Hello. Welcome back to Live Free Creative podcast. You’re listening to Episode 130. I’m your host, Miranda Anderson, and today we’re going to be talking about maintenance routines.
I know I talked about routines all last month and I had one more that I just couldn’t get out of my head. So we’re going to start February talking about one other type of routine.
And I think that you’re going to like this one.
Before we begin today. Let’s Pause for a poem.
Pause For A Poem
Moon Song by Kate Baer
You are not an evergreen unchanged by the pitiless snow. You are not a photo, a brand, a character written for sex or house or show. You do not have to choose one or the other: a dream or a dreamer, the bird or the birder. You may be a woman of commotion and quiet. Magic and brain.
You can be a mother and a poet. A wife and a lover. You can dance on the graves you dug on Tuesday, pulling out the bones of yourself you began to miss. You can be the sun and the moon, the dance a victory song.
That poem is one of many that I fell in love with while reading Kate Baer’s new book, What Kind Of Woman. It’s a collection of poetry about being a woman. And it just hits right on all of my favorite pieces: the rawness and the excitement and the love and the wholeness.
Especially, it just encompasses how we sometimes feel hypocritical being a whole person and having opposing sides, being loud and quiet, being gentle and fierce. And we can. We can be the whole picture. And I love that.
Main Topic: Life Maintenance
I’m going to tell you a little story to illustrate the importance of maintenance. That’s something that I want to talk about today.
So let’s start with calling back. If you’re a listener, a regular listener to the show, you’ll know a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that my computer was acting up a little bit. My hard drive was not being accepted. And so I was using all sorts of random music that I don’t normally use, which is fine.
Two weeks ago, I had to complete the whole show–I edited the whole episode–on my iPad, which I had never done before, because I normally use my computer. And the reason I did that was because my computer is in the shop.
So let me tell you a little bit about what happened.
I have just a regular old five-year old laptop computer, a MacBook Pro, that I love and it’s worked so well from the beginning.
I knew when I bought it, that it didn’t have enough storage space on the hard drive itself for me to use it regularly because of how much photo and video work I do because of my blog. And also now with the podcast, I have multiple audio files all recorded at once.
So from the beginning, five years ago, I started using a hard drive, an external hard drive, and I have the storage–all of the files and the music and the photos and the videos and everything lives on the hard drive.
And then on the computer itself, usually there is not very much that is in the background. So I should have plenty of space.
Well, a couple weeks ago I noticed that the computer was giving me alerts that I was running out of storage. I wanted to run an update and it wouldn’t let me do the updates.
So I had to go into the storage filter and go through some files. There were a few things in there that were old, that I had had stored on the computer and move to the hard drive. And so I knew I could erase those.
I was kind of sorting through things. One thing that’s kind of hilarious if you know anything about what the storage capacity means. Gigabyte and Kilobyte or whatever, those things don’t mean a whole lot to me.
But I was looking in my storage and it looked like my mail, like the mail app that’s on the desktop of my computer, was taking up like 30 gigabytes worth of space, which I think is a lot.
It acted like it was one of the biggest things happening on the computer. And I thought, I guess I should delete some emails. I don’t know.
So long story short, as short as I can make it, you know that I like long stories. I was working on something on the computer. I think I was in the middle of a coaching call actually.
And all of the sudden the computer just shut down. It just powered off. It was plugged in to power and the computer just completely powered off in the middle of the call. I ended up having to finish the call on my phone, doing FaceTime.
I got in touch with the Apple store and said, I think something’s wrong with my computer, you know, could we troubleshoot it?
And it actually did turn back on eventually.
So they helped me, they walked me through some troubleshooting and to figure out it looked like the battery needed to be fixed. So I took my computer to the Apple store, made an appointment, went in and dropped off for a routine battery fix.
They were going to replace the battery and it was going to be $200, no big deal, except for, because of COVID, the capacity of the stores right now–normally they could replace a battery in the store, but they aren’t doing that right now because of COVID.
So they said that the computer would need to be gone for three to five days, which–I operate my business five to six days a week, and I use my computer for everything. I use it for emails. I use it for creating files. I use it for editing photos and video and recording the podcast and editing the podcast and doing the show notes and updating the blog.
I run an online based business. I have a computer at home that’s a family computer, but it doesn’t have all of the same personalizations and file systems and things that I have on this computer.
