Four Lists and How They’re Saving My Damn Life

As I am always and forever trying to be a better version of myself, I often change up my routines. I find that some thing don’t work, or don’t work as well as new things. Sometimes I just find something new and awesome that I have to at least try to incorporate into my life. My routine also changes as my life ebbs and flows. My day job schedule changes three to four times a year. My energy waxes and wanes with the moon and season. My children’s schedules also influence mine, of course. And I’m a damn fool who signed up to assistant coach my kids volleyball team for three months.

So here are my current routines that are keeping me grounded, sane and productive. Maybe these will help you, too.

Daily when I get home list-

I think I’ve mentioned before that if I sit down after work I’m done for the day. I will lay back on the couch and fall into a black hole of tv. So I don’t let myself do this!

  • I start by cleaning for 15 minutes, in whatever room needs it most. (Thank you, FlyLady.)
  • Then I grab my computer and head to my office. My kids are usually busy when I first get home, so I can do a writing power hour. A big note is that I don’t do any office maintenance stuff at this time! This is a full hour on my current wip.
  • After my power hour I collect my outfit for the next day, set up my coffee pot and go over my to do list. Anything not done at that point isn’t getting done until tomorrow.
  • Then I park myself on my couch and do social media stuff while watching tv with my kids. The darling husband is usually making dinner around this time. Social media takes me about half an hour, and then it’s all about dinner and my family until bed.

Home Blessing Day and Office Day-

If you’re familiar with the FlyLady you know what a Home Blessing Day looks like. And if you’re not familiar with Fly Lady, Google her. Do it now, thank me later. But my list looks a little different, because I am not the homemaker in my house.

  • I start out with a quick pick up of each room in my house. I find that I create specific pockets of mess. Like piling make up remover clothes on the sink. Or piling coke cans next to my seat on the couch. I take care of all of that.
  • I also run a couple loads of laundry, fold them and put them away.
  • Next I wash my bras and makeup brushes by hand. I, um, have large bras and they’re expensive. I do not intend to wreck them by putting them in the wash.
  • One chore the darling husband hates is cleaning out the trash can. So I take it on myself to give it a quick bleach swipe every week.
  • Finally I go through my morning makeup bag and freshen it. I like to change my blush and eyeliners out because I get bored with the same routine and colors.

On my Home Blessing Days I also run errands with the family. I still pick out my ‘after work’ routine, usually at about 6:00.

Finally, I have an Office Day. The problem is that my Office Days are sporadic right now. Here’s a list of things that might be on my list.

  • Running to the post office to ship books.
  • Making a book order.
  • Scheduling, prepping for and attending book signings.
  • Doing PBW batch days, which means writing a s*&$ ton of blog posts on one day.
  • Building e-books.
  • Sending my books to reviewers and begging polity asking them to review them.
  • Catching up on writing book keeping.
  • Any upkeeping I need to do on my PBW site.
  • Really any random thing I’ve decided is my new way I’m going to reach new readers.

This is the only day of the week I don’t make progress on my wip. Because by the time I’ve done all that other office stuff I need some non computer time.

Planning Day List-

My planning day is usually Saturday afternoon after work. It doesn’t matter what day you do this, but I highly suggest you do all of these things once a week. Seriously, all my other things are great for me but maybe not for everyone. Everyone should do these things.

  • I start out with my planner. I plan for the current week, then three weeks in advance. So, the first thing I do is decorate my planner three weeks out. I’m a big fan of stickers, washi tape and doodles. So all of that goes in my planner.
  • Next I make my schedule for the week. I start with my day job schedule. Then I schedule in my kids plans. Next I plan my Home Blessing and Office Days.
  • After I do that I make my to do list for the week. This is pretty self explanatory. I write it into my bullet journal, notating if I need to do a certain thing on a certain day.
  • Then I sync my paper planner to my Google planner to my day job planner. I’m sure you know that sometimes an event gets in one place and not on the other.
  • The next thing I do is set all of my alarms for the week. I like doing it all in one go so that I don’t have to remember that for the rest of the week.
  • I also go through any mail that’s been sitting on my desk all damn week.
  • Finally, I back up all of my writing for the week on Drop Box. Listen to me, Do This! Do this because you don’t want to have your computer crash and lose your project! You will want to die.

My ‘kind of’ morning routine-

I will admit that I don’t have a proper morning routine. I have to be at my day job really freaking early, so I just don’t have a lot of time.

  • I start when my alarm goes off by playing my little time management game for ten minutes. The light of my tablet wakes me up in the winter when it’s still dark and makes me not dread being awake.
  • After that I dress, do the whole hair and teeth brushing thing and put on my makeup. All together this takes about half an hour.
  • If it’s a school day I wake the child who has an early class. Then I head downstairs, start my coffee, feed the cat and walk the dog. (The awake kid will feed the dog when she’s up.)
  • I then pour my coffee in a travel mug, throw on my boots and coat and head out the door.

Of course, this whole routine depends on a solid after work routine that I shared above.

So that’s what I’m doing to stay sane during the crazy as hell season of my life right now. What are you doing to keep your mind?

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