A Day in the Life of a Minimalist Entrepreneur
Embracing minimalism gave me so much extra time, I was able to pause and decide what I was passionate about and how I wanted to spend that extra time I found I had. For me, that has been helping others simplify their homes and lives and for myself, experiencing life as an entrepreneur. Learning the business side of blogging has been a fun and fascinating journey, and I’ve had to learn to balance it because I can easily devote every waking moment to something I’m excited about.
I have two typical days: Work days and non-work days. My husband Brian works part-time, so I can have time to help others through this blog and my online courses. Generally each week I have 1-2 days that I work while Brian is home with our youngest (currently 4 yrs. old) Today, I’m going to share what my work days look like.
6:30 AM Wake up
Make breakfast for the kids, unload the dishwasher, make sure the kids pack their lunch and wear the correct outer-wear, etc. Make coffee and scrambled eggs for Brian and me, eat while the kids are getting their stuff together.
7:50 AM Kids out the door for school.
8:00 AM Coffee with Brian
This is my “quiet time” which is not exactly quiet… I read out loud to Brian while he drinks coffee and works on his chain maille (currently reading My Utmost for His Highest, a passage of the Bible, a chapter of Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secrets) and journal/pray. (This my favorite journal.)
Journaling: I am easily distracted while I pray, so I’ve learned that if I write it out, I stay focused. It also is wonderful to be able to look back over my journals and see answers to specific prayer requests.
8:30 AM Quick kitchen tidy & dishes
9:00 AM Head to a coffee shop to work.
Typical drink: 16 oz. Americano, with three shots of caramel flavor and extra 1/2 & 1/2.
The habit that has helped me most is to have a trigger routine. I have a difficult time working at home, I don’t have an office and I can easily get distracted by things that need to be done around the house, children that come to me to ask whatever questions are on their mind and a husband that wants to talk. Now I go to the same coffee shop each work day and sit in my favorite spot (if it’s open) with my planner on one side that has my list of things to do. Now, when I go to a coffee shop, I’m suddenly in work mode. It’s relatively easy to “get into the zone” and focus on what I need to do.
11:30 AM Order a breakfast sandwich for lunch and check email/social media.
4:00 PM head home.
Typically very exhausted but satisfied with what I got accomplished.
The time I head home is dependent on getting my list done. After doing this for six years, I have a good idea of how much time I need to accomplish specific tasks, so I list out ahead of time what I want to focus on. When I’m done with my list, I quit for the day, even if I’m done early. I know mentally I won’t be able to get anything done on any other projects, and if I ever do try to stay and work, I find myself bouncing back and forth across different browser tabs waisting time. It’s best just to call it a day and head home to family.
4:30 PM Start cooking dinner.
I’ve been able to keep this consistent because as a family we have avoided extra-curricular activities that so often require the family to be busy during the typical dinner hours. I see the benefit of team sports, music, dance, etc. But value family time and downtime for the kids more. At first, this decision was out of necessity, as a young parent, I didn’t have the money to cover all the cost of all the activities for all the children. But as I got older and saw my peers stressed out and running from one end of town to the other, settling for fast food dinners 3-4 nights each week, I opted to keep our schedule simplified.
Dinners are often simple; I prefer to stick with meat, rice, and veggie with different variations. Most often having stir-fry or some Mexican “what-cha-got.” Here is a sampling of some of the meals I make.
Before dinner is done, I will have the kids straighten up the living room/dining room area. Get coats and shoes put away, hang up their backpacks, make sure their lunch boxes are cleaned out and all the toys are put away. This is part of our daily rhythm/routine.
5:30 PM Eat: family dinner, everyone eats at the table.
This is a time to catch up- talk about what we did during the day, what we want to do after dinner, etc.
6:00 PM Dishes, put food away, etc.
Typically one of the kids washes the dishes, and another clears the table and puts leftovers away.
- Wipe off counters & stove
- Wipe off table
- Straighten up all rooms, putting things away
6:30 PM Time to veg.
This looks different every night: some days Brian and I spend the evening hanging out at one of the Adullam houses, some days we have people over to hang out, some days our older boys visit and the rest of the time we read, color together or watch a movie.
8:00 PM Kids to bed
After the kids go to bed Brian and I often sit and talk or watch TV. Many evenings this is when I’ll get out my planner and figure out what the next week will look like and plan out what I need to accomplish during my working hours.
10:00 PM Bedtime.
At least for me. Brian will sometimes stay up later and watch the Tonight Show. Most of the time I call it a night at 9:30 PM.
I sit in bed and read a few pages of a book. Currently, I’m reading Old Paths by J.C. Ryle.
