I am not the most regimented, disciplined person – that’s for sure! But managing a home and keeping a family alive must mean that I’m a little bit productive…Right? To help you along (or give you a good laugh) I’d like to share a few productivity tips from an imperfect homemaker.
What I know about myself and productivity…
Let me begin by saying that I work best under stress and last minute deadlines.[Yes, I’ve taken those personality tests and I love reading about them. I just can’t remember my letters and numbers and wings and all the labels. So I’m just the way I am!]
Through high school and college I would mull over 15 page term papers in my head for weeks. Sure, I’d get notes on my 3x5s and collect citations. But I never actually wrote.
The night before the paper was due, I would sit down and write. All night. And pray the computer didn’t freeze up on me. And hope my floppy (yes, floppy disks!) actually saved it. Before we had a computer, hope that we had white-out in the house as projects had to be completed in ink.
I’d rush to the library the next morning and print it off, staple and hand it in at class time.
The dumb thing was:
I would get rewarded for my procrastination! A couple times I tried having my report or speech prepared several days in advance and make last minute tweaks the day I handed it in.
Those projects were my worst grades.
So frustrating! I continued my all-nighter habit through college and proceeded to get great marks.
Now that I’m an imperfect homemaker and mother…
To an extent, I’ve carried this last-minute mentality over into my homemaking productivity.
I love when people stop in last minute or unannounced. Impromptu coffee dates are my thing. Usually I have cookies or muffins I can pull out of the freezer. If not, we sit and drink coffee or tea! Or just water!
When I have something planned weeks in advance, I feel like its a burden hanging over me sometimes and I put too much thought and expectation into it.
Productivity Tips from an Imperfect Homemaker
Just because I’m a procrastinator and fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal doesn’t mean I shun order.
Planners make my heart flutter. Checking something off my list thrills me.
Read More: Daily Homemaking Tasks
So in my own weird way I do have productivity tips. Here they are:
1. One time saving tip that I use to free up more time for those I love:
I save my relaxing jobs for after my husband gets home and we are sitting around reading or playing anyways. This is when I fold laundry (my toddler loves “helping” me). I also take this time to flip through cook books for new menu ideas.
My seed catalog is next to my couch so I can put together my order during our lazy winter evenings. I also keep my planner within reach so that I can get my thoughts and lists out of my head.
Other small tasks like trimming kid’s fingernails I save for evenings, too.
2. My favorite productivity tools:
I love filling my planner with daily lists just so I can check them off. Because my family is still young (and small) I include all our activities and appointments in there so I can keep track of them.
This is where I jot down menus and baking days, as well.
My goals go in the side bar of my planner so I can keep tabs on my progress. Having my yearly goals written in my planner with action steps help me track my progress and see that I haven’t ditched them completely!
3. My refreshing self-care habit I pop into a busy schedule:
I love coffee.
That is my motivation for getting up before my son. I get to relax and enjoy the best and quietest part of my day undisturbed with delicious richness in my cup.
Read More: Supercharge Your Coffee or Tea
One thing that helps me get up earlier is our early bed time. Our son is in bed by 6:30. My husband and I are in bed by 8:30. Crazy, right!? But my husband gets up at 4:15am to head to the barn. I get up at 5 to enjoy a quiet couple of hours.
Another refreshing part of my day is getting outside. In the winter, this might be just a walk to the mailbox. Or taking my son out in his wagon for a short walk.
During the summer, though, I spend as much time outside as I can. I snap beans outside, core and peel apples or even read a book outside while my son plays.
Fresh air refreshes!
4. I use my small pockets of free time throughout the day to:
If my son is awake, I read to him. This is one way I make sure to spend intentional time with him. He loves books so it’s a win – win!
I’ll read my own book if he is sleeping. Usually I’m in the middle of a fiction and non-fiction at the same time. I usually pick up the fiction because it’s less brain power required to process.
Read More: What I’m Reading
5. When I feel guilty taking time for myself because there is so much to do:
Hmmm… is it weird to say that I don’t feel guilty taking time for myself?
Or maybe it’s because I don’t have too much to do.
This last statement may be partly true. Since I’ve gotten married I’m much better at saying ‘no.’ Now that I have a family and home, I fiercely protect my time with them.
Sure, I have a few pockets of busyness throughout the year with VBS or fundraisers I’m involved with. But nothing ongoing, day in and day out. In fact, sometimes I don’t go to town for two weeks!
In the moment I do feel guilty taking time for myself, I just plan it for after my son is in bed. That’s when I soak in the bath or take an evening run or walk.
What do you do to help boost your productivity?