Are You Setting Yourself Up for Failure?

It doesn’t take much to sabotage your day long before the sun ever rises.
There are all kinds of calamities and interruptions like kids that get sick in the night, or the smoke alarm that starts notifying you at 1:42 am that the battery needs to be changed.
So a smart woman might avoid adding anything else to the mix that puts her at a disadvantage before she’s even had her coffee.

From time to time I’ve fallen into some bad habits that tank my day before it’s begun.
I’m never quite sure how it starts, but once on that slippery slope I find I have to grab onto some old friends to keep me from falling off the cliff.

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Bad Habit #1 is Clutter.
Clutter makes me crazy.

But I’m a whiz at creating it.
It takes years of practice to be able to gather a pile of post-it notes so high there’s snow near the top.
Or so many old issues of Architectural Digest you need to go to Ikea to buy them their own bookcase.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40085709/#/40085714
The Billy Bookcase works great, but after I bought it, assembled it, and stuck it a closet in my office. . .only after all that did it occur to me that just maybe I didn’t need all those old AD’s.

So now I’m into editing possessions and sharing the AD love with Beauty Salons and Dental Offices.
Magazines from 2007 are just what every Dental Office wants.

For more on How Clutter Affects You see: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-clutter-affects-you.html

Bad Habit #2
Staying up too late.

I love all things Apple.
I love my iMac with its 27″ screen.
And I love my iPad so much more than I ever did my Kindle.
BUT, all of them are very good at interrupting sleep by whacking out brain waves.
TV too.
If you have trouble getting a good night’s sleep read about Sleep Hygiene.
The average person needs about 8-9 hours of sleep every night in order to function well during the day.

Forgetfulness and mood problems are signs of chronic sleep deprivation.
Your family, your job, and even your health will suffer if you don’t start your day having had a good night’s sleep.

http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/ask-the-expert/sleep-hygiene

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Early to Bed, Early to Rise
I spent a lot of time praying and thinking about the verse for this post.
There is no way to get around it.
She’s up very early.
Possibly the first one in the household.
She prepares food for her family.
Then she gives the day’s assignments to her servant girls.

She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
Proverbs 31:15

Two Powerful Habits
Organization and Delegation

Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters.
Nathaniel Emmons

Getting Things Done by David Allen and Organizing Your Day by Sandra Felton are the old friends that I grab onto when things start sliding toward chaos.

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Do you find yourself staying up late just to have a little ME TIME?
It’s something I hear my daughter and her friends talking about frequently.
They’re all Homeschool Moms.
They go from morning until evening without a break and the desire for a little downtime has grown to epic proportions by the end of the day.
The problem with staying up late for ME TIME is that you are sabotaging the next day before it can even bring its own ups and downs to your doorstep.
And now you’re not going to function at your best and highest.
It becomes a downward spiral toward a bad habit.
The easiest cure is to self-manage.
Set a bedtime.
Set an alarm.

I got thinking about the servant girls.
Whenever we are in Africa for ministry we have household help.

Usually a cook/housekeeper.
But in Africa everything is much more labor intensive.
Laundry is scrubbed by hand, hung on the line, and ultimately ironed dry so that it doesn’t mildew in the humid climate.

But here at home, I have household help too.
I have a dishwasher.
A laundress who washes and dries so that ironing is at a minimum.
I have small appliances that help prepare food and others that help cook it in mere minutes.

My job is to put them to work on their assigned tasks.
But my washing machine can’t actually sort the laundry into loads.
And my dishwasher can’t gather the dirty dishes and load them into the racks and trays.
These are part of my ‘organizational’ duties.
I need to organize before I can delegate.
The same holds true with teaching your children how to be responsible for their chores.
Our job is to ‘organize’ ~ and maybe ‘supervise’, then delegate.

If we were Jewish we’d think of the day beginning at sundown.
Remember Genesis, “and the evening and the morning were the first day”? (Genesis 1:5)
Now it’s no coincidence that Productivity Gurus tell us to plan the day’s activities the night before.
That way your brain works on tasks as you sleep.
You have your tasks pre-selected and pre-arranged in priority the night before and in the morning you’re prepared to move through them without hesitation or delay.

If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.

Mark Twain

Whatever your To Do List includes, experts agree that planning it the night before and getting started early are key to completing it on time.

So go ahead, make a list, get a good night’s sleep, and in the morning Eat That Frog!

http://www.amazon.com/Eat-That-Frog-Great-Procrastinating/dp/1576754227

Here are links to more information about eReaders and sleep disruption.

http://www.technewsdaily.com/6221-don-t-let-your-e-reader-keep-you-up-at-night.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/technology-sleep-impair-problems-cell-phone-internet-computer_n_1606876.html

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/power-down-better-sleep

4 Comments on “Are You Setting Yourself Up for Failure?

  1. GREAT POST! I do plan my entire day the night before-it does help me sleep. I moved my little dog into her own “room” – a small kennel in which she can burrow as Chihuahua’s like to do. I put out all of my clothes and jewelry in the order in which I need to put them on. I lay out the make up I am going to use in the order I will use it. I have to this mainly because I need to be at work around 8am – and I completely wake up at 7:58. 🙂 I getting more REM sleep than I used to get. Still not 8 – but on my way! I am encouraged to try to get to bed earlier. Instead of 11pm – I am going to go for 10pm.

    • You could make a living helping the rest of us organize ourselves!
      First do me. Let’s put all my clothes on that Excel Spreadsheet you mentioned!
      I do think we have to do whatever we can to get the sleep we need.
      Our bodies need sleep to repair and replenish at the cellular level so without it we really do endanger our health and well being.
      Not to mention we can get cranky.

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