Feb 22, 2024
What if you could begin this new year with even more capacity for extraordinary things in your life? How can streamlining your routines help in this area?
Tiffany kicks off her 2024 season of Scared Confident with a practical plan that you can implement NOW to help you create more time for yourself, your relationships and all the extraordinary things in your life. By taking these first steps to better manage your daily routines, you’ll have more mental energy to put toward other things that matter. Tune in and begin to take control of it now, so you can keep the easy things easy and have more time to pursue your Life of “And”!
Download Tiffany’s Task Planner Worksheet here
[0):48] Making the routine automatic
[01:34] Task planner tools for morning and evening
[02:06] Tiffany's evening wind-down routine
[04:26] Potential issues that this solves
[06:36] Tiffany's morning routine
[08:18] How to start your program
[10:55] Figure out what you want?
[11:27] How will you make that happen?
[12:53] Who is going to be responsible?
[14:22] Download and print the task planner
[16:23] More space for the extraordinary
Happy New Year. We are doing this thing. It's 2024. How bananas.
So I want to talk about how to make the most routine parts of your week totally automatic, like where you don't even have any mental load to make it happen. at the end of 2023, I rolled out the task planner and I want to talk about One tool in particular inside of that task planner that for me has been a total game changer. And I know when you're going into the new year, you were thinking about how do I simplify? How do I streamline? How do I make that easy things easy? So the hard things can be hard. How do I have a little bit more margin for the things I want to do for the goals I'm going after time for yourself, whatever it is, I know you're thinking like that. So everything cannot be eternally additive. Right. We cannot just continually add one more thing forever and expect to get it all done.
So I want to talk about this tool inside of the task planner that is going to make the easiest things automatic for you. And what that is, is drum roll your morning roundup and your evening wind down your morning roundup and your evening wind down. So what these are is they're like automatic. Loops that you make through your morning and before you go to bed at night, that help you get the most routine things done. So let me give you an example of what's in my evening wind down. and then we can talk about how you create your own.
So in my evening wind down, we pack lunches, which lunches are always packed when we're cleaning up dinner because I hate it when the kitchen is all clean and then they schlep a bunch of stuff out of the fridge again. Makes me wild. Um, cause I like to wake up very, very clean. Kitchen and clean counters. So we pack lunches. We do a review the next day. So it's like audibly I'm going through the calendar. Who needs to be where, who needs to be at school early? Does my husband have a late dinner? Does he need to leave? Like what time is the nanny coming? We audibly go through tomorrow's calendar review. We do a 10 minute pickup. So literally everybody in the family and it never lasts 10 minutes. It's usually between like three and five minutes, but think about. Four or five, six of us doing a clean up all at the same time, we get the house, like all the surfaces are pretty clean before we go to bed. So a quick family pickup, I sweep the floor with the Dyson, I wipe down the kitchen counters, I empty the trash cans, so the trash can in the kitchen, the trash can in our main bathroom, like, they just get hit really hard during the day and I like them to be empty. I water any flowers that we have like right now I have some stuff inside of my house on my table. or in the summertime I'll water the flowers outside and then I run the dishwasher. so I like make a lap literally that has all these things done from when we start cleaning up dinner that starts the evening wind down. like we're cleaning up dinner. We're going through the list of what's happening tomorrow. And you know, I realize not everybody might be there. Um, maybe some kids are still at practice and coming home, but as they're eating dinner, as they're finishing up, I'm walking through what's tomorrow. We're packing lunches. And then I literally have this routine where I start top and go down. So I start with the countertops. I wipe all of those down. I sweep the floor. we pick and put, make sure that things are cleaned up. And then I empty the trash, take it out to the garage. And the last thing I do is I start the dishwasher. And then usually like I might chill for a little bit, put kids to bed, but this is like a routine. If you walk into my house after. 8 p. m. It's like most certainly happening. And it happens so automatically that I hardly realize that I'm doing it anymore. But it has become a program that we run that keeps us aligned as a family, keeps the most like mundane, normal things happening in a routine. So that doesn't become a great big issue.
So let me give an example of what the issues look like before all this was happening. A kid would be laying in bed and be like, Oh shoot, mom, I forgot to pack my lunch. Can you pack my lunch for me? Of which I want to say, yeah, sure. I can pack your lunch, but it's nine 25. I also don't want to pack your lunch, but I would, or I would wait and do it in the morning, which I hate doing that even more because I like to work out in the morning, like whatever, but it would just sort of create this chain reaction of just like. Irritating things. And I was like, I want this annoyance to go away. I want them to remember. I don't want to have to become the default. How can I put it in our evening program? Like literally the program we run you know, like computers run programs. A, then B, B, then C, C, then D, if this and that, it's like, how do I put this in the program? And so literally as I'm standing at the counter cleaning up dinner, I'll say, who needs to pack their lunch for tomorrow? And people start running in. And it is like a cue for me and my program to remind them, Hey, why don't you pack your lunch? Because I don't want to have to pack it tonight and I don't want to have to do it tomorrow morning either. So. That was an example. Another thing that would happen is I would come out in the morning.
