Thursday, October 23, 2014

One Simple Question To Help Your Daily Routine Go Better

A few weeks ago I shared at a retreat about organizing and evaluating our daily routines to make the most of them. My natural tendency is to organize. It runs in my blood. Yet I know that most people hear the word "organize" and cringe. Whether you enjoy organizing or not, our daily routines are full of little tasks that done over and over again can really add up and either waste our time or add joy to it. 

Time is, after all, a great treasure. 

It is definitely worth it to assess our daily routines or even weekly routines and see what's working and what's not working. Sometimes you simply need to ask yourself one question.

1) When I think about my daily routine what is one little thing that I need to stop doing? 

As I was preparing my notes for the retreat, I realized that I had to stop and think a little bit about my answer. I wasn't quite sure. OK, I knew right away that I needed to stop scrolling on my phone so much (it is like a disease!) but I needed something smaller to assess that I could make a noticeable change to stop doing and feel accomplished from (the next step is eliminating the scrolling...)

And then just like every other Sunday morning for the past four years I opened the front door and was greeted by the Sunday paper. However, my reaction made me know right away that I needed to stop getting the Sunday paper.

Why? Because there was instant dread as soon as I saw it. It felt like just one more thing that I "needed to do." Pull out the coupons, thumb through the ads so I'm not missing any "super deals" and then put the rest into recycling. 

every.single.time

Sure this whole process only takes me about five minutes in my week but it was just "another" thing that was taking up my time (and mind!) in a way that clearly wasn't bringing joy and that I realized I was actually dreading. (Not to mention all of the money I might save by NOT seeing the "super deals!")

Maybe it is because Sunday mornings are our time to rest and seeing that paper was a reminder that I have one more thing to deal with...and can't possibly take time to rest (insert little angel on my shoulder saying..."even God rested.")

At one time I was also an avid couponer. Getting a Sunday paper with coupon inserts was like receiving GOLD because I knew the value that was contained in its pages. Yet many years later our family size has grown along with my time commitments and couponing has felt more like a chore than a blessing. So much so that I don't do it but hadn't taken the time to realize that I could probably save myself the trouble of getting the Sunday paper.

I came home from the retreat, pulled out my coupon basket and started sorting... 


Nothing like finding coupons that expired over three years ago.


I cleaned out all of the expired coupons and suddenly my basket was nearly empty. 


The funny thing is that after getting back from the retreat I received the renewal letter for the Sunday paper. With one great big smile I put it in the recycling bin. 

Not only did I gain some time back into my routine but now my mind and house are free from the clutter of that task as well. Who knew eliminating a five minute a week task could be so liberating!!!

What will be the next thing this question will be applied to?!?

So let me ask you, when you think about your daily routine what is one little thing that you need to stop doing?

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3 comments:

  1. I love this question. I actually love reading the Sunday paper, but have recently stopped clipping coupons. Organizing them and then remembering to use them just seemed like a hassle. In addition, I usually ended up buying things that I wouldn't normally put on my shopping list. I feel relieved to have taken this chore off my to-do list!

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  2. I'm right there with you! I stopped getting the Sunday paper in April because I felt it was consuming precious time on Sunday and kind of exhausting me by letting me know how many deals I "needed" to get. So I cancelled the paper and have been fine...until I renewed with a groupon deal a few weeks ago...and instantly remembered exactly why I gave it up in the first place: it takes over and makes me feel like I am always just a little bit behind the deal-hunting game. Blurg. I thought it might just be me, so I'm glad you shared your thoughts so I know I'm not alone! Thank you :)

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  3. I tried, at one point, keeping up with all the grocery ads in our area...and it was just too overwhelming! Yeah, getting things for cheap was nice, but I was going out of my way to buy them and making extra trips, and using way more gas than I normally would, which was wasting money anyway!
    The thing I need to stop doing is in my day is taking breaks on the couch! Just this morning, I figured I would decide my plan of attack while catching up on Instagram...only to wake up two hours later, phone still in hand! I've been trying to train myself that the couch is for evenings only, and it hasn't been working out well!

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