Finding Flow.

There is a huge difference in how my day goes depending on how it starts. Anyone else? When I decided I wanted to write about the topic of finding your flow before doing your tasks - I was confused as to where this post belonged. I have two identities that benefit from finding flow - my mom identity and my work identity.

And since those how I find those flows are very different - I decided to do two different posts. If you're reading this one - but decide you want to know more about getting into your flow before working go check out my other post.

The first step to getting into a flow - is to identify what is stopping it. Most of the time for me as a mom - it is having too big of a "to-do" list in the back of my head. A constant sense of being behind can keep me from getting anything done and can keep me from being the best mom I can for my kids. The hardest part about my "mom" days (the days that the husband is at work) is that he is gone before we wake up. Meaning that at wake up time - it is immediately just me and the kids.

When I decided I need to do something to help my flow on "mom" days - here are the things I identified as important. Obviously these are different for different people - but they might give you some ideas.

Wake up before the kids.
This is hard for me right now. The kids are not in a good sleep routine - which is hard. We have been on many great trips this summer: Tahoe, Southern California, Mt. Shasta and a handful of trips to grandma and grandpa's house. But those trips meant not having their own beds and rooms - which means that on return - they really don't want to stay in their own beds and/or rooms.

I am hoping that now as we start September and both kids are in preschool 3 days a week - we will be staying home more - and can work on that routine so that I can get back to waking up before the kids to have a moment of quiet and a cup of coffee or tea.

I still try it now- but sometimes Gus is up at 5am (and I refuse to get up any earlier than that) and since he is often in my bed if I get up before him he normally follows me about 2-3 minutes later.

Take a shower.
I remember the day that I realized I could take a shower in the mornings when it was just me and the kids. Since they are both young and so close together - I've be used to feeling like I can't leave them alone in a room for more than a minute.

But that's no longer true. I get them breakfast and turn on a cartoon and I go and shower. I tell Lucille what I am doing because I know that she will come and tell me if Gus does something he shouldn't. When I realized this it was like a small miracle. And I try and do it every "mom" morning.

Review the to-do list.
I have running to-do list that I keep on my notes app on my phone. Any time I think of something that needs to be done - I add it to my list. No matter how small - I refuse to do it right when I think of it because that takes away from what I plan to do - and I end up feeling unaccomplished even if I did a ton of stuff.

In the morning, I look at the list and pick out 4 or 5 things I can do that day. Sometimes things need to be done that day - whether or not I feel like it. But I aim for things that sound interesting or doable. Sometimes its only 3 and sometimes I get all 5 things done plus some. But if I stick to what I choose and I'm not overly ambitious - I end up feeling MORE accomplished. Funny how that works.

Get outside.
If the weather is nice and I opt out of the morning shower (or get it done before the kids wake up!) sometimes we have breakfast in our front courtyard. Other times I just let the kids run around the backyard in the crisp morning air or we go for a walk. But I like to get some fresh air in the morning and putting down my phone for 10-20 minutes.

It can be hard because my work is 24/7 and I use my phone to be able to keep working while I am with the kids or doing other things - but everyone can afford to take a 10-20 minute break and just enjoy some fresh air.

So these things help me figure out what I am going to be able to do that day. Some people like meditation in the morning - and I tried it - but learned quickly that isn't really my thing. What things do you do so that your day flows smoothly? I'd love to hear because I am always looking for new things to try!

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