I love hearing about your day, and how minimalism has given you freedom with your time!
Loved this post. I’m with you on the importance of family dinner…I’m SO glad we have guarded our evenings and we aren’t all going in different directions during the dinner hour.
Hi Rachel, how lovely that you’ve found what works for you and your family, minimalism is something I am working on very slowly, bit by bit. I can see how having less opens up your life to more possibilities. More time to pursue what makes you happy. Your day is well planned and I love that the kids aren’t overloaded with extra curricular activities. Love your blog, it gives me the extra push I always seem to need to keep going on this minimalism path.
Thank you so much Fi ❤️
just curious Rachel- the older boys who have moved out; are they minimalists too?
Thanks for the recipe list! Easy and healthy and look delicious. I spend too much time researching recipes so this helps simplify my life. Limiting the activities of children is so counter-cultural but there’s a lot to be said for it.
Thank you for sharing! Are any of your kids homeschooling any more? I would love to hear more about that if you don’t mind sharing. I have four kids and have homeschooled in the past, but this year the 3 oldest have decided to go to school and it has changed my routine.
Not anymore, I was too stressed out and none of us were enjoying it anymore, we put them in school last winter. It’s been good, the kids are doing well with it. Growing up homeschooled, I don’t like the rigid schedule of school and not being able to take days off whenever something comes up. But overall, I think it’s been a good decision. ❤️
I love reading about your day and your life!! You are inspirational!!
Oh thank you Debbie! ❤️
You are so blessed to have a husband who is free from work by 5:30 and can veg with you in evenings. For nearly 20 years we tried to make it a priority to have dinner as a fam several nights but then after teaching n coaching my husband had to his eves preparing lessons, studying, or grading until bedtime at 11. He is teaching part-time and working another job for us to get by but living in such an expensive area of the country, I also must work. Schedules are less crazy now that kids are driving and older but to stay afloat we dedicate so many hours to work– I am self employed At 2 part-time jobs and there is hardly ever enuf hrs in a day to relax n read or….. I crave a more relaxing lifestyle. Don’t see it happening as long as we live where we do and keep our professions which aren’t high paying. Do u know many or any who have moved to a new location help facilitate minimalism?
Dee, I know there are people that have done it. I don’t know them personally, but I’ve heard stories. I know you can find inspiration. ❤️
Dee: we moved about a year ago from an expensive city to a small town. We did it specifically to reduce costs and work less so we could have more time for ourselves and our kids. It has been a great choice for our family. We were able to move from a very expensive housing market to a modestly priced one and pocket the difference. My husband and I both work from home right now and one, or sometimes both of us, pick up and drop off the kids from school each day. We love the slower pace here and our kids are thriving. Good luck!
Thank you for weighing in Rachel!
Hi Rachel, I enjoyed reading this personal account of how you spend your day/s, and as you know, I’ve learned a lot from you already and my friends and family can see the difference in our home/in my life. I’m a bit worried, however, that at 5.30pm your family are so hungry that everyone ‘eats the table’. Are they not getting any other food all day??!!!! ;-)) Kind regards from Switzerland! x
LOL! Oops… I should probably edit that!
I noticed that oops too 🙂 It made me smile.
Are you ever made to feel like you are taking up too much space at the coffee shop? I like the sound of this kind of “office.”
Also, I like what your husband is making. The fire-tested titanium is particularly lovely.
This is so refreshing to read. I am a work at home mom in the process of decluttering (both personally and professionally) and it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your day!
I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your day and I especially like your book choices :). My
goal right now in minimalism is to strive more for a regular schedule. We have 7 children, 3 are adults and out on their own, 3 teenagers in high school (a lot of complex teen emotions there that can be draining at times) and one little who home schools. I’m often so exhausted with some chronic things I deal with daily
but I’m pushing through it. I’m hoping to get my home
more functioning with less clutter. I’ve been working at my own pace for two
years now and I’ve made significant progress but I have a ways to go.
Hi i too am a stay at home mom of a 4 yr old and 17. Our son has some serious health challenges so everytime it seems I attempt to go off to work a normal job I am pulled back home. Honestly I am so frustrated and of course worried which is better facilitated when busy. I need to make money so we may send our sweet girl to private school which will cost over $7,000 but I have to be close to home to help my son..I have a Bachelors degree, managed our duplex for many years and have an enormous amt of medical knowledge (of course).Oh lord I’m in a pickle!! Suggestions?
I would love to quit my job and work for myself. But with the regular monthly bills and medical I don’t know how too do that. My husband and I are empty nesters, so it us just the two of us to support. We don’t live extravagant life styles but I do worry about the future.
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