I’ve a friend who swears by his revolving wardrobe. Not a fancy closet that spins around, a simple set of trousers and shirts that all coordinate and get paired up when they reach the front of the rack, then get washed, pressed and returned to the back. With slightly differing numbers of tops to bottoms the matches get varied through the cycle. As a mathematician, he could also tell you just how many potential variations his system holds.
Cue for a gentle roll of my eyes. I’d prefer to be unique, thank you. I wear what my whims fancy. I pride myself on spontaneity. But lately I’ve noticed that flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants can sometimes be exhausting, a lot of time and energy spent… flapping.
Particularly towards the end of last year I felt ragged. There was never enough TIME. I needed to claw some back and knew I had to instigate some efficiencies. My new project for 2016: making time.
I started with a ‘time audit’ to see just where my hours were slipping away. Sure enough, I lose many minutes standing in front of a full closet debating what to wear (and invariably end up choosing the fat-pants because deciding becomes too difficult). Similarly, standing in front of a full fridge wondering what to eat - I sometimes spend so long trying to figure out ‘what I feel like’, I run out of time for lunch.
Being neither a chef nor a fashion plate, I’ve decided it’s more important that I eat and actually get dressed than always find the perfect choice. Wouldn’t reducing the guesswork free up valuable time, let alone mental space and energy, which can be directed to more important things?
My plan is to automate – schedule the heck out of it. This will take some serious upfront planning, but I see how it could save time (and stress) in the long run. If I knew what I was doing beforehand, wouldn’t life run more smoothly? ‘Duh?!’ will be the response from many …but I am not naturally an organized person. Certain people just seem to have the gene. Not me. Chaos is more my go-to: fun, frenetic, anything-can-happen, but also confusing, disordered, messy. Chaos is not currently serving me.
I intend to make several changes over the coming month to set up this year for greater productivity with less ‘work’ – time-wasting busy-work that is. I’m aware changing habits is more like turning round a cruise ship than a jet-ski. It will be interesting to see how I maintain the momentum. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
This week’s challenge is to schedule time for ‘wardrobe pre-selection’. Inspired by stylist Jacqui Neath-Myrie’s trick to check the weather forecast the night before and choose her climate-appropriate outfit ready, accessories and all, so no thinking is required first thing the next morning to look great. I’m attempting this on a slightly bigger scale: a whole week in advance using the 10-day forecast, cooler/warmer alternatives at the ready (fat-pants as a comforting back-up). I’ve estimated an hour and a half for this prep task. I’ll let you know how it goes…
**This article was also published in the The Royal Gazette
Julia is a trained Personal Development Coach, certified NLP Practitioner, writer and public speaker. Using coaching methods, tools and conversation, Julia helps her clients achieve the goals they set for themselves and transform their lives. Here she shares her own personal development journey on her life quest for authenticity, growth and having a good time!