Tag Archives: Planning

Get Your Sh*t Together: How to get it all done

how to get it all done, how to do it all, how to be efficient, efficiency tips, working mom tips, time management, meal planning, meal prep, time management

Have you ever wondered how to “get it all done”?  Or if “getting it all done” was even possible? I work full-time, I’m a wife and mommy to two very active little boys, and I’m building this blog into a full-time gig. There is never enough time for all the things I want to, but I have had a lot of people ask how I manage to handle everything that I do accomplish on the daily.

The thing is, I didn’t always get everything done. I used to be extremely disorganized, hardcore procrastinator, and okay with just surviving my days. I thought being late or disorganized or constantly behind was fine (even normal) because I was working and had a baby, but I realized the legacy I was teaching my son was just to survive. I decided just surviving wasn’t going to be one of the life lessons I wanted to leave my son, and I could actually accomplish so much more with my life if I just applied a small amount of diligence. Discipline and reaching goals are definitely traits I want to teach!

With a little big of planning, I’ve figured out how to actually put the tedious parts of life on autopilot to create space for the best moments. I call this weekly practice my  “Get Your Sh*t Together” (or GYST day), and it’s become my favorite day of the week!

I realized that the things that took up the most time in my week were small, mundane events I had been avoiding or didn’t plan ahead for during the week. Since Monday is a new work week, Sunday seemed like the best time to GYST.

Between my family, my work, and building this blog, a lot of my time and energy is focused on big things. I tend to procrastinate the shorter tasks during the week (like paying bills, renewing library books, etc). I know they are important and only take a tiny amount of time, but for whatever reason I’m just not as likely to take the time to do them during the week.

Basic Food Prep

My GYST days start with food, because of course it does. I loooooooove food! And coffee. But you already knew that.

We usually do our grocery shopping on Saturdays, so I start off Sundays with a fully stocked kitchen. I go through all the groceries and create a basic (flexible) meal plan and start to prep some breakfast foods. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I like to have plenty of options ready for me to create a big meal quickly. Typically, my breakfast involves my coffee, a smoothie, and some sort of baked goods. On Sundays I like to do all my baking for the week, so I’ll usually make at least one batch of muffins or breakfast bread (usually either pumpkin or banana, depending on what I have on hand). Once the batter goes in the oven, I clean up the kitchen and will either start a batch of brown rice or throw a few chicken breasts in the Instant Pot.

Need some help with meal prep? Download my free ebook, Meal Planning for Busy People!

The Necessary Computer Work

With the food going in the kitchen and the kitchen cleaned up, I’ll sit down and pay the bills. This only takes a few minutes and takes a huge load off my shoulders. It’s amazing how important financial fitness is to mental health!

Since I’m sitting already, now is the time I pull out my planner and look over the week. Any appointments, social events, and deadlines are reviewed and planned for appropriately. I have a running list of blog topics and networking opportunities going on a page in my planner, and I review those and map out the following week. January was all messed up with illnesses, but thankfully we are getting back on track in February and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s safe to say I love routine and I thrive on checking off my to-do lists!

I also take this time to do any necessary paperwork, or prepare mail to be sent. Any important documents, handwritten notes to friends, or blogging paperwork is prepped and ready to be taken to be sent on Monday.

Self Care

After all of this is done, it’s time for some self care. When I was single, Sunday used to be my home spa days. Now with two little boys creating chaos over here, usually the best I can do is maybe a bentonite clay mask and filing my nails. If I get really lucky, sometimes I can get my nails painted, but I only risk that if both boys take a nap at the same time. Whatever I do, it’s important that I set aside at least 5 minutes for something just for me. I’ve noticed a direct relationship between how I feel about myself and how I react to stressful situations or interact with my little family. If I feel gross and run-down, I’m not as patient or giving as when I have taken a minute to prepare myself mentally and put myself together.

The best part about GYST days is that they are relaxing while being incredibly productive. The idea is not to start the week in a stressful way with a long list of to-do items, but to calmly prepare for a good week by taking care of a few key things before they have a chance to become problems.

Obviously, the decision of what to include in your GYST day is completely up to you, but I would recommend at least some basic meal preparation and something for self-care. This sets up your week for success immediately.

The benefits of a GYST day are exponentially increased when you are intentional about each day. Creating a functional morning routine and an evening routine gives you even more success and space throughout your days to reach whatever goals you are working towards, and will absolutely skyrocket your productivity (and keep you sane through it all)!

Do you have a weekly routine that helps you? Leave me a comment!

Reflections on 2016, and Planning for 2017

Reflections on 2016

It shocks me on a daily basis that it’s almost 2017. Our little family had a crazy year! Here’s a quick recap:

February: moved to Iowa

July: I published my first ebook! (pssst! You can get it for $0.99 through the end of the year!)