So having it be gone for three to five days, it’s a big chunk. That means workdays that will be harder for me to handle. But I knew that I needed to get it fixed because a computer is better than no computer and I didn’t want to just buy a whole new one right then if this one could be fixed.
I dropped the computer off on a Friday, assuming it will be back to me by Monday, Tuesday, maybe. When I haven’t heard from them until Wednesday, I call the store and they said that it hadn’t come back in. And so I went online, my email said that it had been fixed and was on its way back to the store.
It took me a couple more days to find a spot–I was just really digging in deep to the troubleshooting–there was a spot where I had to approve some additional repair. They didn’t send me an email to notify me of the additional repair. I was just supposed to go find it.
Once I found it, I called them back. I approved it. I said, please send it back to me. So they finally, after 10 days, I’m able to drive to the store, pick my computer up, and I drive back to my office, and I sit down in the chair.
I turn the computer on. The battery works perfectly now. I plug in the hard drive and it still doesn’t work. It still doesn’t show up.
Maybe now I can do the software update. So I turn on the software update and the computer still doesn’t have enough space for the software update. So I went ahead and just deleted my whole mail account.
Now, this has come back to bite me since, but I deleted the whole email account, that 30 gigabytes, and then I can update the software.
And as soon as I clicked the button for the software to update–now, I had come to my office, I picked up the computer and came to my office so that I could sit down and record a podcast episode and get caught up a little bit on work.
I finally cleared enough space off of the repaired computer to download the update the software. It starts updating and it puts that little line up that tells you how long it’s going to take. And it’s going to take 47 minutes. So I’m ready to work right now, sitting down, and it’s going to take another 47 minutes.
I’m trying to figure out what can I do with 47 minutes that will be related to this. So I decided to go to the store to get a new external hard drive that will possibly actually plug in and function so that I can continue working as usual.
So I spend that time. I go and get a new external hard drive with the same cord as the old one, so that I can see if the cord was the problem, or if I just need an entirely new hard drive, if I’m going to need to go have the data recovered on the old hard drive, but at least going forward, I’ll have a new one that will hopefully work.
At this point, I have spent almost two full weeks without my computer functioning normally. And as I was driving back from the store with the hard drive in my bag, I thought to myself that this whole situation is an example of why maintenance is so important.
Rather than doing regular corrective or preventative or even predictive maintenance on my computer and my hard drive and my email, I waited until every single piece was just full and falling apart and unable to function properly.
And so rather than the few minutes, a week, or a month, or a quarter, that it might’ve taken me to regularly update my systems, my software, my storage, I spent a full two weeks unable to function normally at the cost of regularly scheduled maintenance.
I was cracking up, actually, because I have just barely been talking all about routines and the different ways that we can set ourselves up for success by creating systems and routines in our lives that allow things to happen really well. And to not get to a point where we’re crashing and burning.
And yet here I was with my devices, just absolutely hitting the wall.
As I’ve been thinking about maintenance, I realize that it applies to every single area of our lives, both the tangible, practical things–like changing light bulbs and checking the batteries in your smoke detectors.
It also applies equally well to intangible things, too. Emotional maintenance. Mental and relational maintenance.
And so I wanted to spend a little bit of time in today’s episode talking about the three different types of maintenance and what they’re good for, how you might recognize them in your life. And then I’ve created a free PDF download where you can start to actually write down and fill in some maintenance techniques or ideas or checks that will be good for you in your own personal life.
So I’ll include a couple basic things for some of the different areas of maintenance that you may have in your life. And I’ll leave a bunch of open lines for you to create a personal maintenance plan that fits you and your life.
I always like to dig into a topic by getting a clear definition in place. There are a lot of definitions of maintenance that use the word maintain, which I think is kind of funny because what if you don’t really understand what maintained means?
So I tried to find a definition that had some other words that might be good cues for creating some clarity around maintenance. I liked this one from Miriam-Webster. It says the act of keeping property or equipment in good condition by making repairs and correcting problems.
There’s another definition here that says the act of causing something to exist or continue without changing and the act of providing support for someone or something.
My favorite word from all of those different ideas and definitions is upkeep. Not only correcting repairs when something goes wrong, but actually preventing problems, preventing breakage, preventing things going wrong by regularly paying attention and keeping up.
