12 Days of Simple Focus

A little peek into my “diary” on the simple focus experiment…

{Day 1} I’m tired of making my own meal plans, so I wanted to see if I can outsource them at least part of the time. Thank you, Google, for helping me find ‘real food’ meal plans that sound d-to-the-e-licious.

{Day 2} I reorganized my make up bag in order of application and pulled out the items I don’t use on a daily basis. Amazingly simple, but it saves me time and annoyance digging to find that next item.

{Day 3} The goal was to make doctor appointments and add them to my google calendar as recurring events. Fail. I hate hate hate calling people. I scheduled a chiropractor appointment for Troy and an oil change {which I added to my calendar} but no doctor appointments. I patted myself on the back for calling two people and moved the rest of the list to a far away day.

{Day 4} I decided to put on my big girl pants and made dental appointments for each of us. Unless you love your dentist, try googling. I found Troy a new patient deal for $1. One dollar! Not even Redbox is $1 anymore. I added these as recurring events so I don’t have to remember when they’re due.

{Day 5} E-mail templates- my brain’s new bff. I send probably a dozen e-mails a week in which I write the same.exact.thing. But I always waste brain energy rewriting them. No more. I wrote up a few templates, labeled them, and saved them in my draft folder to copy and paste instead.

{Day 6} I opted out of junk mail for 5 years. Hallelujah for less junk to open and toss. Added bonus: a few trees saved.

{Day 7} An experiment in time blocking my day was super effective. Although, to be fair, it was a work-from-home day, so there were less distractions. More experimentation to be done with this one.

{Day 8} Autoscheduling of all car maintenance took place today. {Here in Texas, I always forget to have the state inspection, much less get the oil changed…oops. No more!} Seriously, automating is awesome. Why did I not think of it before?

{Day 9} Today I made a list of a few things I want to be sure I do on a weekly basis. I figured since I want to focus on my ‘to be’s’, I ought to add a few onto the calendar. Like trying at least one thing that pushes me out of my comfort zone, and writing a thank you, and well, I don’t remember the other one. Good thing it’s automatically recurring, eh?

{Day 10} Along the same vein as yesterday, I built a few specific resting times into my calendar. This is something I’ve been really bad at in the past, but I’ve begun to discover the things that truly refresh me. {Like reading by the pool, long talks with Troy on date nights, and zumba.} I set them to recur on every Sunday and can drag and drop them to the day of the week they’ll work according to that week’s schedule.

{Day 11} Since I’m working from home several days a week now, I re-organized my office. A quick clean out, a little purging of things we haven’t used in ages, and some decor remixing. It’s one of my favorite places to be now.

{Day 12} I cut out watching tv/movies, etc. for a week and it.was.awesome. I tend to turn them on as background noise while I’m making dinner but then I get sucked in and watch a few shows over the course of the night. I’ve gotten into the habit of saying, “I don’t have time for blah blah or blah,” so I wanted to see if it would make a difference. Um, yes. Crossed off almost every to do that’s been hanging out for the last month.

So far, the simple focus doesn’t seem too hard to do. It’s been so simple, actually, I almost feel silly putting it out there for the world to read. But I want to encourage you if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed to make a goal to automate, delegate, or reduce one thing a week. The things above {with the exception of my mini office makeover} have taken all of 15 minutes to do, but will save me time, brain space, and sanity down the road.


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  • Taryn August 5, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    Great tips Caitlin, still love reading your blog!!

    • Caitlin Author August 25, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      Taryn- I just now saw your comment. Oops! Thank you! I miss seeing you every week. Hope you’re doing well!

  • Aubree Larsen August 5, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    I love this post! As I return to my teaching job next week I will be getting back into a routine and schedule and have a few things I need to simplify and clean up myself. I especially need to work on the TV one. I too do the background noise thing and end up watching several episodes.

    • Caitlin Author August 10, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      Thanks, Aubree! I hope you had a great last week and getting back into the routine goes smoothly!

  • Iris August 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Caitlin, this is great! So proud of you! I have to go back to work in one week and I’m determined to focus on the to be’s instead of the to do’s so that I don’t get burned out when school starts. Changing my habits not just crossing things off a list.

    • Caitlin Author August 10, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      Iris- love that you’re focused on changing habits instead of crossing off the list. That’s so much harder to do, but the right way to do it. Hope you’re having a great last weekend before you’re back to school! (Can’t wait to see your remixes!)

  • Selah August 6, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    If you like background noise, try an audiobook. I’ve been listening to Vanity Fair while cleaning & packing. :)

    • Caitlin Author August 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      That’s a great idea. I’ve started listening to some sermons and TED Talks, but will have to check out an audiobook. Thanks for the tip! (PS How’s packing going?!)

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