The final piece of the strategy.
January 20, 2022
These past couple of nights I’ve been sharing a strategy I use to manage interruptions better – to not let interruptions completely throw me off track. It started with a reader question on thursday night, so make sure you read both Thursday and Fridays emails.
The strategy I use looks like this.
If a task takes longer than 10 minutes to complete, I break the task down into qo minute blocks of time. I find 10 minutes is the safest bet, but in reality I may have longer than 10 minutes to work on a task before being interrupted.
Since most tasks are tasks I’ve done at least a few times before, I can pretty easily figure out 10 minute steps. If it happens to be a new task I’ve not done before, I do my best to just guess accurately.
Here’s an example.
Today I’ve got to clean out the fridge inside and out. It hasn’t got super messy, and I know there is food on there that needs to be tossed.
As you can imagine, this is a pretty big job.
So here’s how I’ve broken this task down.
- 1. Go through the food and get rid of things – unload the rest of the fridge.
- 2. Take out all the dirty shelves and drawers – soak them in the tub.
- 3. Wipe down any remaining drawers or shleves.
- 4. Wipe out the top, side, and bottom of the fridge – wipe down inside of the door.
- 5. Wash and dry anything that is soaking – put back – load food in.
If any interruptions happen, in most cases I can at least finish the step I’m working on before breaking away.
This not only keeps me from getting off track and struggling to get back on track, but it also almost totally eliminates frustration at the interruption.
Try this technique for most of your daily tasks. How interruptions affect your day is something you can manage.
How do you manage all the interruptions?
January 13, 2022
Hi there friend!
Have you ever wondered how some people seem to easily juggle all their responsibilities? And roles while others struggle to get even one productive thing done in a day?
There’s nothing more exhausting than facing the reality of having more things to do than seems humanly possible day after day. Yet, this is the challenge that we all face in the midst of a world that only seems to be more urgent than what ever we though our day would look like.
If your like me, you start the day focused and ready to get things done (even if its just to snuggle with the kids on the couch). but are almost always faced with something ot some one else pulling you away before you can even get half way done.
I’ve got 5 kids, there is no shortage of interruptions in my life.
And the noise of all these constant demands and interruptions is so loud it feels deafening at times.
Today I’m going to share on surfire way you’ll be almost certain to get at least one important thing done each day. Once you get this one thing down, you’ll have the satisfaction of being productive with at least one thing that’s important to you everyday.
That means that if you’re a stressed out, over worked woman who feels over whelmed at the thought of getting up every day, you going to be able to wake up and not feel exhausted before your day even starts from this point forward.
My goal is to help you achieve one important thing every day, even if its just part of a task that simply can’t get done all at once.
PS. I’d love to know if interruptions, or getting off course is a struggle for you? If yes, please reply to this with a yes in the comment section.
The stuff no one wants to do!
December 16, 2021
Sorry if your a guy… since most readers are ladies. I choose that gender… but you can totally keep reading.
Doing that hard stuff.
Have you ever had a week where it seems as though every single day was filled entirely with all the hard stuff you could imagine?
Like me, you’ve probably experienced this, and this is what my week has been like.
Being up all night Monday being sick was only the begining of the spiral. But I certainly think there is something to be said for when this is the start of the week.
Its been a week of hard stuff for many members of my family too. I’ve had alot of hard conversations with my kids when they’ve had to face hard things. Things that hard to watch loved ones go through.
Maybe you’ve heard it already, but one of the things I like to think of and even say to my kids is, It’s time to put on your big girl/boy pants.
I’ve also said this to myself!
Much of what we’ve been dealing with this week is being blamed for things that aren’t correctly placed. Bearing the brunt of the frustration of others even when it really has nothing to do with you, and being forced to pick up the slack others leave in the way.
And so it goes.
Sometimes the only thing you can do is just show up, accept what is and carry on.
Doing the hard stuff is never easy. But, like I’ve pointed out to my kids, its so important to step back and appreciate your strength.
Recognize that the hard stuff you did today and will be doing all the hard stuff tomorrow or the nest day just a bit easier.
Maybe it would be good to tell yourself just to put your big girl/boy pants on some days. It’s something so silly, but it really does help me get over it, and get on with it.
No matter what it is, you’ve got the strength you need.
Whats growing in your bathroom?
December 2, 2021
Whats growing in your bathroom?
No, we’re not talking about a little spring time rain! We’re talking about your bathroom shower. Mold and mildew thrive in warm damp environments, which means you might have some unwanted germs blooming in your bathroom.
Spray it away!!
If you see either one sprouting up, get rid of it with a disinfecting spray. You may not know it, but it has the power to take on mold and mildew while also killing 99% of viruses and bacteria. Follow these simple steps to knock out your mold and mildew problems:
- 1. Apply to a pre cleaned surface and spray until thoroughly wet.
- 2. Let set for 5 minutes.
