We live in a world that is all about maximizing things! We run on the idea that we need to multi-task and schedule every moment to maximize our day. The idea that if we maximize your time, you will get more done. And I will be the first to say I recently stepped onto that hamster wheel and I am finding myself exhausted and dizzy and flat worn out!
The Idea of Multi-Tasking
I didn’t used to be this way. I was a teacher for MANY years and worked as a teacher for several years while having babies. So I know I was busy back then. But I had the ability then to focus and work hard but then walk away when I left work.
It seems like though during the pandemic something shifted. All of a sudden I was dividing my time between online learning with 3 kids, running a household, maintaining a business, supporting my husband and juggling regular ole’ life. I started finding myself running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off! I started trying to maximize EVERY SINGLE moment of my day to get everything done.
The Downward Spiral Begins
I will send a voice text message while switching out the laundry.
Ok, I can listen to my zoom meeting while cleaning the bathroom.
Run down the hall to help my 4th grader with his virtual learning while dragging the broom down the hallway to sweep up the spilled goldfish.
Burn the grilled cheese sandwiches while sending the important email.
Cram as much work as I possibly can into 2 hours before picking up the other kids from school.
Do this while doing that while sending that while reading this! OH MY WORD!!! All the maximizing is maxing me out!!
Something Has to Change
Read this information from American Psychological Association about multitasking.
“Studies show that what you think is multitasking is ineffective and inefficient. According to studies, as you switch from one task to another (red light/green light), the transition is not a smooth one. There’s a lag time while your brain shifts attention from one task to another. And while it feels like this shift is seamless, it actually takes time. How much time? Research has shown that multitasking takes as much as 40 percent more time than focusing on one task at a time — more for complex tasks.”
So while I thought my multi-tasking was helping me maximize my day, it turns out it is really only maxing my brain out! I had to get this under control because I was burnt out and struggling to shut off my brain.
Setting Rhythms and Routines
Just because I decided I couldn’t do the crazy schedule anymore didn’t mean anything got taken off my plate. All the things I needed to get done were still there staring at me in the face but I was determined to make a new plan.
I started reading and learning about daily rhythms and routines. What I was learning really resonated with me and I liked that it was an easy thing to implement. Therefore, I am sharing the new rhythms and routines I have adapted to help manage things I need to get done and start enjoying more time with my family.
My Daily Rhythms
The wonderful thing about daily rhythms is that they help you get more done but if it doesn’t happen for some reason, it doesn’t throw off your day. Here are a few rhythms and routines I try to follow.
- LAUNDRY: I try every night to put a load of laundry in the wash. We are a family of 5 (two which are very active and playful boys) and there is ALWAYS laundry. I put a load in the wash when I go to bed. Then I throw it in the dryer in the morning and fold (Yes I force myself to fold and put away). It is a quick, few minutes in the evening and then the morning. I don’t have to think or plan or SIGH that is so much laundry to do.
- KITCHEN + BATHROOM: At the end of the evening, while the kiddos are getting ready for bed, I make sure to do a quick wipe down of my kitchen counters and table. I also wipe down the bathroom sinks after the kids are finished brushing their teeth. And I am currently working on teaching my kids to wipe down the bathroom sink. This way we wake up to a cleanish house in the morning.
- PACK LUNCHES: As soon as my kids walk in the door from school, we pack their lunches for the next day and fill up water bottles. It is just part of our routine now and there is no more frantic lunch making in the morning.
- SUNDAY HOUSE CLEAN: As a family we spend a dedicated time doing a good cleaning of the house to be ready for the next week. My kids have come to know they have to have their room cleaned, dirty clothes in the hamper and all their toys picked up and put away. It helps us have a fresh start for the week.
It’s Better, Not Perfect
While the new routines and rhythms don’t make my house perfectly clean, my to-do list shorter or everything easy…it does help me not feel so overwhelmed. I am having to make less daily decisions and many must-do activities get done on autopilot. And the best part, it has given me the space to pursue hobbies and interests I enjoy and find a little more me-time!
What about you? Do you have any great rhythms or routines that help you on a daily basis? I would love to know!