An Orderly Life

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31 Day Challenge: Day 24

Is your life an orderly one?

Or do you spend each day frantically lurching from one thing to another trying to get it all done, only to find that, in the end, little was actually accomplished?

Tired woman are sleeping

Or maybe you find that you get a lot done while at work, but not so much at home.

That’s probably because you have a set structure to your workday, a list of things that need to be done and when.

But when you get home, you’re faced with all kinds of things to get done, many of which really have no deadline other than “someday”.

So how do you manage to get things done in a timely manner?

You add structure to your day.

Now you might think that if you have a to do list, you have structure, but that’s not necessarily the case.

A list of 10 – 15 things is just a list. Which will you do first? When?

There are a couple of ways that you can put a real framework around those to dos.

You can choose up to 3 per day and then schedule them into your calendar like an appointment. Try to get them done early and do the most important one first.

Or if you have the same sort of to do list each week, you could assign a day to each kind of task. Mondays to return calls and emails, Tuesday to clean the floors, etc.

Of course, the real key to making this or any other system work is to make sure that you do it.

As ADDers, we are rarely motivated by routine tasks that need to be repeated on a regular basis. There’s no excitement in that. And yet, the dishes must be washed, the floors cleaned, and the bills paid.

How do you motivate yourself under those situations?

You can look for a cute gimmick to entice you – a bathroom cleaner that smells wonderful, some colorful pens and stamps, whatever.

That will work short term but not for long. We’re always looking for the next shiny object. We don’t want the ones we have, we want new ones.

A better approach might look like this: first, resign yourself to the fact that the chores must get done and you are the one who has to do them. Then, try to tie your new behavior to something you do automatically.

Maybe you spend each Friday evening online catching up. Put your bills, checkbook, stamps – whatever you need to pay your bills – into a container that is easily transported to your desk. Give yourself 20 minutes or so to get that done so that you can go online and relax a little.

Do it often enough and it becomes a habit.

Now when someone comes up with a way to tie cleaning the bathroom into something so I can make a habit of it, let me know. Worst job ever – especially when you and the dog are the only females in the house!

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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