It’s been a little busy lately. Nothing too crazy but when you’re an extreme introvert and need downtime to function, a heavy to do list can be very tiring. I don’t share this to complain but because most of you are probably in the same boat.
We have a tendency to make a simple goal into something too big. Or even if it’s small, we think of all the things we should do instead but I think we can achieve these goals. We can get those things done.
So I made a deal with myself last week and it worked. I set a little personal goal then was intentional about scheduling time to do it and made it happen. It’s nothing big my goal was to read a book. I love reading but either I’ll do all the other things instead (these people around here seem to like eating and such) or I’ll get so into the book it’s all I want to do. I have trouble with happy mediums sometimes but last week I was determined to finish a book and I did it with just a few minutes a day.
So wether your goal is big, small, somewhere in between these methods will really help you accomplish them.
1. Schedule your goals: If it’s something you want to accomplish badly enough to use the word “goal,” it’s worth your time. Whether you’re looking a month ahead in your calendar and scheduling the one available day to clean out the garage or blocking off 15 minutes a day to read that book you’ve been waiting for it is worth it. Schedule your time and stick to it.
2. Set a timer: Timers are my favorite trick for everything. Whether I’m cleaning, working, making my child wait for something, timers help me keep time in perspective and whatever I’m doing seem more manageable. Personally, I like using 20 minutes because it’s a good chunk of time and you can easily add 10 more minutes for a half hour. This also works hand in hand with scheduling. Want to read more? Set aside 10 minutes a day and you will read more. That closet out of control? See how far you can get in 15 minutes. Even if you don’t finish you’ll be better than before. No matter how busy the season is, we can spare a few minutes here and there and the payoff in mental rewards is exponential.
3. Write it down: Lists are life for me but I find that in really busy seasons sometime that’s what I eliminate. It’s a crazy cycle that’s hard to get off but if I take the time to write it down… whether it’s “read” or something bigger not only am I more likely to do it, just the act of writing it gives it priority in my brain and increases the chances that I’ll do it. If a big list is too overwhelming, just write down 3 things then when you’re done with those, add another three. You’re accomplishing things in manageable chunks.
4. Find pockets of time: Years ago I started getting up obnoxiously early because that was the only “me” time I could find. It has become more valuable than sleep for me. That might not work for everyone but there is always a little pocket of time for the things that matter. Getting up 15 minutes early can give you time to read or take a quick lap around the block. Lunch breaks were always my favorite for a little project too, whether it’s clean out the car, read, wallpaper or catch up on laundry. (Just be sure to set that timer so you’re back when you’re supposed to be) Even in the busiest of seasons, there is alway a few minutes here and there and it is well worth it.
5. Track your progress: whether it’s a book you keep track of the chapters, the days you work out or whatever, find a way to track your progress and your brain will feel the reward for your hard work. When I’m trying to finish a book in a set time, I’ll look at the chapters and think of what day I’ll reach it and how close I am. I actually have lists in my planner for the number of books I’ve read during the year and how many days I go for a walk. It’s physical proof that it all adds up. You can see progress build and build. For longer range projects, such as the big house ones, I have spreadsheets saved with goals and tasks and check in every few months. Those might take longer but it still is a reward in itself to check them off.
6. Schedule rest: because I’m always working on a list (or lists) and searching for those pockets of time, I can make myself a little crazy. When you work from home/ for yourself the job never, ever ends. I could literally work around the clock every single day. Some people thrive off of that but I need rest or I start to lose focus (and my mind) So I don’t schedule a nap (but I look for pockets of time for those for sure) but I do look for times to rest. Sundays are my rest days. I still get up just as early but after my Bible Reading/quiet time I do something for me. Whether it’s more reading, catching up on magazines or anything else. I try to “clock out” mentally it it not only recharges me, but gives me something to look forward to when I have a particularly busy day or days. I schedule weekdays off and even try to book more days off when I know there is important family stuff coming up... like homeschool starting back up in a few weeks.
Whew. That sure was a lot and not really related to pretty home stuff but I think one of the challenges we have at home is just lacking time and energy to do all the things. I hear it all the time and these methods are easy ways to ease some of that stress. Home is so much more than walls, paint colors, window treatments and furniture. It’s where you do life. It’s where your people are and it should be a safe haven from the stress of the world, not a source of it. Simply prioritizing some of these ideas can free your head and heart to enjoy the gift that is home.