September: became debt free!

October: Peter graduated from college

When you throw in several visits back to St. Louis (and several visits by others to here), making new friends, turnover at my job, Tristan turning two, and just getting used to a new routine here, I am both exhausted and exhilarated.

2016 was way different than we ever imagined it would be, but we still managed to achieve all of our goals.

I am also learning more about blogging and freelancing. I studied to be a nurse since I was 3 years old. With this blog, I get to not only hone my writing skills, but also learn marketing, business strategy, law, photography, graphic design, and HTML coding. Every change I make to the blog, I do myself. Thank goodness for tutorials and YouTube! I’ve even conquered my fear of live video.

Planning for 2017

I believe in keeping goals simple. At the end of the week/month/year I want to look back and know that I actually accomplished what I set out to do. I also know that this time of my life requires more flexibility since I have a toddler and a work schedule that can be unpredictable. So with all this in mind, here are my goals for 2017:

Personal Goals

  • Complete the 15 Days to a Healthier You challenge in January (will you join me? HURRY – enrollment is only open through January 3!)
  • Complete 2 yoga challenges and 1 CouchTo5k challenge
  • Quit coffee for the month of January.

Family Goals

  • Save a certain amount (I will update you all on our progress by %).
  • Take an actual family vacation.
  • Find a meal plan system that works for us and stick with it.
  • Grow a garden. 

Business Goals

  • Get my blogging/writing done early before my family wakes up. I love blogging, but I do not want it to interfere with family time.
  • Complete 2 Pinterest improvement challenges. Keep track of numbers before and after to see if it’s making any difference.
  • Stick to an organizing system for income and expenses.
  • Transition to a different hosting platform for the blog.
  • Post in CHL at least 4 days/week
  • Send at least one newsletter a week (be sure to subscribe! I share what I’m learning, what kinds of fun things we discovered, and good deals if I find them)
  • Submit at least one freelance/guest blog post every week

I will do my best to give monthly updates on all of this progress. If you are subscribed to our newsletter, you will get a more behind-the-scenes look at our goals (like how January will go without coffee…I’m a little nervous!).

 

{This post contains affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

Dress for your Day

Ya’ll, I’m sorry. I’m really bad at this whole posting-every-day-for-the-challenge thing. Especially when big projects at work happen and I come home exhausted and barely able to get through my (almost habit!) evening routine.

The good news is that I’ve been doing the dishes consistently before going to bed! I do love waking up to a clean kitchen. I’ve also been able to read to Tristan consistently and it’s such a special time for me each day!

Day 8 was funny for me. I opened the book and the subject was “dress for your day.” The thought that one good action breeds another must be true because as my evening routine became more routine, I was already mentally planning my outfits for the next morning. Yay me! I don’t lay out my clothes because there’s no real place to put them, but having a mental idea makes the morning so much easier!

I have this one work outfit where I wear grey dress pants, a black sleeveless cowl-neck sweater, and a sparkly black bracelet. The bracelet addition really makes me feel like I have my life together.

Grey and black…yep, I’m officially boring.

Related: Save up to 90% by shopping at ThredUp

When not wearing dress clothes, I prefer a relaxed vibe. I have a toddler and we enjoy long walks to the park (and swinging, and playing soccer, etc). Dressing for my day often means capris and a cute shirt. I loathe and despise tennis shoes, usually opting instead for Toms or ballet flats.

Do you lay out your clothes?

This is Day 8 in a 14-day challenge, Makeover Your Evenings. If you haven’t purchased your course yet, you can do so by clicking here.

 

 

Makeover Your Evenings: Day 5

how to find peace when life is too busy

Can I tell you all something?

I’m exhausted.

The Director of Nursing position is hard. If someone needs something, I’m it. At any time in the day or night. I love my job and my life, so this is in no way a complaint, it’s just a statement of fact. It’s like my job is an overgrown toddler with a lot of rules that need to be followed just so, and then I come home at night to an actual toddler. Add in all the emotions of the last week (and the fact that after being at meetings super early in the morning on Tuesday I had to cover the overnight shift at the last minute Tuesday night), and I’m just beat.

But my spirit craves routine and self-improvement, so here I am. Refusing to quit (again). Reminding myself of my “why” (which is still on the chalkboard, inspiring me daily). Knowing that working through the challenges in this course will ultimately benefit my family, especially when things get a little crazy at work.

