My son is in a Montessori preschool. We love it, and more importantly he loves it. He spends his mornings exploring and learning new skills by doing things. He has an amazing attention span which inspired the subtitle of this blog. His attention span is actually longer than mine, which has been one of my favorite ADHD mom jokes since before I even thought of this blog. The room that my kid spends his mornings in is amazing. Each shelf is so tidy and he knows exactly where to go to get the work material he wants.
I can only dream of organizing my house that well.
A Prepared Space
One of the tenants of Montessori style education is the idea of a prepared space. The classroom is prepared for the children to learn in, and to have freedom to move around, pull things off of shelves and work with them. They don’t need to go to a teacher to ask them to pull something down. They can just do it. It’s a lovely way for three year olds to learn independence.
In learning about Montessori, I’ve been struck at how much having a prepared space matters to me as well. If try to do a task and the tools I need aren’t at hand, I will probably not get that task done. There are just too many hurdles: find the tool. Maintain focus while finding the tool. Write down anything else I think of while trying to focus while trying to find the tool. Find the pen so I can write down the thing I thought of. Don’t find tool. Don’t find pen. Drift to doing something else that’s not actually what I want to be doing. Keep doing that thing. Never do the first thing.
But when the space and tools are prepared for me to work, I can work smoothly and with fewer distractions. Of course, I don’t have a teacher to prepare it for me, so it’s up to me.
Create Spaces Before Routines
For example, I want to start working out at home. I’ve done a bit here an there, but haven’t succeeded in doing it regularly. I realized part of the problem is that I was planning on doing it in the living room during nap time. But by the time nap time rolls around the living room is littered with LEGO. I’ve just accepted that LEGO is my new flooring, feet be damned.
I never work out because it requires cleaning up an insurmountable amount of toys.
Instead of beating myself up trying to work out at home, I’m just making a prepared space for my workouts. It will eventually be the office (I think). At least that will be the next place I try. I tried to do it in our tiny bedroom. In about two minutes, I bruised my shin on the bed and kicked the dresser. So that’s a “no”.
As I’ve been sorting and organizing the office, I’m finding a home for my workout gear. After that’s finished, I’ll focus on creating a routine. Until then, no shame in not working out.