Basic Week Plan to the Rescue!

Womanneeds a routineThere are two kinds of people – those that love routines and those that don’t. Which are you?

If you don’t love routines, it may be because you feel they are too restrictive, too boring or just too hard. After all, who wants to do something 66 times before it becomes automatic?

However, if you know the value of routines, then you probably appreciate the automaticity of it – following through without any real effort or brain power. Routines can keep your life on track when everything around you is falling apart. Instead of constantly trying to juggle all that is on your plate, a routine can add structure to your day and save you time, effort and money.

Routines

The most common routines are the morning, or get out of the house routine, and an evening, get ready for bed routine. There are all kinds of routines and frequencies for doing them. I encourage the students I work with to create a homework routine. They think of all the steps they should take before, during and after homework and then combine them into a routine that works for them. It may include what to do when they get home such as having a snack, taking an activity break, a body check, checking the agenda and deciding what’s important – all before even getting started. Students save themselves time by addressing all the usual distractions like hunger, thirst, feeling tired, and the “I don’t know where to start”, dilemma.

Create A Basic Week Plan

You can do the same thing by creating a routine for the things you do during your week. I call it a “basic week plan”, because it tells me when to do the basic things each week. Start with a list of the things you spend time doing throughout a typical week for yourself and your family; things like laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying, etc. If you’ve ever had to run to the grocery store for something you need for dinner that is already late, or had to pay a late fee, or missed the return window on an item that you don’t want, you know it can disrupt your day and steal valuable time you could use for yourself.

Now that you have your list, decide which day of the week would fit with your regular schedule rather than having “urgency” dictate the use of your time.

Match the task to a day:

Task                                                             Day

Laundry                                                            Monday

Groceries/Meal Planning                              Tuesday

Cleaning                                                           Wednesday

Errands                                                             Thursday

Mail/Paperwork                                              Friday

Organizing/Planning/Household Maintenance

Once you decide on the day of the week, try it out. See what it feels like to get the big stuff done during the week and have your weekend for fun and relaxation.

With fewer random or spontaneous tasks and errands taking up what little free time you have in your life, you may find the benefits of a basic week plan far outweigh the rigidity you think of in a routine. And wouldn’t it be nice to reduce the stress and the hurry in your day and to also have some time for yourself?

Recap:

  • Routines add structure to your day
  • Routines take less brain power and prevent decision fatigue
  • Routines, like a basic week plan, save you time and effort by minimizing extra errands and last-minute trips
  • Routines save money
  • Routines keep life moving even through the bumpy times

What do you need a routine for?

Pick A Slice of ADHD Pie

Pick a slice of life with ADHD pie

January, the start of a new year. There is so much media attention on resolutions, themes, words of the year, etc. that we can easily be overwhelmed and feel like our life with ADHD is not measuring up. Well, I for one, don’t make resolutions – mostly because in the past, they never worked. I also don’t need to wait until January 1st to make a change. However, I also know that making too many changes at once….is probably not going to turn out well. So, this year, let’s try something different. Let’s pick a slice of ADHD pie to get started.

New Approach

You may have seen other “Life Wheels” similar to the one above. I designed this one with categories that relate to areas that can be challenging (or mostly ignored) for those living with ADHD.
The idea is to picture each piece of pie as being divided into 10 sections from the point in the middle to the outside edge. Ask yourself where you would rate yourself for each category from zero to ten. For example, the health category (and feel free to change these to match the areas of your life) how would you rate your health right now? Let’s say it is a 6. Mark off where a “6” might land on the pie and draw a slightly curved line to connect across. Then continue to all the other categories. Some areas may be rated higher than others. This is just a visual way to indicate areas for improvement (or for growth as coaches would say). Pick an area to focus on. Which one (yes, just one) of these will improve your life with ADHD?

Coach Yourself

        1. What would it take to bring that number closer to a 10?
        2. Why is this area important to me?
        3. What impact will an 8 or a 10 in this area have?
        4. What can I do to improve in this area? (Brainstorm all ideas)
        5. What three things can I do to make a difference in this area?

