This post may contain affiliate links.
A fellow homeschool mom asked a really good question during the Q & A panel at the Carolina Homeschool Conference. She wanted to know how everyone on stage was able to homeschool and write books, blog, or plan a conference. In short – what were our tips to get more done each day.
When the microphone was passed to me I mentioned that I like routines, getting up before my kids, and freezer meals. It is true. Those are some of my best time management for moms tips.
However, the question made me feel a little guilty.
She implied that she was doing something wrong because she is ‘just’ homeschooling. That is not true at all!
In general, I think that most moms don’t give themselves credit for all that they do. Homeschooling your kids, teaching co-op classes, hosting play dates, and helping neighbors or friends are all things that take time and effort, but for some reason we don’t acknowledge when we do them. Instead, we compare ourselves to others and wonder how we can do more.
I don’t want anyone to read my blog or see my instagram feed and think that they are failing because their life looks different.
I can’t speak for the other moms that were on the stage, but I do not have it all together all of the time. Real life is messy.
Being a homeschool mom is hard. It is exhausting.
There is always something else that needs to be done.
If my house is immaculate, I probably didn’t stop to play a board game with my kids. (In fact, my son has told me that he doesn’t like me working because he wants me all to himself. – Thanks for the guilt trip, son!)
If I take my kids on a fun field trip, we probably ate frozen pizza for dinner.
I never have my mom, wife, teacher, blogger, speaker, conference planner, homemaker, etc parts of me all winning at the same time. Never.
As an example, the week of the conference I did not get a single blog task accomplished. Dinner was pretty much super simple meals all week long. Dust bunnies roamed free. The conference had to take priority that week, so everything else was pushed to the side. Now that the conference is over for the year, I can get a bit more balance in my life.
My answer about routines, getting up early, and freezer meals feels incomplete. There is so much more that I would have said if I could have had the microphone for half an hour.
Tips to Get More Done Each Day
Put necessities on Amazon auto-ship
It is an awful feeling to run out of something important. That one little thing can make us feel like we are failing. I try to avoid that as much as possible by having necessities on Amazon auto-ship.
If it is something that I would change out of pajamas and drive to the store to get upon discovering that we were out, it goes on the list.
My auto-ship list includes things like:
- toilet paper
- tooth paste
- dog food
Give kids chores
One way to get more done each day is to enlist help.
My kids are 11 and 14 and completely capable of helping around the house. They are each responsible for doing their own laundry. Is it done exactly the way I would do it? Probably not, but as long as there is detergent and water the clothes will get clean.
Other than laundry, I don’t assign set chores. Instead, I ask the kids how they would like to help around the house. They don’t complain excessively because they chose their jobs.
In addition to the chores they chose, I sometimes ask them to clean with me. If we work together we can get the main level of the house tidy in less than 30 minutes.
It is their home too and they can help be responsible for it.
Order groceries online
Almost every week I order groceries online through Harris Teeter or Whole Foods via Prime Now.
This is a huge time saver for me because I can just go right down my grocery list and add everything to my cart in minutes.
Depending who I have ordered through, I either have the groceries delivered, swing by the grocery store pick up lane while chauffeuring children around town, or ask my husband to pick up the order on his way home from work.
I have ordered groceries online for years and only had problems with the quality twice. Both times the stores instantly refunded the money when I called.
Batch similar tasks together
I’m not sure if this really saves time or if it is just in my head, but doing similar tasks at once helps me feel like I can cross more things off my to-do list.
If I am cleaning the kitchen, I might as well take a few extra minutes and tidy the living room too.
If I am writing lesson plans for the week, I might as well plan for a few weeks while I have all of the books out.
This helps me concentrate on the tasks at hand, which always seems to make me a little more productive.
Choose your top 3
Each day, choose your top 3 tasks. If you are homeschooling, that automatically takes up at least 1 of the spots.
Your top 3 tasks will change through different seasons of life. When I had a 3 year old and newborn my 3 things were:
- keep everyone fed
- keep everyone safe
- play one-on-one with my oldest
That was all that I had time for – everything else was bonus.
Now my kids are older and don’t need me to take care of such basic needs so my 3 things include some mix of:
- specific household task
- specific blog or conference task
- date with my husband
There is a season for everything. If you are feeling stuck in the phase of constantly feeding, changing, and cuddling little ones, don’t beat yourself up because you aren’t cooking elaborate meals.
What tips to get more done each day would you have given if you were up on that stage?
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.