If you asked me ten years ago I would say I didn’t believe in color coding and if you asked me a couple of years ago, I would tell you that I thought themes were silly.
But as I get older, my family gets busier, my job(s) become more demanding I find these simple tools are really quite helpful.
I have written many times about color coding my calendar and assigning each project or person a different color. As I continue to do this, I now notice when I forget to assign a specific event or appointment without its color – it looks so out-of-place, that I immediately will categorize it. And while I used to think that it looked like a confetti mess on my screen – I know could not function without my color coding system.
I recently texted my BFF from high school something. She and I also roomed together our first semester in college and all throughout high school she never knew something about me that she only discovered once we moved in together. She found it so odd that I color sorted my closet – from my hanging clothes to my shoes – everything had a place and they all fit in a rainbow color scheme. I reminded her of this via text the other day when I was cleaning out my closet and she still thinks I’m a “freak” (her words) for organizing my closet this way.
Recently, as I’ve been talking with friends, I’ve discovered and now I have worked into my own systems – THEMES! I hope you’ve noticed my themes for my blog that I implemented this year. So far – it is keeping me much more focused on my weekly writings and creating a deadline for me to get something out there for each assigned day.
I’m starting to see the value in these themes, where I had once poo poo’d them.
Here are a few points as to why I think Themes are helpful:
- They take the thinking out of a situation. – for example – if you have Taco Tuesdays as part of your dinner theme for the week – your answer for Tuesday’s dinner isn’t to the question “What should I make for dinner” – it is “What sort of taco should I make”.
- It opens room for more creativity. Let’s go back to Taco Tuesdays – since you are confined to the restrictions of just Tacos on Tuesdays – you can get really creative with those tacos.
- It helps others in your family, in your work groups, etc keep track of what is expected of each day. Try wavering from Taco Tuesdays from a six and nine year old.
- It builds stronger teams and forms a sense of connection. Keeping everyone engaged with the theme helps builds the enthusiasm and builds a culture that is unique to just your situation.
I can see using themes in every area – business, family, household, personal, etc.
And I can see using themes for more than just daily – but weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.
Here are a few thoughts on some themes:
- For menu planning – just like I used in the example above – Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Sandwich night Thursdays
- In business to keep you on track of those “other tasks” that need to be done in addition to the actual business tasks– Marketing Monday, Communication Tuesdays, Billing on Thursdays
- Workouts – giving yourself a theme keeps your workouts fresh and can provide more motivation – Treadmill Tuesday, Free Weights Friday and Stretching Saturdays.
- Keeping the house clean – by tackling one task a day, you don’t have to spend on giant chunk of time cleaning, instead it is broken up into smaller jobs. Mopping Mondays, Toilets Tuesdays, Vacuum Vednesdays (see what I did there – clever huh?)
Pick a theme for a week or month that goes along with Holidays or the seasons. Spring cleaning in March, First week Communications, etc.
I really think the possibilities are endless and can be created to your specific needs and goals. I can see this being a very motivational tool, one that keeps you on track of what to do for each day, week or month.
I do tend to get caught up with having to have the alliteration to make the theme work for each day or month. But that is just a hurdle that needs to be jumped or with the help of a thesaurus – some creative can be conjured up.
I’d love to help you come up with some themes for your situations – shoot me a comment and let’s see what we can come up with together.