My husband and I are usually the first ones up in the house, like, you know, as that goes, and I hate walking out to a mess. I hate it. The thing it does to my brain is it just like, I feel like I'm starting behind. I feel like I'm like stepping on crumbs and the counter is sticky and I just hate how it feels. I want to walk out into the kitchen. I want it to visually be pretty. I want it to look welcoming and clean and restful and serene and not filled with a bunch of jobs. That is not how I want to start my morning. So like, okay, if that is not how I want to start my morning, how do I make it so that I don't start my morning that way? And I was like, Oh, here's the things I need to do. Start top to bottom, start with counters, pick and put, make the surfaces clean, run the Dyson, empty the trash, run the dishwasher. Boom, boom, bada, bang. It's all done. And it doesn't take me that long at all. Maybe 15, 20 minutes to get through that whole routine because it's become so automatic. And because I do it every single day, we never get behind and it never turns into a great big mess. the morning roundup is like what happens every single morning. Like every single morning. So morning roundup for us is much shorter. We make beds, kind of. I make my bed. I do not manage my kids making their beds because I don't want to manage it. I don't want to punish them. I don't want to go check. I don't want to have a checklist. I just don't want to do it. So I just don't. Sometimes their beds are made. Sometimes they're not. I don't really care. Some are pickier than others.
And what their room to look clean and some don't care. So I just don't manage it. I don't care. But I make my bed. I make my bed, I fill the kids water bottles up for school. A lot of times those are in our laundry room by their backpacks. And so I will like put ice and cold water in them cause I know they like that and it kind of helps them. We unload the dishwasher, in the morning and that can be me, could be my kids, could be our nanny. again, that is not a programmed thing. I run it before we go to bed, no matter how much or little is in it. And so in the morning it's always clean. So if somebody unloads that, we start the day with a fresh dishwasher and then I check backpacks. So I go through the little, you know, like the folder, like what to take home. Are there any permission slips? I do all that stuff in the morning. It's more administrative. and I can buzz through it pretty quickly and my brain is clearer. Um, and so that's what our morning roundup looks like. Make bed, fill water bottles, unload the dishwasher, check backpacks. Very short. I like to work out in the morning and so I have tried to put all the stuff that has to happen into the night before so that I can go work out super early, get back, help the kids get out the door and then. Jump into the shower and you know, get myself ready as fast as possible. But I don't want a bunch of like, Hey mom, can you, Hey mom, can you blah, blah, blah. Like, I don't like that in the morning. If you're going to ask me, let me know the night before it's much more helpful.
So how do you get to the spot where you have a program? Where your morning roundup and your evening wind down is determined as a family.
So it, all of the stress of getting everybody out of the house in the morning of packing up lunches at like picking out clothes. I have some kids who like to pick their outfit out the night before, because that becomes a great big thing in the morning. what are the things that cause friction that are really. Actually really simple. Like this is not a big thing. How is it taking so much capacity from a time perspective? How is it taking so much relational equity? Like we're fighting about who's going to pack your lunch. That's so stupid. Like these are not the real things of life. This is the. Like normal periphery, as I talk about, this is the ordinary.
So how do we own the ordinary so that we have space for the extraordinary in our relationship? So we have energy to read a book at night. So we have energy to say, good morning, honey, let's listen to your favorite song while you're eating breakfast. Like how do you put energy into the parts of the relationship that matter?
And the only way I figured out how to do that is by putting energy in the stuff that doesn't matter. So it is so easy. It happens so automatically. Everybody knows the program that we have energy to put into things that really do matter. So how do you get to the spot where you have your morning roundup and your evening wind down defined? How do you do that? The first thing is honestly, like literally make a picture of what you want? What do you want it to feel like? I, you know, told you my story, like when I wake up in the morning and I walk out to the kitchen, I want it to look clean. I want the countertops to be reflective. I want it to feel like a peaceful welcome to my day. I do not want to walk into a bunch of jobs. So again, I don't know what yours is, but what do you want it to look like? What do you want the morning to feel like? What do you want to be spending your time on? What are the things that cause friction of like, um, Why somebody is running out to the bus without their coat on.
Like what are the things that you can put in place to help everybody be just a little bit more prepared for what's coming? Because the things I'm talking about, like packing lunches, sweeping the floor, filling water bottles, those are not surprise events. We know every single day those are going to happen. If they're going to school, this is what has to happen. So how do you help everybody get kind of ahead? So that you have some space for something to go wrong. And if something does go a little bit wrong, like your teenager changed their shirt for the 43rd time or need you to braid their hair or whatever the thing is, you have some capacity for that and you aren't completely owned by the most ordinary parts of your morning and your evening.
