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Last week as I was making preparations for company to visit I realized that somehow those preparations were going fairly smoothly. To put this in context you have to realize that I am not always (or ever) on the ball with housekeeping. Nor am I as productive as I would like to be on most days.

This day, though… this day it was different. So as I swept and scrubbed and watched my toddler pick up toys I tried to figure out where things went right that day. Because, you see, most days aren’t so productive.

I’m sure it was partially due to the fact that I had a lot of motivation with company coming. I want my home to be welcoming and inviting so that I can show others hospitality. I want it to be that way for my family as well, but that is a whole other area that needs work.

Once I thought it through I realized that there are five general principles that incite productivity as a home manager.

#1: Remind Yourself Why You Do This

There are a lot of times when homemaking feels fun. Organizing, decorating, cooking – these are all activities that I enjoy. There are also parts of my job that don’t “feel” as fun. But the thing is – we don’t do this job to “feel” like we’re having fun. This is a calling, a command, a duty. So even when it doesn’t “feel” fun, we are still to do our jobs in serving our family.

Tips:

  • Head to the scriptures to remind yourself that you have been called to do this.
  • Remember that we are serving our families, not our own desires.
  • Talk to your husband and find out what is truly needful in the home.

#2: Stay Home

When mess ensued in the past I would want to leave for the park, the library, the farmers market… anywhere to escape the chaos surrounding me. Now that I have two boys three and under and one car I don’t generally have that option. Besides, when we leave nothing gets done at home. Now, when my fight or flight response kicks in and I don’t even know where to begin I choose to stay and fight. Just start somewhere.

Tips:

  • Re-evaluate why, when and how often you leave the home. Are these times really needful?
  • Set aside a day or two per week for grocery shopping and other errands.
  • When you want to leave because you don’t even know where to start – just do something…

#3: Start With Something Quick & Inspiring

Sometimes the dishes need to be washed, the table needs to be cleared, the laundry needs to be folded and the bills need to be paid. When you are hit with more than you think you have time for choose the one task that takes the least amount of time and will inspire you to keep moving – clear the table.

Tips:

  • Clear surfaces of clutter – clean surfaces inspire.
  • Sweep if clean floors are what inspires you.
  • Start in the room that you spend the most time in.

#4: Have Inspirational Downtime

If you need a break in the midst of it all then make that break count. Don’t try to do something productive as you rest. I struggle with this one a lot as I always think that I need to be doing something. I find that if I take a little bit of time to rest when I need it then I actually get more done.

Tips:

  • Take a quick nap if you really need it.
  • Read something inspirational – the Bible, a meaningful book, blogs that inspire.

#5: Involve Your Children

I know that it would be easier to get things done if my boys were with a babysitter or asleep. The trouble is that 98% of the time they’re not. They spend their days with me learning, working and living. If I don’t teach them the daily tasks that are needed for living no one else will. I have to stop what I’m doing, slow down and involve my toddler.

Tips:

  • Have your toddler (or older child) put away their toys.
  • Put the baby in the baby carrier – I love the ergo for the older babies.
  • Talk to them about what you are doing and why. My toddler is always saying “we’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do.” He gets it.

So those are the tips that work for me. What tips do you have for inspiring productivity in the home?


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