Welcome to a very special Time Management Series here on the Systemize Your Life Podcast. This series is all about diving deep into the most frequently asked questions from our Systemize Your Life Facebook group. This time management series is all about how to get it ALL done, how to tackle that never ending to-do list, and how you CAN actually have time for yourself. Balancing your work, your kids, and your home is kind of a bear, I totally get it. I do it too. If you are looking to find MORE TIME and you know your lack of organization and haphazard schedule is the problem, then this series is for YOU!
If you have had enough of the never ending laundry, dishes, to-dos. If you are constantly being late in a mad dash out the door, never having focus time to work on your business and are just DONE with the stress of juggling ALL the things between working on your home and business then head on over to The Systemize Your Life Academy where you can spend the next four weeks going from overwhelmed to organized. In just four weeks you could wake up every single day feeling focused.
You can wake up every day knowing exactly what tasks to prioritize, every day. Furthermore, the whole family understood this system and helped YOU keep a tidy and well run house. This is the home management system you need to make it happen.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
It is day five of the Time Management Series and this is the END of the five day series of all things time management. The good news is though, this final message in the five-part time management series is the BEST one yet. Be prepared to take notes as I am going to give you the EXACT SCHEDULE you need to be able to show up each day and be able to get exactly what you need to get done. Both in your home, and in your work.
Plus, this perfect schedule will allow you to be able to have enough time for YOU, for your kids, for your spouse. But, here is the thing. Knowing these things isn’t going to change anything. The only thing that it will change is you knowing that there is an answer to your problem. What are YOU going to do about it?
Knowing these things isn’t going to change anything. The only thing that it will change is you knowing that there is an answer to your problem. What are YOU going to do about it?
Only Two Things You Need To Do To Create The Perfect Schedule
In order to build the perfect schedule you need to first understand that time-blocking is the entire framework for how you put your schedule in. Truth be told, I am calling this a “schedule” simply to make you happy because the actual word “schedule” is something that makes me cringe. We are NOT talking about schedule-based time management. Instead this is about how to build out a whole week of YOUR LIFE that flows so well that even when a curveball is thrown at you, you know how to respond.
In our family, we call this the “calendar.” We don’t call this a schedule. The words you use are important. It is important to know that you are not on a schedule. That you are not bound by time frames in your life, but you are bound by categories and the completion of full tasks that you have set aside in certain areas of your day. That is what you are aiming for. This is a huge mental shift that you have to make. You are not truly trying to create the “perfect schedule.”
Step #1 To Creating The Perfect Schedule – The Eight Things To Put In Your Calendar
There are EIGHT things you are going to put into your calendar and put into your paper planner. Some people refer to these as your fundamental needs. But whether or not you are familiar with your own personal fundamental needs, I am going to give you the eight that I use that are known to me as my “Great Eight” and you are going to put these things down in your calendar every, single week! If you don’t like them, ditch them. If you want to create your own, use the FREE fundamental needs workbook to do exactly that.
How many of these do you need? And where are they going?
2. Meal Planning & Prepping
Are you doing the meal planning and prepping on separate days? Or are you doing them together? While you are at it, why don’t you go ahead and clean out the old food and wipe down the shelf in the refrigerator while you are in there!
Number three, you need a block for to-dos. No, you don’t need to know what all your to-dos are before you create this block. Stop dictating your life off of your to-do list. Instead, you are going to tell your to-do list just how much time you have for it. You are strategically going to work for an hour or two, or maybe three in that week on the items on your to-do lists.
Typically, the times when you have really long to-do lists are when you are going or coming home from a trip or when kids are sick. Those are off weeks and you will have more to-do. On a regular basis, if you stick to what I am telling you to do with creating the perfect schedule then you will be able to reduce the amount of things on your actual to-do list greatly.
Stick to just one or two hours a week to focus on your actual to-dos, and only do them during that time of the week. If you are on top of this specific part of your schedule and stick to it every single week, you will have way more time available.
4. Date Night
I would love to tell you that this is optional, but it is not. If you are married you should be doing this. If you haven’t had date night with your husband in forever, great, even more of a reason to do this. Please make sure you are doing this. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be a deck of cards, or your favorite dinner. It can be ANYTHING. Simply put, it is time OUTSIDE of your cell phone that is time with each other!
