How do you prioritize your day and what do you let go for the sake of sanity?
Today I’m pulling a post from my archives, because with most kids hitting the books again soon, and fall schedules firing up to full-throttle, we all need help figuring out how to organize our time and get it all done, right?
Hopefully the post below will have some new ideas for you and PLEASE share your tips, too! You’ll also probably crack up at a statement below that shows just how long ago this was written, our technology has already come so far…
Here’s the ‘Way Back Weekend’ Post: How I (attempt to) Get it All Done – 8 things I do and 4 things I don’t…
Keep in mind as you read this that there are many others who are much more organized and streamlined in the kitchen than I am. Also keep in mind that while some things I’ve added since my “food conversion” do take extra steps, many just aren’t that time consuming. (Making yogurt & cream cheese, for example, take just a few minutes. Same for Soaking nuts and soaking grains – but each of these provide many extra nutrients!) Yes, some do take up more time, but it’s all up to you as far as how many new routines you’re ready and willing to implement into your life. Take it slow!
Here are my basic keys to making this work:
1. Appreciate a Helpful Husband – I’ve said it many times…I’m very thankful to Kent’s Dad & Mom for raising such a good guy. One who isn’t afraid to cook, clean, and everything in between. He’s my toilet-cleaning, story-reading, weekend-cooking, do-what-has-to-be-done kind of guy (rarely complaining I might add), and I couldn’t keep on top of any of this without him. My Mom did it with very little help from my Dad, and she had five kids and worked full time, too. So I know it can be done, but it surely wouldn’t be easy, and writing a blog would be out of the question! If your husband isn’t like this, don’t give up, just ask for a little help here and there, and be sure you say thank you…be creative (wink, wink). Also keep in mind that Kent works regular hours, not all husbands do, so if that’s the case they may not be able to help as much.
2. Find a network of neighbors and friends that help each other – we’re blessed to know many people who are also growing with us in our knowledge and commitment to a healthier lifestyle. These are all ideas for you to implement with your friends:
- We alternate trips to the farm for our healthy meat (half hour away).
- If one is going to Costco or to a health food store across town, we’ll call the other to see what they need.
- Recently Sue was getting some maple syrup from a guy way out of town, and she picked up 15 gallons of syrup for various friends.
- Sonia gets me eggs from a farmer by her Mom.
- We have a raw milk carpool set up so nobody drives more than once a month.
You get the picture – find like-minded friends! (Don’t know where to look? Start going to your local WAPF chapter meetings; get to know your neighbors – start by taking them a plate of your favorite Nourishing Traditions treats! Have you had the almond cookies? I tried those at our last chapter meeting and they were soooo good.)
3. Working at home really helps (I have a part-time home day care besides this blog) – as I said above, if you work full time outside the home, it doesn’t mean you can’t cook healthy meals for your family, but it is definitely more tricky. You most definitely have to plan ahead much more than the average person.
4. My PALMER! I couldn’t function without this little gadget to help me remember it all – it actually IS my brain most days! Whether it’s kid’s schedules, a note to make more yogurt, or everything in between. It’s the main reason I stay somewhat sane. (UPDATE – haaaa, wow, this was a long time ago!!)
5. My fast food list is invaluable for nights I just didn’t get supper going when I should have or for days I don’t have time to cook. There are some days that I’m in the kitchen ALL afternoon, but not many. I’m not a fancy cook, and I just can’t spare a whole afternoon very often.
6. Multi-tasking. There is rarely time to dawdle. (Although I purposely don’t plan as much on the weekends so I can have the luxury of moving at a slower pace.) If I’m folding or loading the dishwasher or chopping for a recipe, I’ll also make a phone call to catch up with a friend, or quiz the kids for their spelling test, or listen to another one read to me, etc.
7. I get my kids to help! God gave us kids so we could work ‘em, right?! (Only joking…sort of.) If there’s something that requires a lot of chopping or busy work, I’ll get the kids involved. And I’ll often have them do things like unload the dishwasher, fold clothes, empty trashes, etc., because that’s stuff they can do, while I’m doing all the other stuff they can’t do.
8. Some meal planning, but I don’t do as much of that as I probably should, to make things more smooth. I use my family favorite meals list more – a list of meals everyone likes that I always have the ingredients on hand for. When I cook I make extras (usually using my Beloved Bosch!) so I have meals to pull out of the freezer later on busy nights.
It is surely not easy to keep up on things, but somehow it works, with lots of help from above, and I only pull my hair out occasionally.
Yet something always has to give…
As much as I try, I still can’t do it all. Here are the things that I have let go in my life to give priority to other things, like being a wife, Mom, & blogger:
- Reading. I absolutely LOVE a good book or magazine, but often my stack just sits there since starting this blog.
- Sleep. I try to be smart about it (getting sick spending too much time writing a health & nutrition blog wouldn’t make much sense would it?), but I certainly don’t get 8 hours every night. I can’t write when the kids are up, for obvious reasons.
- Volunteering. I used to volunteer for a lot more than I do now, I was always in charge of 1 (or 5) things at church. But I can only do what I can do, and for now, since my blog takes up so much time, I know that adding more to my plate would only make me a stressed out, ornery Mom. I figure that someday when all my kids are in school I may be able to do this again, but not now. (Update: Except now we’re homeschooling!!) So these days I have to really stop and think before I say yes to anything and weigh it carefully. If I can pull it off without a lot of stress, and often I can, then I do it. If not, I don’t, and I don’t feel bad about it. It gets easier to say no when you know it’s OK. Like Jennifer from Conversion Diary says, “To say no is to protect what you’ve said yes to.”
- Cleaning! Not that I’ve ever been great about this. Keeping things picked up is a priority for both Kent and I, but keeping things dust-free…not so much. We do it when we have to, and not one bit more!
That’s my list, what’s on yours?
- How to make extra food to SAVE TIME!
- Find pastured meats here. (Also here’s where you can find beef tallow for homemade French fries and onion rings to go with them!!)
- Video Blog: 15 Minute Meal
- Your Time-Saving Kitchen Tips
- Still feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone!
- My favorite Kitchen Gadgets