The 6 keys to a disorganized, unproductive day at home :: an introduction

Photo by emiwiki

This is the introduction to a six part series here on Simple Mom.

Lately, I’ve been getting email after email from readers that sound rather – how shall I put it? – hopeless. A number of you are discouraged in your crucial job of home manager, feeling as though there’s an unreachable standard, and you’ll never measure up. You read these blogs of women with immaculate menus, perfectly-planned home school curriculum, photos of their clean living rooms, and a smile on their face (with make-up!), and you think – Whoa. That is so not me right now.

Please be encouraged.

The next six articles on Simple Mom will address the top things you should do at home to make sure you end the day feeling exhausted, disorganized, and lazy.

I want to light a little fire under you (and me), that’s true. But I also want to revitalize you, to help you rekindle the joy that is to be found by working at home. We have a significant job! And there is pleasure and satisfaction to be found.

I’m learning with you as I go, so please don’t think I have this whole wife/mommy/home manager thing down. But I have learned a few lessons about what not to do – things that are almost guaranteed to leave my job unfinished, my body exhausted, and my heart evaporated from my spirit.

I want to outline six essential keys to a deflated attitude, so that you can make sure and leave these off your to-do list, if you don’t want to be productive at home.

But if you do want clutter, disorganization, no energy, and a joyless spirit – then by all means, make them a priority.

Ready for them? Be sure and check in tomorrow.

What do you think these six keys are? I’m curious if you can guess them!

Start the series How to be Disorganized & Unproductive at Home from the beginning:
Introduction | Key #6 | Key #5 | Key #4 | Key #3 | Key #2 | Key #1

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. You are a big tease! I was so ready to read those! LOL Okay…I’ll check back.

    Jen A’s last blog post…Sunflower happiness

  2. oh, this seems to be interesting. because somedays i think i’m the queen of disorganized and unproductive days at home. oh my!

    Sanja’s last blog post…le petit prince

  3. @Jen – Ooh, sorry, I wasn’t trying to be a tease. Honestly. I was hoping by saying “an introduction” that it wouldn’t come across that way, so I apologize! 🙂

  4. I’m not sure if I can guess all 6, but I am sure comparisions will leave you feeling empty and defeated. I find blogs like yours are great to glean ideas from but if I start comparing myself to all the thousands of bloggers (who I only get a snapshot of their lives) I will live in a frozen state of discouragement and indicision. I’m looking forward to your tips.

    stacie@hobbitdoor’s last blog post…Musings from my heart . . .

  5. This is interesting, because I’ve just started reading ¨Perfect Madness by Judith Warner and it’s already starting to get to me. I can’t want to see these conversations.

    Kelly from Almost Frugal’s last blog post…How to Say No

  6. I don’t know if they make your list, but three sure fire ways to make my day unproductive (and leave me feeling bad) are (1) don’t make a plan (2) try to do to much (3) expect perfection.

    I am VERY excited to continue the series tomorrow…

    Lucie’s last blog post…Vacations

  7. Jennifer says:

    oh I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!
    I agree with the other comment, without a plan for the day, even an outline, I’m going in circles.
    Then again, having a 1 and 2 year old makes going in circles easy!!!

  8. Whatever the 6 things are, I’m pretty sure I do them all. I’m looking forward to this series as I really need to turn things around!

    Mindy’s last blog post…Menu Plan Monday

  9. I have no idea what the 6 things are! I’m guessing them is only buy what you need?
    Looking forward to this series!


    Dana’s last blog post…Auctions are exciting!

  10. Fran Kerrigan says:

    I’m guilty of them all. Here are my six:

    1. Not getting enough sleep
    2. Not having a plan for the day
    3. Skipping meals
    4. Not getting exercise
    5. Not putting things away as you finish with them
    6. Expecting perfection from your family

    Thanks – now I know what I need to do today – and looking forward to seeing your six tomorrow!

  11. I’m with @Mindy…

    Megin’s last blog post…Adoption Vacation

  12. Pretty sure I’m guilty of some if not all of them. I agree with Jennifer, when I became a mom I also became pretty good and self- sabotage!