If I had been regularly keeping up with deleting emails rather than letting 35,000 emails over the last seven years stay on the front end of my computer, then I wouldn’t have not had enough space to continually update the software as it needed to be updated.
If I had been paying attention to the different indicators that my computer has been giving me over the last probably four or five months that something was not quite right with the battery, then I probably would have taken it a little sooner to have the battery switched out.
Or if I had even better known that the batteries on a computer like mine are only meant to last four years, which is what I found out later after they repaired it. They said, Oh, usually they don’t even go this long.
If it’s only meant to last four years, and I had known that, I would’ve had it on my radar to have the battery repaired, even before it might’ve been showing all of the problems.Which would have helped me totally avoid any of the downtime that became necessary because of the lack of maintenance.
Now, this computer situation wasn’t that big of a deal. I know I’m basing a whole episode around this as an example. It wasn’t life-changing. It wasn’t altering. It wasn’t the biggest deal in the world. But it did serve as such a good reminder that we need to maintain our lives.
If you aren’t doing regular upkeep on yourself and on your belongings, the material things in your life, your technology, your homes, or cars, things are going to start breaking down.
One of the keys to maintenance is the recognition and belief that if you keep up with this upkeep, you will experience higher performance and lower cost, then if you don’t keep up and you let things slowly deteriorate and deteriorate until they either no longer function or require a massive costly repair and a lot of time taken out of your life.
So it’s these easy, small things that can happen on a regular basis that help us not have those big lows, or we let everything sort of crash and burn and have to deal with the fallout from that in our lives.
And I’m sure as you’re listening, some of you can think about things, physical things, whether it was cars or the HVAC system, or maybe a relationship, little things that were not kept up with that they weren’t cared for or repaired along the way, turned into something that no longer could be repaired.
And it’s so sad when that happens, when there are preventable things, when there’s small, easy, inexpensive ways that we can take care of ourselves, our relationships and our belongings. And we simply don’t recognize or don’t remember how important that maintenance is.
I want to share three different types of maintenance and a couple examples for each, just to help you wrap your head around what are some of the things in your life that you could maintain a little bit better or that you could plan or schedule or create a routine around so that you increase the productivity, you increase the capability and efficiency and fulfillment, and decrease that cost in the long run.
So the first one is corrective maintenance. Corrective maintenance is when you detect a small problem and you fix it.
This is troubleshooting. This is when something doesn’t work the first time or the second time and you think, okay, well, there’s a problem here that needs to be repaired.
Corrective maintenance takes paying attention and also having the ability to solve problems as they happen, rather than putting them off.
That’s the tricky piece, right?
A lot of times we have these little problems that we deal with in the short term because it feels like it’s going to be easier to just deal with the problem, the small problem, than it is to fix it. But as I’ve recently learned, small problems are much easier and less costly and less time-consuming to fix, than big problems. And lots of small unfixed problems lead to big problems.
The next type of maintenance is preventative. Preventative maintenance is maintenance that happens at predetermined intervals with prescribed criteria.
So this is not waiting for a problem to happen. This is like putting in the new air filter every three months because that’s what the HVAC system says to do rather than waiting until you don’t have any warm air in the winter because your filter is so clogged that nothing’s getting through.
I actually don’t know what happens if you don’t change an air filter, but I imagine that something goes wrong. We have been pretty good about changing our filters. So luckily I don’t know too much about the result of that.
But preventative maintenance is done in predetermined intervals.
For example, your oil in your car gets changed every 3000 miles. That’s what the sticker says. My dad always said you could go to four or six, especially if they were highway miles.
I will tell you that there was a time that one of my cars in my family, an unnamed person was driving one of my family vehicles several years ago. And the oil hadn’t been changed in not three, not six, who knows how many thousand miles and the engine seized completely because the car’s oil was gone.
It hadn’t been changed. But it also hadn’t been replaced in enough time that the functioning car went from functioning to not functioning in one instant because the entire engine seized. Because the oil changes hadn’t been made at regular intervals.
So preventative maintenance are the things that you do at predetermined intervals and with prescribed criteria. This reduces the risk of problems happening. This reduces the risk that things go wrong in the first place because you catch it before it does go wrong.
You prevent the problems.
And the third type of maintenance is predictive maintenance. This is not only having predetermined intervals for checking on things, but this is knowing ahead of time that things will go wrong and taking care of them well before they do.