- 3. Allow to air dry.
Repeat these instructions weekly.
Keep it away.
Its one thing to rid your home of mold and mildew, but how do you avoid their return? Here are a few tips.
Allow air to circulate.
Ensure your bathroom is well ventilated to prevent moist air from getting trapped in areas where mold or mildew might grow. After a shower turn on a fan or leave the door open to mover the moist air.
Care for your curtains.
Mold and mildew easily grow in shower curtains especially when they bunch up and stay wet. If you can, toss them in the wash regularly. If not, spray them daily with a germ killing product.
Treat your towels.
After a shower, make sure to hang your towels as flat as possible so all areas are exposed to air and have a chance to dry. Every 3-5 uses throw your towels and mats in the wash.
Use when you can’t motivate yourself.
November 25, 2021
I was sprawled on the couch in the bedroom with my head hanging off the side.
I can’t do anything.
I’m emotionally spent.
It was a tough weekend.
And seemed like everything went wrong.
I felt like I was in constant damage control to try to keep everyone up beat.
And inside, I just felt like crying.
You know the feeling? When everyones pain and frustration practically derails you?
That was me.
I was done.
The laundry I wanted to fold stayed in the basket. The dishes stayed on the counter.
I did nothing.
And I really felt guilty. You know the story line.
I can’t believe I’m so lazy, why can’t I get my act together?
Do you say these things to yourself too?
You didn’t try hard enough, you need to get it together, you make your own life… why aren’t you getting up earlier? Lazy bum!
In short, they’re jerks.
And then there are bench warmers who are pretty weak because they don’t get as much game time.
The ones who say:
- You did your best.
- Look at that small win.
- That’s amazing you did so much already.
- Take a break.
If you listened to the bench warmers you’d feel pretty amazing most days.
But, they need to play the game more to build up the same strength as those other guys.
So what to do?
Every time you recognize those abusive bullies, imagine telling them, I’m not going to listen to you, then turn away and try to hear something from the bench warmers.
I used this strategy recently. They said…
Stay on the couch, you’ve done alot. You deserve to rest.
And I did.
Getting kids to help.
November 5, 2021
Hi there Friends!
If there is one thing I hear time and time again from tired moms, it’s that getting kids to help at home is like pulling teeth. I get it. I really do. It certainly feels like that in my home sometimes.
But, I find it’s helpful to work as a team.
Meaning, your kids are working with you on something that needs to get done.
Here are the reasons I find working on a family project together is beneficial, taken from todays blog post.
Builds team work
Your kids will need to how to work as a team in the ouside world. What better place to learn it than at home. Kids love being a valued member of a team, and this would be a great way to start using the “team work” messaging in the overall culture of your home.
We are always calling our family a team, and I think you will really like too,
Builds self esteem.
Kids have every opportunity to have their self esteem knocked down in the outside world, working on a family project and being part of a team is an amazing self esteem booster.
Provides an opportunity to talk and laugh with your kids.
As moms, I think we all want more intentional time with our kids. We all want to build relationships and create cherished moments together. A family project is a great way to do this.
Gets a task done.
Of course, you are getting a task done. I am quick to remind my kids of all the things they’d like me to have time for. When we work together to take tasks off of my plate, I have more time to give to them all for the things they’d like to do.
The time spent on this can be frustrating at time, but I find it truly is worth it.
Have you weighed in?
October 28, 2021
I’ve always done ok with clutter.
At least I thought I did.
Looking back to the old me, I’m realizing that dealing with clutter is a fairly simple concept that I was missing.
Here’s the thing.
If you want to at least break even with clutter, you have to take out the equivalent of the amount to stuff that you bring in.
In other words, if you take in stuff and don’t take out at least as much stuff clutter will gain a footing.
When this happens month after month, year after year, you can easily see why clutter is the problem it is for most people.
I think you can agree with this simple clutter concept, but maybe, like me, you find the execution part is so hard.
After nearly a 2 year moving process, I learned so much about how to control clutter.
Here it is in a nut shell.
Taking the above concept to the nest level – if you want to win over your clutter you need to take out more than you bring in.
But like most people, maybe you need some real, tangible ways of doing this.
- Maybe you tried decluttering on your own already, but for some reason, it didn’t work.
- Do you dread the thought of sorting through everything and not knowing where to start?
- Does clutter just keep appearing in your home and you don’t know how to stop it?
If you can relate to any of these questions (and I know they did) then I would love to hear more about it.
A walk down memory lane.
October 22, 2021
I guess that’s why today found me talking about the “good ole days” while talking with my kids. We talked about so many things.
We talked about teen heart throbs when I was a teen, and how we had to buy a teen magazine like tiger beat if we wanted to learn about them or look at their pictures. I realized that some may have no idea what tiger beat or bop magazines were back in the day, but I saved my hard earned baby sitting money to buy just one of these magazines a week.
