Do you ever get to the end of a long day, look around at the mess, and feel like you’re never going to catch up?
Like, even if you had a whole day — all to yourself — to try to catch up, it wouldn’t be enough, and you wouldn’t even know where to start?
You want to be a good, godly wife. You want to be a kind, caring mother. You want to be that friend that everyone can count on. You long for deep, powerful quiet times with the Lord like you used to have…
But it’s all you can do to keep up with the constant fire hydrants of needs and demands, and most days you struggle to even do that.
If so, you’re not alone. (At all!)
In fact, I regularly get emails from sweet ladies saying “I want to make God my #1 priority. I want to spend more time with my kids. But after working all day, I’m just so exhausted!”
Well, the good news is, if that pretty much describes your life right now, it does NOT have to be that way. And I would know. Because, honestly, that doesn’t describe my life at all.
Sure, I’m busy… but I’m not overwhelmed or frazzled, even though I imagine I have every reason to be:
- I own my own business / work from home
- I have three very energetic young children
- I have a husband who needs / deserves my time and attention
- I prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner 3 times a day, 6-7 days a week
- I’m responsible for most of the cleaning (my husband does pitch in, but it’s mostly my responsibility)
- I recently started babysitting my niece once a week
- And I’m even training for a half-marathon this fall!
And yet, I frequently have times during the day when everything is done, and I’m just looking for something to do.
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How do I do it all? I’m glad you asked 🙂 I’m totally sharing my very best secrets below.
But first, I did want to mention…
If this post is resonating with you at all, you may want to look into Make Over Your Mornings by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom. I took her companion course, Make Over Your Evenings, quite a while back and it was fantastic.
The Make Over Your Mornings course is:
- super affordable
- takes less than 15 minutes to complete per day
- super helpful.
It definitely walks you step-by-step through how to have a more peaceful, more intentional day.
In fact, many of the strategies she shares in the course are the EXACT strategies I use every day to get stuff done and still enjoy my day, and I can tell you — they work.
I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or so busy that it’s affecting their family life.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in at all, I’d definitely encourage you to click the button below to learn more:
Otherwise, on to the tips!
Yes, I do a lot. But there are a lot of things I don’t do as well…
- We’re not super involved in church right now (We definitely attend! We just aren’t there 2-4 times a week for all sorts of other things as well).
- I’m not volunteering anywhere currently (I’d love to, but Equipping Godly Women is my full-time ministry for now).
- My kids aren’t in a bunch of extracurricular activities.
- My oldest is in school during the school year. My middle one goes to preschool two days a week.
- My youngest two still take good naps.
- They’re all great sleepers.
- I don’t commute.
- I hate shopping, and I don’t watch TV or movies.
- No one in my family has any special needs, medical conditions or even allergies.
- We have two pets that are SUPER easy to care for — a goldfish and a bearded dragon. No cats or dogs here!
The truth is — no one person can do it all. You can do a few things really well, but you can’t do everything. And the more unnecessary things you cut out, the more time you’ll have left for things that matter.
Action step: Look over your schedule. What can you cut out — even if just for a season? Take the next 3 days and write down everything you do each day. What can you eliminate, delegate or automate? What things are causing more stress than they are worth right now?
Clearing out your schedule is a GREAT place to start, but don’t stop there. Honestly, the more excess you can remove from all areas of your life, the better.
- Get rid of all the clothes your family no longer wears. Get rid of anything that doesn’t “go with” anything, anything that’s in bad condition, anything that doesn’t fit… Donate it or trash it. Store out-of-season clothes somewhere else.
- Get rid of all the toys your kids don’t play with anymore. Keep their favorites and anything they play with regularly. Trash or donate the rest. Next birthday, buy less “stuff” and more “experience” type gifts (like tickets to go fun places) or things they’ll eventually use up and toss out (like art sets) and ask your family to do the same. Fewer toys means less mess you have to clean up every day.
