Productivity Push

A month or so back I mentioned that I had started to do the Make Over Your Mornings by Crystal Paine.  In typical fashion, once I got started I kind of went off the deep end with the whole increasing productivity thing.  I’m now a graduate of it, the Make Over Your Evenings course and I’m half way through the Make Over Your Year course.  My husband and I are doing the Year course together since it’s about household as well as personal goals.  It’s been fun to work on this together and also helpful.  We are pretty different in work styles and personalities so the course is helping us in two ways: to create better balanced goals through helpful feedback since we view things pretty differently and to let us come to common ground on some key goals that we don’t seem to make headway on year after year.  It feels exciting to get some traction going on our goals!

I had to laugh the other day when Steven guided me back on the rails about something that I was over reaching on and said “what would Crystal Paine do?”  Now my almost 14 year old is also working doing the Morning program and we all have fun with WWCPD added in here and there in our weekly planning conversations.  We’ve become Crystal disciples – LOL.

So what’s the result of all this work?

  • I’ve woken up at 5:40 AM for over a month now and am feeling much more in control of my day and my productivity has definitely improved.
  • For 2 weeks now I’ve been tracking my sleep, activity and calories (in connection with My Fitness Pal) with the Jawbone UP2 that my friend Hallie and Crystal Paine recommended.  I LOVE the alarm feature!!  It’s so nice to wake up without been jarred by a loud alarm but instead wake with the Jawbone vibrating.  My husband likes it too and I’m not worried about waking my toddler anymore.
  • Checking a number of significant projects off our Pivotal Tracker house project to do list.  If BTW you’re doing any type of home remodeling, or really just want a nice way to check off the to do’s, check out Pivotal Tracker.  We love how you can attach dollars needed and assess time needed to each entry as well as assign an “owner.”  I’ll post photos soon of the various finished projects.
  • Going from struggling to get a weekly meal plan done to getting a full month’s worth of meals planned by the 1st.
  • Expanding the Our Groceries App functionality in our house to include 35 favorite meals and 3 staple lists (cold, pantry and specialty) which in combination with the shopping options below has saved many hours a week.
  • Setting up almost all grocery shopping with online accounts through the three different Amazon options of Amazon Prime subscriptions and Dash Buttons, Amazon Fresh and Prime Now.  I used to have to go to the grocery store multiple times in a week and to between 2-4 different stores to get the variety of items we use.  Now, my husband handles making the list with the Our Groceries App (based off my calendar), checks our stock levels and orders needed items.  I receive the deliveries and handle putting things away.  FINALLY we don’t spend hours on a Saturday going these tasks.  And we can divide up this major housework item between us in a way that matches our skill sets.  It’s so freeing!!
  • Using a daily schedule to get other housework and tasks done so that they don’t feel overwhelming.  I found the cute template on Classy Clutter that you see below.

I’m still in progress on quite a lot of my other goals and I’ll keep you updated on them over the next few weeks.  I hope where ever you are that the sun is shining as beautifully as it is here in Seattle.  And I need to sign off and go enjoy my new found free time!

Cleaning Schedule


My Morning Makeover Committment


Ok, I admit it.  I’m a Pinterest junkie.  It all started 4 years ago when an acquaintance mentioned her near addiction level love of the site and whose fiancé was considering an intervention with forced rehab.  Newly engaged, I went down the rabbit hole of Pinterest and numerous wedding blogs which now leads me to this post.  Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I found a pin about being more productive which lead me to discover Organizing Moms blog which led me to find a 14 day course called Make Over Your Mornings so…you can thank Crystal Paine’s course for my new blog posts!

I figured what the heck, it was only $17 and if it motivated me at all, that seemed money well spent.  I started out well.  6 AM wake ups and doing my homework for 3 days.  Then the bubonic plague hit my house and literally everyone in the house ended up with fevers, coughing and various other not so awesome symptoms which I’ll spare you the gory details of.  As of today I think we’re all either on the mend or close to it so I’ve started the course again.  Reviewed Days 1-3 and added Day 4.

Day 2 homework was to figure out what the three things are causing me the most stress in the  morning and then make a plan to eliminate/reduce this stress.  Like many of you I’m sure, I feel like I’m constantly busy yet I get very little accomplished.  The big reason is that I tend to let my family and events of the day take over so my #1 stressor is not having a clear plan for the day and grip on what I need to get done (of importance).  I end up forgetting appointments and running late a lot because of this.  #2 is not getting ready for the day in a way that’s put together and makes me feel good.  Last, #3 is not having things ready to leave and wasting time looking for lost keys, glasses, purse, etc.  I’ve established a night time ritual to help and while it’s not perfect yet, it does feel better to me.

Day 4 homework requires that I be brave (gulp) and share my new goals, connected rewards and my internal and external motivators.  Here goes:

  • feel more peaceful, focused and organized
  • be more informed, centered and healthy
  • be work focused (both the blog and my PT paid position)

Now that’s no easy list given where I am these days (or should I say where I’ve been for the last 3 years?).  But I’m determined to get more control and peace in life.  And I’m committed to getting things done that are not just the constant daily life grind type things (dishes, laundry, groceries, dinner, cleaning).

I feel like I need to give a little background.  My emotional “bucket” has been very low on and off since summer 2013.  My focus had to be on family.  A short review:  new baby after being married a little over a year, two close family members passing away,  me diagnosed with two fairly serious health conditions, my elderly father moving in with us while having serious health challenges and settling into a new fixer upper house.  Crazy right?  Not wanting to be a whiner here… just trying to give some perspective on why I can’t seem to devote time to myself or to work.

Today though my baby is now an almost 3 year old and life here has settled into a multi-generational, albeit slightly nutty,  existence that we’re enjoying (mostly).  Cue the trumpets…time to take care of me for a change! And time to take care of the last few annoying projects on the house that keep making me anxious.  My hope is to share my personal growth (including morning make over progress) as well as the house projects.  And I have quite a few parties to share with you too along the way.  I’m happy to report that even though I was too busy to post them, I did at least still do blog worthy things.  Stay tuned and comment if you’ve found other “make over” sites or articles that have helped you. Thanks for listening!