Tips for how to be a productive homemaker. These 13 tips will help you to organize your day and get more accomplished.
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Do You Desire to be a More Productive Homemaker?
Sure we all do! Everyone wants to have a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment at the end of the day. Our society has made it seem that unless you are employed outside the home that you are not a productive member of society. This is simply not true.
Not that many years ago, homemakers were acknowledged as valuable members of society. Even if you didn’t have children, keeping up with a home, caring for a husband, and contributing to your community was worthwhile. Strong families and communities benefit everyone in society. Somewhere along the way the respect and appeal of the homemaker have lost their luster.
We can change that by showing the satisfaction and value of keeping a home. Never be ashamed of what you do, and by all means, enjoy it! Productivity is something we all need in order to feel valuable. We saw this last year what unproductive people do…they cause trouble! As humans we are designed to work and to feel like we have earned our rest at the end of the day!
Here are my Top 13 Tips for Becoming a More Productive Homemaker
1. Get Up
Well, that’s where we should start right? Now, you aren’t going to hear me preach about getting up super early. Here’s how I handle it, and you can do what works for you. I love being productive. Am I more productive when I get up before my children? Yes! I definitely am. When I get up early and get some quiet time before my children need me, my day is better. Even if it’s just 30 minutes before them, if I can sneak out for a walk, my attitude is better.
However, I have been pregnant or nursing for the last 20 years. I understand what it’s like to be up in the night nursing a child or up with a sick child. I have allowed myself grace in this area. My youngest is 1 year old, he still nurses in the wee hours of the morning. There are some days when I set my alarm and I get up before him, other days I don’t get up until he does and not a minute sooner! I am not legalistic about this. I listen to my body. If I need more sleep and if I don’t have anything terribly pressing that day, I sleep.
I will say that I try to at least get up early three days a week. This has helped me to carve out time for my blog. Two hours early three days a week adds up to 6 extra hours a week! When I do this I have been able to be very productive in producing printables and in building my blog!
Attitude is Everything (My husband says this ALL the time)
It’s not so much when you get up, it’s your attitude when you do. I like to pray before I even get out of bed. I take a few minutes to get my heart and attitude right before I start my day. Purpose to have a good attitude and purpose to be a productive homemaker. If you get up and feel funky, go back to your bedroom, get on your knees and ask God to help you. Then go get a bite to eat, sometimes I find myself being grouchy and my teenage daughter will say, “mom, why don’t you get something to eat.” She’s right! Sometimes that’s all I need!
2. Get Dressed, Shower if You Can
When you have only little toddlers, showering is no small feat. I understand that. Maybe you have to shower at night or in the afternoon at nap time. However, if I can get a shower in the morning, I feel way more human. If I can go for a walk or a run and then shower…let me tell you, I am like a superhero!
The point is to treat homemaking like a job. Get dressed and make yourself presentable. I try to act like someone may drop in. Plus, I don’t want my kids to remember their mom as a slob. I used to follow FlyLady, if you haven’t heard of her, she can help you get your home in order. One of her first tips is to get dressed all the way to your shoes. You are much more productive when you are dressed with shoes on. I have followed this ever since I found her. Sometimes it’s just houseshoes, but she’s right, I am much more productive when I am dressed and ready to go!
3. Make Exercise a Priority
This isn’t a fitness blog, and I know it’s hard to make the time for it. However, I believe that even if you are home with children you can make time for taking care of your body. This will make you a more productive person overall. Feeling good and being healthy ensures you have the energy to do what needs to be done.
This may look like playing tag with your kids or going swimming, or just going for a walk. Do lunges while you cook eggs in the morning. Do pushups while the kids do their chores. Whatever you have to do, a little bit here and a little bit there adds up over time. I will often do a quick 20-minute workout video from YouTube while my kiddos do their chores in the morning. My toddler and baby think it’s great fun. I may not have perfect form while a 1-year-old climbs on me or while I am helping my 3-year-old do his squats, but at least I am trying. Also, I am teaching my children that fitness is important.
4. Give Yourself an Office Space for Productivity
If you have a small house and don’t have a designated office, this post may help you to carve one out! I have two spaces in two different small corners in our home. One with a computer, and one without.
Having a place to put mail when it comes in and a place to sit down and plan is invaluable! When I sit down to do the planning, I like to do it away from the computer. The computer is just way too distracting and I can go down a rabbit trail reading recipes or product reviews rather than just writing down what we are eating for the week or what I need to purchase.
5. Look at the Calendar
Really it’s best to do this on Sunday, get your mind around the week. Then check the calendar nightly to make sure you aren’t missing anything for the next day.
6. Set Goals in Order to be a Productive Homemaker
This motivates me more than anything else. I do this with my blog, I do this with homemaking and I do this with homeschooling. For homeschool, I challenge my 5-year-old to finish her reading lesson book by her next birthday, this motivates both of us to make sure we do a reading lesson every single day.
