Mom’s are busy people. We wear many hats. Much that goes on in the home rises or falls based on us. So, it is important that we strive to be productive women. (and productive about the right things!)
I had 14 children- so life was very busy and it was so important for me to find ways to be productive in order to make the home run as smoothly as possible, so that there was time and energy to focus on the important things, like relationships and training.
Here are some very simple, practical tips that have helped me to do this:
1. SPEAK TRUTH TO YOURSELF
Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
This has been one of my favorite verses as a mom. Why is it that it’s so easy to get distracted about the laundry, the housework, the meal prep, the yard work, washing the windows, etc, etc. and take our eyes off the big picture? Maybe because we are responsible to see to all those everyday details! But, we need to speak God’s truth to ourselves daily to keep us on the right track.
2. LEARN TO SCHEDULE
Yes, we need to make provision to get all those things done so that we are freed up to give our attention to the really important things in life- like our relationship with the Lord, our husband, our children, and our friends. When those details are not being cared for, distraction is the result, and you begin to feel like you’re not doing a good job at anything. So how do we overcome this?
I live by my lists. Whenever I think of something I need to accomplish, I write it down. Just thinking I’ll try to remember doesn’t work well. If I write it down, then I can schedule in time to accomplish it. If I don’t write it down, well…..
When I go to bed at night I usually get up a couple of times before going to sleep to write down things I need to remember the next day. If’s it’s written down, I know I can attend to it tomorrow. If I don’t, I may never think of it again. I keep a writing pad and pen by my bed for this purpose.
3. HAVE A PLAN
Having a plan helps me to stay on track. If I know that dusting day comes on Tuesday, I don’t stress when I see things getting dusty on Monday. Every summer I reassign chores for the household. I decide which one of us is best able to perform each chore, and then we keep those chores for the next school year. I initially make a list of every chore that need to be done on a regular basis in our home and adjust that as needed. Then in the summer I train each child for the chores for which they will be responsible.
I also keep a running list of projects I need to accomplish. Then I prioritize them. Sometimes one project is actually more important, but time doesn’t allow my concentration to work on it, so I look at my list and see what I can get done in the time I have to work with.
4. BREAK A LARGE TASK DOWN INTO ACHIEVABLE PARTS / MAKE USE OF SMALL BITS OF TIME
It’s helped me to learn to break down a large project into small achievable parts. For instance, I’ve written quite a few books. Once I get my chapters outlined, then I can focus on one chapter at a time and work in the small amounts of time that my schedule permits, such as waiting for a child in the orthodontist’s office, or waiting to have my oil changed or during the kid’s “rest time.” My life doesn’t often permit huge chunks of uninterrupted time, so I need to be ready to take advantage of small windows of opportunity. This holds true not just in book writing but in other ventures we undertake as well.
5. MAKE WISE USE OF TRAVEL TIME
I used to rack my brain for ways to cut down on errand time. With a large family, it seems like the number of errands was never-ending, and I’d look for ways to whack down that time. However, much of it is just inescapable.
Now, I’ve found a way to get errands done and accomplish something valuable at the same time. I love to use errand or travel time to listen to audio books. The kids and I have learned much history from listening to the books Rick records, books written in the 1800’s. I love to take advantage of that necessary “errand” time to increase our learning time. There have been times we’ve sat in the Walmart parking lot to listen to the end of a chapter to see how the situation turns out. ( It never ceases to amaze we what I didn’t learn in 12 years of public schooling! ) Now, my kids and I are learning together!
To be a productive mom, we need to balance driving ourselves to achieve, with cooperating with God when He steps in to “adjust” our schedule for us. More about that in the next post….