I learned very early on, as a new mom, the importance of having a daily homemaking routine. For me, I couldn’t function well in chaos. The messier things got, the less I would get done. Can you relate?
When I decided to take a good look at why I wasn’t getting anything done, even though I was exhausted every day, I found that I had very “loose” routines…and that was stretching it. Laundry baskets were overflowing, there always seemed to be dishes in the sink, bills got paid by the skin of my teeth and we were living in, what the FlyLady calls, CHAOS…Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. UGH!!!
When I realized that I didn’t have a purposeful plan each day, I had that “aha” moment! I needed some sort of balance. I can’t stand it when I don’t accomplish anything. It leaves me feeling some what down and disheartened. That’s what living in CHAOS does for you.
Since I was a full time homemaker (a SAHM), I knew there were at least four areas in my life that I knew having a daily and weekly routine were a must. Those areas were personal finance, housekeeping, meal planning and my kids. I knew that if I could get a handle on these four things, everything else would naturally fall into place. And guess what!? I was right! Homemaking tasks are simple, but they won’t ever get done without a plan.
Benefits Of A Daily Routine
There are so many benefits to a good daily routine and without one, so many things suffer. We all need a good daily routine for our own mental and physical well being as well as the well being of our families.
If you look at the lives of some of the most successful people in the world, the common denominator that enables them to be successful is routine.
I’m going to try to break it down and show you what the benefits of a daily routine are and how you can implement some or all of these suggestions to improve your day to day life and well being for you and your family. Why? Because a daily routine is important for everyone, whether you work inside or outside of the home, are a full time homemaker, are retired or are male or female. They are important for our over all well-being and here’s why.
When you have some kind of structure to your day, that automatically put’s you in control of it. YOU get to choose how your day goes. There’s no “winging” it. The structure gives you direction and organization in your life. You already know what you need to do and you just do it. Once your finished with one task, you move on to the next. Once structure is established, these tasks become habits. It takes the guess work out of what needs to be done each day.
Saves Time and Eliminates Procrastination
When certain tasks and activities become routine, it reduces the chance that we will put off doing them. In other words, procrastinating. When a habit forms, it almost becomes automatic to do it. For example, most of us brush our teeth and shower every day. We don’t think about having to do it, because it has become a habit. We might not do it at the same time every day (even though we probably should), but we do it.
Laundry is an area where procrastinating can have huge, unwanted consequences. If you don’t have an established routine for household chores, it can only be a short matter of time, before they can snowball out of control. The laundry monster can grow from one little pile to a huge mountain in a matter of a day or two. Then the task becomes so overwhelming that you don’t know where to start. A routine of doing at least one load of laundry a day, from start to finish, will hold the laundry monster at bay.
I developed a daily and weekly cleaning schedule years ago and I still stick to it. I found that if I had a simple checklist of things to do everyday, the job of cleaning my house wouldn’t be so daunting.
Do The Dishes!
Another example I can give you about saving time, in this regard, is how cleaning your kitchen up every night saves time.
I know that you may be tired and tempted to stack the dishes in the sink when dinner is over and leave them until the next day. I’ve been there. But what usually happens when you start the day with a dirty kitchen is that something will come up that you have to tend to and so the dishes remain. Next thing you know, it’s 4:00 and time to start dinner. But, guess what? Last night’s dishes are still sitting there, all crusty and gross. Now, you have to chisel the food off, empty the dishwasher and reload it (or hand wash), before you can even get to starting tonight’s supper. You now have double the work ahead of you. Wouldn’t it have been simpler to just have loaded them last night? This would have saved you time and frustration.
We know that procrastination is a waste of time and energy. Having a routine is one way to get around it, because it frees up time that would otherwise be spent on planning, decision-making and preparation. Our routine has predetermined our schedule, which in turn, allows us to use our time more efficiently.
