If there’s one thing that we’ve all had to learn the past 18 months, it’s that we are more adaptable that we thought. The saying “the only constant is change,” has been put to the test, and I don’t know about you, but I am kinda over it.
Back to School looks a lot different this year than last. Thankfully, most students will be returning to in-person instruction, and many employees will be heading back into the office. This “return to normal” also comes with its own challenges, specifically when it comes to change in routines.
If your goals are to lead a less chaotic and more organized life, below are 5 daily practices that you can start doing today. Best of all, they don’t cost a thing, and you can do them from anywhere.
- Anticipate YOUR Change. One thing is for sure, change is going to happen. Although we will never know what exactly is in store for us, there are certain things we can anticipate as we head back into an in-person world: Mornings are going to be more hectic, I’m not going to have as much help at home, so I might need to hire a sitter, perhaps I should start to meal prep dinners….think about the areas that cause you the biggest stress and let’s figure out a way to streamline and simplify it.
- Celebrate Routines. Summer is kryptonite for routines which is part of what makes it so special. Now it’s time to re-build that muscle. From enforcing bedtimes to packing lunches and everything in between, the best thing you can do is to get on a schedule. In our house, we always found that the more we did the night before the less chaotic our mornings were. My girls always showered at night, we packed lunches and backpacks the night before which gave our family more time in the mornings to relax or sleep a little later.
- Build in Margin. Every few hours I recommend taking a short break. Whether you walk around the block or sit for 5 minutes uninterrupted-we need time to recharge throughout the day. Chances are that your to-do list is longer than the time you have to complete it-as long as you are moving the needle in the right direction, and chipping away a little at a time, you’re on the right track.
- Check in with Others. It’s easy to get caught up in your life and to-do lists, that we unintentionally neglect the thoughts, feelings and actions of the people closest to us . Carving out time to ask your spouse, kids or roommates about their day, and taking time to be an active listener, is equally as important about sharing details about what’s going on in your life.
- Have Grace. Change is hard for most people. We’re still living in crazy times where many people are on high alert. Lack of control can lead to meltdowns, yelling and tension in the home. For the past few months I have been practicing reciting the fruits of the spirit several times a day. Every morning when I wake up, and throughout the day I recite the following LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS & SELF-CONTROL. This simple ritual has helped me to pause and remember that I have a choice on how I respond to people and circumstances.
Laurie Palau is the author of the book HOT MESS: A Practical Guide to Getting Organized and hosts the popular weekly podcast This ORGANIZED Life. She speaks, writes, and works with clients on how to live simply & work smarter. For additional information visit www.simplyBorganized.com