Find Your Keys

Lately I’ve been thinking that if I stay on top of the laundry and dishes, the house will keep running in chaotic weeks. If those things get behind, it’s hard to climb back up that hill. Everything else can fit in around it or slide a little. (In other words, vacuuming a really dirty floor doesn’t take that much longer than vacuuming a slightly dirty floor, when I get to it, but five loads of laundry will take a while.)

Laundry and dishes are my housework keys. I do a load of laundry every day I can and a dishwasher load once a day. Those covered = Success.

For you it may be different. Maybe a basic surface cleaning routine makes your days sane. You’ll figure out the rest if it at least looks clean around you. Maybe meal planning is the skeleton of your household. Full stomachs make problems seem manageable. Whatever it is, it makes a big difference.

If you know what your housework keys are, you can be successful more easily than just guessing at what you MUST do in a busy week. Take a minute to think about what your keys are, if they don’t immediately come to mind. What really helps you? What keeps everything else in line? Now you can start using that knowledge as a tool when you prioritize your day. Those keys automatically stay at the front of the line for housework.

Leverage that big impact into further energy for the next step. Less time thinking through your keys and priorities, because you have thought once and are now just reapplying, gives you more time to use each day. You have more mental space and energy to focus on what you should be doing instead of what should I be doing? Make the most of it.

True Priorities

What are your priorities? You can probably easily list the top three. Great! Now how do they show up in your routine life? Does your calendar reflect those three things? A self-discipline strategist has a rude awakening for us as we drift toward complacency or distraction.

You might have more Significant things you want to be doing, but any time that you are not doing them, they are not truly your priority. (Procrastinate on Purpose, Rory Vaden, 191)

Really? He goes on to be sure we understand…

That is one of the great deceptions of this life. In our minds, we think that our priority is our family, or our priority is being successful, or our priority is our faith, but if that isn’t what we are actually doing, then it isn’t our priority!

It is SO easy to be busy without purpose. It is hard work to stay on track with what is important. Distractions abound, fires burn, and needs demand attention. 

Some habits that will help:

  • Take a couple minutes at the beginning of the day to look at what you have on your plate and know what is truly most important. Daily priorities make a big difference.
  • Watch yourself and take deep breaths when you need to.
  • Phone a friend. Outside help and a little accountability and encouragement go a long way.
  • Make time to step back from the race on an occasional basis and look at the big picture carefully and prayerfully. Check your map, so to speak, and make sure you are going where you think you are going!
  • Feed your soul.