How I “Do it all”

Everyone wants to know, how do you run a household, a homestead, have kids, AND blog? Here are some key strategies for how I "do it all". | areturntosimplicity.comI keep getting asked a question.

My awesome readers all want to know-

How do you do it all?

The homesteading, housekeeping, preserving, projects, AND blogging…

Oh my, this is a bit of a hard one to answer, but since so many have been asking me recently, I feel compelled to give it my best shot.

So, I am going to attempt to show you how my days/weeks are structured, and share some of my strategies for running a household, homestead, and blog!

Strategy #1:

Organize, plan, and schedule.

I have specific tasks for each and every day of the week. Monday is laundry day– yes, I have two boys who are constantly getting dirty, and yes, I still only do laundry one day a week. πŸ™‚

Tuesday is focused on gardening and blogging. Wednesday I pick up our raw milk, and every other week I do a grocery run.

Thursday is all about baking and bulk cooking, Friday is cleaning day, Saturday is spent working outside, and Sunday is devoted to spending time with family, planning the upcoming week’s projects and menu, and doing more work outside.

During most of the year I use a seasonal menu plan, and I recycle the plans, so I am not constantly creating new ones.

Strategy #2:

Focus. Always focus.

I try to ALWAYS have a goal or reason for whatever I am doing. If I need some down time after the day’s chores are done and the kids are in bed, I will spin or knit while I watch some Netflix, or catch up on my social media for the blog.

That way, I am relaxing, but always moving forward with a purpose.

That being said, I feel like TOO MUCH multi-tasking us unhelpful. We have such a distracting modern world, and I think it is good to just focus on one or two things at a time. I try to avoid sticking my fingers in too many pies at one time, because it significantly decreases my productivity, even though it feels like I am getting lots done.

Strategy #3:

Get up early.

I know not everyone is a morning person. I get it, and I love to sleep in as much as anyone else, but I find that getting a decent early start to my mornings dramatically changes the amount of work I can accomplish, and how I feel each day.

After a few weeks of sleeping a bit extra in an effort to recover from a season of sleepless nights with the baby, I am reminded just how important this is.

For me, 6 am is the best time, but it does change with the seasons of nature, and the seasons of my life- read baby sleep issues!!

Find your perfect “early rising” time, and stick with it! πŸ™‚

Strategy #4:

Keep everything as simple as possible.

This goes for pretty much everything in my life. I keep our meals hearty, healthy, but made with simple ingredients. (Eating locally will pretty much simplify this automatically!) Our schedule is simple, and deliberately excludes extra trips to town or the stringing out of projects and tasks. We have very little “stuff”, and that helps keep cleaning and laundry simple and easy to manage.

Strategy #5:

Prioritize, and be ok with NOT always being able to “do it all”.

Case in point: we unexpectedly went out of town this past weekend, and when Monday rolled around, I had no post prepared for the blog. Oops.

I am not superwoman, and there are certainly times when things don’t get done! This mostly happens with our homesteading projects, and I have had to learn to be ok with it. Very hard for my organized and planned instincts.

This is particularly the case because my husband works LONG LONG hours, so I am running the house, the blog, AND the homestead by myself most of the week. (He is totally awesome about helping with everything when he is home, but it just doesn’t happen much during the week.)

This definitely results in some frustration on my part, but also some ingenuity and perseverance I probably wouldn’t have employed otherwise.

The other week, I needed to get a HUGE felled poplar tree out of our back yard. It was so big that it would have taken two of me to wrap my arms around it, much less pick up any of the logs. After much grunting and some not-so-nice words, I finally decided to just roll the darn things all the way over to the wood lot!

That particular project did get done, but there are many others that are still on our list that are waiting semi-patiently for us to get around to!

My biggest struggle in “doing it all” is the social aspect.

Playdates and time spent with my friends are definitely the first items to get ditched when I have lots on my plate- which seems like it is a constant state here in the last couple months. I definitely need to work on fitting a bit more social time for myself and my kids!

So, to summarize, the best ways I have found for “getting it all done” are:

  1. Organize, plan, and schedule
  2. Focus
  3. Get up early
  4. Simplify
  5. Prioritize, and be ok with NOT getting it all done

I certainly don’t have it all perfected, but these are the strategies that really work for our family, and hopefully they can be helpful to you as well!

Everyone wants to know, how do you run a household, a homestead, have kids, AND blog? Here are some key strategies for how I "do it all". | areturntosimplicity.com

What are your strategies for “getting it all done”, and what areas do you struggle with the most?

 

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22 responses to “How I “Do it all””

  1. Carolien says:

    Thank you very much! Since my four children go to school, it’s difficult for me to have percevrance, because I’m alone at our farm five day’s of the week. It’s so silent. But, I shall try it again!
    Love from Holland.

