I’ve become increasingly interested in the benefits of automating and streamlining as much as possible of my day to day life. Aside from the obvious example of the ease of online grocery shopping, I’ve found that creating specific rituals in advance takes care of a good 90% of the motivation needed to start / complete a task in the moment.
For example, at the end of an evening of counselling clients it’s very tempting to close up my office at the bottom of the house and head straight back upstairs, get into my PJ’s and cosy up in bed to write my notes but, because I’ll be in ‘bed-mode’, the temptation is to leave the additional work emails / that bit of work-related housekeeping until the morning, and then I get behind. So my pre-planned work ritual is to ‘re-set’ the room ready for the next clients, and stay in my office until every bit of counselling admin is up to date for the day, and only then do I come up. By setting this plan in advance and committing to it I’ve done away with the intra-psychic battle between my wish to keep on top of my work, and the immediate desire to get into comfs and chill.
As I’m discovering huge benefit from actively prioritising certain areas of my life I’ve decided to extend that approach to my evenings and create a new ritual for the end of the day. If I’m not working, come 7pm when my son goes to bed I just want to get into PJ’s and binge watch ‘First Dates’ on C4. (I have worked my way through almost all eps – it’s clearly vital research for a relationship counsellor). But not a lot else of note gets done. We’ve already implemented a ‘devices off after 10pm’ rule and I now read instead which has been working very well, I’m sleeping so much better and I want to build on that.
I have identified that my evenings across the week need to include the following:
- Update YNAB (You Need A Budget) at the end of each day – amazing budgeting system that has turned our finances around and has stopped me lying awake at night (another great streamline-your-life tool).
- Meditation – at least 10 mins.
- Write ‘Daily Greatness Journal’ – a purchase worth every penny (a birthday gift from my husband!)
At least one of these every night:
- Write / work on an Operation Bloom blog post.
- Laundry folding whilst-listening-to-a-podcast-to-make-it-feel-less-of-a- chore (KonMari folding takes longer so I put it off but is SOOO worth it when it comes to getting dressed).
- Allow myself 2hrs max of TV programme / film / social media / screen time – all screens off by 10pm.
I’m hoping that by creating a fluid but boundaried structure in advance I can get the most out of my evenings, feel like I’ve had some ‘me time’ and set myself up for a good night’s sleep.
I’m also adding in the commitment to get up at 7.30am every weekday morning to do away with the battle between wanting to fit in yoga and believing some extra time lolling about in bed looking at Facebook is going to make me feel good (it doesn’t). So, mornings are currently looking like this:
- 7.30am – Get up, get breakfast for small child to keep him occupied and hop onto the yoga mat with the delightful Adriene Mishler
- 8.00am – Shower, get dressed, actually dry hair, paint some features onto my face (like successful people do)
- 8.30am – fill in morning section of ‘Daily Greatness Journal’ to set my mind and intentions for the day ahead
- 9.00am – go forth and be great…ish
So let’s see how this plan pans out…