Spark On With Neelu | Day 21 | Create a Daily Routine

by - August 07, 2016

This is a long one, please bear with me.

Have you noticed how a bedtime routine helps your baby/child to get to sleep quickly every night? We adults need our routine too, especially when we juggle many roles and are responsible for little humans.

Apart from packing orders and keeping inventory, most of my store related work can be done anytime of the day and I preferred to work on them post-dinner after my children were in bed. As they got older, started school and woke up earlier than usual, I could finish these tasks during the day and get more rest at night. Now that Amina is here, I have started leaning towards post-dinner quietness again.  

Giving ourselves a routine and being flexible about it is a great way to have a productive day. During the weekend, when you get some time, sit down and plan the week ahead. Getting things down on paper is a great way to focus your energy on important things than keeping it all in your mind and feeling helpless. You could actually purchase a planner/diary to help you with the writing down part or start with a plain notebook and pen. Like I said a few days back - start with what you have. 

My friend Youmna had left a comment on one of my previous posts asking me how I plan and I wanted to show you an example today: I keep this meal planner on my microwave oven in my kitchen. I write down meal ideas for the next week in one go or jot down ideas as and when. I love how it has a shopping list right next to it and I can note down the groceries we need  (normally it's not this neat, I took my time and wrote them down just for this photo). I actually learned this habit from my Mother. She always keeps a piece of paper and pen in the kitchen where she notes down not just the items she needs to purchase but also the things she has to do.  

I do not follow the meal planner strictly - there are days when I cook something entirely different or I don't cook at all (pampered in Dubai). However, having those ideas written and ready helps me in the kitchen, especially during school days when I am up really early preparing breakfast and lunchbox all in one go. I have also noticed that since I started meal planning, food wastage has reduced considerably as I purchase only what I need and pretty much everything I buy is finished up before next grocery run. 

With regards to my store, at the beginning of every year, I write down different milestones I would like to reach in terms of work and I also jot down ideas as they come to me. I go through them every few months to see how far I have reached and what do I need to work on. You do not need to do wait until the end/beginning of a year/week to start planning, start right away.

Another tip I wanted to share today was keeping a time log. A time log is an excellent way to find out how you are spending your time. I did this a while ago and realized I have way more free time than I thought I did. Simply open an excel sheet and note down what you did every hour or every half hour - quick notes, no details. Look back after a week or two and you will realize that you are not the busiest person that you thought you were after all - which is a really good thing! A time log will also help you figure out what your routine was/is, whether it is working well for you or needs to be changed. You can do the same with your food intake and see what naughty food items you are consuming.  

Do you have a routine or a habit that keeps you productive and motivated all day? Please share! 

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  1. I always want to plan ahead but things mostly never turn up the way I wanted...inshaallah I will try try until I am happy with it


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