3 Minutes, 5 Minutes, 10 Minutes~what do you do with them?


Today, I share how I get done what I need to. And it's not everything. It's not even me getting it all done. But maybe you can take some bits and pieces from my schedule and try to carve out a few minutes here and there. 3, 5, 10 minutes, it makes a difference.

You know how you read some blogs and they leave you thinking, okay, how does she do it? They never mention a nanny. Sometimes you hear the word "sitter" briefly used. You never ever hear the word housekeeper. Yeah, I read those blogs and think, uh huh. Right, you just wake up with freshly blown dry hair and do yoga in your sleep while preparing for a 4 course dinner party. Oh, and don't forget the homemade garland.

Well, the purpose of this post is to share that no one does it all. Martha Stewart? Yeah, she has a whole corporation and staff behind her. There's no such thing as a real life Martha Stewart who can do everything perfect all the time. Hey, even Martha herself did something wrong eventually...

True story. My kids often ask for a nanny. Sometimes I ask for one myself. Alas, a nanny is not in our financial budget. What is in the budget? Here I pull back the velvet curtain... a housekeeper every Tuesday for six hours. 

What does my housekeeper do? She does all my scrubbing of floors, toilets, showers, vacuuming of drapes and oven cleaning. Yes, every Tuesday I get a thoroughly cleaned house. Now you know. And I pay for her myself. I work to pay some of our household bills. But I also work for some luxuries of my own, luxuries that shouldn't come out of our food and rent money. She's one of those luxuries. When I was pregnant with Greta and very sick, not to mention caring for a 1 year old and 3 year old, I said enough was enough. I needed help. HELP! Spending hours upon hours cleaning while vomiting and having two toddlers run amuck through the house did me in. I asked for help. And I haven't looked back since. 

So that's our home on Tuesdays. But Wednesday through Monday, you can imagine with a family of 5, chaos is created. Tuesday just doesn't last long. It lasts until 3pm that day when my kids walk through the door and fling down their backpacks, race to the kitchen and pilfer through the pantry starving for snacks, all the while pulling paints and science experiments out of the closet. Then what? 

I thought I'd share just a few tips of how I keep my head attached to my body and manage not to cry daily.

~I don't ever watch television during the day. Like ever. I can't even tell you the last time I did, but I assure you I documented it somewhere because it was such a huge thing. I view my life as a job. Not in a bad way, but in an efficient, goal oriented way. Would I ever watch TV at my job? NO! I always tell myself 'once all your chores are done, then you can watch TV'. Well, that's yet to happen. There is never a moment when everything is accomplished that needs to be. So, turning off that TV opens up so much time to get other things done. I watch television in the evenings with Aaron. 

~I find myself with 3, 5, 10 minutes of spare time between clients. I work from home, so although my day is planned down to the minute, I make sure in between appointments or volunteering I have enough time. 3 minutes, that's valuable. With 3 minutes I can put a load of laundry from the washer into the dryer. I can make an appointment that needs scheduling. I can send an email that has been needing attention. I can put all the shoes in the entryway onto the shoe shelf. Each of these tasks I can do with just 3 minutes. 

~5 minutes? Oh, 5 minutes is even better. With 5 minutes I can sort a load of laundry. I can sweep up the entire downstairs with a small broom and dustpan. I can collect books throughout the house and place them back on their shelves, I can update my budget on Mint and categorize expenses.


~How about 10 minutes? Oh, now you're talking! With 10 minutes I can unload the dishwasher. Or load the dishwasher. I can fold a load of laundry. I can call a friend and catchup while washing a window. I can take a load of folded laundry and put the clothes in everyone's drawers. I can make all 4 beds. 


Time management is something I take pretty seriously. But you don't have to be good at everything to make good use of time. This I discovered when my last kid started preschool. Making the most of those minutes where you can accomplish the most, that was a revelation. I can accomplish more in 30 minutes alone, than in 2 hours with my kids. So those precious 3, 5, and 10 minutes that appear all throughout the day? Utilize them!