  13. looking forward to what will likely be an entertaining series! i bet one of them is blog sucking {the act of getting sucked into reading WAY TOO many blogs and thereby reducing productivity}!
    have a great day!
    jenny 🙂

    LobotoME’s last blog post…{ lobotoME luv }

  14. I’m excited about the upcoming series!

  15. This sounds good!

    I understand your emailers. Sometimes when I read too many mommy-blogs I can discouraged and feel as though everyone is Martha Stewart except me! I love it when bloggers share their bad moments as well, making them more human!

    I enjoy the spirit of your posts–that we’re in this together and not as though you have it all the answers already.

  16. I bet one of them is sitting and reading blogs all morning! I’m really good at that.

    Virginia’s last blog post…blueberry pavlova

  17. Let’s see–I have them down today. Lol.
    1. Don’t get up early.
    2. Don’t get showered/dressed before lunch.
    3. Let the children watch television at will.
    4. Don’t make meals.
    5. Don’t tend to laundry, trash or dishes.
    6. Don’t have a plan for getting to where you need to go.


  18. let me guess… the first one is don’t have a schedule 🙂

    I’m looking forward to reading these – I certainly need the kick in the rear and the help in this area of my life!

    Blessed’s last blog post…First Kiss

  19. This is perfect for me right now. 1,000 things to accomplish and I stand here frozen, not sure of what direction to take first. 8 kids, baby out of ICU, big house, summer lax…

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Kendra’s last blog post…Before and After the PICU, a Photographic History of the Garden

  20. I’m looking forward to this series, BUT I am afraid I might be the queen of all 6 keys….but maybe (hopefully) this can help me change my ways.

    Mama Koala’s last blog post…My favorite things…

  21. I’ve been reading for a few weeks now and have been encouraged! I have a much better day when I have a written plan…not a rigid timed plan, but a guide of what must be done and it needs to be where I can see it! I get distracted, stressed, and tired and totally lose focus. When that happens, I can take a deep breath and go back to the list. I also do better when I get up before the children and have devotions (with coffee). Looking forward to reading more.

  22. I’m not sure what all of the To Do list items might be, but one Don’t that I’m keenly aware of Doing right now (and trying to stop, but not having a ton of success…yet) is believing the image. A blog and a photograph is just a window into someone’s life; but that doesn’t mean the window is translucent or that the image is clear. But the image I frequently take away is one of They’re doing it right and I’m doing it wrong. What I’m trying to get conscious of is the fact that the only thing I really know when I look at that image or read that post is that I’m being shown only what this person is doing right in that moment. And I have no idea how long that perfection lasts outside of the image being snapped, or the post being uploaded. So what am I comparing myself to, really?

  23. For me – a biggie is procrastination!
    Not eating right.
    Not taking care of things right away.
    Spending too much time on the computer, watching TV, or other leisure activities.

  24. THIS is worth my time…I’m excited to read these. Haha…menu planning. When I hear “what’s for dinner?” My reply is almost always “food.” Good enough, right?

  25. One has got to be having too high expectations and/or being too hard on yourself. I have been working on this one this summer and things have definitely been so much better for me. I think we try to be “perfect” and that is impossible. I think we are too quick to criticize ourselves for not doing something or falling behind but never give ourselves credit for the things that do get accomplished or do go right.

    I think another thing is not giving yourself some “me” time. It can be anything that gets you “away” from the mundane day to day whether it be a craft (mine is scrapbooking), or doing something fun for yourself like a pedicure or haircut, getting out of the house for a walk or to window shop, sometimes if I get a chance I go out to eat by myself like for a sandwich nothing special but it’s nice just to be alone in thought without kids and the messy house and all my responsibilities.

    This may go along with too high expectations but people need to read a lot of blogs with “editing” glasses because people who are blogging about their perfectly clean house, perfect home schooling experience, perfect kids and all their never ending projects, etc are only giving a portion of the picture. There are a lot of people who want to seem as if everything is perfect and that they have it all but that’s not possible. Blog World can be very different than Real Life. When I find blogs that I think I may want to read on a regular basis, I give them a trial period and see if they are “real” or “pretending” to be perfect. I like blogs that tell the whole story because I want to see people in the same boat as me not paddling away as I’m drowning . . .