That, and candy.
Every weekend my friends and I went to the drug store, and this is what we bought. CAndy and a teen heart throb magazine.
We talked about what it was like to live with put internet. I know – how archaic. My kids just couldn’t comprehend what it was like to just wonder about something simple because you have no way to find out the answer.
I guess it was all the talk about the “good old days” that made me switch up the menu plan for the week to include chili for tomorrow, such a comfort food.
Do you ever have days like these? Sometimes it’s so necessary to talk down memory lane.
The results are in! I would love your help.
October 14, 2021
Hi there friend!
Wow, I’m blown away by the number of people who wrote in about what the biggest clutter struggles in your home are. There have now been hundreds.
I had planned on sharing a few tips, but it has become clear that so many are completely weighed down maybe even to the point of drawing in their clutter.
Is this you?
Even more surprising (yet not really) is that there are 5 overwhelmingly commonalities among the clutter struggles that you all have shared with me.
They are as follows:
- Sentimental/emotional reasons.
- Overwhelmed with where and how to start.
- Clutter has just gotten out of hand.
- The frustration of clutter ideas that just aren’t working, or the lack of ideas.
- Not enough time to worry about it or make any progress.
So if you shared any one of these ideas with me, know that your’re in the large majority of those who shared their clutter struggles with me.
Whats more – is that I can relate to all of these. Clutter has weighed me down for all of these and more.
While clutter is so all consuming at times. I would love to pinpoint a bit more about how I can best help with clutter. Because the truth is, I know what it feels like to be paralyzed by clutter. I have been there when it feels like things are just too far gone to ever get back on top.
I would love to hear a bit more from you about your clutter issues.
This was my struggle.
October 7, 2021
Several times over the past couple of years I’ve sent out reader surveys, asking questions about what’s working and what’s not in certain areas of my readers lives. With every survey there is always a question that specifically asks “what is your biggest struggle? and why?”
The why is always the most important part.
The results are so consistent it’s actually mind blowing.
The whys always include these three common answers:
- Lack of time/energy/motivation.
- Too busy/too much going on.
- Lack of support/help.
But the most common theme that is every single survey and countless emails I am sent this.
A lack of balance is an exhausting feeling to have.
I know this because I have felt this way at times.
Several years ago my boyfriend was in a student based program witch left him unable to work.
This meant I was working full time, and taking care of kids too. I was actually working two jobs!
My boyfriend did what he could to help, but the program didn’t leave much time. If he failed one more time, he would be out of the program and would have to wait 5 years to be able to try again.
This was not an option.
Needless to say… my life was out of balance during that time. I was desperate to stop feeling like this.
My primary goal became finding balance (which doesn’t mean equal) with all the different demands placed on me while giving up the need for perfection and getting rid of the guilt I felt that some how wasn’t managing any of the many roles.
In my life I began doing things like:
- Choosing what to focus on.
- Identifying what caused me to become unmotivated.
- Developing solutions.
And in return I gained:
- A feeling of self worth.
- More time.
Friends, can I just tell you how excited I am to hear so many of your storied!!
The crazy things in the bag.
September 30, 2021
We just found out about a few out of town, overnight outings that will be taking for and with the kids in the coming months.
These unexpected expenses always seem to come at the worst times. Although, I don’t know if there really is a good time for unexpected expenses to creep up.
One of the ways we have done some “fund raising” for these expenses is collecting up all of our aluminum cans and such. Depending on where and when you turn these things in, you can make a fair amount of cash.
At first I thought this would never pay out enough.
But… I couldn’t have been more wrong! When we were able to save over $2,000 for a trip to california!
I will say it wasn’t easy work, and it certainly takes alot of time. But we estimated our hourly wage based on time spent collecting and sorting and returning, turned out to be $20 per hour!
Not too bad right?
People are all too willing to let you pick up bags from garbage day as well.
Its amazing what you can find doing it this way!
Among our treasures were knives, cups, can coolers, random toys, and odds and ends. Even cash!
We paid for the entire trip and even had some left over! It was the best trip ever!
It’s really amazing what you can do if you just put your mind to it.
3 tips about clutter.
September 24, 2021
Hi there, Friend!
One of the things I did last weekend was to just declutter a few rooms. I get rid of things throughout the years as needed, but then every spring and fall I de clutter every room in the house.
I’ve get 3 pretty powerful de cluttering tips for you today.
One of the things I think is really important to keeping clutter at bay proactively is to pay attention to the size of things. If things will take up a ton of space to store, I might not buy it in the first place.
And, I also force myself to decide where I will keep something before I actually buy it. If I can’t come up with a place for it, I’m not allowed to buy it.
Perhaps my best tip at being proactive in dealing with clutter before it actually happens is to get rid of things when the things no longer fit in my space.
I love books. Books are my thing. Well, one of them. While I do digital books at times, I really do prefer the real thing.
