I almost quit work because I just could not find the right balance between house work, the longs hours at the office. Added to that was the guilt of having to leave my small kids at home and justifying that I had done the best for them.
How to manage household work with
I was a mess and am not really good at organising. Well, I am no good at organising…so I needed to find a quick way to make life simpler.
I had to quit long hours of travel and had ended up taking smaller jobs after I had one of my hips replaced. I just got fed up of the amount of work I was expected to do, since I worked from home.
I thought to myself,if I could work in a proper office, I might actually work fewer hours and get a much higher pay.
I took up a good job offer with a good pay package. A few days in I realized if I had to make this job last, I needed to make things work. Soon I also realized my other non operated hip was not able to cope with the new hip and I had to get another hip replaced.
This is around the time I started praying and did a lot of research on how to organize my day effectively.
Cut Down the Non Essentials
Take a look at your day and figure out what is the most time consuming. For me it was cooking, I hate cooking and I try to avoid this job if I can.
What happened was I ended up eating food outside to stop by cravings for food. This would usually be some kind of junk food or some really greasy chicken curry.
I would recommend a technique for cooking food quickly and efficiently while retaining all the nutrients. I will be eternally grateful for this technique for having turned my life around. I am able to simplify my time in the kitchen and use my times wisely.
I hardly spend more than 45 minutes to an hour to prepare breakfast, lunch and pack hot food in lunch boxes. I also started using the right tools for cooking. I have purchased a cooker, a good sharp knife and scissors which cut through food.
I also have a food blender and chopper to use when I need to make soups or chop a lot of onions.Action Step – Pick one area of your life which is really bothering you and making life hell. Look at simplifying that task or eliminating it if possible.
P.S. I have been listening to this audio book on Amazon and it really is a game changer for my entire life.
Limits to Office Work
Limit office work to office. Once you reach the doorstep, take a deep breath and be present in the moment. You need to make an effort to leave the office behind and be mindful where you are right now.
I have been trying the same thing, now that I am working from home. When I am with kids or cleaning the house, I try to be present in the moment and pay full attention and focus to the task at hand. This has helped me remain focused on what is important and also has enabled me to be a better parent and home maker.
Night Time Routine
I learnt this technique from Marla Cileys book the Sink Reflections. Having a Night time routine and planning the next day in advance has simplified mornings for me.
My night time tasks include clearing out the kitchen, meal prepping for the next day,jotting down what events I have planned for the next day, my work for the blog, kids lunches, kids breakfast menu.
The kids have to ensure that their bags are packed. They also make sure their uniforms, socks are ready for the next day. This has removed all the stress for both the kids and for me. They know exactly where their bags are, their clothes are ready, their assignments are in their bags.
When I used to go to the office, I tried to keep my clothes picked out and ready. This includes picking out the outfit and accessories.
For me it is a reminder to start my day the night before.
Journaling – Bullet Journal
I was introduced to the concept of a bullet journal by a YouTuber. I was so fascinated with it and have been using the Bullet journal concept since then.
I use my diary for this now. It has the dates printed on it. Every day I write down my gratitude list. I mention what tasks I want to get done. I jot down my online work related tasks.
I also jot down kids events and school related work. Once I am done with a task I can strike it off. Incomplete tasks are moved ahead to the next day or month.
Using a bullet journal you can plan your days and weeks. You can prioritize tasks by week or month and have a birds eye view of where you are and what all needs to be taken care off.
Having things on paper is very helpful for me and simplifies my days. I also makes my days stress free and every action is purposeful.
I learnt this from the Essentialism book. Greg the author emphasizes on saying NO to things, people, events, projects which are not essential to what you have to do.
I so loved this concept, I am using it at home. I just do not take up unnecessary tasks, I do not accept invitations to parties or any meetings which are not in line with my work.
To make this work you must make a list of essentials for your life and work. While I was working I was hired for helping clients with their marketing tasks. Slowly I was being pushed into handling clients, setting up prospecting calls and meetings, lead generation.
While this was okay in the beginning, I soon started feeling disillusioned with my job and very frustrated. I started getting angry, upset and was in constant physical pain.
The moment I realized this was not what I wanted to do, I could take a mental stance that I would not take up tasks which were not in alignment with my goals.
I then realized that I wanted to move on to a new phase in my life and eventually quit my job.
Daily, Weekly and Monthly Routines
Routines are something which I realised are essential to keep my house in order. I have explained my routines and how I keep my house clean in my article on how to keep your house clean
Check my list of books to find the book by Flylady. I have based my routines based on her system. You can use this concept at school, at home, at work.
Let me explain in brief how I go about doing this.
- Make a list of all the tasks I want done so that I can balance house, work, kids and my sanity
- I prioritize and move these tasks into items which can be done daily, weekly or monthly
- The daily tasks are divided into Morning and Bedtime Tasks.
- Those tasks which are not very important or can wait for a week get pushed to the weekly list
- Tasks like deep cleaning get pushed to once a week.
- There are certain tasks which need to be handled ASAP, and I take care of them as per their priority.
I make it a priority to listen to audibooks while I cook and clean. I also just spend some time doing nothing and visualizing my life and work.
I kind of visualize and medidate at the same time using a technique I developed for myself.
It is based on focusing on what I really want in life, healthy body, loving family, good income. I visualize my life and really enjoy the process an I have been able to manifest things based on what I visualized.
Get Work Done From Maids
Recently I decided to keep a cook. She comes in twice a week and prepares a few local dishes which my husband and son love.
I prepare all the other meals, breakfast, lunches as well as meals for myself. My daughter usually prepares her own lunches.
I was very resistant to hiring a maid but then when I listened to the audio version of the book ( Essentialism ), I decided to move off non essential tasks ( and labeled cooking certain dishes as non essential).
Having the cook prepare those, means that my family can enjoy variety in their meals and I get a LOT of timeon my hands to spend time on myself.
I have started going for regular walks and really pampering myself.
I have included a minimalistic skin care routine in my morning and evening routines and I really look forward to each day of self love.
The previous version of me would have cringed to that but the new me, loves being me and is okay with asking for help.
Time Management for Working Mothers
Managing time efficiently has never been one of my strengths ( along with organising and cooking). I take on a lot of tasks and think that I can work on all of these efficiently.
The reality is, I started burning out massively.
Limiting your tasks as covered by my thoughts on essentialism above and managing your time can help you achieve most of your goals and make you feel so accomplished.
How can you Work from Home Effectively
Prioritize. Prioritize. Priorotize.
This is so important. Cut down all the cluttter in your life ( I use the Konmari method for my possesions) and focus on what is really important.