Getting back into a routine after the holidays is challenging. Even though last week was our first official back-to-school and back-to-work week, I don’t feel like I’m completely caught up or back on track. Now that my spring (and final!) semester started, I need to be more organized and focused in order to juggle the demands of my family, my job, my homework, and my free time.
Here are a few ways I’m trying to get myself back on task:
1. Fill out my calendar with important dates so I don’t forget appointments or heaven forbid, forget to pick up a child from practice.
2. Plan a dinner menu for the month. This helps me to know in the morning what I need to prepare in the evening. Plus, it’s a huge help when I’m writing out a grocery list. By having our commitments marked on the calendar, I know which nights need to be fast, skillet meals, and which ones are free for longer meals.
3. Write out a daily to-do list. I love to make lists. I also love Post-It notes, especially the lined ones. I jot down the items I need to do on a Post-It note, stick it to my laptop, and mark off each item as I complete that task. By putting it on my laptop, it’s only a glance away, so the projects are always fresh in my mind.
4. When I’m tired and don’t feel like doing those things on my to-do list, I set my timer for 15 minutes and work until the timer goes off. That way, those little jobs are manageable and I can accomplish a lot in 15 minutes. I use the 15 minute timer to complete small tasks around the house to keep my house clutter under control.
This isn’t a perfect system, but it works for me. What hints do you have to stay focused in your routines?