- Get rid of the paper clutter. Make it a point to sort the mail/papers as soon as they come in. Recycle all junk immediately. Put important dates on the calendar with appropriate notes, and recycle the paper. Sign and return forms immediately. Unsubscribe from as many mailings as possible (both physical and in your email inbox)
- Stop hanging out with toxic friends and family members. If they are a constant source of negativity and do little more than drain you every time they’re around, create some distance.
- Keep meal times simple and create a list of quick and easy “go to” meals for crazy days. Cook bigger meals so you have leftovers (twice the food in the same amount of time) and consider creating a stock of freezer meals you can pull out at anytime. We are big fans of simply grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the grocery when we are running low on time, and everyone loves a pizza night every now and then!
Personally, I even go so far as to wear basically the same thing every day (I own the same exact t-shirt in like 7 colors) because I don’t need the drama of trying to figure out how to put together a whole “outfit” every day. Grab a shirt, grab some shorts, throw on flip-flops, pull my hair in a pony-tail and I’m good to go. Everything matches, and that’s one less thing I have to spend time doing today.
It may sound silly, but it makes a big difference!
The truth is: the more clutter you have in your life, the more cluttered your mind is, the less you can think, and the more chaotic your life will be. The simpler you can keep the non-essentials, the more room you’ll have for the things that are essential.
Action step: What areas of your life are causing you undue stress right now? How can you simplify the process to make it easier on yourself? What non-essentials can you get rid of or pare down on?
3. Create Systems and Routines That Work
Some people hate routines, but for me, they are an absolute sanity saver! Because we do pretty much the same things every day, my kids always know what to expect. They don’t fight me on things because it’s just routine.
And it’s way easier for me to be motivated to get my jobs done too, because they’re all habit now. I don’t have to try to motivate myself to unload the dishwasher or put the laundry away. I just do it real fast without even thinking. It’s a part of the routine.
Here are a few systems and routines we have in our family:
- I start the dishwasher before I head to bed, then unload the dishes in the morning while I’m supervising breakfast.
- My kids must get dressed for the day before breakfast (if we are going somewhere), and they don’t get cartoons in the morning because it causes dilly dallying.
- I do my grocery shopping first thing in the morning when the stores are still quiet, and I always go with a list (which I write out in order) so I can get in and out FAST. I always shop at the same two stores, so I know where everything is.
- I meal plan, so I always know what I’m making for dinner well in advance. (I LOVE Plan to Eat for quick and super customizeable meal plans. Or another great option is 5 Dollar Meal Plan, where they’ll actually do the meal planning FOR you! That definitely saves both time and money.)
- I clean the bathroom while supervising bathtime, since I’m in there anyways.
- I clean the kitchen while I’m cooking for less clean-up time later.
- My children pick up after themselves and help with easy chores, even though they are little. Our family motto is “everyone helps.”
Of course, the point isn’t for you to duplicate our systems exactly, but to provide a few ideas to get you thinking.
Action step: What daily chores or activities are taking up a huge chunk of your day? What kind of systems can you put into place to make them faster, easier or more efficient?
Alright, those are my top three pieces of advice for you! They may sound overly simple, but the fact of the matter is:
- They’re all free
- You can get started with any of them in as little as 5 minutes per day
- They will all save you tons of time AND money down the road.
- They WORK!
I would really encourage you — give these three techniques a try, even if you just start out small. See what a difference they can make in your life.
Ready for More?
And if you’re really ready to dive in and get your overwhelmed, out-of-control life back to calm, intentional, fulfilling and efficient, definitely make sure you check out the Make Over Your Mornings Course as well.
At only $17, it’s definitely a small price to pay for a little more sanity in your life, and there’s even a no-questions-asked, 30-day money back guarantee on the off-chance you aren’t a superfan (which, honestly, would surprise me. The course is great!)
Simply click the button below to learn more!
What systems and routines do you have in place in your home right now? Which new ones do you need to start implementing right away?
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