As you can imagine, as someone who loves reading, I gather quite a collection of books.
When I think about possibly moving soon in the future… oh the boxes of books I would have to move.
I try to keep in mind that I may only have a certain amount of room to store those books.
So I go through and de clutter more.
So now I can store all the best ones on one shelf.
Teaching your kids to clean.
September 16, 2021
Hi there Friend!
Something I’m asked all the time is how to encourage/train kids to clean up their own spaces. While this is far from an extensive strategy, I find these things to be super important.
Organize small things in containers.
Use smaller containers in their dresser drawers to keep things like socks, under ware, belts and slippers together. This is such a simple thing to do and it makes a world of difference in them being able to maintain some sense of order inside drawers. This is especially true if their drawers are large.
Hooks work great for kids clothes and things.
Provide them with a few hooks in their room to hang hats, partially worn clothing, or even a sweater, sweat shirt or coat. This can be a really cute way of adding a pop of color or decorative touch to the room while also creating more room in precious drawer space.
Use a binder for kids special things and keep sakes.
Create a binder with clear page protectors for them to keep their treasures in. Most kids like to hang onto things that have special meaning to them. This could be things like birthday cards, special pictures, or letters from friends or loved ones. This way these things not only have a place, but they are also forced to pick and choose between what to keep and what to toss. This keeps them from hanging on to too much clutter.
Let kids choose where their toys belong.
Let them be involved in the decision as to where to put their things. If they are a part of this process, they are more likely to want to put things away.
None of these things are a magic want, but they sure do work well.
You got this!
The best things about kids movies.
September 10, 2021
I love watching kids movies. We try to have a family movie night a couple times a month, and although I only have 1 teenager, we all really love movies that might be geared towards younger kids – myself included.
The things I find about these movies is that although they might appear to be for kids at first glance, there are always so many things that adults can take away from them as well.
Take the movie we were watching today.
With Amazon Prime, we often choose from there. Or, we do get free movies from the library. From a cost perspective, we find these two things meet our needs just fine so we don’t have to invest in other streaming services or pay for cable. Just one of the ways we’ve saved money over the years… making sure we aren’t paying for things we don’t need.
Anyway, back to the movie.
Check out this quote… I wasn’t watching the movie, but I’m always listening for these little nuggets of wisdom.
“Easy doesn’t build character”.
Isn’t this so true? This statement is so true it actually made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I heard it.
And, this statement would be relevant to so many different times in life – at least for most people.
I know I can look back on my life and see how many lessons I learned, how much strength I gained and how much character I gained by going through times of struggles.
What about you?
Don’t get me wrong, I really do prefer for things to be easy, but there is nothing that compares to the grit you get by living through hard things.
I hope if your working through a challenging time right now, this statement speaks to you as much as it did to me.
A necessary mantra to know.
September 2, 2021
Most weeks, I make time for exercise. Whether I’m going to the gym, working out at home, heading out for a run, or getting a work out on the Peleton. Thursdays are one of my favorite work out days usually, but it just didn’t happen today.
Honestly, I just didn’t have it in me today.
I woke up with a raging headache, so there was no way I was working out this morning.
As the day went on, I just became all the more convinced that it was just not going to happen as my headache just wouldn’t let go.
Thankfully by dinner time it had subsided.
But I was reminded of my favorite mantra.
“it’s the way it went today”.
There are times when this kind of grace is needed.
And, it’s important to give it to yourself.
It really became a self care day for me. I had alot to do, but in the margins it was a day to just recuperate after some long days that have been very draining.
And for today, that was absolutely the right thing for me to do.
Sometimes caring for myself means doing nothing at all.
Tomorrow is always a new day.
Embracing the perfect.
August 29, 2021
Some days are just a hot mess, aren’t they? And like it or not, sometimes we are just a hot mess in the midst of it.
But, there’s something we can do in spite of all the hot mess. I”ll share more about it tomorrow, but for now, here are a few pieces.
It’s something that’s all about embracing your life and learning to work with in your season, your circumstances, your callings, your responsibilities and your imperfections.
Maybe like me you’ve discovered that while you can work to improve these things or make them better, you really can change them… you can only improve them.
Also like me, you might have discovered that just the act of embracing the imperfect brings a sense of empowerment. A sense of satisfaction, and a feeling of relief.
And these feelings of empowerment, satisfaction and relief are what gives you the courage and strength to try it all again the next day.
I love what Brene Brown says:
Imperfections are not inadequacies: they are reminders that we are all in this together.
I love this because I think we usually see imperfections as just that. Inadequacy. But, it’s just not true… and no one is perfect, even though it might appear that way.
If your someone who is exhausted from trying to achieve the perfect home, the perfect family, perfect nights, and just the perfect life, the you’ll be the perfect candidate to learn how to embrace the imperfect part of yourself and your life along with me.
