A reader requested a peek into my daily life and routine. It’s pretty boring, but here goes . . .
First of all, a little about this phase of my life. My husband is a self-employed remodeling contractor and we’ve been married 33 years. We have two grown kids: Rachel, 28 and Danny, 26. Both are married and live nearby. Danny and his wife, Ashley, have two kids: Ivy, 4-1/2 and Calvin, 3-1/2.
I don’t work outside the home but I do take care of the bookkeeping for my husband’s business, blog daily and spend as much time with the grandkids as I can. So I’m pretty busy.
I always say that I don’t have typical days anymore, but despite that, I do have a framework for my days that works pretty well most of the time.
I like to divide my day into segments: morning, afternoon and evening. I have specific tasks for each segment of my day.
I’m not a morning person – never have been and probably never will be. I tried getting up earlier for a while but finally decided I didn’t want to. It wasn’t worth it to me at this point in my life.
I wake up between 8:00 and 8:30. I used to hop right out of bed but since we got this amazingly awesome bed (memory foam), I’m a little slower to get up. Now I lay in bed and use my iPhone to check my blog stats and read through Facebook before I finally get up.
As soon as I get up, I head straight for the bathroom to shower and get dressed. It’s very rare for me to stay in my pajamas once I’ve gotten out of bed. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did – maybe never. I always get up and immediately shower and dress.
Then I grab some breakfast, usually a bowl of cereal, and head upstairs to the office where I eat my breakfast and read the news. I do a little bit of blogging and then head back downstairs for some housework.
I pretty much always start this part of my day by working on household tasks. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I put in a load of laundry. Then I straighten up the house, room by room, and then sweep and/or vacuum. Depending on what went on the day before, this can take a few minutes or up to half an hour.
I also touch-up the main bathroom, clean up the kitchen and dump the trash, if needed.
In this house I tend to sweep more than vacuum. Sometimes I sweep and then get the vacuum out for the living room area rug. I don’t usually do the floors in the whole house every day. I sweep the main floor daily but I sweep the upstairs every two or three days. It just doesn’t get as dirty. The living room rug needs vacuumed daily but the upstairs rugs need vacuumed only every couple of days.
After the house is back in order, I do any advance dinner prep that I can. That might mean putting something in the crock pot, marinating meat or chopping vegetables. I do anything I can early in the day so dinner time is less stressful.
This is also when I do any extra cleaning. However, the truth is, I’ve been kind of hit and miss with cleaning since we moved here. Because we’re fixing it up and doing a lot of messy work, it’s not always practical to spend a lot of time cleaning. So what I’ve been doing is a lot of “cleaning as you go”. Rather than having set cleaning days or set chores, I just do what needs done. Once we get a little further along in the remodel, I’ll probably go back to my previous method of doing the basics on Mondays (dust, glass, trash, sheets, kitchen, bathroom, mop) and then extra projects during the week.
I do change the sheets weekly and clean the main bathroom once a week. The master bathroom isn’t used much right now so I just touch-it up a couple times a week. I’ve been touch-up mopping the kitchen every other day since it’s a high traffic area.
Around noon I stop for lunch. I usually eat leftovers at the dining room table and read. Once or twice a week I go to my daughter-in-laws to have lunch with her and the grandkids.
After lunch begins the next section of my day. Right after lunch I do my Bible study. Then I go upstairs to the office and work on the blog. That usually takes 2 or 3 hours.
Around 3:00, I stop what I’m doing – usually blogging – and get a coke, a snack and read or play Sudoku on my iPhone. I relax about 30 minutes and then get back to work.
Once I finish blogging, usually about 4:00, I head back downstairs to finish dinner or do whatever else might be on my to-do list.
We usually eat dinner about 5:45 or 6:00. After dinner, I clean up the kitchen. I usually play it by ear as far as evening plans. Sometimes the grandkids are here so I play with them. If David’s home, I make myself available to him if he wants to talk or needs help with something.
If nothing else comes up, I like to tackle paperwork in the evening.
Between 8:30 and 9:00, David and I sit on the couch and watch some tv. While we watch, I also quilt and then plan the next day. Around 10:15 or so we go to bed.
In summary, my routine looks like this:
Shower, dress, breakfast, read news
5:45 Dinner & clean-up
Play with grandkids
Talk to David
Couch Time w/David
My life is very crazy right now so I’m rarely able to get through the day without having to modify my plans. But having the framework in place gives me something to modify. It also helps me know what my priorities are and what I have to find a way to do. My philosophy is that if I get most of this done, most of the time, then I’m in good shape.
I’ve had many schedules and routines over the years and I’ve learned a few things:
1. You have to be flexible. No matter what you HOPE to do or WANT to do, you have to be flexible or you’ll lose your mind. Life does not always cooperate with your routine or your plans. You have to be willing to modify when life throws you a curve ball.
2. You can still accomplish your daily goals even when your framework gets messed up – you just have to rearrange your schedule a little bit.
3. A tight schedule rarely works for more than a day or two. A framework is better. It provides flexibility within structure. A framework is a general plan instead of specific times for each activity. Most of us tend to operate on a framework whether we know it or not. Don’t you find yourself doing the same things at the same time of day? That’s a framework.
4. Many of our activities change based on the phase of life we’re in but many stay the same. I’m not homeschooling any more but I’m blogging now. My kids aren’t home but I have my grandkids a lot. I still tidy and sweep the house every morning, just like I’ve been doing for 30 years. I also do as much dinner prep early in the day as I can like I’ve always done. Some things change and some things stay the same.
5. A plan for the day will help you be more productive and less stressed. Even if you can’t follow the plan exactly or get everything done, you’ll do much better with a plan than without one. Just be sure that when you make your plan, it’s realistic and it works FOR YOU. Don’t follow someone else’s plan unless it happens to be a good plan for you. Everyone’s life is different and you have to plan based on YOUR life. And if your plan stops working, you might need to tweak it to fit your current situation.
Thirty years ago I started out with a week-at-a-glance calendar and a steno pad to-do list (kind of like bullet journaling). I eventually got a Franklin Covey planner and I’ve been using a planner ever since. I can’t function without one. It shows me what needs done, how much time I have to do it and provides a place to write down information I might need. So if you don’t have a planning system of some kind, that will definitely help.
That’s a peek into my life. If there’s something else you’d like to know, just ask. I’ll be happy to answer if I can.