Tuesday, September 6, 2011

bite 01 : establish an evening routine

Last week, I downloaded Simple Mom's One Bite at a Time e-book. I consider myself an organized person. I like to keep things as simple as possible, both in our house and in my personal life. But there are definitely little tasks that I'd like to accomplish that I just haven't gotten too. Things that I get overwhelmed with, wondering where to start. Or thinking I have to approach it just right, or it won't be good enough. Or have been put on the back burner because of this or that. This e-book lays it all out for you on how to start.

Instead of reading the entire book and then choosing my first project, I printed out the table of contents / list of projects and just picked one. One project. They are in no particular order so you don't have to start with #1. One project that popped out at me as I scanned the list and thought "oh, yeah, that's where I should start". You can see all 52 projects here.

So, my first "bite" is Project No 04 : Establish an evening routine.

If you've been reading here for awhile, you may recall a One Little Word prompt from earlier this year where we had to choose something to take action on. For me, a task to focus on. I chose to get more sleep. I was staying up way too late and paying for it in the morning. Since March, my bedtime, and particularly, how I was spending my evening time after the kids were in bed, haven't changed. Some nights I head back to the kitchen to straighten up and prepare for the next day. Some nights I sit down in front of the computer where time inevitably escapes me. What I have learned in past months, no matter what time I go to bed, is that some of my best days start when I'm not scrambling in the morning. Evening prep is key.

Tsh suggested to choose 5 "little things that you'll be glad you did in the morning." This is the list I came up with :

1. unload dishwasher : it's one of my least favorite things to do - especially in the morning. If I start the dishwasher after dinner, I make it a point to unload it before bed.

2. refill sippy's + my water bottle : milk for Parker, water for all three of us. I am horrible about drinking water (and then wonder why I have a splitting headache in the middle of the afternoon). Having those filled and ready to go in the morning make life a smidge easier.

3. set up for breakfast : whether we are having french toast or just cereal, I put the bowls/plates, silverware, cereal boxes/griddle, etc out on the counter and ready to use. Morgan and Parker can be rather demanding in the morning about wanting to eat. right. now. And for some reason, it always takes less time to do this the evening before than in the morning. :)

4. write to do's for tomorrow : I don't necessarily handwrite them out (it depends on how long the list is), but I always review iCal and my TeuxDeux app on my iPhone before bed to prepare myself for the next day. One thing I love about TeuxDeux is that anything that you didn't cross off today will automatically move over to tomorrow. Hands down one of my favorite apps.

5. read or write - NO SCREEN TIME : the tough one. I'm not limiting myself to no tv / computer time at all, just right before bed. I'm trying to get into the habit of picking up a book to read or opening a sketchbook or scrapbooking before bed, instead of closing the laptop and laying down.

So, that's my 5. I'm going to continue working on my new evening routine until it feels automatic, and then I'll choose a new project.

I don't know that I'll do all 52 projects, but this is going to be a wonderful resource to review in the future to keep me and my family organized and our household running efficiently. All for a whopping $5. Can't go wrong with that.

What do you do in the evening to help the next morning go a little smoother?

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