A Look At Laundry Maintenance
Let me give you one example that kind of follows through these three things.
So if we’re talking about laundry. Let’s talk about laundry for a second. I know we all love talking about laundry. It’s everyone’s favorite subject.
So corrective maintenance would be doing the laundry when it’s dirty or doing the laundry when your kids run out of underwear or when you don’t have any more exercise clothes and you want to go to the gym.
Corrective maintenance would be: Shoot, we ran out of what we need, or the dress I want to wear is dirty, so I have to wash it now. That’s doing laundry as the problem happens, then you take care of it.
For those of you who do not have your laundry on a regularly scheduled automated routine, laundry probably feels a lot like putting out fires all the time.
You think about it all the time. It’s kind of frustrating. Everything seems to be dirty all the time. Or there’s always something in the way. It’s like a continual problem.
So then let’s move to preventative maintenance. With laundry, it would would be to do your laundry in a prescribed interval.
So this is a predetermined time in our family. We do the laundry on Thursdays. All the laundry in the whole house gets pulled into the kitchen. Our laundry is in our kitchen and we do it wash and dry and wash and dry and wash and dry.
And at the end of the day, everyone sits down and we fold and put away the laundry while we watch a show or listen to music or listen to a story and all of the laundry gets put away. And we don’t think about it again until the following Thursday.
So that is a preventative maintenance plan when it comes to laundry.
Now, what does predictive maintenance look like? That means buying detergent for the washing machine on a monthly basis so that when it’s time to do my preventative laundry, my regular routine, that I have everything that I need in place to make that happen.
So predictive means knowing that I’m going to need to do laundry. And so I have the detergent all ready to go for those predetermined intervals.
A Look A Meal Planning Maintenance
Let’s talk about meal planning for a second. This is actually one of my favorite topics. I have a great episode about meal planning that I will link in the show notes. I think it’s Episode 22, it’s called Minimal Meal Plan.
I also have a minimal meal plan online course. It’s a super simple, really affordable course, Seven Days, Seven Dinners, and I’ll link it in the show notes. It’s been really fun to see people have a lot of success with planning their meals.
So corrective maintenance when it comes to your meals is going to Chick-Fil-A because everyone’s hungry and you don’t have groceries. The problem is we are hungry. We need to fix it. So let’s just go get something. Okay. Now we’ve eaten. That’s corrective maintenance.
There’s a little problem. We fix the problem. Okay, and that’s fine. It’s fine. You may just have to keep fixing all those problems. You might eat a lot of Chick-Fil-A.
Now let’s talk about preventative. So preventative maintenance, when it comes to meal planning, is that predetermined interval and prescribed criteria. This is, we have a meal plan. We know what we’re having for dinner every night of the week. And so when dinnertime rolls around, we know what to make.We’ve planned on it now.
Predictive maintenance, when it comes to meal planning, is not only knowing what you’re going to make, but it also means that you have plugged all of that into a grocery list and that you are able to go get your groceries regularly so that you always have the food that you need in order to make the meals that you planned.
This is something that has changed our lives. In the last couple months, we started a new routine this year, doing a grocery pickup that Dave picks up on Fridays after work. So I entered our whole minimal meal plan grocery list into our grocery pickup website, the local Kroger website, and I put in our entire weekly grocery list. And with one click every week, I can add everything to the cart.
It takes me two minutes to sort through the cart and see, do we need an extra thing of milk? Maybe we don’t need as much bread because the kids didn’t eat quite as much last week as I expected. And done.
Not only do I have a meal plan, but I also every week have an automated way for all of those groceries to be inside my house so that I can make the meals that I planned on making.
Can you see how corrective maintenance is good. That prevents you crashing and burning. You’re actually solving the problems as they come.
Preventative maintenance enables you to not quite need as much corrective maintenance. You’re never going to be able to plan on everything that will go wrong and prevent it. But having preventative maintenance or these are those regular automated routines of some of the things that make your life run smoothly. That is great.
And then predictive maintenance takes it one step further where you not only prepare your actual actions, but you prepare your support system behind that, so that you set yourself up for success for following through with the routine that you’ve created, with those maintenance routines.
Growing up, I always felt like I was pretty low maintenance as far as getting ready. I didn’t wear a lot of makeup. I didn’t like require a lot to be happy. I feel pretty content most of the time. And I just didn’t feel like I had this whole laundry list of things that had to happen in order for me to be satisfied.
