It is no secret that I LOVE my daily routine. It’s almost as if my day is on autopilot. I don’t have to spend time and energy making small, every day, run of the mill decisions. This saves my time and energy for things that really matter.
I am a firm believer that good routines are the key to becoming a happy, well-adjusted stay-at-home mom.
Why should you create a routine?
Would you like to get more accomplished each day? Tired of feeling overwhelmed? Do you want a more peaceful home environment?
Before I had a good routine in place I was struggling with all of those things. My life was complete chaos! I am one of those people that thrive on order, schedules and deadlines. When I became a stay-at-home mom I no longer had anyone holding my feet to the fire so to speak, left to my own devices I tend to procrastinate terribly!
I needed a change and knew having a routine would help me bring order back into my life. These are the steps I took to the make routine that I love so much.
How to create a routine
Adjust your sleep/wake habits to when you are most productive.
Are you a morning person, or a night owl? Be honest with yourself, spending most of your awake time in your prime productivity hours is what makes a routine easier to stick with.
Think of it this way, if you get up at 5am every day, but it takes you 2 hours to actually do anything you would have been better off sleeping those 2 hours.
That way you are properly rested and will have more energy for your daily activities. Also, be sure to go to bed at about the same time every night, early enough to ensure you will get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
I am a morning person, up at 5am and in bed by 9-10pm. The hours I am MOST productive are from 5am-3pm so I schedule the most important things within those hours.
Decide what you want to do each day.
Make a list of the things you MUST do each day, including meals and bedtimes. Then make a list of things you WANT to do or get done each day.
Finally, make a list of things that may only happen once or twice a week and list the day and time they fall on (ex: OT at 1pm Wed.). Just do this on plain old notebook paper or blank printer paper. Printables are fun but can sometimes be another way to procrastinate!
Don’t get overzealous here! You don’t want to over plan your days it will just set you up for failure.
Then decide when to do those things.
Don’t go crazy and schedule your day down to the minute. I use very general time blocks for my daily routine and I like to leave plenty of room for down time or some “cushion” for those little things that may come up that threaten to throw me off course.
Start with your wake up time at the top of the page and bedtime at the bottom, then fill in your mealtimes. Be sure to leave some space on the page to write in between those times. Now start filling in the MUST do’s that happen every day.
While I try to keep my days pretty simple, my “must” list has become rather long these days!
- College homework hours 5am-10am
- Get kids off to school 6:30-7am
- Cleaning routine 10am-12pm
- Writing business work 12-3:30pm
- Kid’s afterschool routine 3:30-5pm
- Dinner/evening routine 5-7pm
- Kids to bed at 8pm
- I go to bed by 9pm…usually
Now fill the WANT list in starting with the things that are more important and working in those less important things. This part can be tricky, you may not be able to do all the things! That is okay, seeing it on paper makes it easier to prioritize and cull things without feeling guilty.
You can see above that I don’t have a whole lot of time for “want” activities. Lately, Saturday and Sunday mornings have been when I do my hobby stuff.
What do I do with the recurring weekly/bi-weekly activities or appointments?
I try to schedule the recurring activites during times where it is easier for me to push something else off to the side. For instance, I don’t always need 2 full hours for housework every day so I schedule a weekly appointment in that time block.
I usually just keep a short list on the side of my daily routine of weekly appointments with the day and time. That way I won’t forget about them and I can make sure I don’t fall behind on housework or whatever other item is getting shoved to the side for the day.
Don’t forget to relax!
Yep, I schedule myself daily relaxation time. I try to have an hour in the morning or evening to just be with myself and my thoughts. I am a total introvert and this is how I renew and recharge myself. I really want to encourage all mom’s to take a little time for themselves introvert or not.
I really hope this helps you to start putting together a routine you will love!