August 19, 2021
Hi there Frined!
So last week I shared one step in a two step process that will help you finally find solutions to the struggles you have in your home.
Basically, you need to diagnose the correct reasons for the struggle.
In my example, we discovered that the kitchen counters always feel like a constant mess, and we discovered why.
There were three reasons:
There are a lot of people there much of the day.
It’s a walk thru.
People eat thru out the day, even if its just a snack.
With these root “why” causes now we can brain storm a solution for each one.
The solution I need is corral peoples stuff in an acceptable way since it will collect on my kitchen counter.
Here’s what I came up with.
First, I need to come up with a solution for the on going mess from food.
As always, I need to make it super easy and make it a requirement that people clean up their mess. Easy solutions to put food away (containers) and also making sure that the dishes are done after the meals so there is always room for people to put their dishes in the sink in between meals so the dont have to collect on the counters.
For the paper clutter that collects on the counter I have a white magazine file on my kitchen counter. It looks nice, and I can scoop up all the paper clutter and put it in there in about two minutes.
For all the other stuff clutter, I have a cute little basket that sits next to the magazine file. There is where the other stuff goes.
With these correct solutions, my kitchen can go from being covered with things all over to being cleaned in 5 minutes or less.
When my kitchen is clean I
- Don’t feel stressed.
- makes meals easier.
- Plus there’s room for people to do things.
When you work thru this 2 step process of uncovering the real why and finding the solutions, you can go from feeling like:
Your home is out of control.
Or there’s something wrong with you because you just can’t get motivated or find the energy to clean these areas… with the right solutions, the will never be out of control again.
I’ve discovered that if you can pro actively keep things from getting out of control, it’s much easier to actually be in control.
This means your home will be a place of peace and calm.
I’ve got one more piece in this process, plus I will show you the exact track to run on to get some control over your home.
Soon, I’ll give you this final piece.
A solution to your areas of struggle.
July 29, 2021
If you struggle with staying at least some what in top of your home, have you ever wondered why? I’m not talking about the “i never have enpugh time” kind of why or the ” everyone is constantly making messes” kind of why.
I”m talking about the real why.
Often times finding the real why about positive and negatives in your life is kind of like peeling back the layers of an onion.
There’s always the easy, surface kind of why (usually it’s the obvious why) but the real why is the real root of the problem. And with out discovering the real why, you’re likely only going to find temporary solutions to things rather than long term solutions that actually work.
When it comes to staying on top of your home, there are two pieces that are necessary.
One is uncovering the real why behind your areas of struggle.
And once you’ve done that you can find the right solution.
Here’s what I mean.
Now that we’re home more than I think we ever have been, I think most of us it’s causing more struggles in our home than ever before.
Not only are we there more to be bothered more often than we were before, but being home more means there’s the opportunity for things to get messier and more out of control.
Here’s what I’ve learned, however, as I’ve finally learned how to creat the solutions that help me stay on top of my home (at least for the most part since we know nothing is ever perfect… you might even know that I’m the queen of short cuts. Since you might have heard me talk about the difference between “clean, clean” and :clean” But that I’ve discovered is that how we view our homes has so much to do with how we feel about ourselves, how our relationships are going, our self esteem, our motivation, and more. And that’s why it’s so important to find solutions that can help us feel better about our homes.
For the purpose of this exercise, just think about one area that is bother some in your home. It could be the cluttered kitchen counters or dinning room table, it could be the never ending laundry whether dirty or clean, or it be all the stuff in your most common living area pretty much all the time.
So, here’s how this exercise works- and do this with just that one home struggle in mind.
Ask yourself: What is the struggle?
- Why is this a struggle?
Remember the layers of the onion? This, that in mind, here’s how a typical thought process could go in relation to this, struggle and peeling back the layers of an onion.
- Why is this a struggle?
- The deeper why (people do so many things in the kitchen)
- Another deeper (its where we spend a majority of our time)
- Another deeper (it’s a walk thru to other areas of the home)
- Another deeper (people are always eating)
So these are good things. The kitchen is a great place for people to gather, and having people gather in a common living area is a really good thing.
Also, you can’t change the fact that the kitchen is a walk thru to other areas, which means its an easy place to just drop stuff.
In working thru this exercise with a challenge in your home, you now know whats happening – the real reason why the kitchen counters are often a cluttered mess.
And you know exactly what the causes for your problem are.
Which means you can find the right solutions.
You can’t change the realities of the struggle – and you don’t want to change them.
You just want the outcome of the reality of the kitchen being a busy gathering place to change.
In the next week or two I’ll share how to find the right solutions with you.
The rest of the story I promised you.
July 22, 2021
Did you read my email last night?
In it I shared about a concept that I’m building on tonight. If you didn’t read it, this one might make more sense if you read that one first.
The mistake I made for years is the same mistake I’ve been helping my son realize.
