Being a wife and mother is busy enough. Your whole day and night is taken up by the demands of your spouse, your children and your house. By the end of the day you just want to flop into bed and sleep a long and deep sleep. But even this is not possible as your husband would probably want to talk with you all night!
And if you’ve got a business, your time is even less. Where do you find the time to work on your business not just in your business? If you just work in your business, creating things, coaching, teaching or whatever – the usual day to day running of your business, then how will you grow your business if you can’t find the time to work on your business such as planning and marketing?
Not only will you need one-on-one time with your family members and your business but you also need one-on-one time with yourself. This is so that you can take care of yourself. You don’t want to run on empty and go into burnout.
Sounds busy, right? What can you do?
There are three things that you can do right now and it will help you to gain that little bit of extra time. These are to delegate, keeping it simple and blocking off time.
1. Delegate AKA Chores
You need to know that children as young as three years of age can do housework. Let them help around the house and give them simple jobs first such as putting clothes in a hamper, picking up toys and putting them away (in a toy box or bin), dusting furniture, feeding pets, helping to set and clear the table and helping with laundry by sorting socks.
If your child is older then start assigning chores. You might want to make it fun by putting the chores to be done on a wheel and let your child spin the wheel. Whatever chore it lands on is your child’s chore for the week. Include yourself and your husband when spinning because it’s only fair that everyone does their chores.
Chores teach children about being a part of a team and about being responsible. If they don’t get it done then they’re letting the family team down. It also teaches life skills. Let your older children cook a meal once a week. Whatever comes onto the table you just eat it. It doesn’t have to be a masterchef’s work. This is how children learn and improve.
Not only delegating chores is helpful to children, it’s helpful for you too. When children do their chores it frees up time for you. Imagine what it means to not have to cook for one meal. That’s two hours you can work on your to-do list.
You just have to learn to not expect perfection in the outcomes of the chores especially if your children are new to it. Done is good enough. Some parents can’t delegate because of this. They fear that it won’t be done perfectly. Let. It. Go. And delegate!
2. Keep it Simple
If there are two routes, which would you choose? The long winding one or the straight path? The straight path is usually the simplest and quickest route. If you need to cook, then cook a simple meal. One pot meals are usually the easiest to make – just throw everything and let it cook – soups, stews and casseroles are the way to go. They’re easy to clean up too.
One meal salads are great too. Chop up the fresh salad ingredients, grill the meat, slice it up and toss onto the salad with dressing and you’ve got a quick meal. Start learning some one pot meals and salads or search and book mark YouTube now.
Do the minimum. Of course you have to vacuum the house but does it need to be done every day? Vacuum the whole house once a week. (Better yet, have your child do it.) Imagine not having to vacuum the whole house every day. That’s about one hour free a day to work on your to-do list.
Keep less things. The more you have, the more you have to tidy and clean. Go through your home and throw or donate the things that you’ve saved just in case you need it but never actually touch. Fill a garbage bag up and take them away. You’re never likely to use it so don’t think about keeping it. Clear some space. It’ll be easier to vacuum if you don’t have to work your way around it or you don’t have to dust it.
3. Block-off Sacred Times
You need a schedule. On that schedule, assign blocks of time for each child, your husband, your family as a group, yourself for self-care (half an hour each week?), your business working hours (working in your business) and your business management hours (working on your business). Also set aside time for weekly chores.
Hang this in your office. Make another copy and display it where the rest of the family can see it. Tell everyone that these times are sacred. Everyone has to follow it.
Once you block in your time, you’ll find that you’ll get more work done as you’re more focused in each block. You’ll probably have to adjust your schedule when you find that you’ll have more free time!
Jameela Ho is a mother and teacher. She has a Master of Education and a Diploma of Counselling. Currently, she is researching on children’s brain health for optimal learning. She blogs on the subject of both education and parenting, each on two separate blogs. ILMA Education (www.ilmaeducation.com) is where she help parents nurture their child’s growing mind. Muslim Parenting (www.jameelaho.com) is where she helps anxious parents guide their children to better manners and attitude in line with Islamic principles.