All through my life, the importance of being organised and having good routines was impressed upon me by my very organised and structured parents. I realise now they both demonstrated to me very pedantic and obsessive traits, hence forth why I can at times be a little obsessed about doing things a certain way. But don't we all have our own way of doing things?
As a child I was very neat and organised. Unlike other children, under my bed was a neatly coiled skipping rope, a small collection of neatly aligned books, and a retro/ancient portable tape player. I was very cool you see, and super organised! One of my favourite past times was rearranging my room into different designs, I loved the feeling of sleeping in a different facing direction. I realise now that even as a child I loved order, and I also loved change. Often on a dullish afternoon, I would entertain myself by pulling all my clothes from my wardrobe, and systematically folding and ordering them into neat little piles. Yes. I was a sick child. Also an only child, so I had no siblings to terrorise me out of my highly organised repertoire.
My parents were also very structured and ordered. My Mum was an offset printer as I grew up and she was very well known for her immaculately tidy and organised station. All pens in a row, pencils sharpened, every need at her fingertips to improve efficiency. Oh yeah, I love that. She continued to be super organised in her trade as a silk flower designer and creator, she would label everything, I think she loved her highlighters and sticky tape more then me sometimes. For years I would sit at the table and watch her as she crafted, in her focused creative flow moments. She would make this horrendous noise with the tape dispenser, repetitively, to obtain a full page of neatly aligned sticky tape, to cover her pattern to strengthen and protect. It would drive me mental, but we would both laugh as she knew I couldn't stand that noise, but it was a necessary evil. I can still hear it now. Love you Mum. I hope wherever she is now, 'up there' she is still making and creating something beautiful. I am sure she is.
My Mum instilled in me this love for creativity. She was a constant source of creative expression, and when she wasn't making something or scheming an idea, she felt dull, flat and depressed. A random outing, or encounter with a stranger, would get her going again, and she would be away on another creative endeavour.
My Father trained as an Architect nearly completing his degree in the late 1950's, so his love of structure and order was no doubt initiated by the clean lines and system within architectural design. He changed track by virtue of life influence and became a floor contractor; he laid carpets, vinyl and timber floors in his later days. His perfectionism was not lost in his new trade, as order and structure and being straight and aligned were very important parts of this trade. He impressed upon me the importance of doing things right. Making them straight, ordered, accurate, on time, neat, clear, obvious, correct. I see how I am a product of both my parents now, perhaps you can too?
Here are some good routines well taught to me by my naughty and highly organised parents;
1. Do things the right way. We all know what is right from wrong, I don't always follow this rule but it is a good one, and you feel better for doing it the right way. Bend the rules if need be, but do it the way it needs to be done to be right. Thinking laterally is not always the done thing, but it can often lead to the right way of getting things done.
2. Be organised. Organisation is the key to success. If you prepare yourself in advance, mentally and physically, you give yourself a much better chance of success and accomplishment.
3. Rise early. Getting up early gives you so much more time in the day to be productive. As the world quietly sleeps around you, you can accomplish many things in the early hours of the morning. Sleep is overrated. You only need so much, and if you wake up, get up. Another quote by a friend from years back who noticed I overslept remarked one day;
“Plenty of time to sleep when you are dead”. So true it is, life is for living and not for oversleeping.
4. Be a list maker. I feel con-fuddled if I don't write things down daily. I write lists for the day, my activities, my dreams, my plans, my to do list, my grocery list. Get all that information out of your head and write it down, so much better. My Dad used to itemise and predict the time at which the activity would happen, told you he was extreme. Love you Dad.
5. Write in a diary. Diaries are the best. It's so great to record what you are up to in your day to day life, to look back on things as a record, but also to just keep fresh what needs to happen in your day to day life. You will never miss another appointment. I got my mum into writing a diary late in life, and she loved this practise too. She wrote many thoughts and actions down, and this is a nice record for me too. I have books and books of diaries. Maybe one day I could write excerpts from what I was doing all those years ago.
6. Exercise daily. Do something physical to move that body, break out a sweat, and breathe in the delicious outdoors, as often as you can. You will always feel better for it. There are a million activities you could do, why not try dancing, kayaking, running, tennis, or bushwalking?
7. Eat healthy. You know what this means. Try and avoid eating crap, high sugar, high processed fat, low nutrition, or any take away. Make clean simple food, and only eat when you are hungry. Eating is also overrated, most of us eat way too much for what we need.
8. Avoid drugs and alcohol. These really are unnecessary evils. Causing obliteration and enticing often dangerous and provocative actions, avoid them as much as you can. Damaging your mind and body with anything harmful is a practise you want to avoid in order to maintain all of the above good routines.
There are many ways to be organised and develop good routines. I could write for days about good routines; however we all have our own little systems which help us to be better humans. I hope my tips have helped you to think about your own good routines, and maybe think about changing or improving ways you do things to be more efficient, organised and satisfied.
Thanks for reading and please share with your friends if you want to.
“Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, find harmony” – Albert Einstein