questions

Ep 026: Coffee + Questions with Allie

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It’s time for another Q+A! In this episode I am answering two questions I get asked a lot. “How I plan my week (with homeschool, work, house stuff, date night, etc.)?” And “How I teach my kids to develop a routine?” I love opening up the floor for you guys to ask questions! You always have such great questions + I want to be able to answer them for you. I hope you enjoy this months Q+A!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • What batch-style planning is and how it has helped her build a weekly rhythm for her business, family, and home.

  • How she has taught her kids to develop a routine.

  • The importance of consistency in creating a routine for your kids.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!


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Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey guys! Welcome to The Purpose Show! This is our new monthly segment of Coffee & Questions.

I pick two or three frequently asked questions that I have either always gotten and want to clarify once and for all, or that I have recently been getting a lot. Sometimes I will post on Instagram and open the floor for new questions, which I did for this episode.

I want to know what you guys are needing help with, what you are hearing me talk about, or seeing me do in my own life. What is inspiring you but you are not really sure how to take action in your own life? I like to open up the floor to what you guys are needing. I think it’s really good. I don’t want to get in my own head and come up with content for the podcast just from my own self. I want to hear what you guys want to know.

This week, I have some great questions that I am excited to dive into. So, let’s just jump right in.

Question #1: The first question I received a bunch of times was centered around how I plan my week. A lot of people were asking, “How to do you plan your week with homeschooling, work, family time, home maintenance and errands, spending time with your kids? How does your week look?” That’s a really good question.

I have a lot going on. I don’t just work. I am CEO of our Incorporation, The Purpose Group. I have 9-10 different people working under us and for us. There is a lot of things to manage with that.

We are homeschooling older kids. Bella is in 3rd grade and that’s when it gets a bit more time consuming. The days are a bit longer because there is more ground to cover with her. There is definitely a lot going on.

But I do feel like we have finally struck a really good balance, and I am happy to share.

I don’t know if this is out there, or a lot of people talk about it, so forgive me if it is. But I have created this on my own for myself. There is this idea called “batching.” It is basically a productivity hack. When you are working on a type of task, for example, writing. If you are writing, you are in the “writing zone,” so you want to get all of your writing tasks done in a batch of time that is set aside for writing.

If I write ten pages of something, then I stop to check my email, have lunch, record a podcast, and then I try to come back to writing, my mind has exited “writing zone.” It has bopped around to different things. Studies show that you work much slower, and you are less productive. This idea of “batching” is tackling similar tasks in batches.

That worked really well for me when I was starting my business and doing everything. I was creating my own graphics, writing blog posts, recording audio lessons, creating courses, making videos. All of these different tasks.

Now I am the “face” and “creative brain” behind everything. I decide what we are going to do, what we are going to talk about, and where we are going to take the business. Then I physically do the things that have to be me – live streams, videos, course lessons.

On the backend, all of that stuff is now delegated to employees, which is awesome and frees me up so much. Batching helped me so much when I was in start-up mode. I have taken that idea and carried it into my week. I have this batch-style schedule for my week.

One of the reasons I hate talking about this is because it always sounds so perfect. “This is how I do my week and it is always like that.” And that is just not the case. I am a really mellow person. Our life is very flexible. It changes all of the time.

But, I do have this same “ideal day” or “ideal week” that I go off of. There are little tweaks and changes here and there as needed. I am going to share you what my “batch style” week looks like.

I have shared before on Instagram that there are different days set aside for different priorities. What I mean by that is I know that Monday is a heavier workday than other days of the week. Monday is a day where I am usually recording a podcast, if it is recording week.

I even have “batched” weeks. Every week of the month is set aside for a type of work. The first week of every month, I record the podcast and into the second week if necessary. The third week of every month is usually going over the next quarter or the next month. Looking ahead and planning. The last week of the month is always extra meetings, if they are needed. I even batch in terms of the month.

For the week, I know that Monday is a heavier workday so there are different priorities. Work, homeschooling, and home and life maintenance is how I categorize it. On Monday, work is the heavier priority. I know that I normally spend one to three (at the most) hours in my office in the morning. I definitely do block out three hours for work in the morning.

After breakfast and everyone is settled, I will go into the office and work. I check things out. I check my email only once a week. I catch up on things and take care of any tasks that are waiting for me. Asana is the platform that I use to manage work tasks.

On Monday, the heavier priority is work. That doesn’t mean that I don’t homeschool my kids on Mondays. That doesn’t mean that I don’t maintain my house and do my normal stuff on Mondays. It just means that work gets a little bit of a bigger time block on Mondays. It is my heavier priority on Mondays.

