Have you noticed that as the day drags on, it often gets harder to make decisions? As exhaustion and stress from the day build up, the later it gets, the less I even care about what's for dinner. Even choosing mindless tv to unwind with can become too tedious.
That’s because we all have a finite amount of decisions that we can make in any given day.
Simply knowing that fact can help us prioritize day to day.
We can cut out a lot of decision making by implementing habits and routines. By structuring routines into our day and habits into our lifestyle, it creates more opportunity for better decision making when the important questions arise. It also frees brain space for more creative and productive thinking.
Routines are great tools that simplify our lives and help eliminate daily stress.
Chances are you already have a morning routine, whether it's intentionally planned or not. For me, that typically means waking up just before the baby so I can grab my coffee, prep his breakfast and quietly work on my blog. You might jump in the shower before you even turn on the coffee pot to feel ready for the day.
Regardless of how short or intricate your routine currently is, think about how you could expand it a little bit each day to simplify even more.
For instance, some professional moms swear by a capsule wardrobe. They have a few key pieces that mix and match well together. Just by creating this “uniform” for yourself, you not only save time, but you also eliminate a minor decision that has to be made each day.
Implement some routines into your workday wherever possible.
Aside from your typical morning routine, another easy and popular routine to implement is weekly meal planning. By sitting down just once on a weekend, you can schedule family meals for the entire week. Not only does this minimize at least three decisions a day, but it also adds efficiency to your week. One day of grocery shopping can save time by having everything you need ready to go. It often even leads to healthier meal decisions. (Knowing you have to use that chicken in the fridge can stop you from making the “easy” choice to pull into a fast food spot!)
Another routine that can help everyone in the family is having a standard cleaning schedule. Whether it's a chore chart, checklist or even hired help (lucky!) knowing when you regularly clean certain rooms in the house is an easy routine to enhance your lifestyle. Ensure you stay on track with household chores without spending valuable decision making skills in the process.
By the end of the day, it's time to unwind and relax. That means having an evening routine and bedtime habits. By structuring a bedtime routine, you stay on track when you’re too tired to make smart choices. It also helps your body to fall asleep more easily. Less decisions in the evening means less stress and can help your brain “power down” before sleep.
Small Habits to Make Routine Today
Start by doing a few chores at night that make the next morning easier.
Small process like putting the dishes in the dishwasher and wiping down the kitchen island can make your morning coffee that much more relaxing the next day.
When you know waking the kids in the morning and getting the family out the door is always hectic, double check the backpacks and supplies at night to save yourself ten minutes and a lot of unnecessary morning stress.
At night, find a few calming things that help you slow down and prepare for sleep. Read a book, listen to some music or wind down with a cup of herbal tea.
Mom Has The Last Word
Sit down with paper and a pen and think about what parts of your day and week you can turn into routines. Write them down, then work to create daily to-do lists for yourself until you’ve established these new habits and routines.
Spending a little bit of time creating routines and habits will make your day run much more smoothly.
You might just find yourself less stressed and get more done during your productive hours. And that’s a beautiful thing. It allows you to save plenty of decision making for the fun stuff like figuring out what park to go to, what family movie to watch or what board game to play.