The one question I get asked more than any other by overwhelmed moms is…how can I create my best daily routine? What does it need to include? How early do I need to get up for in the morning? Will it actually work for me?
Having a flexible daily routine may actually change your life. The key is to set up your routine properly, making sure to include the right things and exclude the wrong things.
A flexible routine is worth its weight in gold, so let’s get started building yours!
Step 1 Creating Your Best Daily Routine- Start With Yourself
If I had read the advice to “start with yourself” five years ago, I would have laughed in your face, or at the very least, clicked off of your blog page.
But let me tell you something. Until I started taking some time in the morning to do a 10-minute beauty routine, I was completely unmotivated and unable to stick to the rest of the routine I set for my day.
Once I started spending time every morning on self-care, I suddenly had the energy and motivation to carry through on the rest of my best daily routine.
Self-care for me is beauty and makeup related. And although I would advise every woman to spend a little bit of time each day on appearance, if that’s not what you value, then choose another self-care activity.
You could choose exercise, Bible reading, prayer, journaling, or anything else that revives and refreshes you. The point is, fill up your tank before you start the long drive through your day.
Step 2 Creating Your Best Daily Routine- Assess What Must Be Done Daily
When I say “what must be done”, I’m not talking about all of the many chores and tasks that you would *like* to be done. I’m talking about the essentials here.
The essentials boil down to:
1. feeding your people
2. clothing your people
3. keeping your people alive
So your main concerns as the woman of the house are making sure that everyone is fed, clothed, and alive. Everything else is just gravy.
I’m serious here. Until you have the essentials under control, I give you permission to not worry about the hard water deposits around your faucets.
Don’t worry about scouring your sink. Don’t even worry (too much anyway) about your toilet that needed to be wiped down and swished last week. Unless you are throwing up in the toilet every morning with morning sickness (been there, done that!), that toilet can wait.
Don’t worry though. I’m not going to make you wait too long. I’ll explain how to squeeze those tiny tasks in.
Step 3 Creating Your Best Daily Routine: Use Landmarks
Landmarks are the points in your day that happen every single day without fail. Examples include:
- waking up
- nap times
- any activities outside of the home like soccer practice
So first, you want to map out on paper the approximate time of day that each of these landmark activities occur. You don’t need to actually write down a time.
But put your landmarks in order of occurrence with plenty of space between each task.
After your landmarks are in place, go back and fill in what you would like to occur during each time of day. The key here is not to overstuff your schedule.
Leave plenty of margin.
It’s important that we leave margin in our day because you KNOW that inevitably, stuff comes up that we just never plan for.
The toilet overflows…
Your baby has a blow-out that requires a bath…
It takes you 20 minutes to fish a splinter out of your son’s foot…
You have to take everything out of the fridge to find the four-month-old leftovers that are stinking everything up…
I could go on, but you get the picture. Life happens. Plan accordingly. Leave margin.
Step 4- Know How Long Each Task Takes
In my article about sneaky ways to keep your home tidy I explain how I have a list of what I call tiny tasks.
Each tiny task takes me between 1-8 minutes to complete. How do I know this? I have timed myself.
I keep the times for how long it takes me to complete each chore on a worksheet that is available for you to download for free below.
The reason why it’s so important for you to know this information is because THIS is exactly how I keep my house from turning into a pigsty…even when it feels like I have absolutely zero free time for cleaning.
Let me give you an example. I know that I can fold one load of laundry in three minutes. I know that I can sweep my kitchen floor (quickly but thoroughly enough!) in two minutes.
I know exactly how long it takes me to wipe down one of my cabinet fronts, and I know how long it takes me to clean off one shelf of my refrigerator.
Knowing this information gives you power.
Step 5- Fill In Empty Time With Tasks That Need to Be Done…Eventually
It gives you the power to take that five minutes that you would normally spend mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest, and completing one tidy task in three minutes, and then scroll through Pinterest for the remaining two minutes.
I’m not telling you to give up your screen time. I’m just suggesting that you evaluate when you have these time gaps in your schedule, and plug one tiny task into that time slot.
I make it my personal goal to complete five tiny cleaning tasks per day. This number keeps me ahead of the mess and combined with my other techniques like 10 Minutes Until Clean, and Leave Every Room Better, we have a reasonably clean home just about every day of the week.
Figuring out your best daily routine will give your home and life a rhythm and flow that will help you become more efficient. Efficiency is not the only reason to create a new routine though.
Routines also offer predictability and security to your day, this is especially beneficial if you have young children. Children thrive on routines.
Routines help you to go through your day proactively instead of reactively. Instead of putting out fires all day long, you can spend your energy building up and loving your children.
Do you have a routine to your day? If not, what’s stopping you?