Feeling a tad overwhelmed? Here’s some good news: Staying organized in the face of chaos is in our Jewish DNA. Think about the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). All those pieces to fit together! Do it this way, don’t do it that way. Use this material, don’t use that material. Assemble it, now disassemble it. How’s that for organized living? As a nation, we did an exceptional job, so we certainly have the spiritual organizing DNA to tap into, should we choose to.

Here’s even more good news: The popular notion of “The System Is the Solution” seems to be rooted in a tremendously insightful Rashi connected to the Mishkan.

In the Torah portion of Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:21), in the section discussing the menorah, we learn how the lamps of the menorah should burn from evening until morning. Rashi then explains that half a log of oil should be used, so that there was enough to burn through the long Staying organized in the face of chaos is in our Jewish DNAwinter nights, and it didn’t matter if there was leftover oil in the summer. The Mishkan was a bustling place, and there were other jobs to be done; the leftover oil in the summer was the least of the concerns.

Essentially, the rules governing how to run an efficient Mishkan can teach us how to live efficiently, as well.

Make a simple system for the jobs that are done every day in your personal Mishkan, also known as your home. If you don’t need to take the time and mental energy to measure exactly how much oil is needed on those dark winter days compared those bright sunny days, then don’t. Don’t give yourself extra work if you don’t have to. Set the system in place, and go call a friend.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Some of us can whip together a gourmet Shabbat in no time at all; others start getting anxious on Thursday morning. Some might excel at reading bedtime stories, or making incredible birthday cakes. Celebrate those strengths and zap those weaknesses. Are dinners late and tasteless? Are children fumbling around for clean socks each morning? Is there no bedtime schedule, and therefore total anarchy every evening? Go and set up a system that works.

Identify which area you really want to work on, and read a book, do some online research, or quite simply ask a friend who has it under control. Then create a simple system for it. Bedtime success might need a chart on the wall with children’s names, bath time, story time and bedtime. Delinquent tooth-brushers can be systemized with star charts and rewards. Dinner-time nightmares can be soothed by choosing four categories of protein that your family eats.

The next time something falls off your radar and you forget a friend’s birthday, don’t berate yourself—simply create Celebrate those strengths and zap those weaknessesa system to ensure it happens less frequently in the future. Never going out with your husband? Systemize date night once every two weeks, and systemize the babysitter. We all know you won’t make it out the door on a date 26 times a year, but what if your system netted 15 dates, or even 10? Wouldn’t that be an improvement?

Here’s an important part of changing to a more systematized life: Don’t expect perfection. Focus on the process. If there is less tension in the mornings because of a new system you created, then you are evolving. Chastising yourself for not having the perfect system working right away is like a mental police car pulling you over every time you even touch the speed limit.

Granted, we can’t systemize every single aspect of our lives, nor do we want to. However, the more routine, Mishkan-type tasks we can systemize, the more mental energy we can reserve for the things that really matter. If your Shabbat menus are on a three-week rotation, you’ll have the headspace to listen to your teenager’s most recent upset.

So thanks to lessons learned from our ancestors thousands of years ago, we can create a better script for our lives. L’chaim to all past and present mothers for all the work we do to create nurturing homes for our families. Taking the time to systemize key components of our lives ultimately frees up more of our hearts and minds for our family—and that’s a commodity worth the effort.