I guess it’s not so much a mistake as it is a stumbling block.
Here it is in a nut shell.
When getting tasks done, it is often most effective to base your dead line on the task, not the time spent on the task.
Here’s the example I promised.
My son is scrambling to finish his school semester on time.
He’s got 3 classes left and a hard and fast dead line.
I’ve come to discover that he normally bases the time he spends working on a time dead line.
While sometimes this is appropriate, in some cases it’s not, like in his.
Sometimes the bast way to get a task done is to only determine the stop working dead line based on steps in the task and the dead line your facing.
My son has 2 days to finish biology.
So rather than saying that he will stop working at 10:00 pm, he needs to say that he will stop working when he is half way done with the work that still needs to be completed.
For my son, this has been the missing piece.
With out basing the time he spends working on the amount of the task he got done, he would never finish on time.
I have sooo much more to say on this concept – it really has been a game changer.
I’ll circle back around to this soon. For now, I’ve got another important lesson to share with you next week. Make sure you don’t miss it.
Sanitize, wash, repeat.
July 17, 2021
Whether it’s cold and flu, or covid – 19, everyone is being more cautios than ever when it comes to their health. And while washing your hands, wearing a mask, and avoiding large crowds are all great ways to avoid these illness causing germs, there’s another that might not be so obvious – washing your clothes. Yep, you heard me right.
Do this, not that: Laundry addition.
Believe it or not, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do the laundry, at least when it comes to helping avoid the spread of germs. Here are a few of my favorite do’s and don’t’s.
Do wash your child’s laundry separate from the rest. Car seats, sports equipment, pet toys – kids spend lots of time interacting with germy surfaces or creating a few of their own (baby blow outs). It only makes sense to help keep those germs away from the rest of the families laundry.
Don’t let your dirty laundry set around. Lots of germs and bacteria can survive on clothes for weeks, which means your laundry hamper could turn into breeding ground for germs if you don’t wash your clothes regularly.
Do wash your face mask every day that you wear it. Once it’s out of the wash, consider air drying it in a sunny area. The ultra violet rays from the sunlight should kill any germs still left of its surface.
Don’t wash your towels with clothes whether they’re kitchen towels, bathroom towels or hand towels, they’re exposed to a world of germs that your clothes typically aren’t. Keep it that way by placing your kitchen and bathroom towels in their own separate cycles.
Here’s how I plan ahead.
July 8, 2021
Hi There Friends!
You may have heard me mention before that Mondays generally aren’t too bad for me. The reputation that Mondays seem to get just doesn’t really apply to me most times.
But Tuesdays are a different story.
I think Mondays are typically ok days for me because I’m coming off of the weekend. The house is pretty much clean from our larger cleaning day on Saturday, and everything is pretty much where it belongs.
Monday is usually ok to stay up on, but by half way through the day on Tuesday things start to get a little bit more difficult to stay on top of. It takes a more concentrated effort from that point onward during the week. Here’s how I make Tuesdays a little smoother.
I go to bed by 10:00 on Mondays. Most other nights It will shut down at 10:30 or 11:00
I get up 30 minutes earlier. I know I will need that buffer on a Tuesday. So, I get up earlier to give myself an automatic buffer. I don’t like the earlier wake up time in the moment, but I’ve been doing it long enough to be ok with it and know it’s worth it.
I tackle my most dreaded job first thing. I usually don’t do this since I attack what ever is most important thing first. But I find that on Tuesdays the boost I got from doing something I don’t like gives me extra momentum.
If I’m out on errands, I get fancy coffee while I’m out.
We have a meal everyone loves.
The less fighting on Tuesdays the better.
I get an extra 20 minutes of something I look forward to at the end of the day.
When things aren’t what they seem.
July 1, 2021
Hi There Friends!
One of the things I think I’m naturally good at is recognizing that the things we do and don’t do have what these things look like on the outside… but then they also have things underneath in many cases.
I think my mom also taught me to think this way, so with my own natural tendencies and the way my mom helped me process things, it’s fairly easy for me to look deeply into things.
If you struggle with procrastination it’s likely not that your lazy. Although we are so good at telling ourselves all the ways we fall short.
But, these is a reason behind why you procrastinate.
For instance, it is often because the task is just too large. If you find yourself pushing a task from one day to another and another, it very well might be that the task feels too overwhelming. The task is too large.
So, your more likely to get the task done if you break a large task that you’ve been putting off into smaller, more manageable steps.
And, you repeat this process of breaking a task down into smaller and smaller steps. Intil you actually start working on it.
But, that’s not the only common reason behind why you procrastinate. I might also be that you’re just bored at the idea of the task ot you’re bored while in the midst of the task that keep you procrastinating on.
I’ve actually come up with two other common reasons behind why you’re probably procrastinating.
The thing is, one you know you’re why, you can finally start to overcome it.
