This is the 2nd Post in the Back To School Sanity Series! With summer almost over, now is a great time to review your Sanity Dimensions: your SPACES, your SYSTEMS, your SELF, and your SUPPORT to create more sanity this year!
Today’s post will help you improve your SYSTEMS to create more sanity!
You have them – you just may not recognize them as such. Call them routines, methods, procedures, factors, activities, rules, schedules, ‘the way we do things in our family’… whatever. They work at work – so why not make them work for your home and family too!
A system is something you do repeatedly to ensure a purposeful result in your home or office. Well-designed, repeatable systems help to standardize and support behaviors across a number of people. Systems at home will help you create a more reliable balance between activities and results.
Now that school is back in session, its time to dust off your routines and get our systems in order:
Review & Refresh Routines – For your home and family to run successfully you need routines. (This statement will not THRILL those spontaneous readers). Routine is boring, monotonous, and confining! They scream! Well – that may be so – and that is precisely why they work to do one thing well…. MAINTAIN! If you are finding yourself falling short on maintenance issues – take a look at your routines, and try tweaking them to fit better into your definition of a balanced household. Routines can be created around chores, food shopping, home clean-up, bed times, weekends, friends, extended family, laundry. Establishing a set way to achieve repeatable tasks allows them to take less of a forefront. For instance, I used to do laundry every time I saw the laundry hamper full. I seemed to always have laundry in one stage or another in my home.. Some in the dryer, some folded ready to be put away, some dirty… When I decided to make Sunday and Thursday my “laundry days” this all changed. I did a few loads each of those days – and that task became much more manageable. All I had to do was make sure I made time for it on the scheduled day – and if I didn’t I knew I could postpone it one day and still be okay.
What routines could help you maintain more sanity?
Simple Schedules – Whenever someone says: “I’m so overwhelmed, I don’t know how to find time to do everything!” I always ask: How much time do you spend planning and scheduling? Scheduling is a planning activity that is non-negotiable if you want less a stressful life. Scheduling tasks and activities for a family is a must. We sit down on Sunday evenings and discuss the upcoming week’s activities, post them on a calendar on our fridge, along with our planned dinners. This helps immensely, and when we don’t do it… we all feel the upset.
When is the best time for you to schedule and review your weekly/monthly activities and commitments?
A Plan Is Worth A Thousand Broken Pieces – Where can you introduce planning into your home systems? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. The best, simplest solution I have is to look at what is NOT working right now. Where are you experiencing the most pain/breakdown right now? Take some time to consider these questions before planning:
- What is causing stress right now at home?
- Why is it stressful?
- Who is responsible for deciding, changing, or owning this task or activity?
- What changes are possible given your current schedule, commitments?
- What commitments be reduced or eliminated?
- Where do we need to do more planning to feel more in control and less stress?
By looking at what is currently NOT working, you’ll be able to zero in on creating some simple system fixes to help you. I warn you though… you can’t boil the ocean. Implementing one or two SMALL changes in your system is enough of a fix to feel some relief. You’ll have a much higher likelihood for success by focusing on one or two system changes at a time. Choose one that will make the most difference – and focus on accomplishing and instituting just one at a time. Focused goals are much more achievable, and more meaningful.
This post is 2 of 4 in a series: Fixes To Create Back To School Sanity for your Spaces, Systems, Self & Support.
Want to check your self sanity dimension? Download your complete DIY Get Organized Handbook here!