I think it is human nature to want to take a sneak peek behind the scenes of other people’s lives and businesses, the actual nuts and bolts of how they get things done, the bare it all schedule as a WAHM – or maybe that is just me! My money mentor, Denise DT recently shared in her community all the workings behind her latest launch, totally fascinates me!
That, along with a couple of questions that have popped up recently, led me to today’s post on how I schedule my day as a WAHM and manage to get everything done.
You know by now, that I’m not a one-cap-fits-all type of gal but I think it’s helpful to see how other people do things then you can pinch the best bits and apply to your own needs.
Things have changed as we have gone through different stages with Ebi-kun, first I had him at home all the time, then he went to yochien (kindergarten) that was kinda tricky because of his schedule, random days off, and shorter days also were thrown in at random times. It made it harder to get into a proper routine. Kindy was definitely the hardest stage to get through, so if you are there right now, know that it gets better!
Then he went off to elementary school, that was probably the easiest because the schedule was pretty set except for the odd snow/sick day. BUT I have to admit I was far more productive when he was at kindy because I had less time to get everything done. When he was at school, I relaxed a bit and it started to take me longer to do things. Weird how that happens!
That brings us to now, for the last year we have been homeschooling so the schedule has changed again, I was expecting it to have a much bigger impact on my time than it actually has.
Have A Solid Routine To Get More Out Of Your Day
What I have found that works best for my schedule as a WAHM is to have a combo of “set in stone” routines and the flexibility for other stuff. This is how a typical day goes…
6.00am: Get up, get dressed, make breakfast some mornings Ebi-kun is making breakfast too – he does a mean scrambled egg! Put on the laundry if we have some and the weather is nice, we air dry so laundry basically depends on the weather.
7:00am: My husband heads out to work, I usually enjoy my coffee along with a quick check of my email – I don’t reply to anything just star anything that needs attention immediately so that I can get on it when I start work. Then 15 minutes being present in Facebook groups.
7:30am: Wash the dishes and do the housework for the day, I have a schedule of what to do on each day. I have found that it works best for me to break it down and do a bit each day. Getting the house under control was a MASSIVE change to being able to keep up with everything, I hate cleaning but it really is a no brainer these days.
Hang out the laundry.
8:00am: I’m a bit of a slacker when it comes to exercise so I HAVE to do it early in the day or it doesn’t get done but now Ebi-kun is at home we bike over to the climbing gym 2-3 times a week so some days I don’t go out in the morning.
8:30-9:00am: Sit down to work. Ebi-kun does most of his school work using online apps, so he always starts with his Spanish and then he chooses what he will study for the day. He knows what he needs to get through for the week but he decides day by day what he will do when. We use Asana to keep track of what he has completed and where he is up to with the various subjects.
I check in with my accountability buddy first and my private clients to make sure they are on track. (I’m an accountability coach too).
Then if there are urgent emails I will deal with them otherwise I don’t touch my inbox until my hit list of jobs has been done.
10:30am we have a quick break for a cup of tea and a cheeky biscuit.
Then back to it until 12pm
Our mornings are pretty structured, Ebi-kun is able to get on and do his work and I can do mine so it works well. It helps that Ebi-kun can just get on and do his work, he rarely needs my help and we tend not to chat during out work times.
How Being Flexible Helps To Get More Out Of The Day
Other than client calls I like to have the flexibility to work on what I want when I am in the mood for it. Doing a brain dump each evening and having my accountability buddy means that I am constantly checking in to see that I am on track with my goals.
Our afternoons are the most flexible time of day. Sometimes Ebi-kun will be working on a project and want me to help, other times he will be doing it independently or online with a friend. Some days he will have a cooking session or building Lego Mindstorms.
2 or 3 times a week we go over to the climbing gym, I take my laptop with me and get a bit of work done whilst we are there, usually easy stuff like social media scheduling or writing.
4.00 pm the kids are back from school so Ebi-kun will go and hang out with his mates and I will maybe do a bit more work or prepare dinner, there is no hard and fast rule, it changes from day to day.
I usually check my email and notifications again and deal with anything that has come up.
5.00 pm Start prepping for dinner, Ebi-kun cooks a couple of times a week either on his own or we do it together. The days we go climbing I tend to prepare something early and throw it in the instant pot (read here how I do all that).
6.00 pm: Eat dinner, clean up, chat to my mom or watch a Netflix or Masterclass show. Some evenings Ebi-kun will play online with friends.
8.00 pm ish We take it in turns to have a bath. Ebi-kun goes to bed around 9.00pm and I hit the sack at 11.00pm. My husband gets home at various times depending on his work.
I made it a rule not to work in the evenings after dinner and only break that if I’m launching (always lots more to do then) or if an emergency arises. Giving myself these boundaries means that I now use the evening for my own thing. That said, I am human and do sometimes fall into the pit of no return AKA Facebook scrolling!
I try not to work at weekends but it’s not a set in stone rule. Sometimes work has piled up and I know I would feel better if I did a couple of hours and got it off my plate or if there is a tech issue that needs dealing with then I will hop online.
I usually get Sunday mornings to myself so I tend to use that for self-development or learning new skills, I always have some kind of course or training on the go!
And that is basically that, if you work at home you have to be fairly strict with yourself and set specific work time and home time otherwise you just never get anything done.
Have A Specific Work Space To Get More Done
Having a specific workspace helps me get into work mode, once I sit down, housework and anything else is put aside. I think that was the hardest thing to start with, getting distracted by housework!
I also feel that if I know I only have 2 hours to do something then I turn off all distractions and get stuck into it, those days when I don’t have a proper plan are the ones that I whittle away posting stupid videos on Facebook and not getting anything productive done!
I hope this helps you see what works for me, as I said, much of it is trial and error, testing different things until you find something that works for you.
What I have found, after a LOT of trial and error is to have some, pretty much set in stone routines and the rest is flexi-time to fit around the day as I need it to.
And you need to be able to change your routine to fit the new routine as your kids needs change, that can be challenging when you feel like you have just found your stride then the school holidays happen!
What I recommend for your schedule as a WAHM…
Set up a solid routine, at least for part of the day, this will help you be more time efficient and make it easier to stay on track as you will find yourself in auto-mode.
Be savvy when it comes to getting your work done, schedule work that needs your full concentration when you have the most time without interruptions.
Block similar jobs together.
Have a list of jobs you can do when you are “on the go” – scheduling social media posts, being present online, reply to quick emails – the sort of thing you can do on your phone when your kids are busy playing in the park.
Set your own boundaries. Being your own boss is great but not if you work yourself ragged. You have to have some downtime too. If that means scheduling downtime in, do it!
Remember that this situation is not for forever, it feels like it, especially when the kids are toddlers but they soon grow up and it does get easier. But it easy to forget that when you are having a tough day!
Win Back An Hour Of Your Day
And Become A Time Bending Ninja
(Without giving up sleep or installing another useless time-saving app)