And I thought of people who did as “high maintenance.”
You probably have some of those same ideas. I think that they’re sort of out there, this high maintenance versus low maintenance.
And for some reason we think that low maintenance is better. Having low maintenance means that you don’t have any needs. And maybe because of that, we sort of conflate this principle of low maintenance with no needs, with no upkeep, with no care, with just being fine, no matter what.
And none of us are just going to be fine, no matter what.
A Look At Personal Maintenance
Beyond our households where we’re talking about having actual physical things taken care of, or our technology, our cars and the oil changes, and those types of things.
As people, as humans, as women, we need regular maintenance in order to be happy and function properly.
We need sleep. We need nutrition. We need time alone. We need time with people. We need to move our bodies. We need to be able to think and dream and have hobbies and create and explore. And sometimes we wonder why we are running so thin, why we’re running so low on energy, why our batteries seem to be dying, maybe why our patients is running thin.
We are slowly falling off of these cliffs of like program system failure. And we don’t know why.
But have you pulled back to think, what do I need regularly in order to just simply function properly? What is my baseline?
Not putting on the badge of low maintenance. I can get by with nothing. I don’t need to sleep.
I did this for years. I said, I don’t need to sleep. I’m good with like three or four hours. I’m cool. Just producing all the time and trying to make more and be more and do better all the time.
And I crashed. I woke up wondering what I was doing with my life.
I wasn’t fulfilled and satisfied, even though I should be. I was achieving. I was doing the things that I thought I should do. I had all of the things I thought I should have.
What about regular emotional and physical and mental and spiritual maintenance? What that looks like is going to be so different for all of us.
Have you considered lately what it might look like for you? What you need as a very baseline for your programming in your body, in your mind and your heart, to operate at full function, to perform at your highest level.
One of the best ways to create a maintenance plan for any area of your life is to consider the past, to reflect for a little bit on what has happened.
- When do things break down?
- What events lead to that breakdown?
- What are some of the events or situations that caused that?
- How often does that happen?
- How often would it help to have some sort of solution in place to prevent the breakdown?
One of the reasons that a lot of women, especially, say that they don’t take care of themselves as they should, that they don’t feel like they can, is because of cost. Whether it is financial, or maybe even time, the investment feels too great to take a night off, or to hire a babysitter, or to get a hobby, or to spend some time reading by yourself, because that’s time you could be spending on something else. It doesn’t feel like a good enough investment.
And maintenance flips that on its head a little bit, because you remember that maintenance, regular preventative and predictive maintenance, leads to increased productivity or fulfillment and decreased cost.
The small solutions on a regular routine basis will increase capacity in the short and long-term and will decrease costs in the long-term. You definitely spend a little bit of money every time you get your oil changed, but that sure costs a lot less than replacing your car because it seized on the side of the road.
I definitely would’ve spent a little bit of time deleting emails every single week or running the software checks or malware on my computer every week or every month as a routine maintenance plan, rather than spending 10 full work days without it and paying for a massive repair and an additional hard drive.
The small routine maintenance costs both of time, and of money, and of energy, far outweigh the long-term detriment of not taking care of things.
Categories of Maintenance
Okay. For the last little bit of the show, I’m just going to go through a few cases, categories of maintenance that you may want to consider.
And remember, there is a free PDF download that accompanies this show. If you go to the podcast, show notes livefreecreative.co/podcast. Look for episode 130 and right at the top, I’ll have a link so that you could download.
It’s not going to be a comprehensive, like whole home checklist or anything like that. I’m going to share these categories and have a couple basic ideas that are sort of universal and then some lines where you can get together with your partner or your kids or your friends, or spend some time with yourself, and really reflect on what are some of the things that will be baseline maintenance routines for you, for your wellbeing, for you and your belongings and your life to function as well as possible with as little regular maintenance as possible.
You can do these. There is not a lot of big things. It’s lots of little things that prevent a need for the big fix later.
So here’s some different categories that you might want to consider:
Think about what are some of the things that you need to take care of your physical health. Things like sleep, exercise, or regular movement. Nutrition. I’m not going to tell you any specific way to eat, but your body needs energy. It needs vitamins and minerals. It needs fiber. It needs fat. There’s lots of different things that you can do, just little daily, regular things, daily, weekly, monthly. You may want to consider doing an annual physical. I just reconnected with my doctor. I have blood work that I’m doing in the next couple of weeks.
