This is the sixth and final part to a six part series here on Simple Mom.
Photo by Konstantin Sutyagin
Now stick with me on this one, because you’ll probably roll your eyes at the computer screen at first. In fact, this was the only key to disorganization and unproductivity that no one guessed when I first asked. But I really do think this is the most significant key in this series, because if it’s there, the other five keys are only intensified in their strength.
The number one key to a disorganized and unproductive home is to not have any fun on the job.
I hear your thoughts now, because they’ve played in my head. What’s fun about doing the dishes over and over and over and over and over again? What’s fun about being the only one who sees the crusted jelly on the kitchen table?
The answer to those questions lie in the questions themselves. They’re the wrong questions to ask, because the answer to those questions is a resounding “Nothing’s fun about it!”
The right question to ask yourself is this…
“This job has to be done. How can I make it enjoyable?”
You Choose Your Attitude
If you’ve ever worked outside the home, or if you still do while managing your home, then you know first-hand that there are always downsides to every job. Even your dream job has a negative side to it. For awhile, I thought it would be fun to run and bed and breakfast with my husband. It’s so quaint and cozy, you get to provide a comfortable place for people’s vacations, and you get to practically live like you’re on vacation. Not so much. You have to wake up early every morning to make breakfast for strangers. You get to wash a lot of linens and dust a lot of furniture. You get to balance accounts and deal with reservations and marketing in hopes of making a profit. I’m sure it’s a fun job, but there’s a lot of work behind the scenes that deflates the aura of that job for me.
Photo by Annalisa Antonini
Being a work-from-home mom is one of my dream jobs, so I’m ecstatic that I get to do it. There are indeed negatives, like the eternal dishes, not getting a ton of adult interaction, and being sticky for most of the day. Oh, and let’s not forget the less-than-stellar pay rate. But for me, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
A Few Benefits of the “Home Manager” Vocation:
• You work directly for the most important people in your life. You’re not working for “the Man.”
• You choose your priorities. No one is telling you that you have to fill out TPS reports, and you don’t have eight bosses to report to. The responsibility and privilege of planning your job is yours.
• Along those lines, you can cater to your preferences, gift mix, and skill set. How to find the career you were made for? Make the career you have – a home manager – be the ideal job crafted for you. Are you inately a planner? Then go for it! Are you more of a spontaneous, fly by the seat of your pants kind-of home manager? Embrace that preference, and make it work for you instead of against you. Basically, your job works for you, not the other way around.
Photo by Lee
• There are a lot of freedoms. You can wear what you want, listen to whatever music you want, be as silly as you want, as creative as you want. Who else gets to finger paint at work? Okay, maybe a preschool or art teacher – but not many other people.
• You’re the first-hand recipient of your kids’ milestones and memories. The first steps, the writing her first letters, the singing of that hilarious song – you’re there for it.
Make the Painful Stuff Fun
Yeah, but all those wonderful things don’t make the dishes do themselves, you’re probably thinking. True – you need to do them. But who says you can’t make them fun? We procrastinate the things we don’t enjoy doing. The solution to not procrastinating is to make the things you have to do more enjoyable.
• Listen to your favorite music while you do your least favorite chore. Or play the podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to while you do the monotonous, brainless stuff.
• Divide up the work in manageable chunks of time, so you’re not too overwhelmed.
• Make it a game with your kids, and race to see who can put something up the fastest. Hide some pennies under the mess, and make a game out of who can find the most pennies. But the rule is – when you pick something up, you have to put it away.
• Mop with old socks on your feet. Your kids will probably want to help.
• Just be silly. Hop like a kangaroo while you dust. Sing into the spray bottle while you clean. Twirl and gallop while you vacuum.
• Try to find the inherent joy in the chores that have been labeled as tedious. I actually enjoy doing the laundry. I hate doing the dishes, however, so I dwell on the idea that I’m taking care of the possessions God has given me. I get to be the one to put up the dishes wherever I want, and it’s a joy to have a kitchen full of well-organized, stacked dishes.
• Smile. It sounds corny, I know, but it does make a difference. You’ll feel better, you’ll talk in a more pleasing tone, and your kids will love seeing their mama happy.
Photo by Edan Fiterman
• Take pride in your work. You’re the queen of your castle! Enjoy the place you manage, and aim to make it pleasing for everyone living there.
• When you feel down about your job, take a moment to journal a list of things for which you’re thankful. You can even get the kids involved in this, and write your list on a big piece of butcher paper taped to the wall. My mood instantly improves whenever I do this.
When you truly enjoy your job, so much falls into place. You tend not to procrastinate as much, you find the best ways to manage your time, and you find the inherent joy in doing something well, even if it’s not perfect. This is why the number one antidote to a disorganized, unproductive day at home is to find joy in your work.
What do you like most about your job as a home manager? What’s your favorite perk? Have any fun tips on making the tedious stuff more enjoyable? I’d love to hear your experiences of having a changed attitude about your job. Let’s encourage each other!
This concludes the series on how to have a disorganized, unproductive day at home. My goal has been to encourage, motivate, inspire, and lift your spirit – not to make you feel hopeless, overwhelmed, or defeated before you even start the day. Your comments and thoughts have been wonderful – I’ve gained so much from your feedback and your ideas about this topic. I’ve created a button for this series on my sidebar, so that you can go back and re-read the articles and comments when you need a burst of encouragement. Here’s to a balanced life, so that we are more organized and productive at home! Many, many blessings to you.