Oh my! Half the day is gone and I am not done!
Or worst yet…
Oh no! I forgot to do this and that!
Aaarrrrggghh! I don’t have time!
Before I go on and on. Let me set this loud and clear…I feel you and I hear you!
It’s perfectly normal to be overwhelmed from time to time.
It could be a sign that some systems we used to practice may no longer be effective and it’s a good opportunity to try a new one that will take us to the next level in achieving the balance we want for our work and life goals.
“Work-life balance” is a state of harmony and calmness you achieve between your career or work and personal life.
Getting the right balance is not always smooth but we can make it a lot more manageable by getting our day-to-day intentions more organized.
Thanks for accompanying me in this blog post. I am excited to share with you tips on how to lessen the above daily crisis and how to manage your daily routines in making a home while making a living.
So, let’s dive right in.
1. Wake up early
Waking up early means getting a head start on a new day.
This is often tricky but the earlier you go to bed the easier you can convince yourself to wake up early.
If you are a working parent, you will appreciate this tiny “Me time” in the morning when no one else is awake yet. You can use this time to recharge your battery by doing some meditation or exercises.
One of the tricks I learned to convince myself from getting out of the comfortable bed quickly is when I say this to myself…
“Decide and make it happen.”
By deciding – YES, you want to get up and start the day right and be productive or NO, you deserve time to sleep in or check your phone or scroll through social media – the first choice you make as soon as you open your eyes in the morning is crucial.
It dictates the tone of the quality of your morning and potentially of your whole day.
2. Make a morning routine
Having a solid morning usual will spare you from bogging down your brain of where to start, what to do, what to eat, or even what to wear the minute you open your eyes. It helps you to slowly settle in your mind and body for the happenings and challenges of the new day ahead.
Effective morning routines may appear to be simple and easy rituals but often they are merely sustained by well-driven human beings.
Ouch, yes…that hit me too! Dodge it next time if you can.
You may wish to read this separate blog post — “Daily Routine of a Busy Working Mum” about my daily routine as a busy working mum with hustles on the side and mindfully looking after the home and the family.
3. Make a cleaning schedule
Overwhelmed with the relentless house chores, most especially cleaning?
As busy homemakers making a living, it is easy to feel that we are falling short in fulfilling this responsibility at home when our 9 to 5 grind occupies most of our time, attention, and energy during the day.
But, to maintain a clean home, you don’t have to spend hours and hours to make your nesting place shiny and sparkly all the time especially if you have growing kids or hustles on the side on top of your full-time commitment at work and home.
“Keep your home clean enough to be healthy, but messy enough to be happy.”
Learn to adapt a system that simplifies the home distress befitting to your time and resources.
4. Make a command center
A command center is an exclusive spot (or spots) in the house where you can display and monitor your family’s daily tasks and timetable.
This will lend you a hand in remembering what’s in store with your daily, weekly, and so on schedule and will save you from reminding everyone’s assigned tasks at a given time or day.
You can strategically situate your command center where the household can easily see them.
In our home, I hang the command boards – the hometiculous menu board and the kids’ home dojo board – at the back of the kitchen cupboard door.
The hectic visual is hidden enough but readily available by just opening the pantry door. It’s the perfect spot! The kids and adults never fail to open and visit this spot to rummage foods and snacks in the pantry.
5. Make a meal plan
Planning weekly meals is a sure-shot sanity saver for those homemakers (homeys) assigned as the operations managers or planners in their home kitchen.
It will assist you in preparing your grocery list for the week which will then save you time from thinking of what you need to buy and will also help your savings account take a breather from buying things you don’t need.
This will also lessen your worry in wondering what meals to prepare for the family every single day and will give you ample time to prepare and be organized in the kitchen.
Ultimately, it enables you to be mindful of the types of food you are serving the family.
It’s a win-win!
6. Batch cooking/ meal prepping
When you plan your meal, you can also plan when or how to cook them by way of batch cooking or meal prepping.
This is a great time saver for most meticulous homeys out there. You can do this depending on the types of food you have on the menu. It allows you to cook the food in advance or prepare the ingredients ahead of time.
Some of the benefits from doing this hack include saving time and effort in cooking and cleaning the kitchen, reducing food waste which means saving money as well, enjoying a variety of meals, and better monitoring your meal’s portion sizes.
