I wouldn’t consider myself a procrastinator per se, but I can let time get away from me. Next thing I know my employees are asking me when they work, my accountant is breathing down my neck, and its 5:30pm me and the kid are starving and I have no meat thawed.
Truth is. I have a full schedule but have plenty of time to get things done. I am just not always the best at prioritizing my time. I have tried making list, elaborate planners and have dabbled in the idea of time blocking. And honestly, they all fizzle out. In my old corporate life where I lived in my email and my Outlook calendar dinged at me incessantly I lived by the “Under 2 Minute” rule. If it came across my desk and took under 2 minutes to complete I just did it.
My new life as a small business owner, wife, mom, friend, life coach etc. etc. is FAR from my days in the corporate world. My time freedom means I am much less organized. Weird, but true. But I have found some easy to institute practices that help me knock out the small stuff so that I can prioritize the big task. These seem mundane to write about, but I know if I struggle it’s very possible others do as well.
So, these are the things I do instead of scrolling Instagram. These are specific. But I hope you can find a similar task in your life that can be replaced.
While my coffee brews. Once I pour the hot water I have 4 minutes while it brews.
Old habit: I go sit on the couch and mindlessly watch Instastories. Often leading me to forget my coffee is ready and it gets ice cold.
New habit: I start unloading the dishes. A task I hate, so I watch the clock hard. 4 minutes of hard work and then I get my HOT coffee. This also goes for washing pots and pans. Task I loathe. But if I take 5 minutes to Just Do It, guess what. It’s done and I don’t get annoyed every I walk into the kitchen.
Laundry. Ugh. Always laundry.
Old habit: Wash/Dry 15 loads. Maybe fold 1-2 or by a small miracle I fold all of them. BUT that is as far as it goes. Putting clean laundry away is the worst. Baskets of clean laundry sit around for days. I have no baskets for the newly dirtied clothes and now the clean clothes are questionable. Clean, dirty, wrinkled, already worn? Who knows. AND where are my favorite socks?
New habit: Laundry never hits the basket. When I finish folding a load I don’t stack it in a basket to take to the room it belongs. In my arms I physically get up and put ALL of it away. It’s tough. It takes a few trips. It annoys me. But, I always know where my clean undies are and I always have baskets empty for new dirty clothes. The never ending journey.
Cooking. Amazing how much a family of 3 eats all day, everyday! No one warned me.
Our family cooks 99% of our meals. Which can seem overwhelming but time, nutrition and budget wise it is a must.
Old habit: Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Awesome. Whats up next on Food Network? What are my social media friends up to this evening? The couch is calling my name so hard I am annoyed when the kitchen timer goes off. Who needs to eat anyway? Husband ask several times, are you gonna go check that? Is it going to burn?
New habit: As soon as dinner sets to simmer, bake or whatever it does for the last 20 minutes I start cleaning up the kitchen. Dishes in the wash, counters cleared, plate & forks ready to eat. After we finish eating all that needs done is load the dish washer with our plates and wash one pan or baking sheet. Then, the couch calls again.
I am really working hard at these. And trying my best to get the husband on board. We both have noticed that the house is a bit cleaner, less arguments over whose turn it is to wash pans, and ending the day feeling more accomplished.
What are some ways you block out time for mundane task that just have to be done? I would love to get better and better at this so my mind can focus more on my family, friends and my old love of being crafty.