{ organize ME - the fall routine edition }

You've heard me moan about how crazy busy my life is. That I can't seem to get ahead of myself...ever. There's a whole lot of fun, stress, joy, overwhelm, adventures, and very little control. I've been trying to figure out this past year what can I let go of? What can I turn over to someone else? What can I change? How can I do this better? How can I be a better mom? How can I find more simplicity? How can I be more in the now? How can I get more joy and less stress from this crazy non-structured life of ours? And how can I find acres of grace amidst chaos?

As much as I love my life, as much as I wouldn't change a thing, as much as I am thankful for all of it, I still have this very urgent sense that I need to somehow find a successful way to insert more structure into my everyday life and find a way to take something OFF of my plate. I want to have loads of time to volunteer at sam's new school; I want to be the one picking her up everyday afterschool with homemade snacks just like my mom did. I don't want to send henry to daycare. I need to be here...I need to be the anchor point of our home. We've been discussing all sorts of ideas - from part-time in home nanny for henry (decided i couldn't part with the little guy); to hiring a part-time personal assistant to help with shipping, errands, mailings, customer service, etc.; to selling one of the businesses. We've been throwing all options out there. We have hired a General Manager for our Boat business which we are really excited about. And that definitely frees up a chunk of time for Will (and a little bit of mine) but we still have more to LET.GO.OF.

I was reading Simple Mom's blog a few weeks ago and she posted about her daily routine...with certain time frames designated for homeschooling, house duties, writing, work, etc. I was partly envious and partly entertained. Clearly something like that would not work for ME, right? With 3 businesses and 2 kids, there is not a whole lot of consistency on any given day not to mention over the course of a week. But, could I implement a more detailed routine into my day that would help control the chaos more? And with Sam now in Kindergarten, this seemed to be a good time to attempt to.

I KNOW I'm not the only person working from home who struggles with schedules and creating structure (especially with all of the distractions so readily available to us) or asking for help, so I thought I would share what I've been doing lately to get my life organized, structured, simplified, efficient. We are taking baby steps in making things a little less crazy. The last thing I want to do is miss out on life by working all the time.

Anyway, I've created a super realistic daily schedule....I'm going to be more productive (and less distracted) during work hours (about 8hrs/day, 3 days a week) - these hours come in from various times (before the kids wake up, while henry naps during the day and during the evening)...and not blow off my most important tasks. {The most important items of the day are in boxes on my weekly momME planner.} A fun family/kid thing is planned for each day (eg. playdate, trip to the pool, family walk after dinner, time on the trampoline, etc.) But not too much activity just a splash of fun into the day. And we eat dinner together EVERYnight. And I'm going to continue to be balanced with self-care and play during non-work hours. Work hours are broken down to specific days/times for marketing, to-do lists, shipping, running errands and so on. I've made a list of must do daily tasks, weekly tasks, and monthly tasks (related to personal and biz) and I've written them all out accordingly on my Bite ME edward notepad (and then transfer daily & weekly ones to accomplish onto my momME weekly planner). Friday night is Family Movie Night, Saturday's are for getting together with friends potluck style and Sunday's are chili, family hike & football days.

I deleted the blogs I follow from 100+ to ~20. Harsh but a lot less distraction. I deactivated/deleted my facebook account...again. I only ship orders 3 days a week. I increased the inventory I have available so I have to deal with press runs/press checks less. I am waking up earlier to continue to have some quiet yoga & meditation time and 30 minutes to get my daily internet fix (news, blogs, personal emails, etc.) before the kiddos are up. I am going to kickboxing 2x a week and one yoga class per week (more if possible). When the kids are home and awake being a mom is what I am doing. I fit in my exercise (either kickboxing, yoga, TA workout video, bike ride or run) smack mid-morning when Henry is napping and when I have the most energy. I meal plan and grocery shop once a week. I divide my household duties into one big item a day. I organized my shipping area so all of the supplies are readily and easily available. I am saying no to more things. I am only scheduling one play date for the kids per week. I am volunteering one set morning a week at sam's new school. I am only allowed to read twilight books after everyone is in bed (and some other "bed" related things have been taken care of...TMI? ;-)

I've also got Sam on before school/morning & afterschool routines using these FREE cute printable charts for kids from Living Locurto.

Also, we've been dreaming big and planning big over at our house. Sometimes that helps make all of the work appear worthwhile, right? I'll share more on this later. We decided we needed to shake ourselves out of the end of summer doldrums - something big to look forward to. Will & I sat down and listed out some grand adventures we'd like to have in the next few years (with & without the kiddos, but mostly with) & some grand goals to accomplish (and of course our upcoming Mexico jaunt sans kiddos!)

Anyway, sorry for this jumbled, rambled post... what are your fall routines? What works for you & your family?


lovely lindsay said...

i'm trying really hard to make my brain accept the fact that having a routine here will help. a lot. we're trying. the sun going down earlier has made for an earlier bedtime and an earlier good morning so we're adjusting. thank you for this post - as i need to find the things that i can let go of, also. love the link to the cards. i think we'll try those.
love, lindsay

Anonymous said...

similar dilemma here. the perfectionist in me creates the routine & if i can't follow it perfectly, i abandon it altogether.
ps. found those same Living Locurto charts the other day - love them!

Anonymous said...

are you reading my mind? while I was out running yesterday I declared that starting today I would make and stick to a routine. For me it is all about self-control. sticking to the plan.

hope your week goes well!

the craftivist said...

sounds like you're really getting into the swing of a schedule! i'm excited for you - i bet you'll see yourself a lot more productive as you get used to it!

our fall routines usually involve getting back into the gym more, organizing and paring down, and tons more knitting time for me as football games take over our television.

unlike a lot of women i know, i love football season - the hot dogs and the team colors, not to mention all the holiday projects i get done!

Anonymous said...

Jenny, three words: i love you! This is so what I'm struggling with right now. Two weeks ago I started to flesh out a better plan (using my MomMe planner, of course) - but still tweaking things. Will let you know what ends up working. Thanks for all of the inspiration, as always!

Kotori said...

Great post... and I totally feel ya about feeling stretched every which way when the main job I'm wanting to do is be a mom... not just a mom, but the best mom I can be. Plus a business owner, plus Room Mom, and the list goes on.

I've created a 4 week schedule for tasks where I have certain tasks that get done... Mondays are always laundry... Fridays are car cleanout days... etc. certain jobs rotate days so after 4 weeks the each room in the house has gotten attention and the house stays organized. I find that that helps me. (I got the idea from an organizing book).

It sounds like you've got a good plan in place - I can't wait to hear how it all works out!

PS~Erin said...

I just love your posts... It's like you're always a step ahead of me (okay maybe a 4 or 5). Still feeling the funk a bit, but I'm readying myself for springing out of it. I thrive on routines and setting a general one will definitely help. Thanks for outlining what's working for you.

Pink Heels said...

You have so many fabulous ideas for organizing and getting back into "the routine." Personally, I am still fighting it but once I am ready to accept reality, I need to adopt your ideas. : )

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

Good luck with being more productive during the day. I'm really trying to do that! It's so hard with kids at home and working from home.

Thanks so much for the great feature!

Sarah said...

LOVE this post...and I mean LOVE! I do this often...assess my life, see if I'm heading where I want to be going, and then CLEAN UP...I did the blog thing this year...wittled it to less than 10. Routine is what makes me happy...flailing madly catching up is NOT.
Thanks for a lovely read.