I’ve had a big revelation this year. I realised that I like to be organised and have systems to follow. Without a system, the mess and chaos I create does my head in!
I’m starting to get it, that to be successful at achieving anything you need to have a system that works and a plan on how to achieve your goal in a step-by-step manner. You’ll also need to cultivate the right attitude and habits to make the ride smoother, and have self-discipline to stick to the plan, especially on those days when you really don’t feel like it. I’ve also realised the importance of monitoring your progress to keep yourself accountable and on track.
My latest revelation on this process was in regard to housework. I like having a clean and tidy environment – mess and clutter make me grumpy! I have some bad habits of not putting things away after using them, and my husband Paul can also be messy, so our combined messiness can build up quite quickly leaving the house in a shambles. We have a reasonably large house, which I don’t often get completely cleaned in the space of a week, and we also have a dog who sheds hair all through the house, and tracks dirt and bits of garden in from outside. By the time the weekend rolls around the mess is intolerable, and I spend most of a day cleaning and tidying, and then feel resentful that I’ve ‘wasted’ my weekend!
In the space of a week, I had a conversation with two different women regarding housework. One of them had been a commercial cleaner, and now cleans a few houses and sells chemical-free cleaning products, and the other was one of my clients. My friend the cleaner is passionate about cleanliness, and says she loves the houses that she cleans because it’s just maintenance, it’s never hard work because it’s done regularly. My client was telling me that she has a great system with housework by having a three-week rotation and only spends 15-20 minutes per day cleaning her house, which leaves her free on the weekends to go away.
The two words that stood out to me from these conversations were ‘system’ and ‘maintenance’. I sat down and thought about my house and how I could create a house cleaning system that I could work with to get my house completely clean and free of clutter once again. My house divided up into ten distinct rooms or zones, so I figured that over the course of a month, I could clean each space 3 times, maybe focussing on a different aspect of cleaning each round.
My next challenge was to see how much I could actually get done in 20 minutes, so I set a timer and got stuck in. 20 minutes is enough time to do a basic clean, but to remove clutter or detail clean an area takes a bit longer. What I’ve decided to do is spent at least 20 minutes cleaning a zone each day, and when I have time do extra things like cleaning out drawers, cupboards, lampshades etc.
So I have a system, and a plan, and now I need to be self-disciplined to make it a habit to do my 20 minutes of housework every morning. Using my bullet journal (which I love), it feels great to monitor my progress and check off that I’ve done it each day. Nine days into my plan I’ve only missed one day, and my house is looking and feeling significantly cleaner already. I’m also cultivating the habit of putting things away after using them.
This same system to success applies to being healthy, running a business, growing a garden, or anything else you’d like to be successful at. Through bullet journaling you can map out your system, figure out the steps (tasks and to-do’s), track your habits and progress, and journal how you’re feeling along the way to continue to refine your system.
Because I love the bullet journal system so much, I’ve designed a half-day workshop to teach the basics. If you’d like to be more organised, productive and successful, or simply have a better work/life balance, come along and have some fun learning how to organise and manage your busy life in a flexible and creative way! Click here for dates and details or to register.