Most Important Tasks

In my Leonie Dawson workbook that I filled out at the beginning of this year there was a page called

12 Zen Habits (From Leo Babuta at Zen habits.net)

They are all pretty useful and zen and go as follows

  1. Set your 3 MIT’s (most important tasks) each morning
  2. Single task (focus your attention)
  3. Zero inbox
  4. Process emails once a day
  5. Exercise 5-10 mins a day
  6. Work while disconnected
  7. Keep your desk decluttered
  8. Clear & declutter home for 15 mins a day
  9. Stick to a 5 sentence limit on emails (make your words powerful)
  10. Say no to commitments & requests not on your important short list
  11. Eat fresh fruit & veg everyday
  12. Follow a morning routine

I think we can all pretty much agree that these ‘Zen Habits’ are worth thinking about as we go through our days. In fact I have them stuck on the wall in front of me right this very second look

zenhabits

My favourite one is number 1. I actually do use this one every day now. Having 3 MIT’s is great because it isn’t overwhelming. It its an endless to do list. It is just what actually matters to you the most on that day. Sometimes there is time for more. Some days I have achieved my MIT’s by 11am and I have the rest of the day to frolic..or whatever. I take 5 minutes every morning to figure out what the 3 tasks are for that day that i definitely need to do. If i think of 4 i have to choose which ones are the most necessary to my day.

Todays MIT’s for example are

  • Write blog post
  • Go to appointment
  • Start assignment

Today is pretty standard actually. Often my 3 MIT’s have something to do with self-care (appointment-actually for hypnotherapy) something for my business (today-write blog post) and often something to do with studying because there is basically always something I really need to do for that.

Other days, I know immediately that My number 1 priority is self care. Sometimes my MIT is actually to find time for a quick nap, or a bath, or just to read alone for a while. On days when I’m not feeling that great I know that that needs to be taken care of first.

Some days it is to do something fun with my family, to visit my grandma, to clean something, to business plan, to organise something for charity, to find time for yoga or a walk or to write in my journal if I haven’t done that for a while, to create something if i haven’t done that for a while.

You get the picture. I need to sit down each morning and actually give myself a few minutes to think about what the day holds in store for me and how I can work out when to do my MIT’s.

Why don’t you try it? Could you list 3 MIT’s today?

Peace out,

Imogen x

P.S.

Have you signed up for self-care month? Free daily emails throughout June with self care tasks in for every day! Sign up here

http://eepurl.com/bl49EP

Evening routine

Following on from my post yesterday about creating a weekly routine I want to talk about creating an evening routine. If you work in the day or look after your family then evenings are sacred time. They are your important time for relaxing and regenerating. If you’re tired (I certainly am) then it’s easy to want to spend your evening in front of the TV. I understand that and I do that sometimes too. That’s fine now and then but what I want to suggest is that you also use this time for personal growth, hobbies, socialising, exercise, creating and self care.

What I do first is make a list of 5 or more tasks that I feel I don’t have enough time for, or areas of my life that are getting neglected. My list looks like this

  • Crafting/painting
  • Self care
  • Socialising
  • Quality time for my relationship with my husband
  • Exercise
  • Time spent in nature
  • Reading

Now I work out how to fit this things into my evenings. I choose one per day, it doesn’t have to be rigid, for example if the weather is good I will go for a walk and tick off some time spent in nature. Sometimes I can’t get out for a walk on my own if I am on my own with the kids and I’ll have to work that time into another part of my week. Here’s how a normal week night could work:

At 7:40pm both children are in bed and I have cleared up all the pots and toys from the day. If i can go out I would go straight out for swimming, or to a friends for a cup of tea, out for a meal with friends, or for a short walk down to the river. If I am at home I could get the paints out or make something from my Crafts To Do board on Pinterest. On a Thursday, as I have said before I like to make time to pamper myself a bit (see Pamper evening post). On Wednesdays I make time to watch a film. If Mr.H is around it gives us quality time together which is something we can top up at the weekend. Generally, any one of these activities normally lasts from half an hour to 2 hours, which then gives me time watch something on TV then to read a bit before I go to bed. I very rarely go to bed later than 10:30pm. I would stay up longer and do more if I could but I know that if I do stay up longer I will pay for it in tiredness the next day.

