30 Days to an Organized Life Day 15
During this 30 Day Challenge we’re not only addressing the clutter on your floors and in your closets, we’re also taking a look at the clutter in your schedule.
It’s an over-used saying, I know, but it’s true: we all have the same 24 hours.
Deep down you know that you have a limited amount of time, but it’s easy to become distracted and allow your days to become crowded with activities and tasks that prevent you from living your true values — and before you know it you are overwhelmed, exhausted and hating life.
I’m far better at scheduling my true priorities now that I use the Joyful Life Planner, but I still have challenges. Just this week I had to make a choice between going to an event that I would have loved to attend or staying home to take care of family and work responsibilities. I made the tough choice and stayed home because I knew that in this instance I would be far happier and less stressed if I took care of what needed to be done. (And I scheduled some fun time for this coming Monday!)
If you’d like to declutter your schedule so that the way you spend your time reflects your true priorities, use these strategies:
Decide What You Want
Make a quick list of your top priorities — what you truly want your life to be about. Your list might include regular dates night with your spouse, reading time with your young children, prayer time, exercise to remain healthy, and/or creative time. Once you know your top priorities, list your non-negotiable responsibilities like laundry, dishes and feeding the kids. The majority of your time should be spent on these two types of activities.
Create a “Stop Doing” List
To make more time in your schedule for what’s truly important you will have to eliminate the non-essential. To help you move in this direction you can create a list of tasks and activities that you will stop doing.
Some of my “Stop Doing” items over the years:
*Stop folding kids clothes – When my kids were younger we put their clean clothes into the drawers unfolded. This eliminated the time spent folding and the frustration when they pillaged the drawers and left them in a mess.
*Stop doing kids’ laundry – When each of my children reached the age of 12 they became completely responsible for their own laundry, and it’s one of the best parenting decisions I have ever made.
*Stop folding sheets – I mentioned yesterday that I no longer pile the dirty sheets in the laundry room. One day a week we take the sheets off the bed, wash them, dry them and put them back on the mattresses. No more fitted-sheet folding frustration!
*Stop cooking on Sundays – Feeding your family can be a full-time job. I stopped cooking on Sundays so I could take a break and we could enjoy relaxed family time. We have nachos for lunch and leftovers or sandwiches for dinner.
*Stop making breakfast – While we’re on the subject of cooking, when my children reached the age of 8 or 9 I taught them how to make their own breakfast. Depending on the child’s responsibility level, I taught them how to cook scrambled eggs with supervision. Now that my children are teens, breakfast and lunch for them are completely off my list of responsibilities.
*Stop answering the phone – Years ago I learned to turn the ringer off on my home phone and let every call go to voicemail, which I checked later in the day. A few important people had my cell phone number and knew how to reach me in the case of an emergency. No more being interrupted by someone who wants to chat when I am in the middle of an important task. Now you can use the “Do Not Disturb” setting on your smart phone.
*Stop responding to emails – This primarily applies to my business email, but there are many requests which do not require a response or which require a minimal response. In the past I let these emails clutter my inbox. Now I delete them immediately or I send a quick, “I’m sorry but I am unable to participate at this time.” And by the way, unsubscribe from all those email lists that no longer offer real value to your life.
Learn to Gracefully Say “No”
To truly live according to your values you will have to learn to say “no”, and you may have to say it often. Don’t allow others’ expectation that you immediately respond to their requests (or texts) overtake your ability to do what is important to you.
I’m not suggesting that you become a selfish jerk who never does anything for others, but if your current outside responsibilities are preventing you from caring well for yourself and your family (and/or reaching your own goals) you need to evaluate and eliminate what doesn’t line up.
Don’t be manipulated or “guilted” into sacrificing your life for someone else’s priorities. Live YOUR life and do what you are meant to do. (For specific help to say “no” well check out this post.)
Today’s 10 Minute Task 1: Spend 5 – 10 minutes listing your top priorities in life — the real, “If I’m dying in a year” priorities. You can read my post “Bringing Life Into Balance” for some ideas.
Today’s Task 2: Spend 5-10 minutes creating a “Stop Doing List”. Make a plan to drop outside responsibilities that are draining you and taking time away from what you truly need and want to do.
Join the 30 Days to Organized Community for:
weekly tips and inspiration plus a
10 Minute Decluttering Tool Kit
30 Days to Organized Planner
Click HERE to join now!
Want the entire 30 Day Challenge at once so you can work at your own pace?
Grab the 30 Days to an Organized Life ebook.
Click here to see what’s included!
Leave a Reply