I am delighted to bring you Leanne Baker from @organisingthe4ofus Leanne’s positive outlook on life, honesty and integrity is something we all aspire to. Not only is she an organisational queen, entrepreneur, high school maths teacher, wife and mother to 2 gorgeous boys, she also dedicates time from her day to support others in making time for things that matter. Sharing daily systems and practices that she implements daily to cut the ‘fluff’ in life and get back to the things that bring joy.
I am delighted that Leanne has agreed to share her 3 top strategies to help her keep on top of work and mum life. Welcome to The Dream Team Leanne!
Thank you so much for asking me to write a guest post for you to share my top tips to help you create space in your life for what matters most to you.
I am always pleased to share some of the strategies and tools that I use in my life, and I really hope there is something you can take away from this post, and include in your own households.
Read on to learn about 3 of my favourite strategies that I use to help me feel organised and have more free time to spend with my family creating memories.
This is one of my favourite tips, and if you have seen my Leanne Baker Daily planners, you will know that every page has a space for you to write your List of Three! You don’t need one of my planners to use this strategy though – just a piece of paper, or your phone will do!
Spend a few minutes each night thinkingabout what you need to do the next day. Write up a “List of the Three” – the three most important tasks you need to get done tomorrow.
If you have a really long list of “to-dos”, pick three to work on each day until you work through them.
Write up your List of Three in order of the most to least important.
If you spend a few minutes in the evening doing this, then the next morning you already know exactly what to focus on when you get up. As soon as you have a chance (yes I do mean before you start to scroll on your phone! Or perhaps it won’t be until after work) – whatever works for you, pick the top task on your List of Three and get started. Try not to procrastinate, or question it – just start!
Focus on the first task and nothing else. Block out other distractions, and stop thinking about what else you think you need to do – fully focus on No. 1 of your List of Three.
Remember to be flexible, and if you do get interrupted (family, emergency etc…) take care of the interruption and then get back to your task, or it’s ok to reschedule it to another day.
Then move on to No. 2 and No. 3.
If I have a big item on my List of Three for tomorrow, then I will add two smaller, shorter ones to go with it. For example the other day I needed to clean up the back yard and hose down after the dog, before the gas-mancame to refill our gas cylinders. I knew that this would take up around 40 minutes, so my other 2 items were quick and easy. The whole idea is to set yourself up for success not for failure.
I strongly recommend that you don’t put three big items on your List of Three on any given day. This will increase feeling overwhelmed, not reduce it, which is the total opposite of what we are trying to do here!
If you have a hotspot in your home where mess regularly accumulates, then I suggest you include tidying up that spot on your List of Three regularly. For us, this is the Dining Room table – so you will find that regularly on my List of Three!
This is probably one of the most regular tips that I share on social media. If you have been following me for a while you will know all about this strategy. It’s actually really surprising how much you can get done in a 15-minute block, when you are focussed and get stuck in!
Set a timer on your phone, or the oven or microwave for 15-minutes daily, every dayand whizz around the house and do a quick, general tidy up, resetting your home putting everything back in place and restoring order.
One important note – this is not about cleaning your house, it is a general tidy up and re-setting of your space. This means picking up anything that is out of place and putting it back in its home, for example, items of clothing, or toys on the floor, items on the bench-tops, or on the dining table (this is our worst spot for collecting random items).
Choose a time that suits you – this might be when you get home from work, after school pick up, or just before bed. You don’t necessarily have to do it at the exact same time every day, but if you link it to another activity, such as just before bed, or as soon as you get home from work/school etc …this will help you embed it as a habit. You can use a habit tracker to mark off your progress too!
Try it once a day for the whole week, and develop this into a habit – just watch what a difference it can make to your household. This is a real game-changer!
One of my simplest and proven strategies for starting the week off on the right foot and feeling prepared for what might come at us during the week is to spend some time getting set up for the week ahead.
‘Set me up Sunday’ is all about setting yourself up for success for the week ahead.
It’s important to note that this doesn’t have to be done on a Sunday if you work or choose to rest and recharge on a Sunday. You might choose to set yourself up for success on a different day of the week, and of course that is perfectly fine.
In our home, Sundays are a mix of recharging and preparing for the week ahead. If I spend an hour on a Sunday preparing for the week, that hour pays back over and over again.
Sometimes what will help is meal prepping, conquering the laundry piles and doing some power cleans, other times it’s a call to a friend, a Sunday nap and a rest day.
This week since we had a really busy week, Sunday was for catching up on washing the dishes, and laundry – ready for the week ahead. Then we went out and had some fun together as a family!
Is there one thing you can add into your Sunday routine to set yourself up for success?
Thank you Leanne for helping us to stay on top of the juggle and beating through the struggle. To find out more about Leanne, her planners, her amazing Project 14 program, head to Leanne Baker Daily and follow Leanne on Instagram @organisingthe4ofus