So the first is to figure out what do you want and ask the rest of the stakeholders in your household. What do you want? What do you want your morning to look like? How do I make those moments peaceful for you? Like one of my daughter wants to take her lunch every single day. That's annoying to me. But how do I support her in that? And I've walked through with her, like, what are easy things I can have in the house? How do I make it? So that's a low lift for you. Like I'm a partner with her in that choice that she wants to have, which is to take her lunch every single day. So what do you want? That's the first one. What do you want? And the second is, how will you make that happen? So again, I will go, just keep going back to my kitchen example of like, I want to be able to walk in and there it be clean. How am I going to do that? I've got to create a process for that. What has to happen? The whole kitchen has to be cleaned up is a way too obtuse of a directive for anybody to help me with the whole kitchen needs to be clean. I say that to my husband or I say that to one of my kids or I take that. It is going to look like a very different task depending on who's doing it. But if I say the countertops need to be cleaned, the floor needs to be swept with the Dyson and the trash in the bathroom and the kitchen needs to be taken out to the garage, that is a very discreet. Definition of what the whole kitchen cleaned up means, does that make sense? So it cannot just be this obtuse direction directive has to be very specifically. What do you want done? I don't need the whole kitchen clean. I don't need like the fridge cleaned out. I don't need all the appliances wiped down. That would be amazing, but that's unsustainable for where we are right now. I just want three things, the counters, the floors and the trash and the rest of it. I may get. You know, in between, but that's all I need done. So specifically, how will you make that happen? What do you want and how will you make that happen?
What does done look like? What does a clean kitchen look like to you and who is going to be responsible? That's the last one. Who is going to be responsible for the most part at our house? I am the call it the transmission that runs the machine. I actually know nothing about mechanical things. I'm just imagining. Actually, I'm the drive belt. Maybe that's a better analogy for a thing. I know nothing about, but I'm like the driver of it. my sister. On the other hand, Yes. She has five kids, so convenient, five days of the week. And so Monday, her oldest unloads the dishwasher and like cleans up dinner. Tuesday, her second one does, like you get the idea. So she has a very prescriptive who is running her system. I am probably less planful. That's probably more, uh, accurate. And I have a different set of people home every day. Like, you know, my oldest has after school practice three days a week. My second one does two days a week. So I'm more just recruit who's in the house to help me. that has worked well for me, but make it as specific as you want the who to be. Again, you can rotate through kids. It can be you Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and your husband Thursday, Friday. but you do have to figure out who.
And so our default is that I am the who I'm the drive train and I like, again, like pack lunches. I'll say, Hey, who needs to pack lunches? And, you know, the little, the little mice will come to the kitchen and like, Whoever needs to pack their lunch for tomorrow will pack their lunch, but I'm kind of the drive train
The other thing I would recommend you do is print this off if you go download the task planner, which there'll be a link in show notes You can also find on my website Tiffany Sauter calm But show notes is probably the easiest if you like listen to this on the podcast Is go look at the template and fill it out And I also have the example of my household in this download fill it out print it out Put it on your refrigerator and literally go through the exercise of checking everything off for like 2 to 3 weeks until you get into the routine of, ah, I don't have to remind myself anymore. Like I needed a visual reminder for a while. Now I just buzz through it. The next step is then to have it on the refrigerator, but you don't necessarily have to go through the exercise of checking it off manually. You just kind of do it visually. And now I don't even need my list. you know, like the program just runs. I have like a very specific route that I go through in the evenings when I'm doing our evening wind down. The goal is for this to get to be automatic. The goal is not to have another. Like chore chart to manage. I hate when I have one more thing to manage. I'm a terrible manager at work. I'm a terrible manager at home.
I'm a terrible manager. But what I can be is I can run systems because those systems become part of my operating program as a human being. If I was not running my evening wind down, I don't know what I would do with myself. It's just. Automatic, like I have visual cues for myself. I know exactly what it looks like when it's done. And everybody kind of knows the kitchen's closed. Once the evening wind down has taken place, the dishwasher is running the kitchen. The counters are clean. You know, I, or one of my kids has run the Dyson. Like everybody kind of knows this is part of winding down the house. Then we can all rest and read. Pick up kids from practice whatever we have to do and then we go to bed But it's become a signal for everybody of like, ah, this is how we wind down as a family.
So as you are Looking to have more space with the extraordinary in your life I know when you think about yourself one year from now you're thinking about yourself being healthier You're thinking about yourself having had more adventure in your life. You're thinking about yourself. You know, taking some big swings at work or worked on some big projects or volunteered in some ways that are really meaningful to you. I know that you have wishes for your life and for your time that you are going to need the capacity to go pursue. And I'm telling you.
The way to unlock more time for the extraordinary is to obsess over how you own the ordinary and this task planner and specifically this piece of it that I'm highlighting your morning roundup and your evening wind down is an amazing first step towards the process of owning the ordinary. Let's make 2024 our best year yet.
Thanks for listening in today. And I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.
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