If I had to choose one thing which has helped me to manage my busy life, it would be routines. I honestly think we thrive with routines. Certainly, I know children thrive with routines. Once you work out the best routines for you and your family – and make them achievable and manageable, life becomes a lot simpler. Here’s why you need routines.
We are all so busy. So very, very busy. Yes, I know we have technology, and we’re supposed to be able to multi-task, but we also have so many commitments. Work. Family. Home. Friends. Church. Community. Even keeping up with our social media commitments… It’s no wonder we find it so hard to fit it all in.
So. Much. To. Do.
Two years ago, I was working full time. Ben was 2 and in nursery 5 days a week. As a teacher, I was spending me evenings and weekends planning and marking. I was trying to keep up with blogging, cleaning, friends, family… and I was completely overwhelmed. During one holiday, I devised my routines, particularly for keeping the house clean. It made a huge difference.
(When I was working full time, I had a cleaner come round every fortnight. It was one of the best things I could have done. If you can afford it, and if your time is at a premium, I do highly recommend you try to find someone to help you with your cleaning.)
The other thing that made my life much simpler was creating systems for organising things. With most things – paperwork, finances, laundry – managing them well is about keeping on top of things frequently. If you set up your systems well, you won’t have to spend much time at all doing those things.
A routine means others can help
How many of us end up doing all the housework simply because no-one else does it?
Have you ever asked your husband/partner/kids why they don’t help? 9 times out of 10* they will answer that they didn’t know what to do.
*This is true in my house, of my husband (the kids are too small). This is not a well-researched statistic.
With routines, everyone can see what needs to be doing – because it’s written down! If it happens every single day, the kids soon catch on. You can allocate certain jobs and roles to certain people to divide the work – and create more time for yourself.
A routine means fewer mistakes
We all make mistakes. I make loads of mistakes: I forget library books, or the home-nursery journal, or something else. But with a routine, that happens much, much less frequently than it did. I know I have to have things written down, and I now have systems to help me do that.
A routine doesn’t mean less freedom
I am naturally quite a routine person – I like to plan ahead and structure things. But Tim isn’t. He is much more spontaneous. (He’s much more fun than me.)
However, we need these routines in place in order to be spontaneous. If we know the housework is ticking over, we know we can always invite friends over. If we know we’re managing our finances well, we can afford the night out or the new jacket. Plus, it means so much less stress for me. I’m a lot happier to be spontaneous if I know it’s not at the expense of being really stressed the following day!
This month, we’re going to be creating our routines and creating our systems. I really want to help support you in doing this. I want to send you some free printables and templates to help you to create these routines and systems.
To get these free printables and templates, you need to sign up to The Organised Life Project using the form at the bottom of this post. You’ll also get access to The Organised Life Project Facebook group. We’re working through all of the tasks together and supporting each other. It’s fantastic. I really hope you’ll join us.
To find the first post – and your first step in creating routines, you need How to create a routine that works for you.