Action

        1. Pick a simple, single step action to take.
        2. When will I take this action? (Put it in your planner or phone)
        3. What can I do to make this step easier?
        4. How will I reward myself at the end of the month?
Using our example from the health category, maybe I make a healthy meal plan before I go to the grocery store. Or put my workout clothes out the night before or will I take a walk at lunch time? All simple things, that are being blocked out by other less important things or the busyness of my day. If I really want that 6 to get to an 8, then it starts…..tomorrow:-) How about you? Please share your thoughts and strategies on our Facebook page.
Related Articles from the Archives:
Look Back Before You Leap Forward in 2022
Routines, Rituals and Dopamine, Oh Yeah!

What Can You Do in 100 Days?

January 20, 2021, Inauguration day, was the start of President Biden’s term as the 46th President. He has mentioned that he has  an ambitious plan for his first 100 days. That got me thinking why not create my own 100-day plan? Think of all that you could do/change/create or improve in 100 days. What would that feel like?

What better time to start fresh, clean out the clutter, establish new healthy habits, add some volunteering time or just add some structure back into your day than January (which is officially Get Organized Month).  We are still in the midst of the pandemic and many of us are spending more time at home. We all have our own burdens and losses but today I felt a sense of hope and a pervasive calm that I haven’t felt in a long time. If you are not feeling it maybe it is time for a change. Change starts small and builds. Everyone can take baby steps in the direction of their dreams and it can start today.

Step 1: What is your intention for 2021 (or more manageably) the first quarter of 2021? An intention is defined by Google as, “a thing intended; an aim or plan.” Living with intention means living a more balanced “on purpose” life that you are directing. It is turning off the autopilot and making conscious choices about how you want your life to be. Or an intention can just be the state of mind you want to focus on.

The cover of my new planner from (www.plumpaper.com ) says “Make today count” and I picked it because it was the message for my year and also because I could create the calendar part to work for me. (You can design your planner to fit your needs.) It has places for the top two priorities for the day and a space for the goal for the week. I added in a habit tracker where I can check off the days, I keep that intention.

Step 2: If organization has been a struggle for you then start by creating routines. If your routine includes emptying the sink of dishes before going to bed, then you are building your organization muscle at the same time that you are managing your time and energy. Soon you may discover the dishes go straight into the dishwasher and don’t collect in the sink. Adding a 10-minute pick up to your evening routine can help make your mornings run smoothly. No more searching for the car keys or important bill because they are in their places. What would make a successful routine for you?

Step 3: Choice Architecture. I love that term but it doesn’t really seem to mean what I think it should. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by too many choices and as the day wears on our decision-making power can get used up, making it more difficult to make decisions. Choice architecture is about designing the environment so you don’t have to choose. Setting up things so you have no choice like workout clothes on the end of your bed or that big project laid out on your desk or connecting new behaviors to already established habits so that when you brush your teeth you also drink a glass of water (or whatever it is you want to do).

Start small and just keep moving in the right direction. Keep your intention in focus, keep tweaking your routines until they REALLY work for you and set your environment up for success. If you miss a day, forgive yourself and start again. The new research says it takes 66 times of doing something before it becomes a habit. If you need ideas or strategies to help, I will be posting to FaceBook daily tips for the next 100 days so check us out there.

Summer Solutions to Organization

summer-beach-graphicTwo questions for you. First, what does organization mean to you? Second, what does summer mean to you? To me, those two questions go together because if you’re organized there is a better chance that you can take advantage of all the things that summer has to offer. It takes planning and keeping up with the things that we usually do on the weekend and handling them during the week in order to have your weekends free to do what makes you happy.

Do you have systems for:

  • meal planning and grocery shopping?
  • bills, paperwork and email?
  • laundry?
  • projects?
  • planning your week?

Can you find what you need when you need it or do you need to….

  • de-clutter?
  • organize?
  • simplify?

If time just seems to slip away and you feel like it is a struggle to make it through the week, then it is time to get organized!

June will be here in two days and that means that the warm weather is on its way. Although yesterday it was 47° here in the Boston area, today we are a bit more hopeful as the sun is out and the thermometer is crawling its way to 60. Will this be the summer you get organized and have more fun?

If you answered “yes” then let’s talk or send me an email and see how our Summer Solutions Program can help you make the most of this summer. laine@laineslogic.com or (781)659-0513. Hurry- time flies!