With August already halfway over, we all know that means the days of summer are coming to an end. And that means the days of “busy” are coming back full force.
Whether that means going back to school, extra-curricular activities in the evening, or increased projects at work, this time of the year is usually when we get back into our every-day routines.
So how can you make the transition smoother? Read on to learn ten simple tips to ease back into your routine!
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1.) Try meal planning
Meal planning is listed first because it can have one of the biggest impacts on your routine. By planning your meals in advance, you won’t have the stress of figuring out what’s for dinner every evening.
Tried meal planning before and failed? Think back to what went wrong. Did you buy food for every night of the week and then threw half of it away because you didn’t feel like cooking? Try only planning three or four dinners to start with, and plan to eat out or eat leftovers the other nights.
Need a little extra help? Try a meal planning service such as $5 Meal Plan. I’ve been using $5 Meal Plan for a few months now, and my favorite part about them is you get to actually choose the meals you want on your menu that week. They have a menu builder that lets you select up to 10 recipes (you can browse by meal of the day, cooking method, dietary preferences, or ingredients.)
You can even check them out for free for 14 days! Just click here to sign up for your free trial.
Start slow and work your way up to becoming a meal planning pro.
2.) Wake up a little earlier
Even giving yourself an extra 30 minutes in the morning can make a huge difference in how your entire day goes.
I used to never think I would be a morning person, but now I love that extra time to myself in the morning!
Think of some of the things on your to-do list that never seem to get done? Waking up earlier could help you knock those out first thing and feel better all day.
Do you never feel like you have time just for yourself? Set the alarm for before anybody else in your house wakes up. Enjoy the peace and quiet and cherish some well-deserved alone time.
- Related post: How I Found More Time in my Day
3.) Use a planning app
If you’re the forgetful type like me, using an app could be just the solution for you.
Evernote is awesome because it can be used across many platforms. You can pull up the app on your phone and create a note to save for later, then pull up that same note on your desktop at home later that evening.
I keep a note open in Evernote that has a running list of my debt totals, a note for blog post ideas as they pop into my head, a note for TV shows I want to watch, books I want to read, cars I want to research, the list goes on. I tend to be forgetful so I like that I can type notes into my phone and come back to them on my computer later.
4.) Plan your outfit the night before
Give yourself a break from decision fatigue and plan your outfits in advance. This will give you one less thing to worry about as you get ready for work (or whatever your daily responsibilities entail) in the morning.
An easy way to do this is to grab the shirt you’re going to wear on its hanger, fold your pants over the bottom rung of the hanger, and set your shoes on the floor below it. This way your clothes stay wrinkle-free but still together.
5.) Give yourself grace
I put this one smack-dab in the middle because getting back into routine is hard. You may wake up Monday morning and get a lot accomplished, but by Wednesday you are struggling to get the bare minimum done.
Give yourself a break and take things easy. I’m a big believer in using baby steps to get to your end goal!
If you fall off the wagon one day with your routines, simply pick back up fresh the next day and start over again. It will be OK.
6.) Make breakfast in batches
If mornings are a hectic time for you, try making big batches of breakfast in advance.
When you’re making eggs and bacon one morning, cook extra that you can roll up into breakfast burritos for the rest of the week.
You can prep granola, PB&J sandwiches, pancakes, and even pre-portion oatmeal in advance. Think of what you cook frequently and see if there’s a way you can prep extra for later.
7.) Declutter your work area every day
Nothing is more of a motivation killer than a messy desk. I know when I sit at my desk to start a new blog post, it’s so much easier to get the words flowing when my desk is clean.
There’s something about looking at clutter that clutters up your brain too. Clean up your desk/workstation every time you use it to prepare for your next work session.
8.) Use cash
This may seem like a weird tip to include for getting back into routine, but using cash can actually do a lot for your sanity (and your budget.)
If your financial planning has taken a break this summer, ease back into routine by using cash for a while. This way you can set your budget, and follow through with it, without much effort by using cash envelopes. All you have to do is withdraw the money, stuff your envelopes/dividers, then stop spending when the envelope is empty.
No spreadsheets, tracking apps, etc. involved!
9.) Establish a cleaning routine
One of the inevitable parts of your daily routine is probably cleaning.
Do you have a system in place for your housework? Or do you just “wing it” and clean when the mood strikes?
By establishing a cleaning routine you can take the guesswork out of knowing what to clean each day, and your home will always stay “tidy.”
- Related post: How to Create a Cleaning Routine You Actually Enjoy
10.) Limit TV time
One of my worst habits is watching two or three episodes of my current obsession on Netflix every evening. If you’re like me, just think what you would be able to do with two or three more hours in your day?
If you’re struggling to find time to work on your daily routines but find yourself watching multiple episodes of TV every day, try cutting back on TV time.
Start watching one episode instead of two or three, and commit those other hours to accomplishing your daily tasks.
Are you ready to get back into routine?
By using the ten tips above, you’ll fall back into routine in no time. I personally love this time of year and can’t wait to establish my daily routines again!
What about you? Do you love this time of year, or do you wish summer could last all year long? What is your favorite tip to ease back into routine?
Let me know down in the comments!