When Its just time.
June 24, 2021
Sometimes it’s just time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. And for me, this will be happening this weekend!
When I want to devote a bit of time to some serious cleaning, these are the cleaning tips I use first.
Block out the time. When do you plan on cleaning in your day? Block out that time on your daily schedule so you don’t end up not making the time. The tasks in the challenge shouldn’t take anymore than 30 minutes and most of them will take far less.
Gather your supplies. What will you be using to clean? Cleaners, rags, towels, vacuum and attachments, and what ever else you might need. Gather all of these things together ahead of time so you’re not running all over to get them in the midst of cleaning.
Grab a timer. Things always go smoother and promote efficiency when you’re working against a timer. This is especially true if you are a competitive like I am.
Get something to listen to. Sometimes I like listening to music while other times I enjoy listening to books on audible or podcasts that I enjoy. Having something to listen to is a great distraction and a great motivator when cleaning.
Dealing with possible interruptions ahead of time. If I want to get something done with out interruption, I have to make sure that my kids are entertained during that time. Make sure you’ve covered that ahead of time as well. If you will face other possible interruptions, be proactive in over coming them as well.
Comfy clothes. Cleaning just requires comfy clothes doesn’t it?
That’s it. If you’ve covered all these bases you should be good and ready to go when the challenge starts.
How to plan ahead.
June 10, 2021
Hi There Friend!
This week is a super busy one for me, and I’ve learned that when this happens I need to plan ahead. In fact when ever you have a crazy day these are the things I do that really help me.
My weekly planning session. I have a weekly planning session every weekend. This is when I look at the week ahead to see just how crazy it’s going to be and start trouble shooting how to manage it all. With out this weekly planning session, I wouldn’t be able to use these tips.
I meal plan around these kinds of days.
When I know I’ll be running all around, I know it will leave me with the complete inability to make any meal that day. So I plan an easy lunch and easy dinner that could be made the day before. Then, I made the meals on Monday so there was nothing to do with meals on this weekend other than heat them up.
I utilize my freezer staples. A portion of dinner both Friday and Saturday come from my freezer made a month or so ahead of time. I regularly make the time to stock up my freezer with freezer staples so I am ready for weeks and days like this.
I have something I looked forward to in the midst of it. I saved my favorite pod casts to listen to while I was on the road this weekend. This makes driving time and time again kind of fun, actually.
I make a physical list. I make an actual written out list of all the trips I would be making. Then I crossed each off. Once I am more than half way through all the tips, looking at the crossed off items makes it feel like I was already done, I will know I am making progress and making it through my day that would otherwise just feel like a train wreck.
There is only one of you.
June 3, 2021
Hi There Friend!
If there is one thing I hear time and time again from tired moms, it’s that getting kids to help at home is like pulling teeth. I get it. I really do. It certainly feels like that in my home sometimes to.
And while sometimes it can be like pulling teeth to get kids to help, there really are some pretty simple ways to make that a little easier. After all, There is one only one of you and all the other people who are living in your home too. For me, that is a lot of people. Even if you don’t have an entire army like I do, there still is only one of you, right? And these other people live there right?
The truth is, you matter. And that is reason enough to be be getting help from others in your home, but it really is true that when your kids help out with things around the house it really does benefit them to. Here are just a few of the reasons kids helping out around the home benefits them.
Builds team work.
Your kids will need to know how to work as a team in the outside world. What better place to learn it at home? Kids love being a valued member of the team, and this would be a great wau to start using the “teamwork” message in the over all culture of your home.
We are always calling our family a team and I think you will really like it too.
Builds self esteem.
Kids have every opportunity to have their self esteem knocked down in the outside world. Working as a family around the home and being a part of a team is an amazing self esteem booster.
Provides an opportunity to talk and laugh with your kids.
As moms, I think we all want more intentional time with our kids. We all want to build relationships and create cherished moments together. Working as a family on shared tasks is an amazing way to do this. In fact, I find that working along side my kids, even if we’re doing different things is one of best days to them getting things done.
Get a task done.
Of course, you are getting a task done. I am quick to remind my kids of all the things they’d like me to have time for when we work together to take tasks off my plate, I have more ti me to give to them all for the things they like to do.
These are really basic concepts that you probably already know, but they are worth hearing again.
You can still do it.
May 27, 2021
Hi there Friend!
Maybe 2021 hasn’t started off quite the way you thought. But, it doesn’t have to mean you throw the towel in.
What can you still do to make this your year? What can you do to make a difference in the world around you this year?
And its not just enough to look at where you thought you’d be. You also have to take the next logical step… you have to measure what you’ve done to get there.
This isn’t a time to beat yourself up about where you’re not, but it’s a time to look at what you’ve done… honestly.
What action have you taken? List the steps you’ve taken to work toward any goals or plans you had for this year.