I did this religiously in the past but learning my family’s preferences as we go, I only cook meals that can be consumed in a reasonable time without freezing them. And I do batch cooking mainly of those foods that are possible to be frozen and reheated when needed.
7. Clean kitchen before going to bed
The kitchen is no doubt the busiest part of the house. We use it in the morning, midday, and evening especially when we are at home or stuck at home (during pandemic/lockdown time).
Cleaning the kitchen before going to bed is one of those habits that will help you have a relaxing start to your day.
Schedule your dishwasher cycle in the morning or at night, dependent on what suits your routine. As long as the kitchen sink and counter are free from dirty pots and dishes.
You can get help from your households in loading and unloading the dishes before and after the cycle.
“A clean and tidy space equals a clear mind.”
8. Delegate tasks to kids or partner
Train the family (kids and partners) as early as possible to contribute their time and effort in making your home the sweetest home possible.
This is a massive sanity-saver if you managed to make the most of it while the family is still young. The earlier you start the easier it gets.
But, it’s never too late to train your bigger kids if you haven’t started yet. You may just need to double the patience, double the consistency, and practice more meditation to calm yourself when the pushing gets tougher.
The most important point here is when you delegate a task, you must show your appreciation and resist redoing the task yourself or avoid being too critical about it.
Remember, if you assign it to your kids, their standards are not up to scratch like yours.
And even to your partner, the given task may not be their strength but the efforts in off-loading you with this chore are going to be an immense time and sanity saver for you in the long run.
9. Map your day ahead
“Going on a trip without a map could lead you to a dead-end or a lost track.”
To save your sanity with the daily demands of homemaking and full-time working, you need to plan your day.
A planner is a simple but effective tool that can assist you in doing that. Some people are fine with using digital planners and others are into physical planners.
I have tried to use both digital and paper planners. I find the latter more effective in ticking off my day-to-day and life goals.
Believe me, there is such a rewarding high feeling when you tick off those tasks you have intentionally planned.
Planning your day or much better your week the night before it starts will ease up the level of stress and challenges you may encounter during the day or week. It is also fair to note, that these plans are a good guide for you to cruise your day much easier.
Recognize that there will be detours. So, cut yourself some slack if things did not go according to your plan. You can always start again.
10. Stow away your smartphone
Do you want to save your sanity and your time for real?
Keep your phone out of your sight. Yes, I am serious!
Hiding your phone during your productivity hours will enable you to concentrate and complete the task at hand. It’s that simple.
It’s ironic in this digital day and age that these smart technologies and tools make our lives a lot easier and more connected and up to date to the outside world but it habitually disconnected us in our world and aspirations.
This is not just one of the best sanity savers but a huge time saver as well. Trust me!
11. Assign a designated space for work
Having a specific spot at home to do tasks particularly that of work (if you are working from home) will help you focus and define the ambiance and energy you keep in that space.
It’s like the bedroom for sleeping, the family living area for entertaining… and so on.
Assign a space even if you don’t have much room where you can perform your work more effectively and efficiently.
“Location has energy, time has memory.” – Jay Shetty, author of Think Like a Monk
12. Implement time management technique
We are all different human beings. It’s not a one size fits all kind of strategy. A technique that suits one person may not be effective to others. Try some of them and see what works best for you.
I have tried a number of them and have found the best fit by combining best practice that suits my personality and my situation as the primary homemaker and a full time working mother.
Most of these techniques are not rocket science, you may be practicing them already in your daily time management efforts. Make sense of the strategies that will help you better manage your time to free yourself from the nuances of day-to-day distractions and focus on your core goals at hand.
13. Be kind to yourself
Working and homemaking combined are no easy feats to tackle. It may sound normal in this modern world but it’s not always easy.
It’s perfectly normal to be overwhelmed at times of chaos. Acknowledging that you are in that state will discourage that feeling and be more in control of your emotions.
To help you ease up the load, don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
To all super mums and dads and homeys out there, you are doing a wonderful job! Affirm this to yourself.
Reward yourself every so often to feed your motivation and to keep you going in order to balance your work-life goals.
I hope the above tips I shared with you will help you to tackle your daily homemaking and working a lot simpler and easier.
Don’t forget to tag or share it with your family and friends.
“Let’s keep thriving and keep inspiring.”
Ann of Hometiculous