I’d like to do an exercise with you. Nothing physical, unless you physically retrace your steps. Don’t worry, I do it too.
I’d like you to map out a process flow. We’ll start with something simple – something already routine that you probably don’t think about. It can be anything – from your morning routine until you leave for work to making lunches for the kids to your bedtime routine. Just pick one thing.
I’ve decided to map out my current bedtime routine.
Shut off tv and computer.
Check all downstairs windows and doors, making sure they are locked.
Clean the cat box and take litter out to the garbage.
Bring planner downstairs with the litter and put next to purse.
Change into PJs.
Take nighttime medications and supplements.
Turn off all upstairs lights.
Get into bed.
Turn on alarm clock and double check alarm on phone.
Turn off light and turn on deep sleep meditation.
I do these things every night. So when my evening routine gets interrupted because of something, ie a cat vomiting, I have to remember to reset myself and go back to my last completed task. Then finish the process.
I use this with myself, but also with my son when we were defining his roles in certain chores. This process can be used for anyone, in any station of life. Even high functioning and busy adults can benefit from having a process flow map. This works great for PTSD patients, special needs young adults living on their own for the first time, young children who do chores around the house, etc.
Having a process flow mapped out also helps in habit forming and trying to fit the habit into your life. If I wanted to add something to my nighttime process flow, I just have to find a place to put it, then follow the new process flow, constantly reminding myself of the new task, until it becomes natural and I don’t have to think about it.
So, your exercise is to map out your process flows. Start with one, and see how you can make it better. Where can you add, or subtract a task?