Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Routines & Lists

I will admit it, I am a creature of habit.  My life may seem hectic and chaotic at times but without my routines, it's an absolute nightmare.  In addition to work, in our household we have one in intermediate school, one in high school, two in college, a teen with an after school job, and a small business.  Throw in extra-curriculars like football, softball and soccer and hectic becomes an understatement.  Your particulars might be different but I bet you're just as harried!

Ever since I was in the hospital, things were so up in the air and so many doctor's appointments were thrown in that I got away from my routine.  Now, we still ate and still had clean clothes, etc.  But MY routine was totally screwed up.  By that I don't mean just the extra appointments and things although, those contributed to it.  I mean those things I specifically do on Sunday or how I cook on Wednesday, etc.

I had gotten out of my habits.  Things like on Sundays, I deal with my coupons and coupon binder while having coffee and I make my weekly menus.  Just those two little things can mess up the week and the budget.  First, I truly do not like the "What do you want for dinner?", "I don't know, what do you want?" game.  This can go on for a bit and then it's late and you end up at a restaurant for dinner.  There goes the budget.  Once the menu is made on Sunday, the family has until sundown (you just heard old western showdown music in your head, didn't you?  LOL) to protest the menu or ask for a change. 

Yesterday, I decided that I had to get back on track.  I sat down, made my menus and made my lists.  Yes, I like lists too!  Some days I don't think I'd remember my name if not for my lists.  I'm old fashioned with them too, I like to actually write on a piece of paper (usually an old envelop or the back of some school assignment).  I have the apps on my phone to make to-do lists and grocery lists and it's just not the same.

By having my menus done, I know that I have what I need to make each meal. I can also make note of those items I will have replenish the next time I go to the grocery.  I can plan ahead to have easier meals on busier days.  I know what days I need to break out the crock pot and let it do the work for me.  And there are no more $40 mid week restaurant meals.

Whether you make lists on paper or on your electronic device, they seem old-fashioned but it really helps to keep me on track.  I have a household book with lists that let me keep the house fairly clean (I have kids and a husband, so it's never totally clean).  Sometime in the future, I'll share my book and lists as a couple of them need updated.  I also make lists of other things to keep things moving along.  For example by making a list of my errands, I can sorta map them out so that I'm not backtracking and wasting gas.

I know some of you will say "Aren't you wasting time by making the list?"  Well, I generally make my lists while I'm having coffee or waiting in the car on the kids or waiting in a doctor's waiting room.  Those few minutes you might be playing Candy Crush Saga, you could make a list.  I'm not knocking CCS at all, I'm on level 181 myself, but miss a round or two and make your own list!  

I should warn you though.  There is such a feeling of accomplishment in taking a pencil and crossing off something on your list.  I tell my husband, you can't always see what I do so crossing it off the list lets me feel that accomplishment!

So here I go, back to my routines and my lists!

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