Mondays are my day for tackling my mailbox. This week, I’m sharing a message I got from a sweet and talented reader who wanted to know how I accomplish so much. Here’s my answer to that oft asked question.
I think you are REMARKABLE and love your blog!
Couple of questions:
- However do you fit all you do in a 24 hour day like the rest of us??
- How old are your children… Youngest to oldest?
- I’ve got something I think your younger kids will enjoy that I wanted to send to them. Do you have a mailing address I can send it to you??
And here is the message I sent in reply…
I’m so sorry to be so long in replying to you. We got the flu a couple of weeks ago 🙁 . Only now am I sorting through all the emails that piled up during our illness.
Here are the answers your questions, in reverse order.
3. I’ve messaged our mailing address to you privately.
2. Our children are currently 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, and 30. However, we have some birthdays coming up in May and June that are going to throw those numbers off a little.
1. As for how do I accomplish so much in a given day, I don’t have any super-amazing secret. But what follows are a few habits that help.
Habits that boost my productivity
- I start every morning with Bible study and prayer. To download a copy of the reading plan I use, follow this link. This gets me off on the right foot and helps set the tone for the rest of the day. I learned a poem as a young girl which perfectly sums up my perspective on this topic: “I Met God in the Morning”
- I get up early to do a lot of mental work (writing/ planning/ etc) while the rest of the family is still asleep. Those pre-dawn hours are my most productive.
- I do my best to multi-task in smart, efficient, and calming ways. Here’s what I mean: In Defense of Multi-Tasking
- I limit my use of social media and online entertainment. Although we do sometimes watch movies as a family, we haven’t owned a TV in years. Back when we did, it was on constantly and sucked up inordinate amounts of time. That’s why, once that original set exploded — probably from overuse! — we never replaced it.
- I don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. When my husband is at work, the kids and I often just eat raw fruits and veggies with hummus, or something quick I prepare in the Instapot. You’ll rarely find me making gourmet meals that take hours to prepare. That frees up a lot of time for other pursuits. (Here’s a printable list of some of our go-to meals and snacks)
- I take a 10- to 15-minute power nap almost every day after lunch, and try to get to bed by 9 PM every night.
Before I had kids, I was very much a night owl, but now I am totally worthless in the evening. I don’t know how I would ever accomplish much of anything if I had to do it after sundown. It takes me three times as long to do anything at the end of the day as it does first thing in the morning when I’m fresh, so I usually turn in as soon as soon as my productivity begins its nightly nosedive.
Hope that answers your questions, Lynn. Thanks for writing. I appreciate your encouraging comments and your thoughtfulness!
Well, those were just the first of several email messages back and forth between me and my new friend. Soon, my mail carrier delivered a surprise package from Lynn, as well:
It turns out that Lynn’s not only a loyal reader. She’s also a fellow writer. (I suspect she’s had to field the question, “How do you accomplish so much” a few times herself!)
What’s more, she sent my kids a copy of all nine of her children’s titles… just because. Side note and cool vocabulary lesson: Lynn taught me that in the South (and especially in the Carolinas), such unexpected “just because” gifts are known as “surcie.”
And is it ever fun finding surcie in your mailbox!
Between Lynn’s generous gift and all the great bonuses I’ve gotten with The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle this year, it has felt like Christmas around our house lately! Here’s a sampling of some of the other treats I got in the mail last week:
Incidentally, if you’d like to get some special treats in your own mailbox, you can. Just snag a copy of The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle before the sale ends at midnight tonight.
What a great surprise gift?. That must have been wonderful-how thoughtful! Nothing better than books!
Well, I love this week’s questions, they are just what I needed to hear lately! I’m super starting to hit a slump on schoolwork (way too nice out-I’m so distracted!) and I feel like I’m in the kitchen ALL day long! I’m so jealous of you NOT being in there. I’m looking at your ideas (though I don’t own an instapot) right after I type this! To be honest…don’t tell other homemakers…lol…I don’t like to cook. ? I know we need it so I do it, but it doesn’t mean I like it ?
2 questions if you don’t mind: 1. What time do you wake up in the mornings?
2. Do you set a time limit on your computer use & if so, how long is it?
AS ALWAYS, thanks for keeping the rest of us motivated❤️
Jennifer Flanders says
I agree — books are the best! We took a longer school break over the summer than usual and enjoyed some time outdoors, too.
If you don’t like to cook, an Instapot is the way to go, as it speeds up the process and gets you out of the kitchen. And you can prep 10-20 meals at once, then slide each evening’s entry into the pressure cooker without hassle or mess.
Another option: Serve food raw! You know, fruits and veggies and salads the like. It’s quick, easy, and good for you. My husband wouldn’t be too thrilled with that kind of fare, but my kids prefer it, so that’s what we do most days for lunch.
My wake up time fluctuates a little depending on the day’s responsibilities, but I’m definitely a morning person and am usually up by 5 AM, give or take an hour. I go to bed pretty early though (usually by 8 or 9 PM), so I still get adequate rest. I’m no good late at night — it takes me three or four times as long to do a task after dark that it does when I’m fresh the next morning.
As for computer time, I am on it much more than I’d like to be, but obviously not long enough to reply to all my emails in a timely fashion (hence the 4 1/2 month delay in answering this one). My husband has been known to set time limits on my usage in the past, and I’ve always honored those when he does (and been amazed at how much I can accomplish while doing so).
I’ve never been one to spend hours scrolling through social media, but I do use my computer for lots of other projects (such as book writing, photo editing, graphic design, record keeping, and vacation planning) that sometimes suck me in and cause me to lose track of time. For the most part, I try to do those things in the wee hours of the morning while kids are asleep so that it doesn’t take me away from them. I believe it’s good to step away from the computer regularly, though, and have tried to keep Sundays a screen-free day as much as possible.
Lynn Wright says
I THOUGHT those questions sounded familiar! Glad you are enjoying the books… Hope you all are well; i’m so blessed to have such a wonderful, talented friend! Talk to you soon! ?
Jennifer Flanders says
Ha ha! Did you experience a little deja vu reading this post, Lynn? I’ve been meaning to add a photo of all your gorgeous books to my Instagram feed ever since they arrived. We’ve read through all the picture books and hope to finish the chapter books this summer. We just need to wrap up some loose ends to our schoolwork before starting on those! Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.