Keep on top of your most important homestead tasks (and keep your sanity) with these handy time management tips for homesteaders…
It is a common saying among homesteaders that “homesteading chores are never done,” but never is this more true than during the summer and autumn months. With weeding, watering, and harvesting fruits and vegetables from the garden and orchard, preserving food for the winter months, caring for animals (which often need special considerations during very hot weather, and winterizing your home and outbuildings, there is little time for anything else (even sleep) this time of year! But regardless of the season, homesteaders can pretty much always benefit from developing some handy time management skills.
Below are 5 time management tips for homesteaders from The Prairie Homestead that can help you stay on track with your most important homesteading tasks – AND enjoy life on the homestead, even during the busiest months of the year! (Because let’s face it, most of us don’t take up homesteading for the money! It’s hard work, but if you’re not enjoying it at least some of the time, what’s the point?)
1. Being able to “do it all” is a myth. And a dumb one at that.
No one can “do it all.” Really, what does that even mean? I mean, yes, I do homestead, and blog, and raise my kids, and cook from scratch. But no, I don’t sew, or have a perfectly clean house, or throw Pinterest-perfect parties, or go to tons of playdates in town. Be realistic with the expectations you place on yourself. Striving for excellence in the most important areas of your life is great. Striving to be everywhere and do everything is impossible. The dried watermelon juice that’s been on my floor for two weeks is evidence of that.
2. Make a plan… Yes, with a pencil and paper.
Those of you who’ve read Your Custom Homestead know how fanatic I am about making plans and writing things down. Get painfully specific with your plans and goals for your homestead–both short-term and long-term ones. Write down what needs to be done today. Write down what needs to be done this month. Write down what needs to be done in the next five years (and everything in between). Map it, scribble it, edit it, and hash it out. Your goals and plans will always be evolving (which is a good thing) but having at least a semi-clear direction as to where you want to go is priceless. And it makes my brain very happy.
3. Get up just a leeeetle bit earlier.
If you’re already getting up a 4am, feel free to skip this one, but I’ve discovered time and time again, the entire day goes SO much smoother if I set my alarm and get up just a wee bit earlier. That way, I get my chores done before the kids wake-up (BIG bonus…) and feel more focused and organized as I start my day. Sometimes just 30 minutes is enough to make a marked change in the course of my day.
4. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize
I used to be so bad at this… I’d be waist-deep in canning and gardening, yet I would let myself stress out about the barn renovations that needed to be done. Or I’d decide to repaint the living room while the garden was in full-swing. Um, hello? Those things can wait! Train your brain to focus on the most-important tasks at hand (aka canning the overripe tomatoes sitting on the counter) and ignore the things that can wait until later (aka cleaning out the cupboards).
5. Embrace the fullness.
I’ve come to accept that my life will always be full. You know why? Because I like it like that. Yep, I’ll admit it: I like having a full schedule.
Not a crazy-out-of-breath-I’m-going-to-throw-a-fit schedule, but I am most comfortable having a pleasantly-full to-do list that I can work on throughout my day.
As a homesteader, you’re always going to have a never-ending to-do list. It’s the nature of this lifestyle. Embrace it– it’s not a bad thing, as long as you manage it correctly and don’t allow it to control your life.