I don’t have anything wrong right now that I know of. I am doing a regular physical with a full lab work because I want to prevent something from going wrong. I want to catch something before I have symptoms.
I want to maintain my physical health. So regular doctor’s appointments, OB appointments if you’re a female. Dentist appointments. I see a dermatologist every six months because I have a family history of skin cancer.
That’s an example of something that’s personal. A lot of people don’t need to see a dermatologist regularly. And I see mine twice a year, regularly, on routine maintenance because of my own physical health.
Spiritual Health. What about your spiritual health? What about your spirituality generally? What are some maintenance items? What is your baseline? What do you need as just a baseline?
For me, I need meditation. I need that quiet, reflective time where I can connect to my deepest inner self and find where she connects to divinity.
I need prayer. I need a regular spiritual outreach from me to God and time where I can wait and hear the inspiration and feel the intuition that comes through prayer.
My spiritual maintenance also includes reading scripture, reading poetry, writing in a journal.
What are some of the things that you can do for your own spiritual maintenance?
Emotional and Mental Health. What about emotional or mental health? Mental maintenance. Emotional maintenance.
I actually found a great list online, from a blogger. Well, she’s actually a pharmacist and a life coach. Jean the Wellbeing Pharmacy. I will put the link to this post in the show notes.
I thought her 10 emotional maintenance ideas were really great. So these are the 10, I’m just going to go through them quickly: walking, talking, meditation, sleep, nutrition, exercise, movement, music, sex, and crying. Those are 10 things that can maintain your emotional health.
Social interactions. What about your social interactions? Your relationships. We all have lots of different types of relationships and lots of different contacts. How can you think about the maintenance that each one requires.
Remember predetermined intervals or prescribed criteria. Those are the things we do so that we don’t hit a point where we have to fix all of the big problems. Corrective maintenance would be detecting a small problem and fixing it. Preventative maintenance is having something on the calendar to check things, to look over things, to change things out. Predictive maintenance is knowing that there will be things that go wrong and we can do things in advance to protect ourselves from that.
One of the things that comes to mind when I think about relationship maintenance is that Dave and I go on a regular date night and we have had that on the schedule for over 10 years. We’ve been married for 15 years this Fall.
That’s just routine. It’s just maintenance relationship maintenance. Some weeks when we go on a date, we fall more in love than ever. Some weeks, when we go on a date, it’s the first time the whole week that we’ve actually sat down and had a conversation.
We guarantee that we have time to spend together, to work on our relationship, so that there aren’t big things. If there’s little things, we have time each week to spend time together and to talk about it and talk about the good things, talk about the problems, talk about the obstacles, talk about how to fix the things, tweak them, keep up with each other.
And in this way we have luckily been able to prevent any major relationship issues because no time goes past–every seven days. We see each other every day, most of the time, if one of us isn’t traveling. We have lots of daily things too, that we’d like to do just for our own maintenance.
And with your kids, how do you maintain those relationships with your kids?
I know some people spend time doing one-on-one dates. Some people like to connect at bedtime. Maybe you go on a trip with your kids. Maybe you have special traditions that you do that are regular maintenance for your relationships, for how you connect.
Household Maintenance. The intangibles are maybe the harder ones, because it’s very obvious that we need to change the filters in our house that we need to have the windows washed every once in a while. Your gutters need to be cleaned out and washed out at least once a year.
Sometimes twice. If you live in an area like I do with tons of trees around, it’s going to be at least twice, maybe more.
How often are you washing the floors? How often are you checking the plumbing to make sure that the pipes are filtering properly? When we built our home in Austin, Texas, it was so interesting because it was a new build, we were the first people to ever live in the house. The builder provided us with an ongoing maintenance plan that came to our inbox.
So every couple of weeks we got an email that had just a little checklist of things to do to maintain the house. And there were things that I had never even thought of people doing, like adding salt to a water softener or cleaning out your dryer filter.
When is the last time that you cleaned out the filter in your washer or dryer? I mean, this is something that actually needs to happen in order for those machines to function properly.
The same thing with your vacuum. I actually now, and I love my vacuum so much. It’s a Shark. I will link it in the show notes.
