It’s Tuesday and that means I get to introduce you to another one of our amazing contributors on this blog. These women are so talented and I can’t wait for you to get to know them better as time goes on. Brittany Jones is no exception! I have known Brittany for along time and have learned so much from her. She is one of the most ‘on the ball’ women I know. Not only is she an amazing organizer, designer, fashion-guru, but she is an amazing mother and wife. She is raising four boys and doing fantastic at that! Despite the fact Brittany wears high heels to school functions (yeah, I’m just happy to not be in my sweats), she is completely down to earth and real about life. Watch for many more tips, tricks and advice coming from Brittany in the near future. You’re going to love her, just like I do! Take it away Brittany…

 

At the end of another long day, I crash into bed exhausted. My eyes fall shut while my mind rehearses the list of things I didn’t accomplish throughout the day. Dishes left in the sink, toys scattered everywhere, an email unsent and children neglected. As my thoughts slow down to let sleep take over I remember the laundry sitting in the washer.

I promise myself tomorrow will be better as I drift off to sleep thinking about how I need to read to my 5-year old more often. Then I wake up to go through the same chaos over again.

I know I’m not the only mom who feels this way.

“Time controls us and we begin living days instead of making days come alive.” As I read this line by Linda Eyre in her book, A Joyful Mother of Children. I felt hope that I could change the mundane days to magical.

When I first read this quote 6 years ago I decided to make some simple changes.

1. Evaluate

Ask yourself what needs to be accomplished so you don’t feel guilty at the end of the day. Create a mission statement with clear priorities. In Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism, he explains, “Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution.”

McKeown also shares, “we can live a life by design, not by default.” Think about specific things you need to happen each day to bring you peace and joy at the end of the day instead of stress and overwhelm.

2. Write it down

Once you understand your priorities, write them down. For me, these are simple things like, brush teeth, say prayers, read scriptures and get ready. In evaluating my priorities I realize making a hot breakfast is not as important to me as scripture study so I add scripture study to my checklist, but not breakfast. I write down only the most essential items I need to do each day. I love having a chart I can check off each activity as it’s done. This helps me feel a sense of accomplishment.

3. Get your family involved

After making a checklist for myself, I realized this is an effective method for my children. I keep a list of the essential things I want my children to accomplish each day. We share our lists with each other so we can all work together. Seeing my children as teammates instead of opponents has been crucial to the creation of a perfect day in our home.  Here is the CHORE CHART I use for my kids. Hope it’s helpful for you too 😉

4. Strive for 80%

Once you have evaluated priorities, written them down and shared them with your family it’s time to get started actually doing the work. This part can easily get you down. If you neglect to do something one day it is easy to feel discouraged. I always strive for an 80%
success rate. Sure, we’d all love to get 100% of the things on our list accomplished, but this is never reasonable. When I strive for 80% I’m okay when I can’t get to a couple things on my chart each day. Our perfect day is a guideline not a set of rules.

Anna Quindlen says, “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”

5. Reevaluate often

I reevaluate my chart each week. Often times my perfect day changes based on different seasons in my life. If there is something I’m not accomplishing day after day, I take time to ask myself why this keeps happening. In Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, she explains, “Whether we’re overcoming adversity, surviving trauma or dealing with stress and anxiety, having a sense of purpose, meaning and perspective in our lives allows us to develop understanding and move forward.” It’s so important to constantly evaluate why we do what we do each day. Our goal is to always be improving. Reevaluating our daily tasks is crucial to not only creating the perfect day, but the perfect life.

I now lay my head on my pillow and fall fast asleep. I know the most important things have been done. I love having clear priorities and a simple chart that helps me accomplish these tasks each day.

~Brittany Jones

Deals to Meals Contributor