Then decide where you go from here. What do you still need to do? How can you still finish this year strong despite all the detours you may have experienced?
Then, what steps will you take to get what maybe a variation of where you thought you’d be?
Now is the perfect time to make sure you’re on track to where you want to be.
I was blown away.
May 21, 2021
Hi There Friend!
Wowza! I was blown away by the number of email responses I get from people who are struggling with mornings. My intent was to just reply back to a few emails, but since there was several hundred responses, I decided to just share a few more tips here for those who struggle with mornings.
Let’s get started.
If you struggle with mornings, here are some things to keep in mind.
Make change in small doses. If you want to get up earlier, dont start by doing something crazy like trying to get up an hour earlier. If you want to get up earlier, try starting with 10 minutes. This is how I moved from getting up at six to getting up at 5. I did it in small doses.
Determine the right time to get up. This happens by reverse engineering your morning. What is it you want to get done in the morning? What is your end time? It’s a simple math formula from there.
Maybe you’re just a night owl. Seriously. Maybe you need to just can the whole idea of trying to be a morning person if you’re just not a morning person. But , in case, you have to take advantage of your night owl status. If your a night owl be a night owl. But don’t waste your nights if your going to sign off on your mornings, you have to use nights to your advantage.
Just commit. It’s hard to be a morning person. It just is in most cases. In the begining, the only thing you’ll likely have going for you is your desire to be better with your mornings.
I”ll share a bit more about this concept next week.
Is this a struggle for you?
May 13, 2021
Hi There Friend!
One of the things I’m learning now that I’m a bit older is the importance of being realistic and reasonable – both with myself and with others.
Having kids has taught me that life doesn’t usually go the way I’ve planned. Which means I can either be frustrated by it or just accept it.
I’ve also become better at recognizing my own stress – identifying what it feels like and where it comes from.
One major area I’ve applied these principles is in the structure I use for my day every single day. I’ve learned having a structure is very important – it’s because with out it life flies by…and usually in a way that makes me feel like i’m holding on for dear life.
Here’s the most important part about that, however, and maybe you can relate.
It’s important to make sure that your structures and systems are serving you because the things you do are doing one of two things – they’re stressing you or they’re serving you. And its not normal if one day your structures and systems are serving you while the nest day they are stressing you.
In most if not all cases, the difference between systems, routines and structures serving or stressing is whether or not I’m being realistic and reasonable.
For instance, I have always been someone who enjoys having time to myself and a morning routine that allows me to have a few moments to myself. In order for this to happen, I’ve got to get myself up somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00.
If this sounds early to you, it is to me too.
But what helps is making sure I have things I enjoy doing to look forward to in the morning.
If you want to get up earlier- whatever that means for you, make sure you’re getting up early to do something you enjoy. And maybe like me, you’ll find that at some point your back to struggling to get up early. When this happens to me I know I need to change what I’m doing first thing in the morning so its something I look forward to again.
I”m not someone who naturally springs out of bed and is excited about the fact that I’m up. For this reason, I need to make it exciting enough to at least be motivated to make it happen.
I have 4 different routines depending on the struggle I have with mornings. When I struggles more, my routine is more focused on the things I really want to do and never seems to have time for. Since I enjoy decorating my home this usually involves time to browse on Pintrest for new ideas rather then reading a chapter in my book, I love reading and still make time for that before I go to bed, but looking forward to seeing all the pretty things on pintrest and then creating them in my home has been a great motivator to get me out of bed.
But in order for all of this to work I’m not allowed to browse on pintrest at any other time during the day. Only if I get up in the morning and start my day at the right time. If you struggle with a morning routine, pay attention to yourself. Be realistic, come up with a way to make getting up easier.
May 6, 2021
We talked a bit about this on face book yesterday.
I think sometimes we struggle to get things done and assume that we are being lazy. While there are times I know I’m just down right lazy, I know that at other times life has kicked me in the gut and knocked the wind out of me.
And when these times come, we need time to recover.
Maybe its because I’m in my 50’s now, but I have come to realize that all days are not created equal. Some days, some weeks, some months, some seasons are just harder than others. And whether we’d like to admit it or not, these take alot out of us physically, and even spiritually.
Maybe like me you’ve just tried to barrel through that and keep on going. And sometimes that works.
But, sometimes, it doesn’t.
What I’ve learned is that sometimes you’ll just stay stuck in a place where you’re essentially treading water until you take that time to recover.
Athletes know this, and sometimes life sure feels like an endurance race of some kind doesn’t it?
And so recovery time is necessary at times. I certainly find this more at this time of the year than any other.
Make sure you’re being honest in your answer, but are you due for some recovery time? Has life kicked you in the gut?
Maybe you just need to take that recovery time so you can finally push through once you get to the other side.
In the coming days I’ll talk more about what recovery can look like to me, but for now, my challenge is to start digging into yourself a little bit.
Are you in need of recovery?