Are you super busy but need to get some housework done? Try using pockets of time to your benefit!
As a working mom who also homeschools her teenagers, I’ll be the first woman to tell you that when you’re busy, your home is often the first thing to be overlooked.
You may not want this to be the case at all, but when you choose to focus your limited free time on relationships and people the Lord has entrusted you with, you simply lose the time and energy to diligently manage your home.
Even if you have valid reasons for not getting to your housework, it’s still frustrating to come home to a dwelling that’s not as tidy as you’d like. And it’s even more frustrating to know you simply don’t have the time to keep up with things around your house like you wish you could.
When planners and routines don’t work
For decades, the struggle to keep up with a daily planner or my failure to stick to a regimented routine has left me feeling like something is wrong in my homemaking or organizational skills.
- I’ve tried time blocking and attempted to write down exactly what I need to do every waking hour of my day.
- I’ve tried to get into a natural rhythm and routine.
- I’ve bought beautiful planner after beautiful planner, hoping that I’ll actually use them.
Yet no matter how hard I try, a predictable routine doesn’t stick. My pretty planners end up empty and unused.
I manage to get everything done that needs to be done, but I accomplish it all with a non-structured way.
So what works best for my loosey goosey, Type B homemaker kind of way?
Mastering the Master List
Instead of forcing myself into a rigid schedule, what works best for me is creating a master to-do list for the day. On this list I jot down:
- Everything that absolutely needs to get done.
- Specific appointments.
- Possible projects I’d like to work on if I have extra time.
That’s it. With the exception of timely appointments, I don’t specify a certain time to work on things.
As I start a new day, I focus on the things I absolutely must do, including specific timely tasks. (For example, I know when I need to head out the door for my job.)
Once those particular priorities are finished, I use a special method to turn the rest of my daily to-do list into a to-done list. I use pockets of time to my advantage.
What’s a pocket of time?
Pockets of time are little moments in your day that you don’t exactly plan for but you always have. They look a lot like ten minutes here and five minutes there, and they can be awfully easy to overlook.
Instead of finishing one responsibility and using your free time to scroll your phone or get caught up following a social media rabbit trail, take those pockets of time and get something done. Empty your clean dishwasher. Organize one shelf in your bathroom’s medicine cabinet. Write a grocery list for later in the week.
As you use pockets of time to work through the “someday soon I need to get to this” kind of projects on your to-do list, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Instead of feeling defeated and weighed down by a to-do list that only seems to grow longer and longer, using pockets of time will help you start to make progress around your home without dedicating hours to housework.