I’m obsessed with it. I’ve had it for probably five years and the reason that it still works so well, as well as the day that I bought it. It’s not an expensive vacuum. It was like a $200 or $300 vacuum. It wasn’t like a Dyson that’s a huge amount of investment.
This vacuum has functioned so well for so long because I have three filters. And they’re washable. And I change the filter like every couple months.
As soon as I noticed that it’s not suctioning quite as well as before, I switch the filter, I can pop a new one right in and I wash the other one. And it dries, it takes it a day or two to dry, and then I put it in the basket. So that the next time—
Now I should do this thinking about this in maintenance terms, I should just have it on my calendar. That every three months, I change the filter rather than the corrective maintenance that I’m doing, that I notice that it’s not working as well. And then I fix it.
If I just change the filter every month or every two months, just like had a little sticker or a little check mark, or maybe I knew that on the 15th of the month, every month was the day that I changed the filter for the vacuum.
I would never get to the point that it wasn’t working properly. It would always work well. That’s preventative or predictive maintenance. Nothing’s going wrong. I prevent the things from going wrong.
Everything that you own needs some sort of maintenance, whether it’s your technology, that your computer could have a malware program that’s regularly sweeping and cleaning your computer, whether it’s the way that you handle your inbox, your emails, how you clear photos off of your phone.
I have a whole episode coming up for you in a couple of weeks about digital clutter, digital photos and videos. And how to organize that mess. I have a special guest that I’m interviewing who is a professional digital photo organizer. And I’m so excited because she shows all sorts of tips for getting on top of your digital mess. So look forward to that for your maintenance with your photos and videos.
What about your toys? How are those being maintained?
What about your car? Are you cleaning your car regularly? What about oil? What about tire rotation and balancing?
Your Own Maintenance Plan
There are so many different little things in our lives that can use regular care and maintenance.
And like I mentioned, I’m going to put together a basic checklist for you that covers a lot of these different areas with some universal maintenance tasks.
And I’m going to leave space for you to create a personalized maintenance plan.
You may just want to use it as a jumping off point, to downloaded and take a look at it and have a little meeting with those in your life who make these types of decisions and could help you and support you in creating or getting started with some more regular maintenance so that you avoid a major breakdown.
As we maintain things, we support them. We upkeep them. We care for them. We prevent breakdown. We prevent major problems or disasters. We prevent burnout in our own lives.
I want to encourage you to think about how you can better maintain and how important it is to not avoid maintenance because it does take a little bit of time or, or a little bit of investment.
Remember that a little bit of time and investment now prevents a major amount of time and investment later.
I am such a work in progress with this episode, as well as every other episode that I share. I am in it with you. As I’m learning things, I’m sharing them in real time. I need to put together a maintenance plan for my own self, for my own life, for my own house.
I think it’s been a little while since my car was cleaned. That’s going to happen this week. I need to just put it on a schedule.
Some of this goes back to one of my favorite ideas too, which is automating tasks that need to happen so that you don’t have to think about them.
I love my minimal meal plan. I love my laundry system. The areas of my life in which I’ve created regular maintenance are my favorite areas. They’re the ones that don’t cause any friction. They don’t take away or add to my decision fatigue or the draining of energy.
They are things that I can sort of set and forget because I am paying attention to them in the prescribed time. And then I don’t have to think about them the rest of the time.
It’s really nice to be able to reduce the amount of decisions that you make on a regular basis by making those decisions ahead of time in order to keep everything running smoothly. And that is what maintenance looks like.
Okay, friends, that’s the episode for today. I hope that you have enjoyed listening and I hope that you had some ideas, some inspiration, a couple things that came to mind that you thought: I could schedule that in. That’s something that I could do in a predetermined interval so that I don’t have to think about it. And so that I don’t crash and burn eventually.
Of course, it’s important to take care of our homes and our cars and all of those things. And let me tell you that the very most important asset that you have to care for is yourself. You need to take care of yourself so that you are able to continue living at your highest level and taking care of those around you, which I know you want to do.
I want to thank you as always for tuning into the show. I really appreciate every single listen.
Make sure to hit subscribe if you’re a new listener, so you don’t miss an episode. And leave a written review on iTunes if you have a couple of minutes, that would mean so much to me.
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Have a really wonderful week friends. I’ll talk to you again next time. Bye-bye.