Welcome to a special time management series!
For the next 5 days, we are going to dive deep into your biggest questions on how to get it all done, tackle that never-ending to-do list, and actually have time to yourself.
The Systemize Your Life Academy is the #1 home management system you need to make it happen. In just 4 weeks I take work-from-home moms from overwhelmed to organized.
Check out all the details over at chelsijo.co/academy!
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
It’s day three and we are going to talk about routines. We are going to talk about how you can get an hour alone to yourself every day.
I know it sounds like a lot but it’s completely possible! I know motherhood brings lots of ups and downs and things we can’t control but we are going to talk about the things we can control.
There are so many parts of your day you are not managing which is making you lose valuable time. You are also depleting yourself quicker than you are restoring yourself.
You have fragments of time right now literally laying all over the place like your kid’s laundry or random toys or whatever it might be scattered all over the room. If you could just pick all those things up and put them together like with those fragments of time you could consolidate it into one solid chunk of time.
Your Perfect Day
I want you to start envisioning yourself navigating through your day. I want you to imagine you have two modes: alone mode and family mode. In alone mode, it’s just you. You are not thinking about your house, your to-dos or your kids. You are spending your time on a few simple tasks to prepare yourself for the most vibrant and patient day to spend your whole morning pouring into your kids and home without distraction.
Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually you’re spending a little bit of time for yourself preparing. As that time comes to pass you rinse out your cup of coffee that you didn’t have to reheat five times, you dry it out, and you put it on a shelf for tomorrow.
Your kids then help you pack lunches and they know how to do their own morning routine. Everyone gets into the car with minutes, actual minutes to spare, and your day follows suit.
You then go to alone mode while you work and then family mode until the kids go to bed and back to alone mode before you turn in for the night.
I know you might be thinking Chelsi, you don’t know me, I have so many humans surrounding me, you don’t know what you’re asking. BUT WAIT! I have four tips (and a bonus) for you to try. You try these four things and then come tell me you weren’t able to get 60 minutes alone.
When you get your 60 minutes will look different for all of you. Take it when it makes the most sense for your life, don’t force it to happen when it’s going to cause more undo stress and burden. It might be your morning, mid-day, or evening. But start by implementing these four things and you will be well on your way to getting 60 minutes alone everyday.
Tip number one is to start your dinner routine 30-60 minutes before your current time. My ideal is to start dinner at 4:30. Yes I know you have all the kids in all the sports but you need to make a hard choice so you can have peace in your life. Maybe rotate your kids through sports or prep or pack your dinners.
This will create margin later in your evening and give you the time back you need. For some odd reason, the later dinner starts the longer it takes to get through the evening. Trust me on this one. Next is tip number two.
Here are some must dos with your phone: Plug your phone in on the other side of the room or in a different room at night and delete your apps.
You do not need your phone or social media once your PM block starts so delete those apps. The apps take less than 5 minutes to download again for your work block. It’s just enough inconvenience that you won’t do it when you are looking for that dopamine release.
Just check your screen time use and see which apps you touch first if you don’t believe me. Yes, you can put a limit on your apps, which you should do, but they really need to be deleted before you start dinner. When your brain is searching for something the next thing you know you’ll be searching Pinterest more than you have ever searched Pinterest in your life.
You are going to save yourself hours a day if you do this. It’s really horrifying but it is an incredible way for you to get time back.
Tip number three is for you to pack all of your next day out the door bags now. Whether that’s lunch boxes if it’s go bags. For us there’s swim bags, gym bags, and snack bags.
When you are prepared it helps everyone have a better experience. So whether you’re a heavy packer like me or not, your kids need to have their things packed not the morning of and not the evening before, because that’s your time, you need to have this done before you start dinner.
The first part of your routine after you get done with work or maybe even while your cooking dinner is to pop open your Google calendar, look at all the things you have to do the next day, because you have already established that over the weekend, and figure out what needs to be done for the next day. You don’t have to do it all on your own, involve the kids, just make sure it is completed.
“When you are not focusing on your routines you are eating away minutes of time that could be alone time.”
Tip number four is to determine lights out time for each of your kids. The best way to do this is to work backwards from your bedtime.
Determine 7-9 hours from when you want to wake up the next morning, peel that back and give yourself a 30-60 minute nighttime routine with alone time. Lights out for the oldest needs to be somewhere in that window.
This alone time is not a time to do dishes and clean up the house. Make sure you are in your kids bedroom 30 minutes before their lights out. It will give you a bedtime routine to really pour into your kids. Don’t have your cell phone or any distractions. When you are not focusing on your routines you are eating away minutes of time that could be alone time.
I know a lot of you are “Like this is absolutely ridiculous there’s so much to do after the kids go to bed!” So here is the final bonus tip.
After Dinner Clean Up Jobs
This tip is the biggest part for making sure that my kitchen is done before my kids are in bed. I assign everyone to an after-dinner cleanup job and have the kitchen completed before anyone leaves the kitchen.
When my girls were really really little I would still get them down, hand them their plate, have them walk their plate to the sink, and I would meet them over there and I would take the plate from them and I would put it in the sink.
I’ve been doing this with them since they were tiny knowing I’m a training them and teaching them so they will someday be good housemates, roommates, and members of their own family.
You cannot start this too young, I promise.
It is a major game-changer for what your kitchen looks like. When your kitchen looks good before you go to bed, you wake up walking into the kitchen and you can prepare that cup of coffee, breathe deep, and not get distracted and actually have a morning routine for yourself.
Those are my four tips on how to get 60 minutes of alone time to yourself everyday. Do them all and I promise you will start to get time back to yourself. Now, continue on to day four of the time management series where we are going to talk about how to make the switch from your old schedule based time management and truly transition to time blocking and actually make this whole thing work for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I decide when to have my alone time?
First figure out your 5-time blocks and set them up for the week. Before you begin your week find where you most likely will have the most time to make this happen. Use the free time blocking download to set yourself up for success!