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.