus a few more) add up to what has become LivingBluPrints, where I endeavor to help others live life more seamlessly, and continue to seek the same for myself. LivingBluPrints supports positive evolution -> As our life circumstances change, and our goals shift, and our daily habits, routines, behaviors must also shift.
execute the daily grind with greater ease – ready for whatever comes your way
This was huge for me. How many years did I not get the *morning routine* right -> almost missing a train, getting to work feeling like I’d already been through the ringer and the day had just begun!?I was NOT setting myself up for success!!
Whether your work from home, or work in an office, you need to be deliberate about and AM routine. Endeavor to know when you will be out the door!
- time all of your morning activities – you can write them all out, and then estimate … then in the morning, do some time checks as you go about the morning activities
- try to be consistent about the order in which you complete the AM tasks!
- if you are anything like me, your brain isn’t firing on all cylinders 1st thing… by doing things in the same order, I can be more automatic about it (thus not draining from what little reserve is currently available)
- I even bring this to the shower now… there were times I hadn’t remember if I had washed my hair – so I would do it again!! the little things ADD UP!
- once you’ve worked out the timing, your ‘getting up’ (alarm) time should be pretty set, and it’s better not to hit snooze 800 times. I am SUCH a victim of this!!
- allow a little buffer for traffic and/or parking (if you park at a commuter lot, or equivalent, like I do)
When you work from home (which I do 2 day/week) – don’t just go from the coffee pot and then your desk! Whenever I do this, I regret it about 10am when I wonder why I feel like crapola!! So these exclamation points are directed to me!!
- wash your face/shower/brush teeth – do some basic hygiene stuff!
- get dressed!!
- put shoes on! FlyLady recommends shoes with laces and I understand why – you are much more likely to *engage* (run to the basement if you need something, run outside to get something from the car – whatever!)
On the days where I have been out to an appointment and then return to work at home, I am always more ‘present’ when I get back in the office (than I am when I don’t get fully dressed). There is something about the presentation and preparation of one’s physical self that translates into better work performance!
morning WORK routine
I think it can be helpful to have a regular/deliberate series of activities that you perform right when you begin work/get to work. It might include any of the following, but maybe not in the order I’ve listed:
- it’s common to review email right off, but of you can help it, don’t let IT control the flow of your day – see this page for more on this
- listen to voicemail
- review your calendar for meetings and appointments
- review notes from yesterday when you left work – what’s pending, what’s next?
PM routines help signal to the body that it’s time to wind down… it’s about taking deliberate steps to honor your time for restoration. Sleep is such a critical fuel! As with food, the quality of sleep fundamentally effects your every day.
I have to admit I haven’t always been the best with this. For most of my childhood, I fell asleep in front of the TV – often not even in my PJs – and would be SO angry when my brother or mom would begin to repeat (loudly): “go to bed, Linda.” Even now, I don’t wash my face every night, but when I do – how much better I feel!! AND I am also much better off when I don’t bring my technology to bed… (for me, this means I should not look at FB and not bring the computer in with me… I have to admit I do sometimes!)
Your PM routine might/could include any variety of the following:
- reviewing calendar for next day (is there anything you can do to help any part of the next day go more smoothly)
- cleaning the kitchen/starting the dishwasher
- making lunches for the next day
- any other food to be readied for tomorrow (frozen chicken, etc.)
- getting clothes ready for next day
- gym clothes ready for next day
- changing to ‘bed’ clothes
- washing face/brushing teeth
- evening news (?)
- I like quiet before bed, so this is not one of mine – I find it sorta jarring, actually – so often the last thing I want to watch at 10pm!
- gratitude practice (write down 3 things from the day, or from your life, for which you are grateful)
Want more help executing your *BEST* work and life?