A Little List, A Lotta Productivity {Intentionality for Success}

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Do you ever feel like your day just happens to you? You wake up to put on your metaphorical boxing gloves just to be prepared for the fight? The huge to-do list, the whining children, the endless chores. Always trying to catch up…

My schedule is busy between being a mom to three littles, working part time, and homeschooling. It was the demands of my schedule that forced me into a deep relationship with intention. I’d love to say I’ve always been intentional in most everything I do, but to be honest, I haven’t. Intentionality felt like a long off desire that I couldn’t achieve until my kids were grown. Or at least not so needy. Though I found all it took was a mindset change.

It started out small. I decided to wake up a few minutes before the kids to have my first cup of coffee. Since then it’s grown into how I manage my entire day, and I’m so thankful. Feeling (for the most part) in control of my days has made them feel much more meaningful and productive.

I start my day with quiet. And coffee. And a to-do list. I list every.single.thing I’m planning on doing for the day. My lists are thoughtfully considered and a *mostly* balanced list between chores, self care, and fun. I make my lists based upon my values: Faith, Family, Self, and House. 

An example of the AM part of my list (so as not to bore you with the entire thing):

  • Shower
  • Make Bed
  • Stretch
  • Quiet Time
  • Coffee
  • Breakfast
  • Unload Dishwasher
  • Load of Laundry
  • Fold Laundry
  • Put Away Laundry…

I love when my list includes easy to cross off things. Drinking coffee? Yes please. It helps me feel immediately productive, prioritize self care (which I wouldn’t otherwise), and gets the ball rolling. Also, do you notice I put the 3 steps of laundry? Because let’s be honest, if I put “Laundry” on the list, but have to do 3 different steps before I can cross it off, I feel much less productive. I feel REALLY good when I can cross all 3 steps off. Also, I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I will skip taking a shower if I feel like something else needs to be done. But I always feel better when I shower, so I make sure to schedule it every day.

I list everything so that I can come back to it when I need to be re-centered. It’s as satisfying to cross things off as it is frustrating NOT crossing things off. Pure motivation! As important as a framework for the day is to me, I also love that I’ve been more thoughtful about what goes on in my day and adaptations that need to be made. For example, some days I just need to do more chores because it’s driving me crazy how messy the house is. If I choose one day to do more chores, I make sure I balance it out with more fun activities with the kids the next day. Conveniently, I have also been spending much less time on social media, which has been great for my mental health.

Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’ll be the first to admit that I have days that are completely chaotic, where I lose my cool, and just have no good, really bad days. On my bad days, I feel so much more empowered to choose to scrap my list entirely, or push through and re-center myself.

What do you do to re-center? What are your forms of self care? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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