As a part of our desire to live an intentional life, Niko and I are consciously creating a life of systems (thought-out rituals to make our daily lives easier). I don’t know if it’s because I’m maturing, or perhaps because I’m a natural scatterbrain used to living a chaotic existence, but I’m finding new life and joy in creating daily systems. Because implementing systems is such a novel experience for me, I’m often surprised that so many put-together adults have had well-oiled systems in place for years.
Now that I think about it, my mom always tried to make me someone who values systems. I can’t tell you how many times she said, “You know, Katelyn, if you just picked something up every time you went from room to room, your house would never be messy.” That’s a solid system coming from a delightfully tidy woman, but I haven’t quite perfected that one yet.
Niko and I implemented 5 systems we use to make each morning fun, easy, and consistent. They give us time more time to relax and still cross things off our to-do list. As someone who is self-employed, using these systems have been a real lifesaver by providing the structure we so often need.
Here are the daily goals Niko and I try to meet each morning and the systems that help us do it:
Goal #1: Eat a healthy breakfast.
Niko and I eat the same thing for breakfast every morning. We cook up scrambled eggs with green peppers, onions, avocado, and black beans every single day. Because of this ritual, we never wake up in a frenzy thinking, “What am I going to eat so I’m not starving by 10:00?” In fact, we don’t have to think at all. I’m waiting for the morning I’m totally turned off by this breakfast, but so far, so good.
Goal #2: Don’t let the dishes pile up.
While one of us makes breakfast the other washes dishes. We live in a small house without a dishwasher. This makes washing dishes daily a necessary evil.
Goal #3: Keep up with the mail.
Without a system in place, Niko and I will let the mail pile up on a “catch-all” table by the front door. Sometimes, it will pile up for days without either one of us opening it. And, if we do happen to open it right away, the chances of us communicating everything we received to the other person are slim. Now Niko and I walk to the mailbox after breakfast each morning to get the mail together. We look through it right away and determine if we need to keep it or not.
Goal #4: Spend time in quality conversation each day.
After we get the mail, Niko and I work 30 minutes of intentional conversation into our schedule. That seemed silly at first, but I’ve been married long enough to know if we don’t schedule those 30 minutes (and eliminate all other distractions during that time), we could go days without every really talking. Since we are already outside to check the mail, we make these 30 minutes special by sitting together on the bench Niko made for our wedding day.
Goal #5: Pray together.
Niko made that bench so we would have a special place for our friends and family to surround us in prayer during our wedding ceremony. Now we use the bench every morning to reminisce, dream, and plan together. We also end each conversation with prayer, furthering the use of our prayer bench.
I love implementing new systems, and I’m still learning what systems are needed to improve our health and productivity. We’ve got our morning systems down to a science, but there are still so many things we struggle to keep in check. For example, we could definitely use systems to drink more water or maintain the laundry.
Do you have any systems in place that work well for you? Tell me about them. I’d love to hear from you.