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Something that I get asked, quite frequently, is ‘How do I get everything done?’. I assume that most of the time people mean working on my blog, running an allotment, looking after my home/family, baking, cooking, seeing the people I love regularly and making time for hobbies too. I don’t have a magic formula. I’m also not better than anyone else at these things, that I know of. However, today I thought I would write a post to share with you just how I get everything done. This post isn’t designed to show that I’m awesome, or make anyone else feel inadequate.
I am hoping that by sharing some insights into my average week I might give someone a few tips. Or some motivation to change their own life. Alternatively, I might make someone else feel that they ARE rocking their own life. Which I think most of us are. If you want to skip this 2,500 word monstrosity just scroll on down near the bottom. I’ve made a few small lists!
This post was wrote on a day when my daughter was out for several hours. This means that I had time to write the post, and a little more time for myself. Obviously I look after my daughter throughout the day, and take care of her needs. I’m not going to document all of those within this post as I want this to be relevant to working more than parenting. Although I do both everyday these days!
How do I get everything done – Start each day off right
For me this means have a shower, brush my teeth, comb my hair and get the coffee on! While I’m doing this my daughter enjoys her first bottle or meal of the day. This means I’ve got around 10-15 minutes just to wake myself up, and get myself together for the day. Personally I enjoy my breakfast a little later in the day, as I can’t eat first thing.
My Tassimo has been a Godsend. I only drink one coffee per day, and usually early in the day. Sometimes I have a Nutribullet iced coffee a bit later in the day instead. I try to limit caffeine to once per day in a large quantity as I need to sleep at night!
How do I get everything done – Get myself motivated
For me, there are a number of ways that I motivate myself. Sometimes I check out what others are doing. If I see people on Twitter mentioning their days or great photos on Instagram, it can inspire me. I always make sure not to let comparison syndrome set in though. I’ve written this post about staying motivated when working from home. I love to be organised by keeping a #kickerlist which is my own form of a to-do list.
I find that a good motivational quote, or reminder of my nice life can be helpful. Sometimes I think about our savings goals, to motivate myself. Other times I read a nice quote on the internet. Or even around my home. Sometimes I have a read of our bucket list and plan what I’ll do next. I take a few minutes to think about what I am going to achieve for the day ahead. For me I think about all areas of our life while I drink my coffee. What will I achieve online today? Where will we go with Daisy? What games/activities will be undertake? Which jobs will I complete at the allotment? This keeps me on track and then I can spend time getting dinner organised and other things that save us time throughout the day.
How do I get everything done – Try to stay organised (AD)
I have a desk where I sit to work if I want to be motivated to work. I love this desk organiser. This has been a great help for me. I can store business cards, stationery and paperwork that I might need here. It becomes a little bit of a dumping ground but that keeps my desk tidy for me to work at.
Looking after my mental health is another way that I like to stay motivated. When I am feeling mentally strong I am always more productive, focused and motivated. Speaking to a therapist is a great way to do this and you can find one here.
The start of my slow cooker beef casserole. It is SO easy! Takes under 10 minutes, including dumplings!
Another area that I am organised is with food. In the past I used to work hard, or spend so much time with Daisy, that I forgot to make good food. This meant that we would resort to takeaways a lot. This just make me feel sluggish the following day and this impacts my motivation and even my sleep too.
Keeping lists helps me stay motivated too. Nothing boosts motivation, and happiness, than crossing a job off a list. We keep a few lists, mostly online. A master cleaning list, a rubbish jobs list, a long term blog changes list etc. Once a week, usually on a Sunday, I sit down and meal plan for the week. I also look at these lists and decide what jobs I’ll do in the coming weeks.
How do I get everything done – Make time to eat well
Often I like to eat my breakfast late in the day, around 10am, and then my lunch a little later because of this. Usually around 1-2pm. I find that this works for me as I can enjoy my meals while Daisy is napping.
I always try and make time to prepare healthy meals and not resort to convenience foods too often. It takes around 5 minutes to prepare lunch, and I have a quick break from work while I am eating it. Sometimes I watch a little TV. I like to watch documentaries or shows with a nice meaning behind them. Like DIY SOS.
