Monday, September 15, 2008

Efficiencies :: Part One

As school was approaching for this year, I started to feel a bit uneasy. I have a small host of things I usually need to get done in the morning before we start and now, along with my Bible time or journaling time, I wanted to add my workout time in too. I want working out to be part of my lifestyle; I don't want it to be "catch as catch can." That is how it was last year and I didn't like it. Lack of consistency = lack of results. I've been seeing results and feeling results and I wasn't willing to give them up.

But how to fit it in? Last year, I would watch our 9:00 start time slowly slip onward toward 9:30 and sometimes even later than that if I'd had a particularly challenging morning. For example, when I come out of my bedroom, there're always the cats and the bird to feed and later, the dog. Sometimes, one of the cats would have left a "hairball surprise" for me to deal with or the dog would get up and decide she needed to throw up. Yep. Sexy mornings at my house. Then the laundry would need to be gathered, shower and makeup, and breakfast made,etc. Of course, I would want my Bible time or journal time too... and if it had been a frustrating morning, the journaling might take extra time... just to process it all, you know.

An additional challenge was going to be the fact that my husband would now still be sleeping peacefully in bed, having moved to a second shift, as opposed to already being at work. Given that he's a light sleeper, I wouldn't be able to turn on many lights or be making noise grabbing things around the room that I might need. I could see the scenarios playing out in my mind and decided I needed some efficiencies to help me out this year.

The first step, of course, was to get up about a half hour earlier. Much as I am a morning person, though, I really dislike standing there in my closet trying to figure out what to wear. Plus, that would mean opening and closing said closet, lights on, etc. and that would have Paul lying there awake. I've known, of course, for years, about how families will lay out clothes for children the night before when they need to be somewhere, whether it be public school or Sunday school. I never really considered that it might apply to me, because we don't really have to be anywhere. But here's the thing. I have never, never, NEVER been able to be someone who hangs out in my pajamas all day, save for days when I'm really sick. I don't feel good when I look at myself all rumpled and disheveled. I can go a day or two without makeup, but even then, I'll put a little on if I'm going to leave the house. I just need to feel ready for my day. Despite the fact that we technically could be in our pajamas all day, it just doesn't happen.

So, I decided to take a look at that laying-out-the-clothes-thing and once I got started with that, a bunch of other things immediately came to mind. Now, every night I lay out my workout clothes on the bathroom counter as well as the clothes I'm going to wear for the day once I shower. I was elated the first day of trying this, because I'm so bad at changing my mind about what I'm going to wear or figuring it out in the first place. Beyond that, though, I set my basket with my Bible & devotional, my journal and pens, out on the table the night before too. Now when I'm done with my workout, I can cool down and have everything ready that I want for my quiet time. I allot myself about 30 min. for this. Kitties still try to interrupt, but hey, look at that, I've already filled their food bowls the night before too, so they don't need to stand around meowing at me as if they're starving. And laundry is already in it's place by the washer, ready to go. (Washing is my girls' responsibility. I just need to bring the appropriate articles for the day and then I hang them out to dry later.)

These little things I do are so easy, but are absolutely key in making a total difference in my days. No longer do I feel deprived if I don't get enough "me time", I've already worked out, and we're starting on time with a mom with a peaceful countenance and attitude (love those endorphins!). I'm dressed and ready to focus on the tasks at hand. I completely believe in the adage, "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail." I know I may not get everything done that I plan to do, but having easy time-savers in place that help me achieve my goals is something I just love. A well-executed plan is a thing of beauty, really... and it just makes you feel so darn clever! :)

Now, if I could just do something about the hairballs...
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