If you’re like me, you are probably trying to shove 42 hours into a 24 hour day. All the usual suspects plus a million tiny little distractions drain the clock. One question I get asked frequently is – How do you do it? This translates to – How do you work full time, keep the house semi-clean (don’t look too closely at my floors please and thank you), exercise, and have a side hustle?
I’m always surprised by this question because I’m just another mom living a pretty routine life. I’m certainly not a productivity expert and I doubt I do anything unusual or special. But I did think this would be an interesting topic to unpack.
Maybe there are things I’m doing – or not doing – that you would consider adding to your routine. Or maybe you’ll realize I’m a completely average, normal human being and you’re actually just as productive as I am. Either way, let’s proceed.
A few things I do to help me accomplish just a little more in a given year include the following:
- I embrace less. True to the title of this post, I have embraced a form of minimalism which has translated into having less stuff around our house. By not owning a ton of toys or knick knacks, I just have less to pick up and clean around.
- When my kids are playing, I let them play. We have a kitchen area that is big enough it allows for a small play area. It’s amazing. Alan can cook, I can eat, and our kids can play in this mostly childproofed area. The point I’m making here is that I don’t interrupt my kids when they are playing nicely. I just let them get into their groove and go. If I can be productive cleaning or working during that time, I take advantage of it.
- I think in terms of short, medium, and long term goals. A day goes fast but small actions once or twice or five times a week add up to large results over the course of a year or even five years.
- Whenever I’m commuting, I listen to podcasts or books on tape. Last year about half of the nearly 60 books I read where on audio. You can get a free app from the library called Overdrive and start today.
- For my photos of the boys – I often leave my camera in the kitchen so that it is handy when we are hanging out at home.
- While my home and closet are fairly minimalistic, my purse does not follow the same philosophy. I often have my knitting and/or a book in my bag so that I don’t get lost in the social media vortex every time I’m waiting in line. Instead I can read or knit which is actually much more calming for me.
- We don’t watch much tv. In fact, I don’t think I’ve watched a show for a couple months now and we don’t have cable which makes it easier to keep the tv off.
- I don’t iron. Much to my mother’s chagrin I just skip this step.
- If I figure out a way to organize something – laundry, dishes, clothes, whatever – in a way that makes my life easier, I implement that reorganization and follow it.
- When there is something I’m interested in trying, I try to move it from my radar to my routine. Because when it sits in my brain and I think about it too long, it just takes up head space.
- One thing I don’t do very well and am trying to change, is all my note taking. I write all kinds of things down. Lists of things I need to do, buy, remember. But I often put these in different notebooks or scraps of paper. I’m working to be better about putting it all in one central location.
I hope some of this helped you and if you have any recommendations for me or others, please feel free to share it!