Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Toothbrush Tuesday?

Toothbrush tasks are "chores" that should never make it to your daily to do list.  One of the most helpful things you can do to "get organized" is to create routines for repeated and maintenance tasks. You could post them on the wall, or on your lists at , or in a routine planning notebook. The goal is that things like "Vacuum"(or have someone do it) and "Pay the Bills" are replaced with larger, more meaningful projects on your to-do list!

It takes time to develop good routines if you have never had many before. It is easy to develop poor habits which keep you in fire drill mode all the time. The physical and mental effects of constantly putting yourself under this stress can be unbearable.

A great mentor of mine once said something like this: "If you keep making goals for yourself without being nice enough to yourself to accomplish them, you are literally taking a stab at your own self-esteem!" At that time, I was terrified of "setting" goals, and would rather look back and see what was magically accomplished!

Now, I know that to wish, want, and hope for massive change is lying to yourself. It's okay to honestly assess where you are: the key is to let it spur you to action, not trigger your "I stink, what's the use!"

Do you honestly put "brush teeth" on your to do list? I think most of us who are healthy and blessed do not. How about your young child, though? Do you have a checklist for her to follow so you can get out the door in the morning? If you don't, the exercise of developing a routine checklist for your child (and patiently teaching it to them at some other time than the morning!) may inspire you to create your own, not to mention relieve the morning race of stress!

The side benefit of consciously creating and editing your routines is that you free up time for things that are nagging at your mind:  rearrange the linen closet, put away the summer clothes, move that piece of furniture, etc...

Sit down and write out a list of what you would love your ideal weekly routines to be, and put it into a notebook. Next, choose ONE thing that you are not accomplishing now and work on that this month. This may be, "I will not go to bed without doing the dishes," or, "I will make out a grocery list and menu plan on Friday no matter what," or, "I will spend 15 minutes a day doing exercise and stretching."

Don't look back in your notebook after making your list. Instead, start planning everything that needs to happen to make the one thing you have chosen happen! Work at it until the end of the month, and when you go back to the notebook at the end of the month, you may be surprised!

Things to Remember:

1. Toothbrush Tasks are not To-Do's! If you are stuck on them, you are not getting anywhere.
2. Don't be hard on yourself! Don't say, "Ugh! I am not getting anywhere!" Instead, say, "Since I haven't been getting anywhere, I have decided to start with this one thing!"
3. Beware of overwhelm! Get inspired to start adding routines, but don't be too hard on yourself as you change and grow!

Did you brush your teeth?

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