How do I get everything done – Work during nap time + a few evenings a week
Any excuse for an old throwback of Daisy! This is over a year ago now – time flies. Wish she looked so peaceful and still while napping now.
During the day-time the bulk of my online work is completed while Daisy is napping. This is because I want to spend time with her when she is awake. Working from home is a fantastic perk for our family life, but it doesn’t mean that I want to use the TV babysitter all day. Although I do for part of it – I won’t lie! Daisy is a great child who loves playing independently so that gives me some time to get chores done and ensure we have nice meals too.
A few evenings, around 7 per month, my husband works night shifts. This means that I can work those hours, once Daisy is asleep, in peace. This gives me around 20-25 hours per month to write content, schedule social media, update old posts and more. During this time I get the bulk of my content writing done. During a couple of nap-times a week I work on paid content and paid social media management. I also look/pitch for new work during this same time. Daisy naps for around 45 – 90 minutes so this gets me a nice block to get on.
How do I get everything done – Complete jobs in batches
This applies to online work in particular. I like to create images in batches and when I take part in linky posts I draft 3-4 posts at a time. Usually I can’t schedule the bulk of the content, as the posts are about the past week usually. I draft the post, take care of SEO, upload a few images, add the keywords, tags and apply to a specific category. This means that once per week I just need to add the details about my past week, and add some current images. It takes around 5-8 minutes per post to draft them and then once per week I spend 5-10 minutes adding details for that week. This saves me a significant amount of time per month and means I can add new content to my blog regularly.
One way that I have saved a HUGE amount of time is to schedule my social media. When I am online I am free to engage with my followers and other blogs I enjoy reading. I use Social Oomph to schedule Twitter and Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest posts. These are two of my biggest sources of traffic now and I spend around 10-15 minutes PER WEEK on scheduling. As well as scheduling my own posts I can schedule sharing other people’s tweets and pins too. This helps other people, and I’m all about being kind to other bloggers.
How do I get everything done – Spread chores and admin out throughout the week
As I work from home I take care of the majority of the parenting, admin and chores. I am happy to do this, as it means my husband’s time off is a break for us all. We can go out everyday, visit our allotment and enjoy lots of quality time together. Also, if I’m unwell, or super busy, my husband takes over when he gets in from work, or before he goes out for night shifts. We make a great time I think!
I spread chores and admin out throughout the week. Three days a week I tackle one large cleaning job, usually in the morning. This might be something like clean out the fridge, or clean the filters of the washing machine. Usually it takes me around 10 minutes to do one large job a day. I then make 10-15 minutes twice a day for the smaller jobs. For example I will wash up while my coffee is being made by the coffee machine. Also, I will set the washing machine on every day, if needed.
In the evening, once Daisy’s bedtime routine has been completed, I will wash up, tidy the kitchen, sweep the kitchen floor and give the bathroom a wipe over. This takes around 10 minutes. If my husband one of us carries out the bedtime routine and one of us tidies up. Dinner is usually in the slow cooker so that is low maintenance. Two-three times a week we vacuum and mop the floors. As we don’t have carpets this is enough to keep it clean. In total I spend around 45 minutes per day on chores. I think this is a manageable amount. My husband now takes care of the spring cleaning jobs one day a month. It takes around 2 hours.
How do I get everything done – Keep our afternoons for fun
By having the morning nap for work, and spreading jobs out throughout the week it keeps our afternoons free for fun. My husband is usually home 3-4 days a week. We have the afternoons for fun. We will visit our allotment, go to the park, visit family, go shopping and generally enjoy ourselves. This is the best time for our family and because I work in the mornings, and sometimes in the evenings, it gives us this time together everyday. I’m really grateful for this time. There is usually one day a month where I work on and off most of the day. This is usually when my husband is home to take Daisy to the park, play toys and help out with the dinner/chores.
