How I Get It All Done

A few ladies have asked me if I could post how I fit all my goals into daily life.

How Do I Get It ALL Done?… I don’t!

But… setting goals means I’ll get more done than if I hadn’t set any goals in the first place!  Setting goals keeps me on track with what matters most in my life.

But to give you a quick run down of how I fit most things in…

A “perfect” day (where I get most everything done) would look like this for me (I aim for this 4 days per week):

1).  Do Morning Routine (Read Bible first thing, Get dressed and ready, Breakfast while reading Bible to children at table, Lay out vitamins for the day, Get children ready for their day).  I do wake up maybe 15-30 minutes before my children, so I get a slight head start on my day.

2).  Do Our Homeschool List-  I use my own pre-written lesson plans that I plan out every 6 weeks or so.  This list includes our Bible story time, Memory verses, praying for the world, and then all our basic subjects as well- reading, writing, math, character, Creation science, etc.  Whew, don’t think I have it all together, homeschooling time can be some serious HARD work around here!  And I rarely finish the WHOLE list… I’m much more ambitious in my brain than what I can actually accomplish with three little ones!  It’s true that we do a lot in this area though, it gets the bulk of my day, probably 3-4 hours.  But my little learners have little play-breaks all throughout, we try to make homeschooling FUN!  And by the way, this isn’t our only homeschooling time.  We’re lifelong learners so we’re constantly homeschooling throughout our days, evenings, weekends, wherever we go!

3).  Put baby down for nap, Eat lunch while reading Bible to children at table, Ask myself “What’s for Dinner?” to make sure I don’t need to start something that takes longer, Clean up lunch.

4).  Finish any homeschooling, Have some play time, Put 2nd child down for nap.  Exercise either goes here or it waits until evening and we do family exercise time.  I’ll be open and honest though… if something can’t get done in my day, it’s usually exercise that’s the first thing to go.  😦   I’m going to work on that though!

5).  If I can sneak in some extra computer work or read a book late afternoon, I will.  But usually baby is up and I can’t get away with that.

6).  Now it’s time to start dinner.  Meals do take longer at my house because we pretty much make everything from scratch.  I grind my own grain to have flour to make bread dough for quite a few of our meals (no, I’m not super-woman, grinding grain only takes a few minutes and a high powered blender!)  We make our own dips, condiments, and salad dressings.  We use mostly all fresh produce so there’s always a lot of chopping to do (anyone know of any time saving techniques for chopping?!)  So needless to say, meal prep takes quite a bit of time usually.  Back in the day I used to have dinner ready when hubby got home, but since baby #2 he usually comes home ready to help pitch in and get it on the table.  And a little plug here for pressure cookers, I use ours most every day, saves so much cooking time!  I stick to super easy meals for breakfast and lunch (oatmeal, fruit, toast from my frozen bread stash; leftovers for lunch- always).  I’ve gotten good at freezer cooking so even though it takes a little longer, I cook in large batches and stash some away in the freezer for a “rainy day” since we don’t really do restaurants either.  Frozen lunch-size portions also make packing lunch for hubby a snap!

When do I clean my house?  I don’t have any set time in my day for this.  I just clean as I go, constantly doing little tasks here and there to keep things in order.   Every day in late-afternoon the children and I do a quick general clean-up/ pick-up of the house  so everything looks nice when hubby gets home.  Then for deeper cleaning and stuff that takes longer… nights and weekends, and hubby usually helps me tag-team it.  Thank the Lord for my awesome husband!  And no, my house isn’t always a wreck, I keep it pretty tidy (or at least try).  My ‘minimalist’ goal from last year has helped keep down on clutter!  My motto I’m constantly reminding myself:  “Get.  Rid.  Of.  Stuff.”  It all came from “Stuff Mart” and “stuff” can steal your money, your time, and your energy.

-Throughout my day I remember to drink my daily water quota.  Drinking water is super important!  Also just throughout my day, my thankfulness journal is usually laying around and I quickly jot down a few things I’m thankful for.

When do I get on the computer?  I sit down to nurse my baby several times a day and that’s when I get computer time.  If I’m not nursing and someone in my family sees me on the computer, they pretty much bark at me until I get off.  🙂  What do I do on the computer?  Well… I love reading and learning, so I’m constantly researching something.  I stay on top of my emails, blog a little here and there of course 🙂 , do our budget/ bank/ investing tasks (we track every dollar), and a thousand other little tasks.

7).  Our ideal evening would go something like this:  Sing a hymn before we eat, Eat dinner, Have a short work/ quiet time, Exercise (we love to go on walks), Relax and play, Hubby leads Bible-time with family, and then once we’re all in our pj’s, it’s Family Stretch time- ah, stretching is a relaxing end to a long day!

Now… on my less structured days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), it would basically be our Morning Routine, any Errands I need (hello grocery store), Some fun homeschooling things, Plan/do our field trip, Work on longer term goals, Have my planning sessions (meals, upcoming hospitality, Homeschool lesson plans, To-do list updates, People’s birthdays, etc).

When do I read books?  Anytime!  I can usually sneak in 15-20 minutes each day during the day (I’ve taught my children how to sit and “read” books in the living room with me reading my book beside them.  When the timer goes off, my time is up!)  I also read for 15 or so minutes in bed at night.  And when I have a book I can’t put down, I pull a late-nighter and read to my heart’s desire!  If I were honest, I’d say that yes, most of my reading time is when little ones are sleeping, whether it be early morning, late night, or nap times (I can usually have at least a little reading time during someone’s nap).  I also have quite a few newsletters/ Christian magazines that come in the mail that I love reading (Answers in Genesis, Above Rubies, No Greater Joy, American Family Association, etc).  For all these, I keep them in the van and whenever hubby is driving I can read.  And… If all 3 little ones happened to have fallen asleep during a car ride, I don’t wake them up!  I just park once I’ve arrived at my destination and sit in the driver’s seat and read!

So no, I’m not super-woman and I rarely get it ALL done.  I don’t have an endless supply of energy and I need my sleep just like the next gal.  I just focus on working hard and keeping a written to-do list handy so I stay focused (honestly, I’m lost without a written game plan).  I think one of the things I have going for me is I watch pretty much ZERO TV.  We don’t have regular broadcast television at all in our home (don’t want the negative influence), so we only watch DVD’s we’ve chosen to purchase.  I don’t have to fit in time to watch the news, catch my favorite show, or any of that.  Pretty freeing actually!  My “down” time usually means I’m playing with the children, snagging some computer time, or  reading a book.  I’m definitely super busy at this stage of life.  I used to think I was busy when I had one child, and I’m sure I’ll look back and say, ‘ha, you thought three children kept you busy!”  But three little ones basically means my life is poured into them and there’s not too much time for other stuff, gotta stick to the basics and love on my little ones while they’re still little!  Time is fleeting.

If you’re looking for inspiration on time management, discipline, goal setting, budgeting, being frugal, being a giver, homeschooling, getting up early before your children, and more- you should subscribe to MoneySavingMom!  I’ve learned a ton by following her blog for the past couple years, I really enjoy reading the motivational articles that she posts!

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