It’s December! In a few weeks, we will bid goodbye to 2014 and bring with us the lessons we learned and memories we will treasure forever.
To be honest, I really hate goodbyes. Heck, I’m not very good in handling it. Of course, there is an exception to the general rule. In this case, I don’t mind saying goodbye to a year that was. It’s not that it wasn’t a good year for me but because it allows me to start over and create new memories.
For many, starting another year means they can start over and correct any mistakes they’ve done with the past. I agree. However, starting over has some challenges too. Here are my tips on how to make your 2015 better, more organized and stress-free.
1. Plan ahead. Okay, fine. I’m guilty on this one. I’m not really a planning type of person (although I live on a schedule basis, which is kind of contradicting) and just live on the “now.” Carving out any future plans, and by future plans, it means what I have to do next week onwards, is not exactly my thing. Still, I tried to (slowly) get rid of this habit and started last year. Before 2013 ends, I listed down things I want to accomplish in 2014 and the things I have to do to be able to fulfill those plans. I constantly look at the list to remind me that this is what I plan to do this year and I need to do something in case I’m behind my goals.
Now that 2014 is about to end and looking at my 2014 plans, I’m so proud of what I was able to accomplish. I planned ahead, carved my goals – realistic ones, that is – and set my eyes on the prize.
2. Set a schedule – and stick to it. I live on a schedule. As soon as my day starts or even the night before, I list down the things I should do on that day to guide me. Plus, I tend to be forgetful, no thanks to epidural, so I really need to make a list of things I have to do. Thankfully, this has helped me get by for as long as I can remember. I realized that maintaining a daily schedule – and sticking to it – makes everything easier. It serves as my guide for the day and minimize those “Ay, oo nga pala” moments.
Here’s a tip when setting your schedule: categorize it according to their degree of importance. I’m a bit OC so I color-code everything according to their level of priority. I realized that doing the difficult jobs or important tasks first makes things easier when I move on to the easier tasks. By easier tasks, I mean something I can postpone for a few hours such as bank errands.
3. Start to get rid of “unproductive” habits. Hmm, this is a tough one. I mentioned in a blog post that one of the ways to increase productivity is by getting rid of time-wasting activities. Yes, mommies. That includes checking e-mails, Facebook, Instagram or doing something not related to important tasks. If we want to keep things more organized and productive, now is the perfect time to get rid of our unproductive habits. I know how tempting it is to talk to our colleagues about how our day went or taking a trip to Starbucks for usual morning grind or taking too long in the pantry for lunch break. I’ve been there. However, before we decide to waste our time, we should ask ourselves first if we really need it.
Still, this doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to take breaks in between. Of course, we do! It’s all about pacing and timing. If we don’t really need it and we’re in the middle of something, then postpone that break until everything starts to be more manageable.
4. Keep things organized, one room at a time. I have a rule at home: if I can’t do it today, then there’s always tomorrow to finish the things that needs to be done. It works every time.
With my two kids, online job and the house in my hands, it’s hard to devote the entire day cleaning the house and organizing things. So, I do it one room a a time. I make a schedule on what goes first, prioritizing the kitchen and master’s bedroom. Of course, my kids’ playroom goes last because, well, it can be pretty messy and too exhausting to clean.
5. Always make time for yourself. You know that break you’ve always wanted to take? Then do it! Having a “me” time is very important for us mommies. Kids, work and maintaining the family home can be stressful and yes, it will really test your sanity. We need to take a break once in a while to allow ourselves to re-boot and recharge before we go to this roller coaster ride called parenting and motherhood. It doesn’t have to be whole day. A few hours once a month is good enough already, at least for me.
When I start to get cranky, I ask my husband if I can schedule a foot spa or massage so he won’t make plans on that day. As soon as I get back, I feel lighter and less stressed, which is a good thing. So go ahead and make time for yourself. Studies show that taking a break even for a few minutes can increase productivity. Just don’t spend your entire day having a break every 30 minutes. That”s too much.
6. Start the day early. This is a habit I’ve developed when I became maid-less. I don’t mean to sound like a spoiled brat here but I grew up having someone to help me with everything I need at home. Since I became maid-less, I learned to wake up early and realized that there’s so much more I can accomplish. Even if I have one yaya now (she does the chores, by the way so yay for me), I still wake up early, do my work, clean the room and finish off everything by nighttime. At least, I get to spend the whole night playing with my kids and teaching them.
7. Don’t wait for 2014 to end – start now! Here’s the thing about New Year resolutions – you only start doing it on the first day of the year. Then you’ll end up not even consistently doing those “become a better you” resolutions even before January ends. Don’t worry. I’m guilty of it too so I know how it feels.
So I decided to put a twist into it, thanks to my husband who always reminds me to start now, not tomorrow. I’ve already made a list of the things I plan to accomplish next year and start to work on it as early as now. I don’t have to wait for New Year to start and by the time 2015 says hello, at least I’m already used to my new habits.
At the end of the day, just relax. Wear a smile on your face because no matter what comes in your way, always remember that you are a strong person and you won’t let stress, challenges and any difficulties get in the way.
What do you think mommies? Any suggestions as to how you can make your 2015 stress-free?
Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.