Monday, April 28, 2008

Productivity for mums - The importance of a routine, Part 1

Today I'm blogging about my routine. I touched briefly on the importance of a routine in Productivity for mums - the first part and went into some more detail in The importance of a routine for children. Today I was reminded of the importance of my routine. We went away for the weekend, leaving on Friday, so I had to push my usual Friday activities to Thursday. This wasn't such a big deal.

The problems began when I wasn't able to do my Saturday routine, and were then exacerbated when The Engineer (who had the day off school) and I decided to spend some quality time in town this morning. I have arrived at Monday evening having to raid the “emergency supplies” in the pantry rather than coming home from swimming lessons to the lovely smell of my planned dinner bubbling away in the crock pot. Tomorrow I'll need to catch up on what I should have done on Saturday and some of today. I don't feel as in control as I would had I been chugging along doing my routine, and that makes me stressed (ever so slightly).

I find that it is important to have daily and weekly routines. Sometimes they need to be shuffled around, but as you can see, if I don't stick broadly to my plans I get into a bit of a kerfuffle. I don't however, have everything planned down to the last detail. That too would send me around the twist. Instead I set a day for particular activities, largely dependent on what taxi-ing of children I need to do. Besides the children, the major cornerstone of my week is grocery shopping. I visit two grocery stores, a fruit and veg shop and a butcher, so to avoid multiple trips I need to be organised. This gives me the skeleton of my routine.

For instance, on Mondays my kids are at school, kinder (am) and childcare (am). I generally help out at school for about 90 minutes in the morning and then tend to my kinder committee duties until lunch time. Then after school we have swimming lessons. This means a couple of things: I don't have time for errands on Mondays and dinner can be a rush. So Monday's routine, apart from what I've already listed, is to clean my floors and a prepare crock pot meal for dinner. I will also do at least one load of washing, as there tends to be a bit of a build up from the weekend :-)

The great thing about routines is after you've been doing them for a little while, they start to become second nature - an automatic part of your day. And we could all do with a few less things on our minds! Next time in Productivity for mums, I'll share some other tips that helped when I was setting up my routines and show you what my week looks like.

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