As you may have already noticed, unlike Winston Churchill, I’m not much of a planner nor have I ever been one for setting goals and so far, I’ve not had any major regrets. But, whilst there is no question that I subscribe to the just wing it approach to life, I also concede that this year is different. It has to be different if I want to achieve some of the things that I have dared to think about this year and so it would appear that planning is the only way to make it happen.
Next week, the girls begin their transition to full time child care, which will actually be 4 long days as opposed to 5 regular days as I have arranged to return to work under a compressed work week agreement. As a result, I have spent my day today planning and getting ready for next Monday, where I will start what will ultimately become our routine once I actually return to work. I have 32 days left to get on track as well as achieve some of the things that I had set out to do before I returned to work!
The main area I need to focus on this month is our daily routine. There is no doubt that working a compressed work week has its benefits. One less day of childcare to pay for, one extra day in the week to spend with and be present for the girls, a spare day to keep in touch with those of my mumma friends who are still on Mat leave… because, well, coffee and cake!!! But working from 7am-5.30pm four days a week also has some significant drawbacks – namely early morning starts, late nights and the requirement to be at least semi organised.
Thankfully for me, I don’t mind early starts and I’m pretty low maintenance so I can be up, out of bed and ready in less than 15 minutes. Miss B and I had our routine sorted when I returned from Mat Leave the first time around and I could awaken at 6am and be out the door with both of us dressed and organised by 6.40am. By the time I stopped for a coffee, I was well and truly seated at my desk by my 7am start time.
This time around, in addition to having one more person to get ready there are a couple of other factors I need to consider. Firstly, I need to figure out a timelier, less frustrating/horrific bedtime for Miss B. Tonight, we hit the hour forty five mark (despite deploying my new technique) and that definitely needs to change if we’re going to make this work! For both our sakes!
The other thing is to build in some time for me. Time to go for a half an hour run in the morning, time to write in the evening, time to sit on the couch like a bum if that’s what’s required! Whatever it is, I need to make sure that this is integrated into our routine. Finally, the routine needs to incorporate the paying of bills, menu planning, groceries and cooking dinner. I’m not naturally drawn (or competent) at menu planning so this is something I need to keep working at. My plan is to pay bills, menu plan and order groceries online on a Wednesday evening with delivery on Thursday evening (where the routine can relax a bit, given the day off on Friday). I will be trialling a few different slow cooker and quick recipes over the coming month to see if they will be suitable and assist in me getting home and getting dinner on the table ASAP before bath and bedtime. If there is one thing I learnt the first time around is that Miss B needs to eat as soon as she walks in the door!
And for all of this to work I need to ensure I’m in bed by 10pm, 10.30pm at the ABSOLUTE latest. I learnt last time I returned to work that I need to get at least 7 hours sleep to function well at my desk. I can see that I’m probably going to have to start getting up at 5 or 5.30am in order for me to fit in everything that needs to be done. Oh, that sounds rough!
And whilst the next 32 days will no doubt be trial and error I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to manufacture being organised. I know it’s not the natural state that I operate within. But I also know that I’m driven by deadlines so I’m hopeful that by setting a deadline for the end of next month, I will trick my brain into getting its shit together!
So what’s on the to do list in addition to the daily routine stuff? Here it is at a glance.
If I can achieve even at least 2 of these I will be one happy mumma! And hopefully a functioning and sane one too!
Do you have a daily routine to ensure you keep functioning during the week? How do you go about planning for those ‘nice to do’ projects on top of the daily grind?