I may have only worked a three day week for the past ten years, but freeing up those days has made keeping on top of the house and five competing schedules so much easier. It's not forever, but I want to make the most of my new found freedom; and a written routine helps immensely with that.
My barebones, daily routine is unchanged. This includes the things that if neglected, snowball into much larger problems and workloads. If I do nothing else, these things must be attended to:
- Feed cat and rat
- School drop off
- Wash and dry one load of laundry
- Empty bins
- School pick up
- Wash up and wipe down kitchen
- Pick up downstairs floors
In addition, I try to accomplish a few other things each day:
- Put clean laundry away
- Clean bathroom sink and toilet bowl
- Prepare uniforms and packed lunches for the following day
- Weekly/monthly/seasonal chores
If these tasks don't get done, the chaos builds up slowly, not catacylsmically. There's plenty of room to catch up, as long as things aren't left for too long. I've started to make a list of chores and tasks as I encounter them, and I decide in the moment how frequently they need to be completed - and slot them into my routine as required.
My daily routine takes care of the basics, ensures everyone is fed, clothed - but precious little else. It's important to schedule in some fun, some rest, some time for learning, some time for important relationships, some exercise. These are all things that I know I tend to neglect at my peril - some of them are guilt inducing. But martyrdom is not a good example to set to my children. It passes down the generations like a terrible gene, ready to be activated by any fleeting joy; and so I'm making a concerted effort to ensure that I set a better example with each new day:
- Write journal or blog
- Daily reading for relaxation
- Reply to texts and messages (maintain friendships!)
- Get out of the house
- Learn something new and life enriching
- Take time for simple pleasures
With my days taken care of, I also want a nice, predictable rhythm to my week - a day to devote to paperwork and admin, a day to devote to errands and shopping; and a dedicated rest day all improved my life in the past, but shiftwork got in the way of that . I would also like to fit in some socialising, volunteering or community work too. It's important to have moments in the day to look forward too; and some bigger things in the week to work towards.