I set goals for our home and farm, this keeps me moving on things. Looking through to the months ahead as well. Writing down the fact that our cow will not give milk unless I get her bred by a certain date. Write down the little things too! I would like to have our junk drawer cleaned out by the weekend. I want to learn to make soap by the end of July. Setting these goals and putting a little pressure on myself keeps me motivated and productive.
7. Make a Schedule or Routine and Follow It
I am more of a routine person, not so much a scheduler. Too tight of a schedule makes me cranky. I like flexibility and if you have children, you must be flexible.
We are a large family and we homeschool. Routine is key. When you establish a good routine, the home practically runs itself. The kids know what to do next and so do I. I don’t worry about doing each thing at a set time. However, I do find that we are usually doing things at about the same time every day.
Here is my Homemaking Routine
I like to plug in the key things and work everything else around those key things. For example, we have to milk the cow and do outside chores, we have to eat and clean up after meals. Most of the morning is spent doing chores and eating breakfast. Next is Bible time. This is a constant in our home, no matter what else goes on, we sit down together and do the Bible lesson that my husband leaves for us. This is usually between 10:00 and 11:00. After that, we usually read history. Next is lunch and then the afternoon is spent doing table work.
We manage to do laundry throughout the day. Each child has a day that they do their laundry. Yes, our children do their own laundry, you can read about that here. If you have children, training them to help is vital in keeping your home running smoothly. Plus it gives them a sense of purpose to know that they are a vital part of running the home.
Our schedule is very loose. We try to leave flexibility for learning crochet, exploring, art, woodworking, chemistry. Whatever interests we have become a priority.
My subscribers have access to all of the free printables that I offer. this daily planner can be used as a block schedule. Get the password by signing up here.
8. Schedule Breaks
Give yourself little times during the day to have a break. Grab a cup of coffee or a snack, go for a walk. Reward yourself for productive periods of time. You will be much more likely to finish a task if you know you have a scheduled break coming up in 15 minutes.
9. Set Your Phone Aside
A smartphone is probably one of the most counterproductive devices. Yes, I know you can have some great apps to help you get organized or apps to save time, shopping apps, and that type of thing. We do use a few of those. However, I would venture to say that they don’t really save that much time. Especially since something happens when you pick up that phone. I don’t know about you, but if I pick the thing up, I am then tempted to check my e-mail or my blog comments or Instagram. There is no shortage of distractions from the device. Next thing you know, 30 minutes have passed and you have completely forgotten why you picked it up.
If this is a real struggle for you, turn the ringer off and schedule the time that you are allowed to be on it. Hide it in a drawer if you need to. I keep the ringer off unless I leave the house…ok, I rarely remember to turn it on even when I leave!
10. Set Alarms
This may be helpful if you tend to forget things. For a while, I would set a reminder to go off for circle time or when it was time to read history or change the laundry. This helps me to make sure we do the things that I find to be the most important. Maybe you need a reminder to drink water or to take a break. This is one of those times when you can use technology to your advantage!
11. Say No
This is so important for everyone that works from home, homeschools, or is a homemaker. People, in general, do not understand that while yes, you are home, you aren’t just sitting around eating bonbons. Therefore, you will need to be able to say no. Homemaking and homeschooling do offer flexibility, and it’s wonderful to be able to help others in need. Serving with your children is a great part of teaching them to be productive citizens.
However, there are times when saying no is just what you have to do. If you find that a friend calls to chat in the middle of the day or wants to regularly meet for lunch, or maybe she just drops in! You may have to gently let them know that you are working or homeschooling and that it is really important that you keep your routine. Make plans with your friends on the weekends or block of a day of your week for that. If you can give yourself Fridays off, do it!
12. Write Things Down
Keeping a little notebook handy where you can write things down as they come to mind will help you to clear up your mental space. If I have an idea and I don’t write it down, I have a hard time focusing on other things. If I take a few minutes to jot it down, I can then move on and do the task at hand.
You can later move these notes to your planner or whatever program you use to organize your life! I highly recommend setting up a home management binder. Keeping track of warranty information, maintenance records and home upkeep goes a long way in clearing mental clutter. Then when the washer goes out, you know just where you can find the warranty info. Don’t add to the frustration by wasting time searching high and low for that blasted paper!
also, I love these two leather planners for keeping myself organized as a homemaker
13. Enjoy Every Minute of Being a Homemaker
Do the things you love! Enjoy a quiet simple life at home. Maybe you are drawn to handmade skills like crochet or sewing? Make the time to learn those skills and teach them to your children. It is satisfying to make something with your hands, and even more satisfying to teach someone else to do it!
Practice thankfulness! You get to be at home! What a gift this is! Enjoy it, enjoy the messes and the challenges, enjoy the freedom and flexibility! Enjoy making your house a home and enjoy welcoming others into it!
Do you have any tips that have helped you to stay on track as a homemaker? Please share them with us in the comments! I love to hear from you!