When we follow a routine with our finances, it can save us a ton of money. For example, we do a budget every month, religiously. Without one, our finances would be a mess and we would probably be broke. Every aspect of our lives flows through our budget, from where we live, to what we drive, what we eat, how we pay our bills, where we go on vacation, etc. If you don’t establish some sort of routine for your finances, your life may be in shambles, as well. We all need a routine, a time each week or month to make sure our bills get paid. Late fees can really add up and cost you if you don’t have a plan for when you do your budget and pay your bills.
Another area that routines can save money is in meal planning. Finding time to map out your weekly meals and grocery shop is an important habit to get into, otherwise it cost you in unexpected trips through the fast food line or trips to the grocery store.
Builds Momentum and Self Confidence
Navy Seal Admiral William H. McCraven said this to the graduating class of the University of Texas, a few years back, about making your bed:
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
“Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
When we have a routine and stick with it, it gives us a tremendous sense of self satisfaction. That in turn fuels the desire to keep going and try to accomplish even more. When we have a sense of accomplishment, it naturally builds our self confidence.
I’ve made it a practice to start every day with a “to-do” list. You may think this is silly, but I write down every thing I want or need to do each day. I even include the most mundane task, such as “clean out the refrigerator or wipe out the microwave”. Even though it’s a mundane chore, when I do it, I get a satisfaction from crossing it off the list. Then, at the end of the day, when I have mostly everything crossed off, I can see what I’ve actually accomplished.
Helps Achieve Goals
Achieving our goals rarely happens overnight. The way to accomplish your goals is by doing the same things over and over again. An athlete gets good at his sport because he practices daily. Remember the old saying, “practice makes perfect”? Well, I don’t know about perfection, but it will certainly make you better the more you do something.
My home is clean and organized and it generally stays this way. I have a good system down that I have been working for years. It has gotten much easier for me to keep it this way because I have a good routine in place. Developing and sticking with a routine that is congruent with your goals is one of the surest ways to ensure success.
Improves Self Discipline
Deciding that you need a routine is the easy part. Actually doing it and sticking with it is the hard part. This is where self discipline comes in. According to a 2013 study by Wilhelm Hoffman, people with high self control are happier than those without. The study discovered this is true because the self disciplined subjects were more capable of dealing with goal conflicts. Self discipline is a learned behavior. It requires practice and repetition in your day to day life.
We all know, as parents, how important routines are to children. Why is this? Children develop self-discipline when a pattern is repeated consistently, each day. When they have structure and routine, they learn there is a wakeup time, a nap time, dinner time, bedtime, homework time, etc. Children will learn self discipline and that is what is going to set them up for success, later in life and will allow them to make smart decisions when Mom and Dad aren’t around.
Lowers Stress and Anxiety
There will always be things in our lives that are beyond our control, and we need to accept that. However, there is so much that we can control, especially if we follow a routine.
Structure and routine reduce stress because it allows our mind and body to go into automatic pilot. For example, think about how stressed you would become if you got ready to go somewhere and you couldn’t find your car keys. If you’re already running late, this could cause your stress levels to go through the roof! The way to alleviate or prevent this from happening is to have a place, ie. a bowl or hook near the door to put your keys. Get into the habit of putting them in the same place as soon as you walk in the door. Voila!! Stress alleviated!
Another way to lower stress is to prepare as much as you can the night before. This simple act of preparation can make a huge difference of how your whole day will go.
Daily routines take the guess work out of what needs to be done, thereby eliminating stress, because we don’t have to think or worry about what we need to get done. It puts us in control of our lives instead of circumstances controlling us.
More Time To Relax
Following a good, healthy, efficient routine of our day-to-day tasks and chores provides us with more free time to do as we please. There is a time and place for leisure and relaxation and adhering to a routine frees up the time for it.
There are so many benefits of a daily routine and they are a great way to keep yourself on task. The longer you stay with it, the more each task will become a habit. Decide what you want to achieve in your life and center your routine(s) around those goals. You can definitely create harmony and stability within your home and family. Give yourself time to get adjusted to your routine and see how it can change every aspect of your life.
Do you have routines in your home? I’d love to hear what they are!
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