With a Treat for Dividing and Conquering —
Looking down the predictably long list of everything you might need and want to accomplish even in one day — let alone week, month, year, or life — can easily prove overwhelming. As a result, we often resort to hiding behind distractions and procrastinations, instead of consciously moving through each moment in a way that can serve our intended purpose. But by dividing everything into manageable categories to first think about and then do as separate blocks, we reliably boost both our available energy and probable success levels. I certainly spent decades first learning and then practicing this critical lesson in the restaurant business with all the trial-by-fire demands in line work and kitchen management responsibilities.
Creating a regular schedule framework, with the freedom to focus on each task at hand, makes for lighter and more fulfilling work and play. And then when you add it up at the end of the day, you can still emerge as a victorious overall multiple tasker. So when mapping out the hours in your own weekly schedule, it just makes sense to:
- Group together first priority personal care needs at the beginning of each day, and make sure you can get up early enough to supportively set yourself up in this way (e.g., by making coffee, getting cleaned up and dressed, journaling, exercising, meditating, eating, lunch packing, list checking, schedule coordinating...). If you're not naturally an early riser, before an equally respectful bedtime the night before, it often helps to get in the habit of laying out everything you'll need to get going first thing the next morning. Then even when I'm still just-got-up groggy, that immediate support always puts a fresh smile on my face. Try it!
- Group together errands and appointments on specific days of the week for less frequent and more predictably efficient out-and-about loops. (I first got into this habit, when we decided to become a one-car family for a number of years, had to coordinate more carefully, and then discovered how much more time and energy was freed up for other activities as a result. So we still do this even though now we're back to having two cars again.)
- Group together activities coordinated and done with others (e.g., the best mutual timing for shared meals, family/couple time, socializing, house and garden projects, entertainment, relaxation, exercise, critical conversations), so they can be the most satisfying and with no one either kept waiting or left wanting. Then the added bonus is that your remaining blocks of solo time in between automatically become less fragmented, more freed up and productive as a result. Love it.
Now that winter's over, it's always so refreshing to be able to spring forward with baby leeks, truly new potatoes, and this season's thick, fresh cream. Just click on your treat link below to open my Casual Recipe for Creamed Leeks and Potatoes.
Here's hoping these Divide and Conquer Tips help you gain freedom and clarity to feel more in charge of and effective in your own life. Next time we'll focus on Gathering It All Together.
Bon Appétit! Kay