Friday, October 27, 2017

Things I Make Sure I Do Daily

I love a good routine, that's no secret.  I love when things run smoothly and I love organization, so routines are right up my alley.  It's easy enough to plan out the big time blocks in my day (commuting time, work time, sleep), but I try to make sure to fit in certain small things that I know from experience make my entire day so much better.

Here are the 18 things I noticed I make sure I do every day because I believe they make my day so much better - happier, more smoothly, more productive and less chaotic.  I tried to put them in order from morning to evening:

Get Up Earlier.  I wouldn't say I'm a morning person - I don't particularly enjoy them - but I get a lot done if I get up an hour or more before I need to be out the door for work.  I leave around 7.  I can make that just fine if I get up at 6:30 (let's be honest, I can still make it if I get up at 6:50), but I'm much more productive and less frazzled if I get up by 6.  Most days I can't really sleep in past John leaving, so I'm up by 5:30.

Make Coffee.  I'm a more pleasant person to be around after I've had my morning coffee, and it just makes me feel better myself.  More awake, alert, focused, and, if I wait too long, I get a headache.  So it's best to just do it first thing!

Kiss John.  Awww.  But it does happen, every morning, unless he's at the firehouse 2 days in a row.   We always kiss in the morning before he goes off to work, because I won't see him again until the next morning on fire days!

Wear Something I Love.  It took awhile to get good at this, and I still don't love every single thing in my wardrobe (I hate pants but, Chicago.  It's unavoidable.)  But with my downsized wardrobe, it's super easy to get dressed in the morning - I never change outfits or spend tons of time deciding what to wear, what fits, what looks good, what's comfortable, etc., etc.  If you waste time on those decisions, I highly recommend you clean your closet.  You don't need the minimal wardrobe I have, but you shouldn't have anything in your closet you wouldn't want to have to reach a hand in, pull out, and wear immediately.

Take Time to For Making To Do Lists.  I actually try to do this the night before, but at the very least, my day has to begin with making a to do list.  I use the Reminders app on my phone and just systematically check things off throughout the day.  But regardless of when in the day a task actually gets done, once I get it out of my head and onto a list, I feel so much better.

Delete Unnecessary Tasks From the List.  When I'm feeling overwhelmed, behind, or just in a bad mood in general, I delete things from that to do list.  Or at least move them to the 'eventually' list.  It's a great feeling to free up some time in my day by simply recognizing that a task doesn't have to get done rightthissecond.  Plus it narrows my focus to the important things on the list, and I feel good when I get those done rather than bad that I didn't get to everything else.

Clear Out My Inbox.  Inbox Zero makes me so happy!  I try to tackle e-mails first thing in the morning, for all of my inboxes (personal, blog, and work), right when I get to the office.  It's easy to go through and delete and sort things without having to do too much thinking, and then I can save the e-mails I actually need to respond to for later in the day.  I get all my inboxes cleared out by the end of every day.

Drink Lots of Water.  It's easiest for me to track my water intake while at work because I have the bottle with the markings on the side to see how many ounces it is.  I figure if I get all my required water in while sitting at my desk, anything else consumed at home is icing on the cake.  Gotta drink your water.  Makes everything better - skin, weight, energy, etc etc, just drink it.  Half your body weight in ounces, at least.

Write a Blog Post and/or Check Goals Lists.  Doing something midday that isn't all about my job keeps me focused.  I take regular breaks (just 5 to 10 minutes at the end of an hour) and use that time to write blog posts if I'm in the mood, and if not, to check my goals lists and plan for checking those off.  Generally just things that take my mind off work but still allow me to be productive in some way.  I stay motivated and efficient, but not burnt out.

Hang Out With My Dog.  You can't hang out with Hawkeye and not be happy, it's not possible.  We walk every day when I get home from work, but if it's raining (she refuses to get wet) or too cold, we play for awhile inside until she gives up, and then we relax together.

Light a Candle.  I light a Bath and Body Works 3 wick candle every single day when Hawkeye and I return from our walk.  I love the flickering light and I love the way it makes the house smell.  Everything about candles makes me feel better, they're so cozy.

Do a Load of Laundry.  Although I do sheets and towels on Sundays, I've realized that I don't really enjoy doing the clothing laundry on top of that, all the same day.  It usually means I spend an hour folding and putting things away on Sunday evenings, and I hate that.  So I just do it throughout the week.  To be clear, it's all John's clothes, because I (a) re-wear things and (b) can fit everything I wear in 1 week into a single load on Friday or Saturday.  John, however, changes clothes 3 times a day usually (work clothes, workout clothes, pjs, and he never re-wears things) so there's usually a load that can be done every day except Mondays.  I start it in the wash when I get home/after walking Hawkeye, move it to the dryer after dinner, and put it away before bed.  It's a good system, and it makes me feel very productive in a day.

Take a Shower.  I was just discussing with Tara how we'll totally have lazy weekends and not leave the house and completely forget about showering until Sunday evening.  Whoops!  It happens.  But during the week, I definitely feel better after I shower - like I'm more able to relax.  (Unless it's a hair washing day and then there's nothing happy about that.  I try to save those for weekends.)

Take Some Time to Relax.  I usually have a little time in my evenings to relax in some way.  If the time is right before bed, I read.  But if John and I are having dinner, we'll watch TV and lay around for a bit.  I need those few minutes in my evenings to wind down.  I don't let it get crazy (reading for an hour is okay, watching TV for an hour is a mindless soul-sucking waste of time, but that's just me!  I save my binge watching for sick weekends.)

Take My Vitamins.  I take them at night because some vitamins (D, for example) are fat-soluable, meaning that you need to take them with some fats in order for them to absorb in your body.  I generally don't eat anything fatty in the mornings (I don't eat anything at all in the mornings, it is what it is.) but I do with dinner, whether that's avocado, something cooked in olive oil, ice cream, etc.  I can tell a difference when I take them, in my hair and nails especially, but also in my overall mood and energy levels, so I try to be good about this!  If you want a 'supplements guide for vegetarians/vegans,' let me know and I'll work on it.

Clean Up the Main Living Areas.  Clutter attracts clutter, so I don't like to leave things out on surfaces.  One paper on the dining room table will be 27 by tomorrow morning.  It's science, or something.  So after dinner, I make sure all the living areas are cleaned up.  It's just the two of us and Hawkeye, so that means just the basement entertainment area on most days and the dining table, which is the drop zone when we walk in the door.

Clean the Kitchen.  The kitchen must be clean before bed, it's non-negotiable.  Waking up to a dirty kitchen, where there's dishes in the sink and the dishwasher is full of dirty dishes, and the counters aren't clear, it's all just the worst.  You can't make breakfast, you can't get to the coffee, it starts the whole day on the wrong foot.  So I always make sure the kitchen is clean before bed, and then I know I can sleep peacefully.

Go to Bed Early.  If I want to get up early and be productive, I have to go to bed early.  Which means winding down early so I can sleep well through the night.  Luckily, Hawkeye has a strict bedtime and she'll start herding me towards the bedroom when it's time.  And then she gets in her water bed and sighs dramatically until I turn off the lights and no, I'm not kidding.

And that's the little details of my day!  What do you make sure you do every day?  Anything that's on my list?

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