This is a part of the series, Living the Stream-Lined, Maximized Life. You can find the Introduction to this series at the following link:
As women, we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Whether we work in the home as a stay at home mom, juggle a career with motherhood or are an empty-nester who's life is full of volunteering opportunities and/or a job, it is rare for a woman to not feel that every single minute of her day is jam packed. In fact, many of us wake up every morning feeling completely overwhelmed at all that is on our to-do list and fall into bed each night feeling as if our day was lived in chaos and we have little to show for it.
Frustration is rampant, satisfaction rare. That old cliche of feeling like a hampster caught on a wheel rings true for us every single day.
Every Sunday night, we look at our lists of all we hope to accomplish and have some sort of hope that, "This week will get off to a great start" and then, Monday morning hits, and we've already fallen behind by noon. Yet another week finds us in tears or extreme irritable living, with nothing but half finished tasks. It seems as if everything got 10% of us and nothing got 100%.
As the years pass and my home fills with children/young women coming through my door on a regular basis, I am learning how to live an ordered life despite all the demands on my time.
I know that some of you are going to cringe and quit reading now because that goes against your innate personality. You're the free spirits of the world. Flexibility and spontaneity are your gifts and hearing that a schedule of sorts might be in order, already makes you feel as if you are going to lose your soul.
Trust me, it won't. In fact, you may find more of yourself because of it.
Those of you who have the same personality I have (or curse, depending on how you look at it), hear about living an ordered life and your mind quickens with anticipation. Creating an organized life is right up your alley. Just the words alone make you feel as if maybe life will be all that you've hoped it could be.
Your issue isn't not liking order or knowing how to create schedule and routine. Your issue is going to be learning how to let some things go and not put them on your schedule. You don't need to learn how to create lists. You need to learn how to keep your lists minimized!
So what does the Type A personality and what does the Histrionic personality, gain from seeking how to live a Stream-Lined Life?
~ Find their life purpose. They will know what they are called to do. They will learn how to say yes to the things that fulfill their purpose, and let all the rest go.
~ Make their life simpler in the end. Having a month's worth of menus will not only save time in trying to figure out meals day by day, it will also save money because you will only buy what you need.
~ It will teach your children, not only order, but stress free living. Instead of modeling a jam-packed life with chaos that accomplishes little, you will be modeling a life that lives to the fullest and accomplishes much!
~ More time for children and spouse. The more ordered your life the more time you have to spend on the relationships that are important - because they are given high priority, both in your day-timer and in your mind.
~ Few things will get 100% of you instead of many things only getting 10% of you.
~ A sense of accomplishment and well being.
~ A reason to get up every morning. Living out a calling instead of being driven by "oughts" and "shoulds" that only drain us dry.
~ Learning more about ourselves. What do we truly love to do, what are our weak points, what are our strong points? What is our niche in life and what are we doing just because we feel obligated?
Sometime, between now and January, go out and by a nice, fat three ring binder with two packages of tabbed section dividers. You many want some pocket folders while you're at it and even a pen/pencil bag to put into it. Ideally, buy a binder that you can create a cover for and insert into the front of it. We don't won't ugly and bulky, since this is going to be our "brains" as my husband calls mine. At the same time, organization requires some space, so you will need to be a nice size binder.
The task of developing the stream-lined life isn't exactly a small task in the beginning. There are some things to hash out with ourselves and sometimes, an actual crisis point to reach, as we have to decide what to let go and what to keep.
The first time a month's worth of menus are created it will seem like the never ending task and creating our binder system will seem like a hassle. But as someone who has "been there, done that" in the past year, I can promise you, the initial investment will be worth it. The time invested now, will ultimately save you time in coming weeks and months. As the old Lao-Tzu proverb states, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step". Give yourself the gift of that first step every morning for a few months and what takes work in the beginning will become second nature by the third month. A second nature that results in a fully, maximized life, something every single one of us long for.