When I first started learning how to manage my anxiety, I discovered pretty quickly that a routine, stability, and a lack of surprises is my optimum functioning environment. I’m pretty sure that my childhood had a lot to do with that.
My little brother is autistic and a large amount of my childhood revolved around that. Consistency and routine were key, right down to the fact that his peanut butter sandwiches had to be made just right.
Everything had to run on a schedule or he’d have a meltdown. My mom was a single mom and a lot of the time she was working two jobs. I had a lot of responsibility to maintain that, from getting him ready for school to the consistency of his bedtime routine.
I remember being generally anxious from the age of 10 or 11 on. I’m not sure if or how much that situation contributed to the development of my anxiety but I’m sure it factors in somewhere.
I learned from a very early age that routine is good.
And in my early 20s as my mental illness spiraled out of control, I re-discovered that to me, routine and organization is a really important aspect of my life. When I am able to organize my life and plan everything around me – the overwhelm lessens.
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes the scales tip in the other direction and I know that I can be too rigid and my sense of spontaneity leaves something to be desired but I’m working on that and I feel like I’m making a ton of progress!
A few months ago, I was looking for tools to help me organize my business and I discovered the awesomeness that is Trello. It’s a free website (they also have an app) and it’s all about organization. You can make lists and checklists and all kinds of fun stuff. (I’m not being paid to talk about Trello, I just REALLY love it – so much that I use it every single day)
Then I noticed that instead of just planning out my social media and blog posts and emails – I was using it for a ton of other stuff. When I’d get overwhelmed with how I was going to meet a deadline and get the dishes done and make time for my friends and sleep – it became a great way to see everything so that I could focus on time management.
Let’s talk about Trello!
The thing I love most about Trello is the ability to customize it because I’m a very visual person. I’ve decorated it with 90s vintage images, rainbow-y goodness, I created an Outlander theme – it’s fun and easy to do.
How Do I Use Trello?
I use Trello to keep track of my business (and projects).
Track of housework.
Manage household chores.
Keep track of my to-do list.
The basis of Trello is creating a board.
Let me give you a quick guide! My board is called Dominee’s Stuff, catchy name, eh? I think I need to change it to something cool like “The Command Center” But when you create your board you’ll have the option to name it whatever you want.
So we refer to the whole thing as a board. Under that, there are “Lists” and mine are called “Random Stuff”, “Make Magic Happen”, “Things Coming Up”, and “Blog Post Ideas”.
With me so far? We have one board, and then several lists!
Inside each list are “cards“.
The cards are where the awesomeness takes place. You can make notes, make checklists, and keep track of chores. You can even invite family members to your board so that you can assign tasks to each other.
I know some businesses that use to keep track of orders and shipping.
It really has so many awesome uses. So that’s my little tip on how to manage life with less overwhelm and with more predictability.
What about you? Do you thrive on routine or are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person?