I feel like a few times a year I fall off of the productivity train, where my life goes from organized to messy and chaotic. I notice this happens most after I travel – the week prior to leaving, I’m constantly checking things off of my to-do list, but upon returning suitcase stays packed, meal planning is a mess, and I generally feel overwhelmed.
Since I am currently in between trips, and also just returning back to school for the better part of 18 months, I have been diligently trying to maintain order and productivity amid my busy schedule. I know many others are in a similar boat, as more and more employees are returning to work and we are all saying goodbye to the carefree days of summer. With a new season around the corner, I thought I’d share some tips I’ve learned about staying productive and what I’m doing to give my routine a refresh this fall.
Prep For the Week: I have found that if I don’t prepare for the week ahead prior to Monday, there is a 0% chance that the week will run smoothly. It reminds me so much of how I used to get ready for grade school the night before, but it honestly is such a good practice. This includes packing my lunch (usually the night before’s leftovers!), laying out my clothes, as well as planning our dinners for the week.
Clean Your Surroundings: Before we travel, I have been adamant about making sure our home is clean before we leave. This includes running the vacuum, wiping down counters, and picking up the assortment of things that find their way to our coffee table and stairs. Jody used to always question my motive behind cleaning a house we are about to leave, but it makes such a different upon our return. Especially if there is a tight turn around before the next big thing, a clean space amid luggage, bags and mail makes for a smooth transition.
Stay On Top of Laundry: There is nothing more chaotic than rushing to find something to wear to learn nothing is clean. I try to keep my laundry day the same each week, but in busy seasons, that is easier said than done. Thinking ahead on when would be the most convenient time to do laundry can help (for us this week, we only had one night to chose from!). Or, if you are really crushed for time, take it to a laundry mat like The Clothes Spin. This 24/7 laundry mat near Appomattox, has efficient equipment, including large capacity washers, which will help get the job done quickly.
Feed Your Soul: We’ve all heard the saying that we can’t give from an empty cup, and it also applies to your productivity. Scheduling some time for the things that fire you up is a great way to not only find motivation, which will help get back into the swing of things, but will also prevent burnout. Go for a walk, read a book, or take a nap if that’s what you need!
Be Consistent: The only way to find success and be productive is consistency. Admittedly, I too struggle with this, especially when a week is particularly busy or I’m feeling a bit tired. But creating routines takes effort and these habits won’t stick without some sort of pattern. I find it best to designate a day of the week to complete a specific tasks, and then make sure I actually do it!
These habits have really helped me refresh my routine as I transition back to work this fall. I’d love to hear if you have any special tips of your own! Share them in comments below.
*Thanks to The Clothes Spin for sponsoring this post.