Before I became a mom I'm pretty sure that I wasted a lot of time. Maybe I did more things that weren't necessarily productive, but they were things I enjoyed doing (like long nature walks and organizing my jewelry that I never wore/wear). I'm willing to acknowledge that I'm not the best with time management, little things distract me, and tangents are wonderful excuses. For about a year or so now my days have definitely looked different; motherhood has taken over. I don't really get much of anything accomplished. So, instead of feeling frustrated or discouraged I try to be consistent in a few simple ways and see the rest of the day as a mystery, without plans. Babies don't have plans, so why should parents? Plus, letting go of the "to do" list gives me the freedom to live in the present which results in being a better wife and a better mom.
The few things I try to commit to:
1. Wash/Dry/Fold/Put Away Laundry all on the same day, and I really try to do this on Sundays so Mondays feel fresh. Plus, I definitely need clean leggings to start the week. :)
2. I explore the fridge and pantry on Sunday night and write down seven possible meal ideas for the coming week. I then write them on the chalkboard in our kitchen. Typically we don't stick to this "calendar", but at least I feel like there is some structure to what I will be cooking each day. I no longer have to think about dinners every single day, and that's a huge relief.
3. I choose one time each day (usually the evening) to respond to all urgent emails (customers typically) and clean out the inbox, delete all the junk mail. This really helps me rest better at night (I know it's not true, but when I know a customer is waiting for a reply I always picture them checking their email repeatedly waiting for us to respond.)
4. Clean the kitchen before bed no matter what! Waking up to a clean kitchen is golden, and Sam really helps with this too; he hates messes substantially more than I do.
5. Established a "put away" basket. We have a medium sized wicker basket to throw the random things in that collect on the counters and dining table. Today it contains random expo markers, bills, a shirt, a few of Ester's bows, and a tape measure. This basket may overflow and I may lose track of something important because it's in the "put away" basket, but at least there isn't stuff all over the place. And a week may pass before I actually put the things away, or I just hope for Sam to do it, but again, clean counters and table tops feel nice.
And that's my list, and I honestly feel like my mind is more clear when these few things are happening consistently. How about you? What are your top priority chores or tasks that really make the biggest difference from day to day?