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Posts tagged ‘to-do list’

Yesterday I shared about Flylady and how I have begun to establish routines. Today I want to share with you my early morning routine, also known as my before breakfast routine.

Flylady teaches that when you get out of bed in the morning, you should get dressed to the lace-up shoes and make the bed. Because I like to air the bed first–and especially since my husband is often still in it when I rise–I have moved that to a later routine. But I have found it helpful to get dressed and wash my face first thing, right after going to the bathroom (unless I plan on showering, in which case I just put on my shoes, because I don’t have time to shower before breakfast right now). So that is the first step of my routine: Get dressed and wash face. I never used to bother with washing my face, but I’m 31 now, and I think it’s about time I started taking care of it–especially since I recently noticed a couple of lines that I don’t remember being there before. At this point, I have Melaleuca’s Sei Bella facial wash and toner, so I use those. Later I plan on getting more products, like a moisturizer and a facial masque to use once in a while. But for now, I feel like I’m doing something good for my face, so I’m happy.

Then, before I leave the bathroom, I clean it. Yes, every day (except Sabbath). This consists of dampening a rag and wiping down all the surfaces. First, spots on the mirror, then the counter and sink, then the toilet. Then I hang it up to dry. It takes 1-2 minutes, and the bathroom is company-ready. I also take the time to put away brushes and toothpaste tubes or anything else that doesn’t belong on the counter. All that is supposed to be there are two soap dispensers and a container of Gislaine’s hair “thingies” that doesn’t fit in the medicine cabinet and I want to keep out of Manny’s reach (so not in the drawes). I don’t move the latter when I wipe, only the soap dispensers if I see bits of soap near them that need to be wiped up. Then I take the toilet bowl brush and give the bowl a quick 5-second swish.

Now, because I don’t use any soap for this process, once a week, just before hopping in the shower, I clear everything off of the counter and put it in the window, then spray the counter, sink, and all of the toilet with an herbal disinfectant spray. After drying and dressing, the spray has done its job of killing all the bacteria on those surfaces, and I just need to wipe it down (since it has soap in it, I can’t leave it like lysol). I also spray it inside the toilet bowl. Once we move back to well water, I’ll add some of the Tub & Tile cleaner to the toilet bowl to keep down the limescale, but for now, our water is very soft and it never gets any build-up.

The next thing on my list is to empty the dishwasher. Whether it is full from a load I ran the night before, or whether it just has a few bowls or plates from supper, I empty it. That way I don’t have to empty it before washing the dishes. This takes less than 5 minutes max.

The last thing I do is check my to-do list. I have a list on the fridge that lists things that I need to do on specific days of the week, but not necessarily every day, from deep-cleaning the kitchen counters (meaning I move everything and spray down the counters one at a time, instead of just wiping the bare areas) to soaking beans for the next day’s meal. I also add any daily tasks I want to make sure I don’t forget, such as laundry (it’s amazing how easy it is to forget, with the washer and dryer being out in the garage), or anything else I need to remember, like a doctor’s visit or a call I need to make. These I write down on a little dry-erase board on my fridge. When I accomplish a task, I wipe it off. Then I can see what is left. I put dots beside things that I absolutely want to get done today (sometimes a phone call can be postponed, or organizing the garage can wait a few days when the kids are sick), and as I go through the day, I might put lines beside the things I want to focus on next–2 or 3 things to get done before I attempt anything else. Because, well, I have to admit I am a S.H.E–sidetracked home executive–and tend to get started with something, then remember I should be doing something else, then get called by the kids to help with something or change a diaper… so being able to refocus with a glance at my white board is very helpful!

Now, it took quite a bit to describe my morning routine, but it takes much less time to actually do it. Getting dressed and washing face takes 10 minutes if I’m slow. “Swish & swipe” (cleaning the bathroom surfaces and toilet) takes about 2 or 3 minutes. Emptying the dishwasher takes 5 minutes or less, and updating my to-do list takes about 2 or 3 minutes.

And although it’s not officially on my list, I also drink a glass of water while I’m in the kitchen. Then I either have my devotions or start on breakfast, depending on what time it is and when my husband needs to leave.

So that’s my before breakfast routine. It looks like a lot, so I will summarize:

  • Get dressed to the shoes & wash face
  • Swish & Swipe
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Update to-do list

So what do you do before you start breakfast?

Here is my first guest post for a long time. They very graciously tweaked the post to reflect my passion for homeschooling, which I know many of my readers share. Please give me your feedback; if you enjoy this post, I may have more from them in the future.

The ABC, 123 exercises are wrapped up, the children are napping and you’re wondering, “What else needs to be done?” These moments are perfect for stealing a little time just for you. Pick a 5, 10 or 15 minute solution or create your own.

  • In five minutes, you can wipe off a small to-do list item and get real gratification and calm knowing it’s complete. For example, as thank-you notes or birthday greetings pile up, steal five minutes to write your loved one a nice card. Doing this will remind you of what really matters and at the same time relieve some of the pressure that can come with a growing list of to-do’s.
  • Stealing 10 minutes to catch up with a friend on the phone can be very relaxing and give you a chance to feel connected, understood and considered. Be sure to manage expectations among your family members and let them know in advance that you are taking a private phone call with a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile.
  • 15 minutes of me-time can do a whole lot of good for the mind and body. Try escaping to a quiet room and read your favorite book. Make this time truly special, nurture yourself with a cup of your favorite tea and snuggle up in your favorite chair under a warm light.

It might not sound like very much, but taking an “all-about-you” timeout from deadlines and activities will give you more energy when daytime routines demand your full attention. Remember, taking care of yourself is taking care of your family too. You will feel relaxed, refreshed and ready to help your children with any challenges they are having, personally or with their homeschooling activities.

This is a guest post from Kumon, the world’s largest after-school math and reading enrichment program that unlocks the potential of children so they can achieve more on their own. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kumon or Twitter at www.twitter.com/KumonNAmerica.

If you are a mom (and you probably are, if you’re reading this blog), you probably know what Kegals are. If you don’t, go back and click on that link for more details. Because you should know. And if you’re a guy, I suggest you stop reading. Seriously.

Well, a couple of months ago I decided to get serious about them. Part of the problem was that I had gotten a Diva cup, and it kept sliding out. Very annoying. So I decided to try doing Kegals to see if it would help. I started out doing 25 or 30 reps, 6 times a day. Every week I would add 5 or 10 reps, until I got to 50. But by that time, the initial enthusiasm I had was waning, and I couldn’t seem to remember to do them. And anyhow, with the tone that I have achieved, I don’t need to do them 6 times a day. But I don’t want to quit, either.

My midwife told me that it often helps to associate something else with doing them. She said that one lady would do Kegals every time she stopped at a stoplight. That’s fine if you’re a Soccer mom, but I rarely leave the house, so that wouldn’t work for me.

Here’s what works for me. Every time I put my son down for a nap, I have to stand outside the door for a bit to make sure he doesn’t get up. Doing 2-second reps during that time with a 1-second rep in between gives me nearly 2 minutes of time standing there, and I feel like I’m getting something done while waiting to make sure he’s not going to get up. That gets me at least 2 times a day.

The other thing that helps is putting Kegals at the top of my daily to-do list. That way when I see the list, I remember them. I may not have time to stop and do them every time, but sometimes I can, and that usually gets me at least 1 or 2 more times. Which is probably more than enough to maintain what I’ve got.

That’s what works for me!