Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Making my bed and other advice I do follow

Last month I wrote a post about all the advice I don’t follow. It’s not that it’s necessarily bad advice; it’s just not for me. Which is fine. Everyone is different and I think it’s important to listen to different perspectives and take from them what you need. But I figured it was a good counterbalance to that post to discuss the advice or suggestions that I do follow.

A qualifier: I don’t follow all of these to the T. I screw up, make changes, and sometimes flat out ignore them. But overall, this are a few tips and tricks I’ve accumulated along the way to make improvements:

  1. No social media notifications on my phone. None. Not at all. Not email, IG, Pinterest. I don’t even have Twitter or FB on my phone (although I do have groups and messenger, mostly for communication with the child’s gym. These people hate email). I did, at one point, have notifications for all the apps turned on but it stole so much of my time and sanity that I got rid of it all. It has made a huge difference in my presence with people and eliminates distraction. One exception: MLB score updates on all Mets and Orioles games. 
  2. Prioritizing my time. I’m a huge advocate for the way Laura Vanderkam discusses time and time management and using her system has, well, I don’t want to say revolutionized because that’s too dramatic but drastically changed how I use my time. Basically, instead of trying to do everything, I’ve whittled down my core competencies and what’s essential and important to me and fit my time around achieving the goals within those. I might be mixing up messages from two of her books but whatever. It works for me. 
  3. Meal planning. I don’t meal prep. I discussed that last time. I do, however, meal plan. I’m not a good enough cook to look at a whole bunch of random ingredients and mix it all up into something palatable nor do I have a good enough memory to remember recipes or what I need to buy at a store (or have on hand). Meal planning makes me pay attention to what I’m buying (saving money FTW) and it also assures that I know what I’m cooking and how to do it properly. It also answers the question “what’s for dinner?” I hate that question. 
  4. Sleep routine. Confession: my sleeping habits are shit. I have a terrible time falling asleep, staying asleep, and all that jazz. It’s even worse when my anxiety hackles are up. I had tried everything but what’s really helped is having a routine. And not having electronics in the bedroom. True story: we don’t have a TV in our bedroom and I won’t even read an eBook before bed, no matter how good it is. The combination of those has led to me being able to sleep decently 4-5 nights per week which is a HUGE improvement. 
  5. Making my bed. I forgot where I saw this originally but it basically said that making your bed sets up the rest of your day. It helps you feel organized and put together and some other helpful shit like that. And you know what? It’s true! There’s something about making your bed that separates night from day and says “let’s get today going”. It also makes my room look neater (and, considering my husband is a class A slob, any little bit helps) and keeps the dogs off the sheets. Everyone wins!

So there you go. Some of the advice I DO follow. 

How about you guys? What are some tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way that have made a difference in your life? Which ones do you recommend I try? 

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  1. Lauren

    I’ve been thinking that I should start making my bed. Maybe I’ll go do it today and let you know how it works (but it will cut into my blog reading time so is it THAT worth it?). We meal plan, too. Andrew always has so once bloggers made it a thing I was like “wow my husband and his Type A ways are just ahead of the curve…” We definitely deviate sometimes but you’re right, it’s nice to only have a few options each night and know that you have everything on hand.

  2. alyssa

    I finally jumped on board the “no notifications” train late last year, and it was weird how it basically just never occurred to me before then. Maybe it’s a generational thing, where coming of age + getting a smart phone + social media with ALL THE NOTIFICATIONS happened all at the same time… it was like I knew no other way. But I’m much happier now.

    I don’t meal prep either, but am definitely happier now that I’ve been meal planning and only buying exactly what I need at the grocery store and not scrambling to toss all these random ingredients into a dinner somehow at the end of the day.

    I have always been a bed-maker. It takes 5 seconds and improves my day, honestly. That may partly because I was previously in a studio and now I’m in a place with a big enough bedroom doorway that I can see my bed from the whole place. Seeing a messy bed out of even the corner of my eye is so distracting! Plus it’s a good “transitional behavior” like you said, it sort of ends sleep time and starts day time.

  3. Linda Sheridan

    I way agree with making the bed. I think I have email notifications and that’s it. If I had a job, I would hop to answering. What to eat. Jmj. My people want me to tell them what they want to eat. It’s chicken noodle soup tonight with stock from a rotisserie chicken. Sleep is more elusive for me the past 5 years or so , than ever.
    Very grateful I don’t have to get up and go out to work for the whole day. I wait up until whoever lives here is home safe and sound. It’s a momma thing.
    Hoping for a thaw of our iced up snow.
    Happy Friday Eve!
    Love, Steph’s Momma

  4. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    I have a similar sleep routine because my sleep is also crap. I also use “poor man’s blackout curtains,” which is basically two small blankets which I tuck into the blinds to make my room darker. Welcome to LA! 🙂 Meal planning I just can’t seem to follow, but I so sometimes meal prep on Sunday, which pretty much just means cutting up veggies and making a batch of hummus. Sometimes a crock pot dinner. Anything to make my life easier during the week when I get home from work.

