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3/20/19 — Hey Mama! Before you keep reading, I wanted to pop in and tell you that I have a new FREEBIE that is pretty incredible. If you are struggling to keep up, if you want to be more productive, or if you are feeling stuck in a rut, grab my SAHM schedule! This is the exact schedule that I follow to enjoy my life rather than cleaning up after it-all preloaded into a Trello board for your convenience! Grab it here!
After I started side hustling as a stay at home mom, it didn’t take long to realize that if I let it, work and home responsibilities would completely drain the happiness out of motherhood. I had chosen to stay home so that I could relish in raising my babies, and somehow, that blessing was being neglected and misused. Between accomplishing my blogging, marketing tasks, and housework, there wasn’t a whole lot of time dedicated to just reveling in this wonderful stage of my children’s lives!
There was so much to learn that I would squeeze everything I possibly could into the day. I would read articles and ebooks on my phone while the kids ate and played at the park. I would get my computer out in order to attempt making any kind of progress on writing or techy stuff any chance I got.
Then, when I pulled my face out of the technology, it was all about getting the house in order. Making food, doing laundry, whatever was needing my attention came first. I didn’t make any time to actually work on myself(not just my business), and even though I was “home” with my kids, I wasn’t being an engaged mother. I realized that in order to make it worth staying home with my kids, being truly present for them was pretty important, right?
Prioritize Tasks That Are Most Important
I realized that I need to prioritize my tasks in order to create the life I want, and sometimes that means letting other things go for a while. Let me tell you right now, it is really hard to decide on what can give!
There are a few rules that I have set for myself that have really helped me to focus on one thing at a time. They have helped me find that “work-life” balance that we are always chasing, at least most days. I think it’s always something that we just have to do our best with, but knowing what is most important is a good first step!
The Rules That Can Help Prioritize What’s Most Important
1. Connect with your Family: Create Distraction Free Time Zones
One of the ways that I have found a balance in my life is by creating no distraction time zones. There are certain activities that happen throughout our day that I have committed to leaving the distractions behind.
This rule applies to anything distracting including a laptop, book, television, you name it. These times of the day will be different for everyone, depending on schedules, but I highly encourage you to consider implementing this idea. Foster the relationships that you have with your kids, and even your husband by letting them know that nothing else matters, even for just a few minutes a day.
For us, this means no distractions at lunch and dinner time. We talk and tell stories about our day, giving each other our full attention. Then the kids clear their plates and we move into the next time block, whatever it may be. Giving your children the opportunity to tell you about what is exciting them is so important, even if that just means having dinner together every evening.
2. Simplify Your Home Responsibilities
You might be thinking, “Okay, so connecting with your family seems simple enough, but how can you possibly cut back on the other responsibilities? Cooking and cleaning are never-ending when you have a family.” First of all, decide what is worth your time, then cut out what isn’t. Maximize your efforts by implementing systems in order to make what is left easier!
Imagine that you have a 1000 piece puzzle to put together. Just figuring out where to start takes forever! You have to gather the edge pieces, then line them all up before you can even start putting the center together.
Now, imagine a kids puzzle. Even with twenty-five pieces, you would be able to put the puzzle together with minimal effort and in a pretty short amount of time. Sure, maybe it still takes a bit of effort, but much, much less.
That is what it is like when you have home systems in place. When you have a step-by-step plan to tackle your responsibilities it is just a matter of following the motions rather than starting at the beginning without a plan, every single day.
I have a lot of different posts about what I have done to make my home easier to manage here on the blog. Here are some of my favorites:
How To Organize To Make Laundry Easier
No More Lost Socks: A Foolproof Laundry Hack That Works
How To Downsize Your Kids’ Clothes & Why Less Is More
The Best Ideas to Get Your Tiny Closet Under Control
Drowning In Dirty Dishes? It’s Time For A Kitchen Reset
Team Power Clean: How To Clean With Kids
Five Mindset Changes To Help Keep Your Home Clean and Tidy
6 Steps To Organize Your Kid’s Toys Once and For All
How To Banish Clutter To Achieve Your Dream Home
The Best Kitchen Essentials To Save You Time & Energy
Life Hack: How To Easily Coupon In Little Time
3. Find Time for Self-Care in The Mundane
As a mom of three kids, with all of the work-life responsibilities, sometimes I just want to check out. I want to have time to do nothing with my brain. It needs a break sometimes!
Or maybe it’s the opposite. Sometimes I need inspiration because it is hard to always stay positive and believe in myself! Life gets me down, and I feel uninspired.
Earlier, I talked about how it feels like I am just going through the motions when I use my systems, and that is true! Even though that is wonderful, it also means that it gets pretty monotonous.
When I am feeling like I just need to get away from the pressure to achieve in my business, but I have so much to do in general, I try to maximize my time by doing what I like to call “Netflix Chores”. Think laundry, dishes, decluttering, and organizing. Anything that needs to be done, but doesn’t take a whole lot of brain power. I make sure that my kids aren’t hungry. (They always make huge messes when they get hungry and I’m distracted!) Then I put on a show, a podcast, whatever I’m in the mood for and I get to work.
Multi-tasking like this has been a great way for me to find time in the mundane in order to feed my soul whatever it is craving on a not-mom level. Because let’s be honest, we are more than just the mom role. As a disclaimer though: sometimes we need to allow ourselves to relax for real. That is where the saved time from our systems comes into play. If I have extra time after cleaning and working, I give myself permission to relax for real if that is what I need!
4. Maximize the Time You Spend Working
The only way that I can accomplish setting aside time with my kids and for myself is by maximizing the time I spend working. I try to focus on one task at a time when I get the chance to focus, and I use little minutes to get to tasks like training videos and phone calls.
Following a daily routine has really helped me figure out what time of day I can manage to work while the kids are happy, and the rest of my tasks are completed after bedtime.
I try to batch my work tasks around what our plans for the day are. If we are headed to the store, I plan to take pictures while we are out. If we are going to be home, it is a good day to write. By focusing on a certain task for a set amount of time, it helps me to work ahead of my schedule. This really relieves the stress of deadlines, because my work usually just needs polishing rather than needing to complete an entire project in a few days!
Work-Life Balance is All About Prioritizing
Balancing work and life is really hard. Honestly, I believe that true balance is a myth or at least a misconception that all things in life deserve equal attention. By focusing on the things that are going to help you reach your goals, and ignoring the rest of the stuff you “should” be doing, you will find that happiness and balance don’t mean the same thing. Use these strategies to make time for what is most important and build your life from there!
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