Crunchy mom of two, married to my favorite boy for life, and lover of dark chocolate peanut butter cups!
I went from nearly losing my mind and business to an intentional, successful woman all because of systems.

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Ask Anything with Chelsi Jo: The Details on Mastering Systems and More!

Ask Anything: The Details on Mastering Systems and More!

August 1, 2023


Today we are pulling all of your questions from the Facebook community, and I am about to answer every single one. Learn how to effectively implement the details of our systems while life is going on around you. If you want an opportunity to have your questions answered, keep your eyes open inside our Systemize Your Life Facebook group. Let’s dive in and find out the answers to these incredible questions from our amazing community members.

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

Question #1: How do all three meals a day work with your systems?

Just to be clear, the entire meal planning system doesn’t just include the menu board meal planning. That is mainly just for dinners. I talk about breakfast and lunch in a different episode, but in my family, we eat and rotate the same three meals. When it comes to meal planning for snacks and all of the things, I have nothing super formalized. We do the same thing so often; it is practically automated now. 

We probably need to talk about how it became automated for us. The “how” is where most of you probably need a transition. In the beginning, it was a lot of list-making. Let me review the nuts and bolts of it with our next question.

Question #2: How do you organize, plan, and shop efficiently?

Meal planning and grocery shopping are two details of our systems that most moms don’t like to do. However, there are four ways I keep meal planning simple and grocery shopping efficient.

#1: Choose Your Stores

First, I had my main grocery stores I would go to. My go-to stores are Sprouts, Trader Joe’s and Costco. At the store, you take the same lap through the aisles every single time. Honestly, taking the same route helps you become super systematic with your shopping. You know exactly what items you will grab first, second, and so on—no more up and down the aisles aimlessly. Truly, this will save you loads of time!

#2: Segment Your List

Second, I would write down what I needed from my menu board meal cards every weekend. And on my list, I had it segmented for Sprouts and Trader Joe’s. About once a month, we would hit up Costco. I had a specific list for each store, and my staples would go at the top.

#3: Simplify Your Food

Third, I keep it simple with food. I focused on getting protein, a green, and a clean carb. I would put six protein items for dinner and our favorite vegetables in the basket. It’s so routine that I don’t need a list anymore.

#4: Make Seasonal Swaps

Fourth, I can make simple swaps based on the season because it is so familiar. When we’re at the grocery store, and they don’t have cherries, I swap it out for something else. During summer, we have watermelon instead of oranges. 

How Keeping Meal Planning Basic Can Help Your Systems

We keep it basic, so much so that I have now transitioned to getting things local. We go to the same homestead every week to shop. I always get the same amount of eggs, cheese, butter, and yogurt. I also know how much meat I need to order at a local farm. 

You have to test your system to get to that point where it is all straightforward. For example, you go to the store and buy three cartons of berries, two of which went bad four times over. Look for patterns, make notes, and save your grocery list every week. See what groceries you have listed over and over again between your lists. Also, keep your grocery list separated if you go to multiple stores.

The point is to keep this simple. I recommend removing everything you don’t need—specifically, sodas, juice boxes, and everything on the grocery list that is not a staple. Start there, and I promise your kids are not going to starve! This will not only help minimize your grocery list but also help your grocery bill. Not to mention, you will begin to eat healthier. After that, you can get a little fancy.

Question #3: How do you make it work with a husband opposite of you regarding systems, purging, and organizing?

Believe it or not, this question reflects what my life was and is still like at times. Blane and I have been married for eight years, and just this week, he started using his time management blocks the way I do. He has never time blocked, but he understands the rhythms of our household. Blane sees how well they work and tends to go with the flow. He doesn’t tread against me because he’s not trying to make things harder on himself. Neither of us is like that. Blane is also not the one establishing the systems in our home. He is in tune with what’s going on and is super chill in that regard.

Learning the Systems: The Power Of Patience With Your Spouse

We’re all opposite of our spouses in some ways. Because of this, I have had to be very patient, and it has taken us a long time to get to where we are with our systems. I have to remember that he needs help understanding the systems the way that I understand the systems. Of course, I know the systems inside and out because I teach them, so I understand them at a molecular level. I am incredibly patient with Blane because of this. 

The number one thing here is patience. The second thing is ensuring you understand the system enough to demonstrate and explain them. The third thing is don’t expect him to ever understand the systems as you do, to the extent that he could lead them. Help your spouse become an active participant first, and then he may take leadership later on, depending on what type of husband you have. 

Empowering Your Spouse to Navigate the Systems

I created all of these systems because we have a significant role in being a leader in managing our homes. Sometimes, this may feel like watching paint dry. In a way, it is similar to watching your kids grow up, and that can take 20+ years! Helping our spouses understand how to navigate the systems and how to empower them to lead when we cannot be there takes lots of time.

Above all, we must be positive and encouraging, and sometimes we must make it seem like their idea. Remember, it’s not just your home. It is your home together. All you can do is provide an opportunity for them and leave it at that. Be there when they have questions, want support, and keep encouraging.

Question #4: How can I motivate a husband who doesn’t plan, organize, or write out to-dos?

Trying to implement a home management system with an unmotivated husband can be challenging. While it may look like he’s not motivated to join in, it may actually be the culture in your home. My husband is an achiever and loves to put things on a to-do list. He does not sit on the couch or play video games. That is not the culture in our home, and it never has been. That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with those things, and that doesn’t mean that it can’t change. 