The days when my husband is working, 3-4 days per week, gives me time to take Daisy out. We can enjoy time just the two of us on these days. We run errands, attend medical appointments or wait in for the food shop. Sometimes we will spend time with my Mum and we visit the allotment while Tom is at work. Because Daisy is running around, and very active, I mostly just water the plot when we visit just the two of us. Occasionally I get to do 15-30 minutes weeding if Daisy has her nap while we are there. It is a juggling act fitting the allotment in on the days when Tom is working 6am – 6pm. However I love the allotment, and want Daisy to get fresh air, so I make it work.
How do I get everything done – Make time for treats / me time
In the evening, once Daisy is asleep and the jobs are done, I will make time for myself. Sometimes I’ll have a face mask, other times I’ll enjoy a few chocolates and a nice glass of wine. This is my treat and usually I drink wine one or two evenings per week. One these evenings I don’t work. Sometimes we enjoy time together, other times Tom is at work. We watch a film, we might go out for a date night (with my Mum babysitting at ours) or I’ll soak in the tub all evening with a good book.
At least once a fortnight I try to have a day where I get some free time. I normally use this to read, relax in the bath, have a face mask and just take it easy. Sometimes I will go for a spa day, a nice hair cut or a shopping trip. We don’t put Daisy in nursery, or have a childminder. We do have parents who love to spend time with Daisy and they will usually have her once a month for us and be happy to do so. This is great for us, however, we don’t rely on it. I don’t want anyone to be unpaid childcare and feel obligated to help out.
We like that our parents ask to have Daisy and nobody feels obligated. I never make plans for Daisy Free Days (DFDs) as they are usually arranged last minute. This means that I tend to work half the time and relax the other half. Perfect!
There are days that I work incredibly hard. There are other times that I don’t. Our family life is quite laid back and we get to have lots of time together. I am aware that this isn’t the case for everyone. If you are someone who is struggling to fit everything in I would say that there may be a way that you can fit more in. BUT THERE MAY NOT! Some of the ways could be better time management, earning money online, or taking on some childcare to help you. For me personally when I felt that I didn’t have enough time I ended up having a baby and having to make changes to my life. I’ve got more efficient by keeping a cleaning list, completing online work in batches, utilising family childcare for a few hours a fortnight and procrastinating a lot less.
I used to waste HOURS reading rubbish news articles, watching TV I barely even enjoyed and reading websites that didn’t boost my morale. Now I have changed the shows I watch, the website I visit and my own actions to feel happier. Undertaking random acts of kindness have helped me feel more positive and enjoy my own life more. In turn this has helped my motivation and productivity.
How do I get everything done? I don’t have the secret I’m afraid. However, what I will say is I have prioritised doing what we enjoy over what we don’t. We enjoy spending time together, going out as a family, visiting our allotment and we both enjoy our jobs. By changing our life, and having lots of things that we enjoy, this encourages us to work harder and be more motivated. On the days that I work I make sure that I am efficient. This means that on the days I am not working I can relax with my family and enjoy our life experiences.
Here are a few things to consider before comparing yourself to me, or anyone else, and wondering how do I get everything done:
I only have one child to care for.
My husband only works 3-4 days most weeks. Although these days ARE 12 hour shifts. So I parent alone those days.
I have family nearby to help out if I need them to.
We have a nice income. This means I don’t NEED to work that hard if I don’t want to.
My home is pretty small, so easy to clean.
If you’re struggling, and think everyone else is doing better than you, just remember that we all have bad days/weeks. Personally I have got into a good routine early in my daughter’s life, and I’m good at saying no to things that put too much pressure on me. This doesn’t mean that I look down on others or think I’m better than anyone else. If you’re struggling then you need to make some changes. For your own mental health. Whether they are ones that cost you money, or time, you’ll have to work out what is right for your own family. Comparison syndrome is rarely healthy – try not to get sucked in! It is great to take tips from others, and utilise them where you can, but find what works for your life.
How do I get everything done?
Utilise family childcare a few hours a fortnight
Keep afternoons for fun
Make treat/me time for myself
Spread chores & admin out throughout the week
Put online jobs into batches to be efficient
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