Happy Friday! Juggling a lot of roles and responsibilities? So are we. Today we have Olivia of Simply Liv & Co. sharing her secrets for staying organized . We plan on implementing a few after we share this blog...
In my nearly four year pursuit of a slower life, I’ve learned something that has made all of the difference. A simple life doesn’t mean an easier life. There will still be the normal highs and lows — signs that you’re living a full, raw, and real life on planet earth. But slowing down does (usually) mean a less stressful, more intentional life.
As a small (very small) business owner, a mom of two toddlers, a wife, and someone with my own dreams, passion projects and a “real” daytime job to balance, I’ve learned that one of the keys to a simple, slower life is a word that many are turned off by: organization.
It’s not glitzy or exciting, but I truly believe that these somewhat boring words (organization, categories, time-blocks, priorities) are essential for living a life of intentional simplicity and slowness. Many studies have examined the importance of a daily routine for overall productivity, and in my own life, I’ve learned that these studies aren’t just true for people with “regular” 9 to 5’s, or people who naturally thrive on routine (I don’t) or people who are masters at minimizing and streamlining (I’m not).
Routines are important for stay at home moms, students struggling to balance their school work load and job, and anyone hoping to bring more balance and ease into their life. Here are a few of the biggest ways I’ve learned to use routine and organization to my benefit as I juggle my roles as mom, blogger, entrepreneur, writer, and wife.
Write it out
I’m a list-maker. Through and through. Few things give me more satisfaction in life than crossing off to-do’s, projects, blog posts, groceries, or anything else for that matter, off of my many lists I have scattered throughout my house.
Other than being a really lame hobby, though, writing out your “to-do’s” on paper (or digitally for those who prefer it) can be a lifesaver. I recently started using a bullet journal to keep my blog, home, and work life organized in one place and it’s been one of the best decisions ever for my productivity.
Loose structure is best
As much as I love a good schedule, part of living simply is holding your plans with an open hand. I’ve learned to loosely structure my days instead of plan them full to the brim. Doing so allows for a healthy amount of spontaneity within the bounds of your daily plan. If I know what needs to get done, I’m better equipped to know what I can let slide when, say, a certain toddler needs a few extra snuggles when I planned to be writing.
Know when to compartmentalize & when to multitask
Contrary to its name, multi-tasking doesn’t usually mean you’re getting more done. In fact, it usually means you’re doing more but with less attention devoted to each task. Simplifying my to-do list means I have less reason to multitask and can truly devote my time and energy to a task when it needs to be done, instead of worrying about everything else I think I should be doing at the same time (like checking my Instagram feed, cleaning up after messy three-year-olds, or writing a blog content schedule, all while trying to eat breakfast).
What I’ve learned instead, is that there’s a time and a place for multitasking, but it’s usually not when you’re trying to put your best work out there. Create blocks of time for yourself to focus only on what needs to be done in that moment, the rest, believe it or not, can wait.
Owning a business, being a great mom, or excelling in school shouldn’t come at the expense of your own health. I’ve more or less forced myself into the habit of making an actual “self-care schedule” in my planner for the week to help keep me accountable and on top of my own self care. Otherwise, I simply won’t prioritize it. I choose things I love to do and keep track of when I make time to do them. It’s a little bit over the top, but sometimes self-care has to be.
Make room for mistakes
There’s no such thing as the perfectly organized schedule. Life, unlike a bullet journal, is messy and often comes with unexpected happenings that throw your entire day (month? year?) off track. As beautiful as schedules can be, it’s equally important to balance your expectations.
How have you learned to set goals and schedules for yourself? Does it come at the expense of your self-care?
Thanks Olivia! We hope you guys found this as useful as we did!
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