    Mindy’s last blog post…I Won!!!

  26. I haven’t a clue what those 6 things might be, but you can be sure I will check back to find out. I know this will be a great series.

    Kelly’s last blog post…How do you beat the heat?

  27. Oh, this sounds wonderful. I was just lamenting last night that I can’t seem to stay on top of keeping the house clean and teaching the children. My children (4 & 2) do not watch any TV or videos so there is never a moment where they don’t seem to need me. I am very often exhausted and joyless at the end of the day.

    I will add that we are nearly clutter free except for learning materials and I still struggle with messes. How can this be?

    nina’s last blog post…The (Miraculous) Big Tidy-Up

  28. I definitely agree. Playing the comparison game CAN make you feel less than perfect. I fall in that trap from time to time. I am looking forward to your post tomorrow.

  29. I definitely agree. Playing the comparison game CAN make you feel less than perfect. I fall in that trap from time to time. I am looking forward to your post tomorrow.

    Monica’s last blog post…Pilates ~ Part 3

  30. This is such a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to check back and follow along with your series.

    I am all for having a fire lit under me!

    Kate’s last blog post…Chore “Time Cards”

  31. Thank you so much for saying we have a significant job! Sometimes, it’s just nice to hear that from someone other than my husband.

    Kristen’s last blog post…Goodbye Crib, I Will Always Love You

  32. I’m not sure what the six tips will be, but I’m one of those “deflated” mothers who never feels like I’ll ever “be like the rest” in regards to keeping up my home. So I’m just really glad that you’re blogging this series! I await with baited breath!!

    Allison’s last blog post…4

  33. 6? Hmmm. I can guess two:

    (1) staying up late/getting up late
    (2) blogging/facebook/sitemeter

    Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years’s last blog post…Believer’s Baptism

  34. First off, I bookmarked this site and forgot it…I am so sorry and so glad I found it again~ this series sounds wonderful.

    My six
    1. Lazy time eatting distrations..the computer surf
    2. not getting up before them (any and all of my family)
    3. overextending myself
    4. procrastination..uhm that could go hand in hand with #1
    5. not caring about the end results
    6. gosh…I need this series…
    I am tired of long range and short range plans and my head is spinning….thanks in advance!

    Anne’s last blog post…What is your vision?

  35. First off, I bookmarked this site and forgot it…I am so sorry and so glad I found it again~ this series sounds wonderful.

    My six
    1. Lazy time eatting distrations..the computer surf
    2. not getting up before them (any and all of my family)
    3. overextending myself
    4. procrastination..uhm that could go hand in hand with #1
    5. not caring about the end results
    6. gosh…I need this series…
    I am tired of long range and short range plans and my head is spinning….thanks in advance!

  36. I think I can agree with all the other commenters who say they need this series. I know this particular affliction all too well. For me, its called multitasking. Multitasking and actually working — good. Multitasking by checking email, Twittering, doing design projects, trying to write a blog post, doing laundry and cooking lunch — bad. I’m in the process of un-burying myself from the mound of stuff I’ve given myself to do every day 🙂

    Jennae @ Green Your Decor’s last blog post…Guest Post and Giveaway: ReUse is the Ultimate Green Statement

  37. Good ideas from everyone!

    I’ll have to say that some of you have indeed guessed some of them, but not all of them have yet been mentioned here. 😉

  38. Shared these on FriendFeed and Twitter !

    ~ Alex

    Alexander M Zoltai’s last blog post…Poetry Is Dead ?

  39. Letting our readers know how much I love the series!

    Sandra’s last blog post…Interview with a Preschool Director

  40. Looking forward to reading the series! So funny that I came across this today! Yesterday’s post for my blog was titled Confessions of a Creative Clutter Queen!


  41. Can’t wait to read these posts!

    Susan (A Happy Heart at Home)´s last blog post…WFMW – Crocs shoes and a giveaway

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