If you are back after my last post then you are something else. The last post was more of the philosophy of how I do all the stuff I do and today is more of the application of how I do it all. For me, this is the most fun part, and is probably more of what you were expecting yesterday. It is a more detailed explanation of how I use my time and get so much done. But before I get to the timeline, I need to tell you my rules. Because rules are awesome.
Rules & Routine
- Put Your Phone Away
That’s it. Those are my rules. I prioritize sleep over food because I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. They do their best, but the demands of meeting almost all the basic needs of 2 people, on top of my own, are rigorous at best. And after two babies who did not sleep very well and a sudden intolerance to caffeine, I have learned that I desperately need sleep, sometimes more than I need food.
Rule #2 is still to eat though. I don’t skip meals… usually. This rule I struggle with the most because once I start working on something and get in a flow I do not want to stop for anything. No matter how much my stomach grumbles I will keep working. It’s a bad habit that I do not recommend. I have combatted this habit like this: when I do eat I try to make sure I have something that is either high protein, highly nutritious, or soothing. Not junk food. Usually. I am a human with a few vices. Sometimes rules are hard and fast, sometimes they are the next level we are reaching for. This one is my next level.
The last rule is hard and fast. Put your phone down. I put mine on the charger in the mornings so that it is glued to one spot and I won’t be tempted to carry it around with me, therefore I won’t be tempted to check my socials – “just real quick” was always the lie. Phones are a time suck. They are beautiful, highly functional toys with a few helpful tools tucked in to add value. Once I got into the habit of putting my phone down, and not having it constantly on my body or within arm’s reach, I found that not only was it easier to complete my tasks, but they were more enjoyable. I do many of my household chores with my 3 year old in tow and having that undivided time with her has become more valuable to me than I anticipated.
Okay so I’ve got some rules to help my day go smoother, what does that look like routine-wise?
Ta-Da! I made it myself. I also kept it intentionally vague so that it would do well on Pinterest. Don’t hate me. Let’s take a second to talk about how I arrived at this routine. As we established, I think of motherhood as a job. If my job has 3 daily, recurring events (i.e. – meals), I would plan the rest of my day around those events. If I knew there was going to be a block of time where I would be able to work without distractions (naptime) I would plan my most focus intensive times for then. I would also figure out what daily tasks I could perform to keep from falling behind in my workload.
It is important to note that this is my routine, not my schedule. Like Captain Barbosa said, “… they’re more like guidelines.” I am not ruled by this routine and can make adjustments as needed. Most of our days look similar to this, but not usually exactly like this.
So what is everything on this graphic? Personal Chores means making our own beds and getting dressed. Yes my 3 year old makes her own bed. It took about a week of doing it with her every day and now she does it on her own, usually while playing with her stuffed animals for about 10 minutes, but she gets it done. For me it means bed, start laundry, start dishes, and all those random little housekeeping things that pile up on you. Family Chores usually means folding laundry together, doing a chores like cleaning bathrooms or sweeping, or cleaning up messes like all the toys that end up everywhere no matter how often I am having them picked up. (In the summer it will include time in the garden.) Sometimes this only takes us 30 minutes, sometimes an hour. Sometimes we have off days on occasion where we watch TV most of the day because I am worn out and the next day we have extra work to catch up on.
Bible and Reading time is also important to the routine because it is a very special one-on-one time with my 3 year old. Ever since I started having this dedicated time with her I have found that she is less demanding of my attention later. This is probably the biggest preemptive action I take in the mornings to be able to work as much as I do in the afternoons.
My 1 year old is with us throughout all of this, but she is on a different schedule since she takes 2 naps a day still. Her first nap is about when we do reading time, and her second nap will coincide with my 3 year old’s nap which gives me about an hour and a half of uninterrupted work time in the afternoons. That time is when I do my hardest tasks like writing a whole blog post or working on a new crochet pattern.
I think the thing that has helped me the most is realizing that I am never going to reach a state where I am always ahead of all the things because I will never be in a place where every day is the same. We are a household of 4 humans with different needs and interests and my job is not to keep the house up in spite of all the living we do here, but for the living we do here. So I get the important stuff done and then enjoy the rest, which is, for me, blogging, crocheting, gardening, and sometimes reorganizing because I am Type A and I think orderly is pretty.
The third and final instalment of this series is going to be Priorities and Planning. In which I am going to talk about how I prioritize my days and plan out my whole month. Probably another one of my favorite things.