Plan, Do, Review, Revise (or, How’s that routine working out for you?)

Before I was a mum-of-three and an app developer, before the kids (or the app) were even a twinkle in anybody’s eye, I used to design and develop computer based training.  We’d take the staff development goals of businesses, and find which ones could be turned into learning objectives, then design training programmes to run on a CD or the internet. As we designed the programmes we continuously improved them – so many rounds of feedback, so many changes and tweaks.

Sometimes a idea I thought was the best thing since sliced bread didn’t work out in the real world, so I changed it to suit.  And that’s life. Eventually, we delivered the project to the customers and they were happy, of course…  but we were straight onto the next project, taking with us what we had learned from the last one. (Maybe we stopped to walk down to Serious Espresso in between.)

The process looked something like this:

That’s what  life and learning is all about – we can’t stay still.  Circumstances change all the time – children arrive, health issues surprise us, jobs change, roles change, and seasons change.  It’s unreasonable to expect that a plan you made a year or even a month ago would still be totally in synch with your current life.

So that’s why I suggest – have a look at your routines.  See what’s working, and what isn’t.  If you’re getting overwhelmed, drop some tasks that don’t matter as much.  Turn off some reminders.

Coincidentally, Maaike from Life With Flylady posted today about adapting Flylady’s zones to suit your house (with HomeRoutines! yay!), and Ana added an excellent comment:

At first I had too many things in my routines and was constantly not getting to some things, which was stressing me out. Then I reminded myself this is for me. I have no one to impress. I removed the tasks I was not ready for yet and it relieved the stress. I have added some back on when I was ready to do them. I will continue to add tasks as time goes on.

No matter whether you choose a housework system to adapt, or cobble one together, or come up with your own ideas – it has to suit your home.  It’s your home, not the home of some self-proclaimed internet expert, or your in-laws, or your grandmother, or that guy on that one infomercial!

Plan: Look around you. See what needs doing…  add it to your routines and zones.

Do: Use those routines, work through the zones, see how you go

Review: Have a look back over what you’ve been doing.  Is it working for you? Are you getting overwhelmed or avoiding your lists because they’re too long?

Revise: Add some things, remove some tasks, switch your zones around!

Enjoy your own system in your own place.  You totally deserve it.