I’ve had a lot of requests from people on wanting to know how I get my day structured and organized on the homestead.
I’m going to share some of the things that helps me to balance out all of the projects and priorities in my life. I’ve also decided to make this into a small blog series to keep my posts from becoming too lengthy. This post will be about what I do to make my days go smoothly, even while raising young children.
Those who haven’t been following along with my other posts, I have two toddlers, ages almost 3 and almost 2, and a baby who is 5 months old. Which keeps me busy as it is.
We also have a homestead with goats, chickens, guineas and ducks and a garden, and we have formed an LLC earlier this summer. I blog and run the business website (which takes up more time that one might realize), plus I am working on marketing, promoting and advertising that business for growth.
Oh, and did I mention, I sell items locally and on Etsy. Things are busy. If I didn’t stay organized, things would quickly turn to chaos.
Here’s how I get my day structured on the homestead:
Get organized and declutter.
This is one of the most important things that I did to make sure that I stay on track. I have done a recent declutter and reorganized my home. When a home has too much clutter, it’s harder to clean and just takes more time from your routine. It’s a huge energy zapper as well. Here’s my post about decluttering and it has a really detailed declutter checklist.
Get up early.
I am NOT a morning person at all, but if I don’t get up early (5:30 am, daily), my day just doesn’t go along as I’d like it to. I don’t get nearly as much accomplished either. So, I just suck it up and offer it up.
Plan, prioritize and make lists.
That pretty much speaks for itself. Creating a plan and setting your priorities on paper will help you to get a visual of what is needed to be completed each day.
I have a daily list, which I call my “brain dump” ha. Its kept it in my binder and I’ll jot down ideas or tasks that need to be complete and I revisit it throughout the day. Plan out your day, stick to it and cross off your tasks as you go.
Schedule your time.
Structure and order are completely necessary for our lives. I follow a very regular schedule. It is centered around prayer first and foremost and it is very focused. I also have specific days which I complete specific tasks.
I’ll share how I schedule and structure my day and regular routines in another post. Maybe a schedule might not work for you, but I believe that a regular routine would be useful to all. You may like to read my post about creating a Mother’s Rule of Life here. It really helped me to plan out my schedule, routine and tasks.
Don’t over schedule and learn to say no.
It’s ok not to take on extra projects and tasks for others. This is weakness of mine. I want to help people, but I’ve learned that taking on too many things is not productive. It leads to myself becoming overwhelmed or the quality of my work to suffer.
I’m here to tell you, it’s ok to say no.
I have regular coffee and relaxation breaks scheduled in my day. Working too much without any time to recharge will not only wear you down, it’ll make accomplishing your tasks so much harder. Check out Taking Time for Relaxation on the Homestead.
I bite the bullet and just get it done. If I put a task off or save it for later, it’ll still need to be accomplished, but if I wait or procrastinate, I’ll find myself scrambling to get it completed and that just leads to unnecessary stress.
I get the worst done first. This makes my day run so much more smoothly.
Avoid time wasters.
Social media is a huge offender on this list. As I mentioned, I follow a schedule. This means that I even schedule in my blog and social media time. If I allowed myself to hop on social media often, I wouldn’t get anything accomplished and my whole routine would fall out of order.
Chaos is soon to follow.
I leave the smart phone away from my desk or while working on a task. I have my apps & notifications turned off so that I’m not constantly alerted.
This also applies to emails, phone calls or too many drop by or unscheduled visits. These are unavoidable sometimes, but don’t allow them to become a regular occurrence, if you can help it.
Find out what your time wasters are and eliminate them.
Create cluster sessions.
I schedule times where I can make phone calls and respond to emails in a cluster session. This doesn’t mean that you can’t allow for incoming calls, it just means that you knock out as many of those phone calls that you need to make in one session rather than making calls constantly throughout your day.
Stopping work to read an incoming email or taking a phone call, creates distraction from your work and you’ll have to refocus your efforts all over again. There are times where this is unavoidable, just find what works for you.
Allow for obstacles and remain flexible.
I don’t overschedule myself so much that I can’t allow for minor things to come up in my day. I’m a mom and have young children, they need my attention often.
After God, my family is my ultimate priority. Work and tasks fall after them and I allow for anything that may come up in our day; teething baby and potty training are current examples.
Or say when a naughty goat gets into mischief.
Find your productivity peak time.
I schedule a ton of tasks first thing in the morning because it’s easier for me to accomplish them even though I’m not a morning person and am dragging to get myself together.
This time of day just seems to work well with my family life and why it’s so necessary for me to wake up early. Find whatever hours you’re able to be most productive and schedule around them.
Delegate whenever you can.
Sometimes this is a tough one, but there are certain tasks that we can delegate to others to help us remain productive and organized. Older children for example would be perfect for this. Subordinates at work also fall in here.
Learn when to stop working.
It can be easy to keep working on a project or task, but we have to learn to stop so that we can focus on things that are important.
I’m definitely an execution and task oriented type of person, but if I don’t stop what I’m working on when appropriate, I’ll miss out on wonderful moments with my family and loved ones.
Consistently long hours numbs your mind and effects your creativity as well. Rest and recharge.
Avoid too much multi-tasking.
Contrary to what many believe, this is actually hard for many people to do successfully. With too many fingers in too many pots, it’s easy to get sidetracked or lose focus on the top priorities.
Remain focused and get one project completed and off of your list as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Whenever necessary simplify. Taking on too much or making elaborate plans can work on occasion, but whenever you can, simplify your plans and your life. You’ll find yourself so much happier.
There you have my top strategies for creating a balanced, organized and structured day on the homestead. What do you think? What works for you and your daily life?
My next post in this series will be about how I schedule my day, what tools I use and how I organize them.