Make Tomorrow Easier

Whether you're a telecommuting parent or commute to your workplace every day, there are certain challenges that remain the same. Dishes must be done. Floors must be vacuumed. Trash must be taken out. I remember when Beads was born and being in such physical, mental and emotional overload that I literally could not complete any task. I walked by the same piece of paper on the kitchen floor for over a week, thinking each time as I passed it, "Someone should just pick that up and throw it away. Someone like me," and I kept walking. That piece of paper irritated me to no end. Talk about the simplest problem in the world to solve! But I just didn't.

Pick. It. Up.
I remember that state of mind now that I have 2 kids, a dog, a husband who must travel for work regularly and a pretty hectic work schedule myself.  There are definitely moments when I see those pieces of paper laying on the floor, and I am inexplicably inclined to just leave them there. But then I give myself a mental kick in the pants and PICK UP THE DANG PAPER because doing just one thing, finishing just one thing will make my tomorrow easier.

The things I now try to do every day to make tomorrow easier At Home:
  1. Unload the dishwasher and load breakfast dishes. Wipe down kitchen surfaces. (Time commitment: 5 - 7 minutes)
    • Starting with a cleared deck in the morning helps keep dishes, papers, discarded outerwear at a mangeable level.
  2. Make the bed. (Time commitment: 1 minute)
    • It's remarkable what a mental difference this makes in transitioning from busy day to restful night when we can finally make our way to the bedroom after a long day.

  1. Load all the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. Put away all leftover food. Clean pots and pans - no overnight soaks! (Time commitment - 10 minutes)
    • It's a much better start to my day when I walk downstairs to a clean slate rather than a sink full of work.
  2. Corral toys/art supplies into one corner. (Time commitment: 1 minute)
  3. Transport discarded clothing upstairs to the laundry room. (Time commitment: 15 seconds, as I'm already on my way to bed).
The things I now try to do every day to make tomorrow easier In Office:
  1. Finish the PowerPoint/report/spreadsheet (Time commitment: 1 to 30 minutes)
    • I do a lot of online training for our clients' employees, which means a lot of PowerPoint prep. Most of the time, these PPT's are fairly quick to assemble due to templates. It's easy to think I'll have the time in the morning to put it together, but it never fails... Better to have it done when I walk in because who knows what land mine I'll walk into!)
  2. Respond to every email that needs a response (Time commitment: 1 to 10 minutes)
    • We live in an on-demand society. No one is willing to wait for ANYTHING. I aim to respond to all business emails same day, even if it's just to acknowledge I received their email and I'll be following up tomorrow with the answer.
At a MAXIMUM, doing all of these things may add up to an additional hour in my day. But the ripple effect is a calmer ending and beginning of the day, and that, my friends, is priceless.

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