Between sixteen hours of Business Analyst training this week and the meal-planning discussions on our (in)couraging working moms page, I've been thinking a lot about efficiency. I'm not normally very orderly or organized, and usually I think in circles much more than linearly. But after dealing with anxiety for over a year, while working out of the home and managing a household, I'm realizing that I need to find a way to live with more order. Maybe you can sympathize?
Disorder and peace are contrasted in 1 Cor. 14:33 -- "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace." Order creates peace, and God sure knows I need more peace. :) I'm realizing that part of my postpartum struggle happened because I stayed in survival mode too long. I was dealing with life as it was thrown at me instead of being proactive. I kept doing the same things expecting better results, but lacked the motivation, energy, and clarity to think about finding a better way.
In my BA training, we've focused on "mapping" the flow of processes, breaking them down to their smallest part in order to see the gaps, raise questions, and create a common understanding within a group. As we practiced mapping, I kept thinking of how useful this concept could be in analyzing my own life processes -- from getting ready in the morning, to the flow of my work day, to making dinner in the evening. Where is there redundancy? Confusion? Unnecessary steps?
Of course, I don't have the patience to draw out every single process of my life. But I have started to shift my mindset. When I get frustrated, I try to ask myself "Why?" (a BA's favorite question). Is there something in this process that could be changed to be easier next time? Could I feed the kids a snack while making dinner, instead of getting frustrated that they're hungry and begging for attention? Even small changes can create so much more peace.
The other phrase that stuck with me from BA training was "sticking to the happy path". When a Business Analyst studies a process, they focus on the main tasks that need to happen, not on every exception that could derail the process. In my life, am I focusing on the main tasks, or getting derailed by worrying about "what if's"?
Here are a few tips that may help, if you're in need of a little more structure too:
1. Scheduling (home & work) - free planner from The Mom Writes
2. Meal planning - Pepperplate (free app)
3. Cleaning - I use a basic list of reminders for each day, and try to pick up as I go, nothing fancy. :)
I'd love to hear any tips or tools you have for working toward a more orderly life! Are you in need of some peace, too?
This post is part of a series for (in)couraging working new moms. I'm so grateful for the ladies who do battle alongside me and teach me so much!