As a busy working mom, the day-to-day activities of running both a business and a household can be overwhelming — and downright exhausting at times. It can be tempting to simply accept this as the status quo and just deal with it because even the thought of improving things is too much to consider. It’s also often far easier to focus on how your business needs more support and more systems than to focus on how your household might need some attention.
However, I’ve found that improving your household systems is a strategic way to help you find the time, space, and energy to grow your business!
To help me be more productive during the workday, I needed to find ways to systematize certain household tasks.
Here are four simple household systems I use to boost my workday productivity:
I’d love to have a leisurely morning routine for myself, but the reality is that I have two young daughters to get out the door. A major drain to my productivity is the morning routine of getting them fed and ready for school.
So, I developed a simple routine that they follow so they can be a bit more independent in the process. I also separated their tasks so they have less interaction during their routines. This helps cut down on the bickering when everyone is grumpy and just waking up.
They have a visual chart of this household system to remind them what to do, which is something that has reduced the number of questions and a lot of the whining. Plus, the routine helps us stay on schedule more frequently, which is also a win.
The end result is a less chaotic morning (most of the time), so I’m not ready for a nap by the time they head to school. And, since they leave on time, it also allows me some time on my own to ease into the workday!
Want to build your personal morning routine? Check out this post for tips.
I have a daily habit of spending seven minutes cleaning one area of the house and seven minutes cleaning my office. This is one of my favorite household systems because it makes such a big difference in a pretty short amount of time!
Since I spend a lot of time in my office during the day, it tends to get fairly cluttered and messy which makes it harder to get things done. Spending seven minutes tidying up my desk and the rest of the office makes a huge impact on my ability to get things done. Similarly, I pick an area in the house that looks the most in need of attention at that time to quickly focus on for seven minutes.
Why the timer? Well, because I’ve found that things I dread feel like they take way more time than they actually do.
By setting a timer and forcing myself to focus on that task for seven minutes, I get far more done than you’d think in such a short amount of time. I also can’t make excuses that I don’t have time to do it when it’s only seven minutes.
Whenever possible, I do these two chunks back to back during my morning routine, but if I’m feeling very pressed for time, I will split them up around other break times throughout the day.
Laundry and Other Dreaded Chores
One of my least favorite chores is laundry. It never ceases to amaze me how much damn laundry four people can generate each week. But finding a household system that manages both my distaste for laundry and the reality that it needs to be done was a huge win.
I used to just ignore it until the last possible moment. But, then, I found myself having to spend an entire weekend getting caught up.
So, now, I shoot to do one to two loads several times per week. Since I work from home, I may as well take advantage of it! The simple act of staying on top of the laundry makes it so much easier to relax on the weekends — and I’m more prepared for the week to start again!
The other side benefit is that it helps me take little breaks throughout the day, which also boosts my productivity.
Outsource Household Systems Where You Can
As my business has grown, I’ve made sure to outsource what I can both in my business and at home. The reality is that I work long hours and need to be able to focus fully on the tasks at hand when I’m working — which means that household chores don’t always get done when they should.
Rather than beating myself up, I decided to see what I could outsource around meal prep, cleaning, and other household tasks to take some of the pressure off.
Every two weeks, I have housecleaners who come and do all the heavy cleaning. This means I rarely have to do major cleaning tasks, and it has the added bonus of getting a fully cleaned house all at once! I also strategically plan to use the time that they’re cleaning to get some writing done since it’s better if I’m out of their way. I know I’ll have a two to three-hour block of coffee shop time, so I might as well put it to good use.
Once per week, I have someone come in to make two to three casseroles for me that I can use during the week. This is a very low-cost way to make sure there are some homecooked meals in the fridge that are quick and easy for when things get crazy.
My next goal is to hire a personal assistant for 5-10 hours per week to help consistently with things, like errands and simple household tasks that need to get done. Since this is a bit more of an investment, I’m working towards this goal as my revenue increases.
So, I challenge you to look at your day and identify what household systems could be helpful in boosting your business productivity. Tackle one item this week, and look for simple solutions to help you more easily and consistently handle the task.
As you remove these energy and time drains, you’ll find you have more focus and productivity to develop your business.