Productive and Happier at Home
My typical weekday morning with 3 kids used to look a lot like this:
Completely frazzled while digging through laundry baskets of clothes to find something to wear.
Dashing around, throwing food together for breakfast and lunches. Frantically trying to find my keys in the bottomless pit I call a purse, and get all the toddlers in the car to get the teenager to school on time.
Before 8 am I am already frustrated, agitated, and grouchy.
I don’t know how your mornings go down, but I’m betting I’m not the only one starting my days in the red. I was fed up with feeling like a grouch all the time, with BEING a grouch all the time!
Some days, it was all I could do not to plant the twins in front of an episode of Sesame Street (cuz those shows are long!) and plop myself back into bed.
Turn Sesame Street off!! There’s a better way!!
Let’s talk about 4 things you can do now to feel productive and happier at home.
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1. Just start
When we are overwhelmed, it feels easiest to shut down, avoid, and procrastinate. I will put off tasks until they are out of control because; if I can’t do it perfectly (a.k.a. Pinterestly), I won’t do it at all!
But, if we are going to get this madness under control, we have to start somewhere. Tell yourself to spend only 5 minutes going around the house with a trash bag and picking up anything that is trash.
More often than not, at the end of 5 minutes, you will keep going since you’re already at it. Follow this mentality with your overwhelming tasks. Tell yourself you will vacuum one room, one load of laundry, 5 minute timer to clean bathrooms.
2. Start with the essentials
We can’t be organizing the junk drawer if there are no clean clothes in the house.
Start with basic needs. The people in your house must have food, clothing, shelter, transportation.….but guess what?
Our food doesn’t have to be gourmet meals and our house doesn’t have to look like a Pinterest board.
- Food — I like to start with figuring out what everybody will eat. Nothing stresses me more than dinner time nearing and having no clue what to make. Food is especially tricky if your family has food “issues” like mine does, but that just means a plan is even more imperative. Grab a piece of paper (or download my free planning printables from the Resource Library) and write the days of the week across the top. Now write down what your family will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. As you are making this plan, you are also making your grocery list. I make mine with “Alexa“, so I simply tell ‘her’ what to put on my list as I go through the plan. If you don’t have Alexa (she’s AWESOME, btw), then have another piece of paper to write your list as you go.
TIP: When you have more time, declutter and organize your kitchen cabinets and you’ll feel incredibly productive!
- Clothing — After I get meals squared away, I like to show the laundry who’s boss. If yours is way out of control, start with a load of your clothes (put your own oxygen mask on first, mamas!). Then read my post ‘One Day to Conquering Laundry’ and you will be a laundry boss too!!
- Shelter — Now let’s talk about that shelter we must provide. Repeat after me…. “It doesn’t have to be perfect” (mine’s nowhere close!) Until you are out of the weeds, nix any home tasks that aren’t absolutely necessary. Life will go on even if your baseboards are dirty and there are 8 month old cheerios under your sofa. But, at my house, toilets need regular attention (house full of boys, anyone?)
- Transportation — I seriously feel like a taxi driver. Taking kids to school, tennis, orchestra practice, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, gymnastics, doctor and dental appointments….when you have a special needs child it increases you taxi-time considerably. I suggest eliminating anything that isn’t necessary, at least for awhile. You also want to combine errands with when you are picking up from school or when you finish at an appointment. Anything to reduce the amount of time in the car.
3. Plan your Schedule
You will need a calendar. Unless you are already familiar with a digital or app calendar, I suggest using a simple paper one for now.
Start with the current month and next month and write in every appointment, therapy, practice, party, etc. Be sure to include any school holidays/staff days so you don’t show up with a kid on a day school is closed (yep, mom of the year right here!)
Then, using the same paper you used to plan meals for the week, (or grab my free printable planning pages from the Resource Library) write your calendar commitments for each day.
You will feel less overwhelmed to have only one week at a time in front of you. I suggest keeping this on the fridge or somewhere you can see it (out of sight, out of mind at my house).
Each day you can see at a quick glance what everyone is eating and where everyone is going. Instant stress reduction!!
RELATED: HOW TO SURVIVE ON ONE INCOME
4. Remember why your life is so hectic
Remember why you have so many meals to make, such a messy house to clean, miles of driving to do, and never-ending piles of laundry.
When I’m feeling discouraged, I take a moment to remember that someone, somewhere is praying for children of their own, for a sweet precious husband, or to have a house they can make into a home.
If you’re still struggling, this article will definitely inspire you to find joy and happiness even on your toughest days.
You follow these steps and I promise you will feel more productive and much happier in your home!
CLICK HERE TO READ:
Once you are feeling more productive, read my post on Creating a Simple Schedule to go more in depth to planning your days.
Happy Home Handling!!
What ways have you found that help you feel more productive and happier? Leave a comment and let me know!