Every now and then on the homestead, especially in the summer months, it seems as though our list of things to get done gets out of control. It’s hard to remember that sense of peace and fulfillment as the list grows and grows. At these times I remind myself of these five ways to make the most of your day.

How to Make the Most of Your Day

Today was a great reminder for me to take a step back and really determine what needs to be done and how or when. Prioritizing what matters most to us and learning to work with mother nature, as I write this I am soaked to the bone after a rain storm caught me mid-mowing.

So how do you make sure you can get your list completed and not feel spread too thin? Here are five simple ways to make the most of your day.

Prepare Ahead    

The key thing to preparing ahead is to simply look at the coming week, or day if you are just starting off with this, and determine what things you really need to get done.

Start by accomplishing those simple things that can be completed before the start of the next day. Prepare ahead for these tasks.

Preparing the Night Before

Some basic planning the night before can really help with this process.

Laying my children’s clothes out the night before, and often times my own even, allows us to get up and get started quickly with no debates over what to wear. This is something your children can even do themselves and take pride in accomplishing on their own. Let them develop this sense of responsibility, it’s empowering for them.

Preparing Long Term

For me preparing ahead includes making a weekly and monthly meal plan. This lets me calculate out what we will need for groceries. It makes it so much easier for me to know what to pull from the freezer each day.

I also like to write down what we have coming up for events so everyone is aware of what is happening and when. This really helps us to avoid double booking things. Dental and doctor check ups are great things to put on your calendar well in advance.

Planning date nights or free time ahead is another fantastic option if you struggle with these things. My husbands golf schedule is something that I like to add to my planned out schedule.

Planning ahead is something we should all really try to do but when it comes right down to it many of us fall short, myself included from time to time. Knowing that this is a key way to get your day off to a great start I strongly suggest this. 


Make a List 

I suggest making two lists, one for the month and one for the week, of things that you want to accomplish. Making that larger picture of the things to get done this month allows you to breakdown those larger tasks into more manageable pieces in a week by week format. For many finding a way to break a big task up is just what is needed to complete it.

Some people really get into list making but let me say that the list is only as effective as the person who is creating it. I don’t know how many times I have written a list of things to accomplish only to have it fall short when I do not take the time to really get after it.


I do suggest having a couple of easier tasks that may not be as high of a priority thrown here and there. Having these less meaningful but easy tasks will help to give you a confidence boost with a pat on the back for completing them.

After you have created your lists it’s time to really take a look and prioritize them. Start by things that are most important to you and your family and then work your way down from there.

Set Limitations and Make Expectations

Set limitations on what you want to get done daily. If you just keep adding to your list of “to do’s” you will soon find that you are frazzled, overwhelmed and simply do not know where to start. Limit yourself to 2-3 big things in a day or 5-10 smaller manageable tasks. Really know what you are capable of completing well in a day do not push beyond that realistic point.

Making expectations is not something that is intended for you. The list of expectations you have are for the other people around you. Say for instance, your children. Make a list of things you expect them to get done in a day and hold firm. For little ones a reward of some kind for all of their hard work is always nice, we did a playground trip yesterday for their hard work. Remember that encouragement along the way is something that will help them get the job done and with less whining.

list of expecations for the day

Meal plan for the week and the boys daily expectations.

Limitations and expectations are the two things that will either help you to succeed or fail. You need to remember that you are but one person.

Focus Yourself

Focusing on the task at hand can sometimes be the hardest part. Shut off the TV, don’t look at your phone or e-mail and really focus on what needs to happen right now to finish things. Our society has made it a norm to multi-task, and while it has its place, it can also be extremely healthy to unplug from time to time. Give it a try and see how it affects your work ethic.

Making the most of your day and feeling accomplished really is possible when you follow these five simple steps. Having a plan and following it help you to focus and succeed at even the most overwhelming tasks.

Know that not every day will be perfect. Sometimes sick kids, or mother nature, change your plans for you.  Be flexible enough to work around those situations and look at the bright side.

I may not get my lawn completely mowed today but after that rain shower I will not need to water the garden.

Happy homesteading.

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