If you could design your life, literally every single part of your day, what would it look like? Close your eyes for a minute and see yourself for a split second as the mom you know you want to be. What does she do? Who is she? Today I’m diving into the one part of your day that you can focus on to become a little more like her with a practical checklist to ease into over the next few weeks so you can be more productive and less overwhelmed.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
7 To Dos For Your PM Block
I know so many women are making choices every day that take them farther away from who they want to become. They feel stuck, trapped, overwhelmed, and completely unorganized. That’s why I am so passionate about teaching women that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can succeed at home AND in business and I can help you with my plug-and-play Systemize your Life Academy.
One of the things I teach inside the Systemize Your Life Academy and have a free download on is time blocking and today I’m going to be talking about your PM block. This starts either when you get out of work or your kids get out of school all the way until your kids go to bed. I’m going to be giving you a 7 part checklist of what you should be doing during that time to have peace and help you become more productive.
1. After-School Routine
This does not include after-school activities. We will talk later on in the post about how to adjust for those evenings. Our after-school routine almost always consists of a snack to kick-start it. My kids then know exactly what to do when they get in the door and where to put their things. For us, it is for them to take off their shoes and wash their hands. I’ll be coming up with a post soon that goes through this whole thing top to bottom but for now, this is all I’ll say about it.
2. Tidy Up
This one happens right before dinner starts. It doesn’t matter when the mess was made, this is just the last ditch effort to get the house how you want it to look so you are not doing this after the kids go to bed. Sometimes I do this during their after-school routine and sometimes they help me. All these things are super flexible.
3. Start Dinner
I try to have dinner going by 4:30 every night because there is more to do after dinner and before bedtimes and bedtime should not be late. Look at your last week and see how many nights your kids went to bed late and peel that back and see when you started dinner. It is almost always related.
4. Reset For Tomorrow
Typically I am doing this while I have dinner going. I don’t encourage multi-tasking but for those times when things are cooking and I have some downtime, I am making sure the lunch boxes have been cleaned out and I know where we are at for lunches tomorrow. Basically, I’m making sure all the bases are covered. I look at the calendar and see what is happening for sports tomorrow and that we are set to go for the next day. I also prep my powders for my morning smoothie. It’s just little things you can do to make sure you are ready for the next day and not save these things for after the kids go to bed.
5. Kitchen Reset
I told you all about our mealtime routine in the last post. It’s a routine we use to help curtail the amount of screen time we have. In our dinner routine, each of my kids has a role to play to get dinner on the table. As they are doing that I am picking up the kitchen as quickly as I can. I’m washing the cutting board and the knife, washing pots and pans and picking up kitchen scraps. That is such a strategic move on my part so that I am not left with an overwhelming mess. The only thing left after dinner are the pots and pans that have food in them and the dishes we ate with. I’m washing as I go so it’s not sitting there in the morning when I wake up and I want to cry.
After the kitchen reset, you have two options.
6. & 7. Family Time and/or Bedtimes
If you have older kids you’re probably not going right into bedtimes and will have some family time. When we have nights like Friday night where we stay up late as a family I have my girls go shower right after dinner to get that out of the way and then move into family time.
Most nights after dinner both the girls go to the bath and get ready for bed. The five-year-old then goes to bed and we have family time with our oldest. Sometimes that’s watching a show, reading a book, or applying oils on the back. That’s been a great way to get some good physical touch that has some emotional benefits. If you have extracurriculars in the evenings you are not going to have this family time. It will be baths, one on one time, and then bedtimes.
Those are the seven! If you start doing these things you are going to get real lucky and be more productive for sure and everything will change for you. Now I’ll get into those night when there is no PM block.
When You Don’t Have a PM Block
Let’s talk about what this looks like if you don’t have time in your PM block because you are working or have extracurriculars.
For us, on a swim night, we don’t get home until 5:30 which is post-starting dinner. We have set boundaries that extracurriculars don’t interfere with sleep and we can still get a healthy meal in and time for homework.
On those nights that are super rushed, I have a snack in the car for the after-school routine. I’m all hands on deck and the girls are doing less. Franki goes and gets ready for swim and I’m tidying up the house as quickly as possible. As a work-from-home mom, you have the option to do this whole tidy-up before your kids get home.
On these nights I try and split shift with my husband when he is not gone working shift. When he is not there to help I have strategically made sure that dinner is going to be re-heatable, a crock pot or skillet meal, or it will be our one night a week that we pick something up.
I’m still doing the re-set while dinner is cooking. Even just getting the lunch boxes out of the backpacks and making sure the smallest things can get done. Family time goes out the window. There are some swim nights when it’s just me, Blaine is gone, and I look at the kitchen at the end of the day and I have to make a choice. Sometimes I choose to go to bed with dishes in the sink. I want you to know that that’s ok. I just want you to know how to get out of the overwhelm and not have it be your normal.
“Sometimes I choose to go to bed with dishes in the sink. I want you to know that that’s ok. I just want you to know how to get out of the overwhelm and not have it be your normal.”
Pick One to Start With!
I know this is hard work, I see you. It’s hard for me too but I have a method in place that is a daily practice that I can lean on and it works for me. I want to practice this with you so we can be more productive! Let’s get this going in your life girl in the Systemize Your Life Academy! I hope to see you over there!
Frequently Asked Questions
Dinner time seems so chaotic how do I get a handle on our dinner time routine?
You must go read this post on our dinner time routine! It takes small changes for everyone get used to a new routine. Also go find out more details on the Systemize Your Life Academy. There, you will get support along the way and a step by step guide to lead you through all the systems that will get you out of your overwhelm.