Day 5 is something that is truly saving my sanity, and I’m not being the least bit melodramatic. The habit of a prioritized to-do list for the next day helps me both in my professional life and my home life. I utilize the “notes” app on my phone for reminders about all sorts of things that need to be accomplished at work the next day before I go to sleep (aka, the time to REMEMBER ALL THE THINGS for about 0.5 seconds).

Writing a list is beneficial at home since I can handle issues as they arise. Something as simple as “tomorrow I will pay the phone bill” will help make sure the bill is paid on time. Currently it’s “on Monday I will call the internet company and remind them that they were to take that charge off my bill.”

I hate playing catch-up. Once I intentionally plan for things, I am one step ahead. This brings peace and order to our days, which is a great relief for me.

Crystal uses Google Calendar for her planning, but I do best with a pen and paper. I’ve started keeping a little notebook of my to-do lists for most days in my purse. My work list stays on my phone so I can email it to myself. Find what works the best for you, and train yourself to develop the habit.

The first thing on the list for tomorrow? Makeover Your Evenings: Day 6. The topic is sleep and I’m allllll over that! If you haven’t yet, you can purchase the course here.

 

{To support my blogging activities, I sometimes use affiliate links within my posts. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

Makeover Your Evenings: Day 2 – The Ideal Evening

Welcome to Day 2 of the 14 day Makeover Your Evening course from the MoneySavingMom, Crystal Paine.

Today’s project is to write down all the things that together would create a perfect evening, and then narrow down the list to the top five priorities. In a quick “brain dump” fashion, here is everything I would like to get accomplished between the hours of 5pm (when I return from work) and 10:30pm, when I would ideally go to bed:

Make/eat supper

plan tomorrow’s breakfast and supper

clean kitchen

tidy up the house (I have a tendency to leave little piles wherever I am. This habit will help prevent that)

shower

brain dump list for tomorrow

blog

exercise

read with Tristan

My top 5 priorities for the evening would be as follows:

Supper

clean kitchen

brain dump

shower

read with Tristan

In this season of our lives, I crave routine, peace, and steady progress towards our personal goals. When I let myself focus on anything else, I find myself in a space of chaos and I stress myself out. I’m going to write these priorities on our chalk board under my “why.” This will help me choose my top “yes” activities and know that I am doing what is best for my family.

If you are following along, comment below with your top 5 priorities!

The Cure for the Mombie Effect

The Cure for the Mombie Effect

“Mombie” – a sleep-deprived woman barely held together by coffee and yoga pants (or, since I ditched my yoga pants, skinny jeans). 

A (non-glamorous) peak into my day last Friday morning:

I rolled over and checked my phone. 8:30!  I’m late!

Ran downstairs to start the hot water for coffee. Dishes in the sink. Encrusted with last night’s dinner. Goody. Started that soaking.

Ran upstairs to get dressed. It’s a good thing my only typical makeup is mascara, because there really isn’t even time for that. Got myself and Tristan dressed while Peter made the bed and got himself ready to go.

Back downstairs, poured the hot water over the coffee grounds into the french press. Started the dishes. Every other dish, had to stop and get Tristan away from pouring the contents of the trash can all over the floor.

8:55 am – time to go! Barely got the dishes done (I hate leaving Peter with dishes to do, it’s a priority for me to get them done before I leave), I remembered last minute to put on my wedding ring, and…I left my coffee on the counter.

The empowering part of this scenario is that while I know that situations come up and sometimes things don’t always go according to plan, there are steps I can take to make sure my day flows smoothly – even if I wake up a half hour before I need to be at work.

My morning, no matter what time I actually get out of bed, is determined by how I set myself up the night before.

I can give myself a huge step up each day by completing a few simple tasks the night before.

  • I can do the dishes each night before I go to bed. This leaves just putting them away as my morning task.
  • I can fill the kettle with water so it’s ready to go first thing in the morning.
  • I can pick out an outfit for the next day. Even jewelry if I’m really feeling crazy.
  • I can make sure that breakfast is baked and ready to go for the next morning. Through trial and error, we have discovered that homemade muffins is really what works the best for us.

When I actually do these things consistently, I free up space in my mornings for extra time with Peter and Tristan, or extra sleeping time if we need it. And I get coffee. Mombie cured.

Most of these realizations and habits came when I blogged through MoneySavingMom’s Makeover Your Mornings 14-day course late last year. I’m so excited for the release of her follow-up challenge, Makeover Your Evenings, which goes live tomorrow! I got an early release copy and have been looking through it. I can’t begin to tell you how awesome this course is and how many big things will be happening because of it.

I’ll be blogging through this one too starting on Monday. It’s literally been a struggle for me not to start as soon as I got it. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning, except for 14 whole days!

Ready to make over your evenings with me? Click here to sign up, then leave me a comment to let me know!

 

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure here.