I think everyone knows how much sleep they need and how much they can fit in to an evening. You have to use your intuition to figure out whether you are trying to fit in too much or if you are too tired to do much one evening. My belief is that this time is precious and often overlooked as a time to be productive in your hobbies or socialising. Why not try it for a while and see if you can pull another few hours of activity out of your day? For any more help or advice on creating routines and fitting more into your life then email me at imogenjhope@gmail.com

Much love,

Imogen x

Daily routine



Well I am back online finally. Now I intend to do more with this blog and make it into the network of helpful tips, ideas, and advice on how to balance your life and make space for all the wonderful things you dream of doing but feel like you never have time for. Like, for example, myself-working on this blog, running my house, looking after 2 children, doing a degree, creating and looking after myself. All very important aspects of my life!

I’ve said it before but I don’t think I can ever say it enough. Routines are there as guidelines. Do not allow it to control you. Let it be flexible. If something comes up that you hadn’t planned DO NOT WORRY, just get on with it and come back to your routines when you can. When you keep on top of things that you need or want to do the odd day where you don’t follow it won’t make as much impact on how much you can get done.

I reworked my daily routines last week as it is something that needs doing often when my life changes regularly. I have vague distinctions between days because of different commitments etc. And my version has a lot more specific detail but i’m sure you don’t actually need to know what days I wash my hair or paint my toenails etc! (Yes, I am that organised! If i don’t plan toe-nail-painting I will never do it!) But, anyway, here is a basic version of my weekdays.

7am-8:20-Getting ready for school/put a load of washing on/school run

8:45-10am-Wash up breakfast pots/cleaning tasks for the day (will include how i separate cleaning tasks through the week on another post)/Tuesdays I nip to the shops or market for any bits I have run out of

10am-11:30-Usually go out with baby to My grandmas/playgroup/park/swimming/the library

11:30-Lunch

12pm-1pm-Blog/craft while baby naps

2pm-Exercise, usually hula hoop, yoga, Pilates just at home

3pm- 3:30-School run/homework

3:30pm-5pm-Play games/play in the garden/read together

5pm-7pm-Eat tea/clean up/watch TV

7pm-7:40-Getting kids ready for bed and getting them to sleep.

I will post specifics about evening routines on another post. This is a really important time (especially for parents of young children) to look after themselves, to relax and to create things for themselves. Sometimes studying or work runs over into these times but thats ok. As long as we get some time to really do what it is that makes us who we are or who we want to be.

If you need any help creating your own routines then please contact me via the contact page or email imogenjhope@gmail.com, I would love to help you.

Have a gorgeous day,

Imogen

Half-term aka. school holiday survival

Ok, if you don’t have children then the term ‘survival’ in the title there may seem a little dramatic. But that is what it feels like. You have to get through the day without the children killing each other, without them driving you bonkers and while still trying to get done all the things you have to get done if you work at home like I do.

Everything has to change for that week. I have to make sure that they don’t get bored. That they expel enough energy. That they aren’t watching TV all day. That they get time outdoors. That we have activities together that we all enjoy and therefore enjoy our time together as a family and make the most of it.

Here’s a little list of the things I try to fit in each day

~Get out somewhere (somewhere free hopefully) the library, swimming, the park, a museum, a different park, a friends house etc.

~An activity to do together. Either a big board game session, crafting, baking, drawing

~Some down time reading, doodling, watching a film. A nap for baby.

~A bit of cleaning/clearing. As little as I can get away with. Normally 1 small task a day during holidays.

~Hula hoop & yoga for me.

~Time to write, for me.

~And the extra thing that has been added on for me in this half term in particular. Packing to move house!!

Today is the first day and it is only a 1 week holiday so I am not too worried. I have managed just about to fit in all that we need to do today and if it was the big summer holidays I would be much more willing to spend money to keep us entertained!

I hope I can continue to keep up to date with blog posts during the week. Although i’m sure you will forgive me if they come about it little later in the day than usual :). Please share any other tips you may have for keeping busy and staying sane in the school hols.

Also, my Pinterest boards Mummy things to do, Jonah and Baby Violet all have ideas of crafts and bits to do to help keep you busy and so you can enjoy your family time together. Enjoy!

Imogen x