I’m not really starting another themed day – although I do hope you like them. But I would like to enlist your help today – hey – let’s make it a contest.
A few months ago I completed my first eBook – it is a collection of time-saving tips to help make the daily dinner time rush less hectic and more doable. I named this book “What’s for Dinner” – which I never really loved. I have it listed on Amazon for Kindle but I fear it isn’t getting any recognition because the title probably makes it seem more like a cookbook than a tip book.
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.
My hairdresser said something to me one day that has stuck with me since the day she said it. While I didn’t really apply the thought to her statement at the time, I have started applying it to my life these days and it is something to think about.
As part of my appointment, J, my hairdresser, would always ask “do you want to try any of the products out front?”
Not one to really go for the “up-sale” , I usually would graciously decline and say something like “I’m good, thanks.” Usually this was all and I appreciated the fact that J. didn’t push it any harder.
But one day she asked me – “Amy, why do you spend so much money on getting your hair colored and styled and then wash it all away with cheap shampoos and conditioners?”
Well – truth be known, because I was spending so much on getting my hair done, I was trying to cut costs by not buying the overly expensive products for sale there.
Now, this isn’t about whether or not you should buy those professional hair products, that is a matter of personal choice (one of which I still use my beloved Pantene products).
This is about “why would you go through all this trouble only to throw it all away.”
As I mentioned, I’ve been mulling over her words and have been applying them to different facets in my life – and it seems to be changing my line of thinking a little bit. Here are a couple of expamples:
If you are going to get up at 5:30am and run around the block four times and then come home and do thirty minutes of yoga, why would you waste that by having a fast food lunch and candy bar snack?
If you are going to spend four hours cleaning your house, which includes scrubbing the floors on your hands and knees, why do you let the dogs in from the rain without wiping them down first.
If you spend hours setting up your budget and are diligent about saving money and paying off bills, why do you leave all the lights on or run the dishwasher half full.
Give it a try! Can you see how it might change you way of thinking.
Your time and money are valuable – don’t just throw them away!
Send me your thoughts – – on this or any blog I’ve written. I love hearing back from everyone and love to get comments.