At the beginning of the New Year I always do a sort of audit of my life and figure out if there are ways I can make daily tasks easier and, in turn, myself more efficient and productive. I learned very quickly in motherhood that I have to be much more disciplined when it comes to abiding by a daily routine if I have any hope of taking any time out for myself. This is especially true now with a mischievous crawling / almost walking one year old that my eyes have to remain on at all times. Today, I’m sharing a few tips that have helped me complete my daily tasks more efficiently so everything gets done and I still find some time to pick up that work of fiction, take a bubble bath with some vino, or binge some Netflix in the evening.
Although I have surrendered to technology in many aspects of my life, I still plan my days on paper. Even more than the giddiness I feel when picking out a new, pretty planner for the year, having my tasks and goals written down and perpetually displayed within sight makes me more encouraged to check off items and accomplish my goals. Of course I use my planner for appointments and phone call reminders, but I also use it to establish daily and weekly goals. I also use my planner as a content calendar for upcoming blog and Instagram posts. Here is the calendar I picked for 2017. I love it because not only is there a 2 page spread dedicated to each month but also a 2 page spread dedicated to each week with plenty of space for jotting things down. I also love this one, this one & this one!
Another way I start off a new year is by contacting my accountant to get the ball rolling on my taxes. I don’t like scrambling to take care of taxes at the last minute, so I have found a good rule is to always initiate the conversation the first business day of the New Year. My CPA then sends me a guide for organizing the important documents he needs then we e-submit everything to him as soon as possible. I find this jumpstart to take a lot of stress out of an otherwise tedious process.
A Clean Home
I clean my home every Friday morning. Being able to clean my entire place in one morning was one thing I greatly appreciated when moving into less square footage in the city. I alternate between a “moderate” and “heavy” cleaning every other Friday. On the “moderate cleaning Friday” I disinfect the bathroom and dust all of our shelves and furniture. I wipe down the kitchen without moving appliances and I Dry Swiffer the floors. On my “heavy cleaning Friday” the bathrooms get a deep clean (everything is wiped down and the bath and shower get scrubbed). Everything is dusted and the kitchen is is cleaned thoroughly. I also Dry and Wet Swiffer my floors. Sticking to this routine has really helped me expedite my chores and my home stays nice and tidy!
Like “cleaning days” I also have specified “laundry days” and don’t just wait until the baskets get too full. I do Bennett’s laundry on Thursdays (one light and one dark load), and I do my and Brian’s laundry on Fridays as I am cleaning the house.
Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping
I do all my meal planning for the week on Sunday evenings. I browse Pinterest for recipe inspiration and also Google recipes that contain some leftover ingredients I may have in my fridge so they’re not wasted. I plan dinners for Monday through Thursday, and on Friday Brian either cooks or we order takeout. We used to go out to eat on Fridays, but that’s on hiatus since Bennett started becoming a pill in restaurants. I keep a Secret Pinterest Board titled “Meals for the Week” onto which I Pin all the dinner recipes I planned for the week. Then I compose a grocery list on my iPhone Notes based on what I need to make dinner for the week. If we decided at the end of the week that the recipe is a keeper, the recipe will get re-Pinned onto another Secret Pinterest Board titled “Entrees”. This is my compilation of go-to recipes or recipes that are good to make for guests.
Do you guys have any other recommendations for leading a more productive day? Keeping to a routine has helped me find balance in being the kind of mom I want to be for Bennett while pursuing my entrepreneurial passions and being an optometrist. Although it may sound boring and predictable to have my days mapped out, keeping to my routine truly helps me meet my accomplishments for the day, which leads to conquering my goals for the year.