My goodness… Do you feel like somedays NOTHING gets done?? My to-do list is about two miles long right now, and yet, it feels like I’m spinning my wheels, getting nowhere fast. It’s time to rethink how I define success as a Work at Home Mom. If I define it as accomplishing everything on my to-list, I’ll never feel like a success in this role. So, let’s break it down into a more manageable plan, shall we? Here’s my Big 5 Checklist for prioritizing your day as a Work at Home Mom!
As much as I want to do EVERYTHING, I just can’t. Throughout the course of the day, I know I need to take care of myself, my husband, my daughter, my home, and my work. In that order. So every night before I go to bed, I fill out this checklist. (I have it in a frame and use a dry erase marker on the glass, so I don’t have to keep printing it off. Plus, I can keep it on my desk to help keep me focused!)
1) One thing for ME
If I’m not taking are of me, I’m not going to be much good to anybody. Some days the one thing for me is simply making time to do my quiet time in the morning. I’d like to use this check to keep myself on track with building new daily habits – like drinking bone broth, oil-pulling, or getting outside for some much needed Vitamin D. Whatever it is that will help me feel most whole, focused, and ready to deal with everything else is what goes on this line. If I get more time to do something else, HOORAY! But if I can just accomplish this ONE thing, I’m calling the day a success.
2) One thing for my HUSBAND
It is so easy to take our spouses for granted in the midst of the crazy. If I’m not careful, I can go all day long without really thinking about my husband’s needs at all. Not good! He’s the one who will be by my side long after our girl has grown up and left home. He’s the one who will be here no matter how many career changes I make. I NEED to make taking care of him and our relationship a priority.
Erik as been SUPER excited about our dinner menu for tonight – a new paleo shepherd’s pie recipe. I’m not entirely sure why this meal has him so excited, but I KNEW if I allowed something to happen and change this plan, he would be majorly disappointed. So, my one thing for him today is to make sure this special dinner happens!
3) One thing for my DAUGHTER
We are in our first year of homeschool preschool around here, and while somedays we don’t do much actual “school” work, other days it’s all C wants to do! Some days my ONE thing I can do for her is school-related. But other days, it’s just being present and playing with her, reading books with her, or taking her to the park. Thankfully, C is pretty vocal about what she wants, so if I miss what SHE wanted me to do today, she’ll tell me about it tomorrow, and we can try again. 🙂
4) One thing for my HOME
Keeping house is a struggle for me. It’s a never-ending, thankless task. Necessary, but frustrating in its inability to STAY clean. In our more detailed daily routine, C and I do one load of laundry and one cleaning job every day. On days where we stick to our schedule well, it’s an easy half hour to just keep the laundry train moving and the rings out of the tubs and toilets.
Other days, when we are NOT so on top of things, the folding piles up and I discover we could now grow corn on the bathroom floor. The last few days have been like that. My ONE thing today was just to get caught up on the folding. We did manage to do a few other small things, but at least everything is folded and put away. No more baskets on the bed to move every night. Hubby is very happy with this bit of productivity!
5) One thing for my WORK
Of course, running a business (technically two? I’m still not sure…) from home is insane. The to-do list is never ending and perpetually growing. But focusing on accomplishing ONE thing I can do each day is helping me prioritize the biggest or most urgent jobs first. Other tasks may get done, as well, but as long as I did my ONE job, I can feel good about the day.
Using this strategy is definitely helping me focus during my work day! It’s still hard to not feel like I should be doing ALL. THE. THINGS. But I’m getting better. I’m giving myself more grace. And I’m learning to be satisfied with completing ONE task for each of these priorities, even if I accomplish nothing else that day.
The final piece
The final piece of advice that has helped my sanity lately is to plan out times to focus on work and home tasks. C and I have dedicated housework times in the morning and in the afternoons. Then, I have dedicated business/work times during nap and in the evening. Knowing there will be times set aside to just take care of my Big 5 helps me to relax and enjoy the in-between times. It will all get done eventually!
Would you like your own Big 5 Checklist to print out and keep for daily use? You got it! Just click below to download your very own copy. Praying it helps bring some peace and balance to your world, as it has to mine!
As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.