Did you ever feel like everything is out of control? That you have too much to do in such a little time? Having to juggle your priorities so you can deal with your work and personal lives? Well, you’re not alone.
Whether you’re the one going through a tough time or supporting someone else through this ordeal, the first step for getting out of this destructive cycle of bad habits is defining where you’ll start.
Getting yourself from point A to point B where you have a better grip on everything won’t happen overnight and it’s ok if you don’t know where to start – we’ve all been there at a certain point.
The modern life stress may make you want to disappear from time to time, and that’s also fine, it happens to all of us. Truth of the matter is that, once it’s over, we see we’ve made a huge mess out of something that wasn’t that big to begin with.
To get yourself back on track, always keep in mind that big changes happen gradually. Changing simple habits such as the ones we’ll talk about in this article are a great way of getting your like back on track.
5 Simple Habits to Improve your Routine
Make a to-do list
Yes, that’s it, a simple to-do list can be extremely useful in making your day easier. Make it a habit of listing all you have to do on the next day before going to bed. Having a written plan will make you feel more motivated in the morning and give you that extra boost for achieving your daily goals.
Stop procrastinating stuff you don’t want to do, such as taking your car to the carwash, organizing your closet, fixing a broken window or even sending some emails. Take them out of the eternal ‘on hold’ zone and put them on your daily list.
Be realistic with your goals, though. Don’t overestimate yourself by having a ‘doable’ number of items on your list. By setting realistic expectations you’re preventing disappointment and, don’t ever forget, you won’t be able to finish something unless you’ve started it.
Make your bed
You may think that making your bed is an irrelevant task, since you probably spend most of your day outside your bedroom and, when you get back you’ll just mess it up again.
However, if you determine making the bed is your first goal of each day, you’ll feel a lot more motivated knowing you’ve already crossed an item off your list as soon as you got out of bed and made it.
If you establish making your bed as a daily morning ritual you’ll soon be able to see the difference in your morale: you’ll feel accomplished, organized and even more motivated to cross all other items from your list.
Dress to impress
Feeling blue in the morning might make you feel indifferent towards what you’re wearing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re dressing to go to work or the grocery shop at the corner, always remember to value the way you look by dressing something that makes you feel well.
Even though it may seem impossible to make any creative decisions early in the morning, thinking about possible clothes combinations may ignite your productivity for the day. Besides that, feeling well dressed and looking good will make you feel a lot better throughout the day.
If you’re staying at home all day, ditch the PJ’s and find something else that’s just as comfortable – but won’t make you feel like staying in bed all day.
Don’t let your laundry pile up
Are you the type of person that accumulates the laundry during the week (or even the month!) so you can take care of it during the weekend? It’s not unusual to let stuff accumulate and we all know how frustrating it can be to have to deal with everything at once.
Sticking to the laundry example, instead of letting your clothes pile up and having to deal with three or four loads at the same time, try having a smaller laundry basket and making it a habit of doing laundry before it starts overflowing. This will make you feel accomplished and help save your weekend time for more entertaining activities.
Keep your kitchen clean
Did you ever get the impression that if your kitchen is messy, the rest of the house feels messy as well? When you look round and feel like everything is messy, it brings your mood down and you’ll automatically feel like everything’s a big mess.
The kitchen is normally the part of the house we spend more time cleaning so this is the place that should be cleaned more often. Separate a small portion of your day for small tasks, such as cleaning the sink, then the cabinets, the oven, etc.
These tasks don’t need to be done all at once – establish a system that suits your routine better. For example, make it a habit of putting the plates back in the cabinet while you wait for your coffee to be ready.
Bonus: have some ‘me time’
This is the bonus item of our list of simple habits: your day won’t actually be ‘yours’ unless you’ve done something for yourself. It can be something simple such as reading a few pages of a good book, talking to a friend, listening to music, writing on your journal…whatever makes you happy. And make sure you enjoy those 15-20 minutes, you’ve earned them!
Now what? It’s time to adapt all those simple habit ideas to your reality. If you’re still uncertain about how simple these habits can actually be, let’s see a few examples on how you can take advantage of these ideas and incorporate them into your routine. You won’t regret it!
Example: Morning routine
- As soon as you wake up, get out of bed (without hitting snooze 17 times), make the bed and go to the kitchen;
- While your coffee is brewing, put the dishes back in the cabinets or clean the sink;
- Spend 10 minutes (or a little longer) reading the news, going through your daily to-do list or playing sudoku while having breakfast;
- Take a shower, style your hair, shave / put your makeup on and dress something you feel good in;
- Do the breakfast dishes (don’t wait until the sink is overflowing)
- Go to work feeling accomplished and ready to cross more items off your daily list.