By Pure Matters
More than anything, last-minute, unexpected errands can create unnecessary noise in your day. By planning ahead you can avoid this stress. First, declare a shopping day. This is the day you put on your calendar to shop and if you are prepared with a good shopping list you can avoid having to run out to get paprika, soccer treats or whatever at the last minute. Make two lists of things you buy regularly, one for online and one for off. Include all the spices and products you use, even unusual ones as well as common items your family eats, such as rice or peanut butter. And include items you might need for a special occasion, like brownie ingredients. Post them on your refrigerator or in your phone, or wherever it is handy. When you are close to running out of an item, mark it on the list. When shopping day arrives your lists are ready for you. No thinking or inventory required.
Manage Your Inbox
Whether it’s your paper or digital inbox don’t treat it as a file cabinet. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard comes from a book I read a long time ago (Taming the Paper Tiger). They recommended keeping a garbage can right by your mailbox. When your mail comes in, go through it all at once. Mail you know you don’t want to open goes into the trash immediately. Open the rest, discard what you don’t need … again, right away. What’s left gets acted upon or filed right away. This applies easily to your email in-box, as well. It means you have to set aside a little time to deal with it but it keeps you from building big “I’ll get to this later” and “sort through soon” piles.
Although multi-tasking seems like a way to fit more in your day, put brackets around certain things. Set times aside during which no email, phone or texting is allowed. Set other times to deal specifically with email or phone calls. Give undivided attention to story time, dinner time, workout time or whatever-important -thing time. The rest of the day, go ahead and multi-task but make definite “on” and “off” periods and you’ll be surprised at the streamlined results.
Putting off things you know you have to do just keeps your to-do list longer than it has to be. It also clutters up your mind with things that will nag at you until they are done. Instead of thinking about that task that you have to do and why you don’t want to do it or why you aren’t doing it, just do it.
Carve Out 10 Minutes of Quiet Time
Time in the car by yourself doesn’t count. Find 10 minutes … only 10 minutes … where you don’t think of anything. No lists, no worries, no planning. You will see how grounding this can be and how it allows you to focus on what is important during other parts of your day. Some people meditate. Some just set a timer for 10 minutes and sit. Some find it easier to settle their mind by taking a walk. Most find it easier to set time aside earlier in the day rather than later. But all who do it agree that, if done regularly, it really works.
Get Enough Sleep
Without enough sleep you can become frazzled and trying to organize basic tasks becomes more difficult. There are lots of reasons people don’t get enough sleep. I have tended to sacrifice sleep because there are so many things I want to do in a day and I have trouble winding down. It’s helped me to prioritize sleep (amazingly, I still get lots done!). And to wind down I find that taking a magnesium supplement in the evening does the trick. There are tons of types of magnesium out there but magnesium citrate is a highly absorbable form. And since it also helps my bones and muscles too, I figure it is a win, win, win for me!