  5. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    If my bed is not made I feel unsettled all day even though I’m not home. And I will make it as soon as I get home even if it’s after 6 pm.

    I have no notifications. Well, I see red for messages and emails, but I don’t have the banner notifications. And no social media notifications ever.

    Sleep is more challenging for me as I age.

  6. Christina

    I don’t have any notifications on my phone either. When I was on vacation, any time my friend got a like on one of her pictures, it notified her, and she checked it. Every. Single. Time. It was so annoying and such a waste of time! I make my bed and meal plan too! I’m not saying I follow that plan every week, but I do try. Haha!

  7. Megan

    Meal planning is what we do too. I’m flexible about it. The only problem is that sometimes things get mixed up and Teh German doesn’t realize and he’s been looking forward to a menu day that I’ve switched up on him. Oops.

    With the dogs, making the bed is a priority as they are like dirt collectors that “empty” on the bed. It’s worse during the summer. I do not want to sleep in the dirt.

    Yay for no TV in the bedroom! People are so surprised when they see we don’t have one and I’m like why? Do the other 2 we have in the common spaces not work?

    Finally, I can’t believe that there are people who don’t realize you can turn off notifications. I felt like I’d reclaimed my life when I turned off all social media notifications. There is nothing so important on social media that I need to know RIGHT NOW and if so, the person needs to contact me directly to let me know. #aintnobodygottimefordat

  8. Brittany Pines

    I have no notifications on my FB, and really need to do it for the rest of my apps in general. It really is so nice to not see all those little red buttons.

    Just started meal planning about 3 months ago- it’s been amazing. Meal prep would be great too, but baby steps haha.

    It’s so impressive that you make your bed every day. Maybe because the husband & I are rarely waking up at the same time, but it is a feat I can rarely manage.

  9. kathy @ more coffee, less talky

    #2-4 all the way; especially a sleep routine because i need a good night’s rest to function properly and not want to murder people during the day.

  10. Rebecca JO

    I always try to at least straighten up my bed every morning – it does feel better to come home to a bed you can at least sit on without feeling like its going to swallow you up.

  11. kristen

    i don’t have twitter at all anymore but i used to have it, just not on my phone. i also don’t have facebook though i have messenger (you can call for free, so i use that to talk to my family). i don’t have notifications turned on for instagram, but i do for snapchat… i should turn them off. we don’t have a tv in our bedroom either, it’s amazing. i’ll never go back. i do read ebooks in bed.. sometimes on my phone which is 100% times worse! because then i inevitably end up looking at something else.
    i….. despise making my bed. i hate it. never have, never will. i know. i’m a slob. KC used to make the bed until we got together and now he’s given up. haha. i do get up at 5am though haha and i noticed that was on your other list 🙂

  12. Audrey

    I deleted the Facebook app from my phone. I log on in Safari, but I don’t want the app. I think it’s easier to log out on the browser and ignore it when I need to verses deleting or ignoring the app if it were there.
    The past two nights we’ve been falling asleep with the TV off. And we’ve both noticed a huge difference. We still have our phones in the room, but if we keep this up with the TV I might take it out of the bedroom.
    I make the bed at some point during the day. Sometimes it’s even right before I crawl back in. I know that sounds weird, but I like to have everything straightened up before I crawl in and sometimes the morning are too hectic. Plus the dogs hangout on the bed until I leave for work. Ha.
    Audrey recently posted…Goals on Goals on GoalsMy Profile

  13. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    I don’t have social media notifications on my phone either. Well, I did when it first got setup and I was like what the heck is all that chirping? So freaking annoying. I don’t make my bed. I am very lazy. I do meal plan. Occasionally meal prep – would like to get a bit better at this, especially for my lunch.
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…DIY Coconut Oil Hand Scrub with LavenderMy Profile

  14. Nadine

    I am a big fan of meal planning, I don’t really prep either unless I am making a crock pot meal for my lunches all week. And ever since I was a teeny tiny thing, my mom has always encouraged making my bed every day so it is still a habit today! I have thought about taking social media off my phone but to be honest, if I did…I would never check any of them.

  15. Lindsay

    I’m totally with you on making our bed. I feel like you start the day off on the right foot. And while we have a tv in our bedroom, it never gets turned on anymore.
    Lindsay recently posted…10 Things That Made Me Happy This WeekMy Profile

  16. Allison

    I never go to sleep – ever ever ever – without washing my face/brushing my teeth. Side note- I’m reading all these comments about taking apps off of phones but – I could NOT do that. Most of my social media consumption is done on the train home or times when I’m not on a desktop, so I’d never be able to check them! I get the notifications thing and I definitely think that’s a good idea – but taking the apps off completely? Couldn’t do it.

  17. Stephanie

    Meal planning is key in my house. I try to meal prep too as often as possible, but at the very least I need to plan.
    I still don’t make the bed though, lol. I keep meaning to try but it’s just not happening.


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