Our first step, thought, action, etc should always be Jesus. Ok, I'll admit that when I open my eyes in the morning my first thought isn't about Jesus. It's usually- did I wake up before the girls. But, once I collect myself a little, I always try and pray for a few minutes. I find my courage and commit my day to God. I pray for His will to be done during the day and if that means rearranging my schedule, then so be it. When I skip this step, I usually do not have a good productive day.
2. Start Early
I'm not a morning person. I've finally embraced this. I'm not the type of mom who's up before the kids, dressed, fed, and ready to go when their feet hit the floor. And that's ok. There are lots of women out there that can do that and it works well for them. It doesn't for me. But, once I'm up and going with the girls, I kill my day if I sit down right after breakfast is over. Because then I stay sitting and nothing gets done. I start on my to do list as soon as breakfast is over or as soon as we get home from dropping off at school. It gets the momentum going and I accomplish more.
3. The 10 o'clock Rule
I saw this idea on another blog, and for the life of me, I have no idea which blog it was. (if you know, tell me and I'll credit this idea). If you menu plan like me, this isn't very hard to do. It's just simply knowing exactly what's for dinner by 10 am. When you do this, there's no surprises at 5pm when the meat is still frozen or you're missing a key ingredient.
Also, if you're a working mom, or doing weight watchers, or counting calories, or really just want to take the stress out, I would say do this at 10pm the night before. Plan exactly what your meals will be for the next day and have things prepped and ready to go. If you pack your lunch for work or the kids lunch for school, have them partially packed and ready to go for the AM.
4. Write Stuff Down
5. Have a Flexible Schedule
We're semi scheduled during the school year just because of Emmy's school schedule. She goes to school 3 days a week, so we plan around that. But, normally we know that Wednesday is also Library day and Friday is grocery day. I schedule specific things on specific days so that life just runs more smoothly. I plan on doing this during our summer break too. Certain days will be different things- water day, library day, beach day, etc. A routine like this helps my girls too. They know exactly what's going to happen and when. Obviously, don't pin yourself down so much that you create stress with rigidity. If you have to switch things up, no big deal. This is life. It's fluid and not perfect.
6. Schedule Downtime in Your Day
From 1pm-2pm there's a good chance I'm sitting in our big brown chair in the living room drinking a cup of coffee. And doing nothing except Facebook, Pinterest, or reading a book. And ya know what? That's ok. That hour and cup of coffee help me reset for the afternoon. If I take that hour to refresh then I'm good to go for the rest of the day. If your day is scheduled, work in some downtime. A few days a week I use this time as "quiet time" for my girls. I have specific toys, books, puzzles they only see during quiet time. Emmy uses this time to work on writing her letters or "homework" from school and Macie normally colors or looks at books. If I haven't worked it in earlier in the day, I use this time for my Bible study time.
7. Clean your "stress space" before bed.
I HATE going to bed with a sink of dishes. My morning just runs so much more smooth when I come into a clean kitchen. When I'm trying to pull myself together for the day, it starts me off on the wrong foot when I walk into dirty clutter. So, I've been trying to make a point to get the dishes washed, the counters clear and clean, laundry off the floor (my laundry is in my kitchen), and my floors swept before I head to bed. Makes a big difference in the way my next day starts.
Well, there ya have it. 7 things I do to help my most undisciplined life run more smoothly. Although, I don't want to leave this unsaid-
There are areas of our life that may perhaps always be undisciplined. And discipline looks different for every person on the planet. But don't let the important things go. God gives us his strength and ability to conquer our undisciplined areas if we commit them to him. And it takes practice. We can't wake up in the morning, tell God we went to be disciplined and suddenly we are. It takes work and intention. And it's hard. But don't bypass it because it's hard. Take God's help and get victory over those areas. And I'm right there with ya.