Maybe, your first date night is just a conversation about this. Maybe it doesn’t happen again for two or three weeks. And then you try again. And then that date night is a hot mess because someone brought their phone. That is okay. That is what this looks like. That is the reality of this. This is hard work. It is strategic. It is intentional. But, please do not dismiss date night because you don’t think it is necessary. Or, on the other hand because you think you and your husband are just fine. Make sure you are getting it on the calendar.
5. Zone Cleaning
You need to have one day, if not two days; if you are in a family where you and your husband value super duper clean everything, then maybe three days. This also depends on the size of your house, whether or not you get help from your kids, or outside help. The time you spend on this depends on those things.
Regardless though, you need to put in down in your calendar and your paper planner as well. These are fundamental. These are the foundational pieces of your weekly schedule that you will be focused on deep cleaning your house. We have zone cleaning. We rotate different zones of our house each week.
6. A work block or personal time
If you are not a work from home mom and the work that you do is dedicated to your children and your house then there will be personal things that you want to do. Whether that is reading a book, volunteering, something that you are giving to that is creative such as sewing or learning how to can, working on learning how to garden. You want to learn how to do something, this is the time that is devoted to that. You need a specific time on your calendar every single week that is for your work block or your personal time.
The Systemize Your Life podcast started out as personal time for me and now it is my work block. However much time you need, do it. For me, my work block started out as two hours, then four hours, and now we are at twenty hours a week.
Now, if you have a job, like a 9-5 job, obviously this work block and personal time is outside of that. Do I schedule personal time outside of my work block? Usually once a quarter. That is when I go out of town and meet with friends or I hang out with a local friend. I don’t do that a whole lot. My work block totally lights me up and that is what I have determined I need for my personal time.
7. Family Time
A small block, a little line item for you to know when am I intentionally putting my phone down and the whole entire family is going to be together? If you family dinner where you all sit down together every single night and you are really strapped for time, that can be in lieu of family fun. Just as long as no one is bringing phones to the table. Sometimes our family fun does look like that. But, for the most part we try to do something that is recreational with the kids. Maybe that is movie at home with popcorn. Maybe that is a trip out of the house. This is a time to get creative to connect with your kids.
8. Weekly Planning
Last, but certainly not least for your fundamental needs, or your Great Eight as I love to refer to them as is your weekly planning. I also call this my Sunday sit-down. Over the years, I have peeled this back to now I do this on Fridays, so that I don’t have to do this on the weekend. Also, to be honest, in case it doesn’t happen on Fridays I still have two more days to get it done. There is nothing worse than starting your week on Monday without having any clue on what is actually going down for the rest of the week.
Okay that is the first half of creating your perfect schedule, knowing what your fundamental needs are and establishing them into your weekly schedule. The second half of creating your perfect schedule has everything to do with your routines.
Step #2 To Creating Your Perfect Schedule – Establishing Your Routines
This is the exact layering process that I put into my actual schedule. This is what dictates my actual time – my routines, inside of my time blocks. This is what supports me getting my fundamental needs down.
There are seven of these, but six happen chronologically throughout the day. The seven routines are:
- Morning routine for myself
- Morning routine (or before school routine) for the kids
- Work block routine (Aka my workflow)
- Dinner routine / after school routine
- Bedtime routine for kids
- Bedtime routine for me
- Tidy Qs
My Tidy Qs are layered in throughout the day. They are done routinely and I do have a routine for them. They get layered in the most important parts of my day. My transition periods are going to look a lot differently than yours. Most of this is determined by who is coming and going and how old your kids are. You are probably going to have Tidy Qs three or four times in your AM block if you have little kiddos at home. If your kiddos are much older, you are probably going to have one or two and they most often are going to happen after mealtimes.
There is so much information in here, but I don’t want you to ever think again is there an answer to my problems because you know that there is. This is the solution. I truly hope that you learned something throughout this Time Management Series. If you are looking for FREE resources to help you continue to get this all set up for success, check out the Fundamental Needs workbook, the time-blocking workbook, and the FREE workshop for learning how to balance it all.
OR, if you are REALLY wanting to get your life on track and move out of the chaos, away from the overwhelm – then come check out the details at the Systemize Your Life Academy where in just four weeks you can get in full control of your business, your home, and your life!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I create the perfect schedule as a busy work-from-home mom?
As a busy work-from-home mom it is possible to create the perfect schedule. While, I hesitate to use the actual word schedule. You can plan your week to where you are able to successfully manage your home and your business. By knowing what your Fundamental Needs are and building them into your weekly schedule, as well as utilizing Tidy Qs throughout your day, you can be sure to create the perfect schedule that works for you and all of the things you are called to be!