In the midst of the winter doldrums, sometimes we need little hacks to keep us going. I feel a little silly having just written that, as I’m sitting in the car with my windows open on a sunny, balmy central Texas day in early February.
Nevertheless, I’m joining in with one of my favorite bloggers, Anne Bogel over at Modern Mrs. Darcy, and sharing what’s saving my life right now. I do have twelve children, after all, and seven of them plus a husband and a son-in-law currently live at my house. I am always on the lookout for productivity and peacefulness tools.
1. My morning routine used to consist of waking up, grabbing my phone, playing a few rounds of scramble and checking email and instagram before going about my day. It was an ok routine, and it got me out of bed, but it could drag on longer than necessary and hose my plans, and it did not put me the best mindset. So instead, I have been getting up, sitting in my favorite chair, writing down some scripture, meditating using the scripture to focus, praying, and writing some thoughts. After that, I make my bed, and only then do I pick up my phone, usually to exercise with a YouTube video or go for a run with the C25K app.
2. Taking one day at a time, because truly each day has enough trouble of its own. In particular, finances are iffy, but I try not to give it much thought beyond what I can do right now.
3. Keeping track of spending and zero-based budgeting have been saving my family’s life for most of last year and on into this one. Due to a series of unfortunate events, we’ve had less than half our usual income in 2017. Keeping track of where the money goes and telling it where to go each month has kept our heads above water longer than I expected. For tracking spending, I’m using Quicken for Mac, and I am not fond of it. At all. Feel free to comment and tell me your favorite spending tracker/budgeting tool.
4. Food prep is saving me in the kitchen. I signed up for a prepdish subscription back in September, and getting some of the chopping and assembling done on a day when I have a couple of hours to spare saves me on those busy days when I have no energy left to figure out what’s for dinner.
5. My bullet journal is my constant companion. So much has been written about this tool that I hesitate to add anything. My main hack to the basic format is drawing a weekly spread to get a picture in my mind of what we have going on, and including a weekly tracker and running task list. I use my weekly spread instead of the daily log. Some favorite collections are my prayer list, my notes on whatever book I am currently reading, and my master calendar for our recurring activities (cut out of my 2017 journal and taped into my new one).
7. Curbside grocery pickup is magical. Miraculous. For 3% of my purchases plus $4.95, I can shop for groceries on line and schedule a half hour pickup window. I’ve been doing this ever since my local grocery store (HEB) started offering it in December. Because I shop at three different stores, my weekly grocery ordeal can be arduous. Curbside grocery pickup has freed up both time and energy. That week I had the flu? I used instacart for Costco and Whole Foods and sent my husband for HEB curbside pickup, and all our lives were saved.
What’s saving your life right now?