Voxering with my friend Elizabeth Henson last week I kept mentioning to her I was feeling frustrated. I was just having this off day and I couldn’t pin point the freaking problem. Then, the more frustrated I became, the more I started to feel ungrateful. Ick, I don’t like that feeling because ungratefulness snowballs into guilt and guilt snowballs into and overall depressing mood for the day.
I kept reaching to blame things. My biggest complaint of the day ended up being that I wished I had daycare and that because I didn’t, everything was just off that day and nothing was going to work. Whoa negative Nancy, that’s definitely not me! Haha! I’m the girl who can divide and conquer work into interruptibles and non-interruptibles and find office time at 5am to make this dream business work…but I’m also human and get a little off track. I just felt off. Things felt so out of my control and I am girl who likes to be as much in control as possible so I can handle the off days and moments.
And then I figured it out.
I hadn’t done the prep work. The way I operate is to use lists, my planner & structure in order to better prepare me for my days, weeks and months. I like to know as much ahead of time as I can and just kind of get things squared away before the moment arrives. A couple of simple examples are that we always pick out our little girls pajamas during the day before bath time, put lavender in the diffuser before we turn it on at night and prep the coffee pot so we just hit one button when we wake up. It just makes life run more smoothly.
I skipped a beat…the heartbeat of what makes the Five Waves household run mostly seamlessly despite the beautiful chaos of our three girls. I didn’t update my planner well and skipped necessary steps, I didn’t write out my office hours worksheet that keeps me on track (COMING TO THE FIVE WAVES SHOP SOON!:)) and I didn’t update our Lifeflow list for that day either. I was trying to skip the most important beat of all…the prep work.
I know better! I know we thrive from lists and structure. I often hear people say that they don’t have time for prep work, or meal planning, or lists…but they are in a constant state of chaos and survival. Messes never seem to get cleaned, bills go unpaid until a late fee shows up and they feel no control over the controllable parts of their lives. I KNOW BETTER! This is WHY we created the Lifeflow lists in the first place. So I stopped complaining to poor Liz and I sat down and updated all the lists.
I wrote down what our family needed to do (Lifeflow)
I updated my planner with my personal + professional tasks (Simplified Planner)
In detail I noted the seven work items that needed to be completed on my Office Hours worksheet (Coming to shop soon)
It is SO undeniably true that spending time to map out your time will indefinitely save you more time…and this will save you from a lot of potential frustration!
I took all the sticky notes, the random scribbles and cleaned it up and then instantly felt better. The things on those lists weren’t all done yet, only freshly listed and they needed to be done at some point…but I got a sense of relief just knowing what needed to be done in a clearly laid out format.
The chaos of having a lot to do and not having a system for noting all of it? = STRESS
The chaos of having a lot to do but having it all well mapped out & listed? = A GOOD START, A HOPEFUL START
For us, taking the time to set up our lists and schedule properly is so crucial. We have lived the chaotic life of miscommunication and lack of communication and late fees and missed appointments and all the things. It made us sad and we felt helpless, all the while we had a choice but kept choosing not to take action. We are SO thankful we eventually did take action instead of having this be a constant argument in our household! Taking time to give a little structure and organization to your life, especially when you are taking care of so many other little people in the house is so important.
DO NOT SKIP LIFE PREP TIME! It determines how much pressure you’ll be putting on yourself later to remember all the things and you’ll end up rushing and stressing instead of calmly and confidently moving forward with your list of all the things already determined.
If you’re feeling off and you aren’t implementing this yet – try it out! You never know if this is the key to less arguments, more free time and a more peaceful life! And awkward eyes closed smiles with little girls who say things like “I love you da most happiness” 🙂
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