Transform Your Home’s Culture With a Marriage Retreat

For those of you struggling with your home’s culture, a marriage retreat is a great solution. If you are in constant conflict, a marriage retreat would be the best place to bring that up. I had a conversation with Blane last night. I came home from work and said, “I feel like you expect me to be a wife, be a mom, and make money simultaneously.” It’s impossible for me to do the mom job while I am literally at work. I don’t even care if I’m in my office; I cannot do both at the same time. 

We are always talking about boundaries, and he has to have a conversation with me as well about boundaries. Conversations have to happen for you to show up and do your best work. That’s on you. You have to be able to communicate those things whenever you are feeling that way. Then, figure out what you need to do to gain those boundaries and be able to give respect and get respect.

Question #5: How do I achieve balance without becoming the family robot?

Truly, you stop becoming a robot once you implement my home management system. You also become insanely intentional. You are no longer a slave to your to-do list or schedule and immediately become free. That was my sole purpose for creating a home management system. It was initially really for myself so that I could have focused and intentional time on my work. I could step away from my kids, and for the most part, things could be maintained while I was working. When I come back from work, I know exactly what my tidy cues are, what laundry needs to be done, and I know when deep cleaning is getting done. I know when everything is getting done. 

It’s as if I’m always looking at a puzzle that has been put together, and by the end of the week, I have to put that puzzle back together to begin the new week. The only thing slightly robotic about me at this point is making sure the systems are maintained. This is why a home management system is an achievable goal anyone could set for themselves. 

Question #6: How can I make systems work with kids of all ages?

Having children in all different age groups is challenging. I always recommend starting scheduling life around the youngest. Doing this can be tricky, but I am a stickler for sleep schedules. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, and I do understand that teenagers have a lot of places that they need to go, and they’re super active. We are just at the tip of the iceberg with our 11-year-old, but I remember when we had a newborn and had school, activities, and things for our oldest. Often the little one’s nap was interrupted. 

The goal is to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in your family. This could be a child with disabilities, an extended family member under your care, or even the youngest in the household. Ensure your day is lined out for them to succeed because your older ones are watching. They will learn lessons on patience, how to care for others, and how to be selfless. 

It is a nightmare when small children don’t have their needs met. That is why I plan my day around where we have to be. Use Google Calendar for your appointments first. Next, lay out your time blocks to meet their daily needs. For example, you know when you are baby-wearing, nap time, and independent play. Everything is structured around the most vulnerable.

Question #7: How do I create a workflow as a full-time student and part-time employee?

Systemize Your Biz is an incredible tool for you to be able to organize your class work. You can create a custom workflow that is designed to fit your particular schedule. It also works well for part-time jobs. I highly recommend looking into Systemize Your Biz as a full-time student and part-time employee. Not only will it help you time block your life now, but it will help set you up for success down the road.

Question #8: Is it okay to multi-task when doing tasks that you don’t like?

As moms, we always try to do things more efficiently. I don’t multi-task because I can’t focus on the task at hand. I understand in my heart of hearts now what it looks like for me to produce my best work. That being said, many people have a superpower in their personality that can go too far and backslide them. It can regress their personality into the negative space. 

My Enneagram is one with a two-wing. I am a perfectionist, love details, and am super systematic. The two-wing in me is a nurturer. So when I show up to do something, I know when it’s not my very best. When this happens, it hurts me to my core. I have to provide my best, even for myself, let alone for other people. I lose sleep when I’m not giving my very best.

Streamline Your Life and Eliminate What’s Not Important

So if it is important to you to become more intentional, you can pare down what is vital to you. For example, I got specific on what I wanted to learn from podcasts. This helped me eliminate podcasts I was listening to randomly. If I am going to listen to a podcast now, it has to be worth my brain space; it has to be teaching me something. I don’t have the capacity for anything right now as I am fiercely growing a business, raising children, and growing my marriage. I am maxed out. So, I had to cut the fluff in every single area. 

Once I did that, I could set clear goals for myself. Then track them! Track your habits, track them in your planner, and get intentional about what you are trying to achieve. I’m always thinking about what I can eliminate to make this one thing I want to do even better. 

Question #9: Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all of the systems?

I am super proficient at the systems now. I don’t have to think about all the systems’ details. They are four macro systems that have several micro steps inside of them. Systemize Your Life is one home management system; that is all you need to learn. 

Start with one thing at a time. These systems are really for pushing out the old way of life and accepting a new way of living. Once you have the micro steps down, your life will be systemized, and you won’t feel overwhelmed. It’s not as if you’re living your life and then having to manage these things on top of everything else. These systems are meant to change your life, not make it overwhelming. 

“These systems are really for pushing out the old way of life and accepting a new way of living.”

Looking to Have More Burning Questions Answered?

Looking for a community where you can ask all of your questions about our systems? Then join us in our FREE Facebook community and ask away! I am so excited to hear what questions you have about creating systems within your home. Looking for more of my insight? Check out this blog post on what happens to my family, marriage, business, and health without my time blocking and systems.

In answering your questions, it is my hope that you can take the answers and incorporate them into the details of our systems. If you haven’t jumped in on Systemize Your Life yet, make sure to check it out now! Systemizing your life will help you balance motherhood, create a powerhouse partnership with your spouse, and make you the organizational wizard of your home so you can rest easy at the end of the day.

Ask Anything: The Details on Mastering Systems and More!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I go to learn more about a system to help manage my home?

To learn more about how to implement a system in your own home check out the Systemize Your Life Academy. I created this complete home management system to help take you from overwhelmed to organized in just four weeks!  This course will walk you step by step through the process. I hope to see you there!

Unraveling the Secrets: A Q&A on Tackling Systems with Chelsi Jo
The Details on Systems You Need To Know in a Q&A With Chelsi Jo

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