  2. Kelly says:

    I love this! Very timely for me, as I am about to be on the homestead full-time, caring for my toddler, plus writing– and considering having another baby soon! It all sounds very overwhelming, but these are great thoughts on staying organized, sticking with it, and giving myself a break when necessary. Thanks, Angi! ~Kelly

    • Angi says:

      Glad you liked it Kelly! We are at similar places in life, so I feel like I can relate to your challenges pretty well. However, you have the “getting up early” part down pat WAY better than I do. Haha!

  3. Candice says:

    Strategy #2 – Focus – is what I need to work on the most. Being able to relax but still moving forward with a purpose is so hard to do. I tend to over-multitask and wear myself out and then collapse in exhaustion, unable to do anything else. Balance is key. If I didn’t do too much at once, I would be able to finish tasks well instead of halfway, AND I could relax while doing less demanding tasks. This is definitely what I will work on. Thanks so much for breaking all this down for those of us who asked!

  4. Erin says:

    Wonderful post! I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it helpful! I have 3 boys, a blog and a farm so I’m always looking for ways to keep on top of things! Thanks for sharing your tips! And yes, I’m working on the “let it go and be okay with it!” everyday! LOL!

    • Angi says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Erin! Keeping on top of things can definitely be challenging! Being ok with NOT getting everything done is one of the hardest things for me as well… πŸ™‚

  5. Lisa Tucker says:

    Great post! My husband and I both have recently opened our own business and we are working 50 to 60 hours a week there. I’m trying to figure out how to “do it all” with this new schedule. Getting up early was the first thing I had to start doing or I would never get anything done. Thank you for sharing!!

  6. I love this one Angi! I feel loads better knowing that I’m not the only one to push aside social time. It seems everyone these days, homesteader or not, is worried about so many things to do and so little time. I’ve done a lot of apologizing to family and friends lately for not being available, and I hate that this is the first thing to go when time is tight. Mr. TAF and I recently had a heart to heart about all of our goals and decided that we need to be more consistent about scheduling social time because at the end of my life, will I want to remember that one time I weeded the garden or the special time I carved out for people I care about? Thanks for reminding me to stick to my weekly schedule and stop at the end of the day to relax πŸ™‚

  7. Brittany says:

    What a wonderful blog post! I am a stay at home mom, homesteader, student and living with challenges of autoimmune illnesses. I am still in the process of getting diagnosed with MS, so trying to do it all gets pushed back further and further. Any suggestions?

  8. Kat says:

    Hi Angi,
    Congrats on a great post and boy did the folks over at Simple Saturdays Blog Hop REALLY love you!! You were selected as featured last week!! Hop on over and grab your “Featured” button to proudly display on your awesome site. We hope to see you this weekend too!
    ~Kat

  9. JES says:

    I think #5 is key for sanity! Thank you for sharing your schedule with us on the Art of Home-making Mondays! πŸ™‚

  10. Amanda says:

    You mentioned bulk cooking and rotating menus?? Do you have a blog about that? I have been struggling to come up with a working menu plan that actually works for us! I feel like I’ve tried everything and still don’t have a real “plan” I have four kiddos and a two acre homestead that we are just starting up:) Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    • Angi says:

      Hi Amanda! I am working on a bulk cooking post AND a rotating seasonal menu post as we speak! Hoping to have the menu one up next week. πŸ™‚

  11. Mandi says:

    Thank you for this! I love reading how others keep it all together.

  12. Katie says:

    Thank you for your post. I have 3/4 of an acre (not much) but am trying to turn it into a productive mini homestead. I have a very exuberant 3 year old and it is crazy difficult to get anything done with him. I just broke my ankle and getting anything done just got dramatically harder. I have been struggling on how to get all my projects done. This post gave me some really great ideas. Thank you. I also look forward to reading your post on bulk cooking.

    • Angi says:

      Thanks Katie! I am so sorry about your ankle! Ugh. I have my bulk cooking post all ready to go sometime in the next week. πŸ™‚

  13. Oh I absolutely love the idea of having a day for each repetitive chore like laundry day on Mondays. I work in town 3 days a week and have 4 days off to get all my homesteading chores done and it seems I can never get myself organized. And I totally need to be doing something productive all the time even when relaxing…it’s relaxing! Haha thanks πŸ™‚

  14. Thank you for a great post. It’s helpful motivation to know others have the same struggle and get the same question! We have chores on certain days but for what ever reason those are just household and it never occurred to me to add the homesteading and blogging into that😳 thank you for that!!! I’m off to soak up your seasonal planning blog post! As we grow more and more of our own food, switching from the “buy what you want to eat” to the ” eat what you grow requires some extra creativity!

  15. Lots of helpful pointers here, thanks. The early start definitely helps me!

  16. Angela C Zimmerman says:

    These worked well for me when I had 3 and 4 kids, and the oldest 2 were in public school. Now I have 5 kids and homeschool. It doesn’t work as well. Unfortunately having them home creates more messes and I use to clean during the time they’re now doing school work (and need attention). It’s a great list for those with a few kids and or public schools. One day I’ll find that balance again.

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