Those who know me know that I am a pretty organized person. I like things in order, I stress when things aren't in order, and I can generally figure out systems to keep things in order.
However, what you don't know is what goes on in my head that is a precursor to this drive to streamline my life.
It's mayhem. I can't remember a thing on my own. If I don't have a list when I go to the store, the moment I enter, there's this droning buzz that starts to drown out coherent thought and I wander the aisles trying desperately to let my eye be caught by the right items. Inevitably, I make purchases and get out to the car only to suddenly have my brain clear up and realize just how many vital things I forgot...like lunch for today.
And don't get me started on how to remember what needs to happen next when the baby is screaming, the kids are arguing and playing music loudly while horns are honking out front and the kettle is going off. Thinking screeches to a halt! It can be very overwhelming.
I have to be organized externally because otherwise I would be all over the place and stressed and generally not a good mom, wife, homemaker, missionary, friend, writer...anything.
First and foremost, my to do list.
I learned a long time ago that just trying to remember everything I noticed that needed doing what taking all my brainpower from actually being able to DO said tasks. So, I have a rotating schedule of menial tasks.
For example, I plan our menu and clean out the fridge on Mondays. But I don't grocery shop until Wednesday or Thursday, so that overlap buys me time to make sure I thought through it all. And if I notice not-so-fresh leftovers on Sunday, I can put it out of my mind, knowing that I'll address that when it is time.
I cut nails on Saturdays - mine and kids. Yes, I have this recurring on my list. Hey, it has to happen and it was stressing me out to wait until I noticed the need and, hopefully, have the time and cooperative kids to make it happen.
Other standard weekly tasks are given a specific slot as well. The benefit? When I notice that the trash is almost full, I don't have to think "Oh, I need to remember to bag that all tomorrow for the trash truck." because it's already on my list for the day before the truck comes. I can notice it and think, "Not today."
The same goes for non-repetitive jobs. If I know I need to marinate the pork tenderloin for lunch on Tuesday, that means I need to start it thawing Sunday night. When I plan the menu, I jot down that note and don't worry about it. I'll notice it on Sunday.
And when I think, "Oh, no. My parents are coming in a week but that room is full of junk, but I don't have any time to work on it today!" I pause for a moment to think about when I will have time, choose a strategically likely day, and make a note to come back then.
Less stress, by a lot! I can use my mental faculties to actually accomplish stuff instead of focusing on what I will need to complete at some point.
Coming soon...lots more tips, some to save time, others to save stress, all to save brain energy.