Are you tired of feeling like a failure? Have you tried over and over to create a schedule that will let you “get it all done” each day? Are you constantly stressed? I was there too…until I figured out a simple home management system to take control of the chaos.
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I remember the first time I felt like I was drowning in my to-do list. It was after my second child was born. I was working part-time from home and had a newborn and a one-year-old. We didn’t live in a very safe neighborhood, so most of the day we were trapped inside. We had a giant square hand-me-down television with no antennae and one children’s DVD about sign language.
Years later, when my third son was 8 months old, my husband was hit by a truck on his way home from work. We had a nursing infant and had just started homeschooling, but suddenly, I became a full-time caregiver as well.
In some seasons, it is especially hard to stay afloat (or sane). And in the normal seasons, we beat ourselves up for not staying on top of it all.
How to Get More Done
The truth is no one ever gets everything done. We all have the same 24 hours, and if we’re lucky, we get to cram into them the things that are really important to us.
Life seasons can change quickly. When we finally settle into a routine that works for us, something changes – we lose a job, we get a promotion, a baby is born, someone finally potty trains, we get sick, we have to move. And always, we have the same 24 hours.
If you feel like you’re drowning in this season of life, this post is for you!
4 Steps to Creating a Home Management System that Works for You
Here’s a replay of our live video where we tackled 4 Steps to creating a home management system that works for you! (Hint: they aren’t what you think!)
Simple Home Management
Step 1: Recognize Urgent Vs. Important
I first learned about the difference between the urgent and the important in this article.
In a nutshell, The Urgent are all the things that beg for our attention right now. They are the loudest voices in our day, and they look something like this:
- Replying to texts or email
- Making lunch
- Changing that diaper
- Getting home for nap time
- Going to the grocery store
- Figuring out dinner
- Afterschool activities
- That pile of toys in the hallway
- The pile of paper on the counter
- Washing the dishes
The Urgent are not bad things. They are a necessary part of life.
The Important is a slightly different beast. Important has a long-term vision and probably includes things that resonate in your soul:
- Eating well and exercising
- Becoming debt-free
- Quality family time
- Going to the park with your kids
- Quiet alone time in the morning
- A homecooked dinner
- A conversation with your tween
- Intimacy with your spouse
There are places where the Urgent and the Important intersect (for example, going to the grocery store is a necessary step to making a homecooked meal). But more often, the Urgent is the louder voice, and the Important gets lost in the noise.
Recognizing the difference between the Important and the Urgent was the first big step I took to prioritizing what actually needs to get done every day.
What is on your Urgent list? What about your Important list?
Step 2: Prioritize
I think most of us have a vague sense of our goals and priorities. But have you ever taken the time to really dig into them?
Every January, I journal briefly through the free Cultivate What Matters goal-setting series. The first time I did it, it was life-changing. Now I use it to keep me calibrated towards what is Important.
If there’s room in the budget, I buy their Powersheets. I’ve used both their Dated PowerSheets Goal Planner and their Six-Month Undated PowerSheets Planner. Both were excellent and well worth the money.
Step 3: Reject Perfection
Perfection is a liar. It will tell you that you are failing regardless of how well you are managing your home.
When you come home from running errands after a long day of work, it tells you that you should make healthier dinners.
If you make a healthy dinner, it reminds you of the four loads of unfolded laundry. When you decide to stay home with your baby, it tells you that you should be doing something better with your life. When you go back to work, it accuses you of being a selfish mother.
Perfection will never be satisfied, and you need to stop listening to it.
The very best thing I ever read about perfectionism is the book Finish, by Jon Acuff. This book needs very little introduction, but these were my 3 biggest takeaways:
- When you are trying to accomplish a goal, choose what you will be bad at during this season. You can’t do everything well at the same time, so choose it on purpose.
- When you have a goal, ask yourself, “How can I make this simpler or easier?” Then do that.
- The day after perfect – when you mess up, perfectionism tells you to quit. Keep going.
It’s a fantastic, quick read (or listen!) you can find at any library or buy it and take notes like I do with my favorite books here.
Step 4: Get Practical
Once you recognize the difference between the Urgent and the Important, you know your priorities, and you are no longer listening to perfectionism, you need to get practical.
Home management is a very practical rhythm. It brings some of us joy and pleasure. Some of us hate it deeply (especially when we listen to Perfectionism). But it’s a privilege given to everyone who lives in a home.
When my house is running somewhat smoothly, it quiets the voice of the Urgent and frees up space for the Important.
Home Management How-To
The most practical resource I used was a quick little eCourse that ROCKED MY WORLD.
Home Management How-To helped me:
- Create a realistic routine for my family – based on my needs.
- Overcome laundry overwhelm with a simple plan of attack.
- Tackle my paperwork clutter and get rid of the piles.
- Make the best and most efficient use of my time each time I leave my home.
- Enjoy a clean, organized kitchen and employ an arsenal of tips to feed my family well.
- Develop a cleaning routine that will help me maintain a neat and tidy space.
- Build-in purposeful time to get ahead and prepare for busier seasons.
In some seasons, Home Management is especially difficult. When we don’t know our priorities and we listen to Perfectionism, we beat ourselves up for not doing a better job. The Important is drowned out by the Urgent. We need practical help, and we need a system that works for us.
Find the system that works for you by following these 4 steps, and check back for more this week!
What You Can Do Now:
Go back and do these 4 steps to help you recognize your priorities in this season!
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