I have a problem, and I think you might have it too: Every task in my home flows through me.
Keep the house clean. Keep the marriage strong. Raise the children. Discipline the children. Drive the children. Plan, shop for, and cook the meals. Weed the garden. Wash the dishes. Organize the silverware drawer.
Oh, and I forgot this little teeny task: Manage a corporation with ten employees!
Homekeeping is Generational
Some of these tasks (ahem, cooking) I can delegate, but the reality is that I oversee everything that enters in, occurs in, and flows out of my home. My husband and I are equals when it comes to the value we bring to our home and family, but the homekeeping part? That’s my domain.
But, I also work. I work hard. I work a lot. A huge part of my identity is weaved into the fact that I am the CEO of Organize 365.
The problem is, because of my generation and the way I was raised, I am constantly fighting the feeling that I should be hiding this. Because this is my mindset, and because I love working, I used to hide my entrepreneurialism in things that were acceptable as a stay-at-home-mom--I was in direct sales, I would do other people’s laundry and clean other people’s houses, I would tutor children--anything domestic for an income.
A Working Mom’s Identity
But the fact is, who I am at home and who I am at work are all wrapped up in the same person, and those identities all flow together.
I have tried for years to find “balance” in my life by dedicating a certain amount of time to work, a certain amount of time to motherhood, a certain amount of time to my marriage--all in hopes that by making small deposits into each “account,” they would all prosper.
It drove me nuts, because as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I like to really dig deep into a task. I don’t want to give a little here and there, I want to go all in. So I would try and get as much done in each category as I could in the little bits of “here and there” time that I had--and that frustrated me, because I hate leaving a task unfinished.
“I just don’t have enough time!”
Laura Vanderkam’s book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think taught me so much about how to think about my week. You really need to read the book, but, to be brief, we all have 168 hours each week in which to spend how we see fit. If you work a 40-hour-per-week job, that still leaves you with 128 hours. Subtract eight hours a night for sleep (who does that?!), and you’ve got EIGHTY waking hours each week. I can get a LOT done in 80 hours!
We end up wasting so much of that time, or not using it to its full potential, and then wonder where the time went. I don’t want to be chasing down every spare minute of the day trying to squeeze in this or that. I want to be intentional with my time and dedicate large chunks of it to the people and the tasks that are important to me.
Dividing my Week in Half
In this vein, I designed the new Productive Home CEO Planner to have Monday through Thursday on the first page, and Friday through Sunday on the facing page of each week. I’m trying not to work at all on Fridays so that Thursday night through Sunday is for “home.” That doesn’t mean I’m kicking up my feet and relaxing all that time, but it means that I am trying to leave my CEO hat off starting on Thursday afternoon, and tackling all the roles and responsibilities I have on Friday through Sunday.
In the new planner is also a brand new bookmark where you can list your weekly to-dos on the side that faces Monday through Thursday, and your Sunday Basket checklist is on the side that faces Friday through Saturday. Whether you work outside the home or not, dividing work life and home life can help create that calm sense of balance and separation that can keep us from feeling stretched too thin.
I love the way millenials are changing the roles in the home. I think the progress is fantastic, and I enjoy talking with my younger friends and my kids about how they see their roles in their future homes. But that’s not me, that’s not how I am, and that’s not how I function in my family. Because I shoulder a lot of these responsibilities by choice, but I don’t want to give up my job, dividing my week is helping me do one thing at a time, and do it well.
I also love the conversation this type of subject sparks. Follow me on Instagram and join the Facebook group to weigh in on the conversation, then share your photos with me by tagging me @organize365 or using #organize365!