Tuesday is a heavier errands day. That’s the day I usually go to Costco. Or go get “filler” groceries, whatever we need for the week. I will usually go to Target and get house things that we need. Anything that I need to do. If I need to run to Sephora or something like that. I will probably plan that on Tuesday. It is very fluid, but typically Tuesday is a heavier errands day.

Friday is a really heavy meetings day. I always schedule all of my team and professional work meetings. When I need to have a meeting with our CFO. When I need to have a meeting with my Chief of Staff. When I need to have a meeting about press and upcoming speaking events with my PR girl. Those are always on Fridays. I plan for that. I gear up for that. It gets me in a frame of mind for each thing.

Wednesday and Thursday are definitely heavier homeschool days.

You can see how every day I am doing all of these things. Every day I homeschool. Every day I do a little work, at least think about my business and write an idea on my phone or something. I definitely don’t actually come into my office and work every day, but I am still a business owner and thinking about things all of the time. I still homeschool. I still take care of my house. I still run errands.

I do things every day, but there are certain days set aside and my week is very “batch style.”  Monday is very much a heavier work day and it’s “blocked out.”

Brian is home now. When he worked, it wasn’t able to be so simple. It was a “take it as it comes” lifestyle for me. Balancing the kids. Starting up my business. I didn’t have any employees yet, so I was doing everything.

Honestly, if you are in that season, my advice is to put your head down, focus, and take it as it comes. If there is a fire that needs to be put out with your kids, put work aside and focus on your kids. If it is a fire that needs to be put out with your business, have a higher tech day for the kids and focus on getting that business fire put out. That’s how it worked out at first.

Now that Brian and I are here together, he has some work tasks with his role in the business and I have mine. We both swap things out and share the load of schooling and home maintenance as needed. His heavier work day is different than my heavier work day.

We would never purposely plan our heavier work days to be the same day because then that is going to lead to arguing and stress. Who is watching the kids? Who is schooling them? We are both exhausted in the morning from working, now we both have to do homeschooling. We have it on opposite schedules so we are high-fiving and tag-teaming throughout the day. It works really well for us.

There are some weekly rhythms that I have in place to nurture my family, make sure I am feeling good, everyone is happy, we are close, and we don’t get “lost in the chaos.”  We have a weekly date night. We have a weekly family night where we will either watch something on Netflix together and order pizza or have popcorn. We have game night. Sometimes we do board games or sometimes we do video games. Sometimes we want to get out of the house.  We might take a nighttime walk, or a hike. Get out and go see a movie at the theatre.

I have things for each of my individual kids. I will usually grab one of them and take them on an errand with me, just to get that one-on-one time with each kid. If my daughter has been seeming extra emotional or in a bad mood, I will say, “Hey jump in the car. Let’s go get coffee and hot cocoa, walk around Target and get some things we need for the house.” And we can have a talk and I pour into her and give her extra attention.

If any of the kids needed that, I will pick one as I feel it’s needed and take them along with me.  Let them be with mom one-on-one. Brian does the same thing. They are getting some one-on-one time with us as we go through the week and as we live our lives, which is awesome.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

 

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I do meal planning. I was doing that on Sunday night, but now it is more on Monday night and then Tuesday I go get the groceries. I am a once-a-week meal planner. We get some things in bulk at Costco to have some snacks and stuff, but I plan at least some general meals throughout the week. It is very fluid.

Some weeks it is totally different. If we are launching a new course that will add a bit of extra stress to our schedule. It’s “hunker down” time, where things are very abnormal. Brian will probably take on more work and more household maintenance tasks during launch week because I am overseeing and stressed. I am watching and making things are going well.

But to balance out, we always plan at least a 2-day get away as a family after I launch something new. Sometimes you have to hunker down, work extra and let other things fall away a little bit. But then you celebrate, take a break, and refresh yourself.

Sometimes work falls by the wayside and I let some tasks go. I actually just did that the last two weeks. I was supposed to be recording the podcast, catching up on tasks, writing for all these press article opportunities, and I just wasn’t feeling it. I felt like I wanted to be closer to my family. I just needed a break. I left everything. I let all of the deadlines come and go and didn’t do anything. The world didn’t end. Everything kept going because I have an awesome team behind me.

Now this week, I am super refreshed. My family is doing great. I am working a little bit more. I worked about two hours every day this week, when I normally only work 3-4 hours a week total. I feel good. I love being back here. I am more refreshed.

I have that batch-style schedule throughout the week, but it is very fluid. It changes as I need it to.

Question #2:  The next question I got quite a bit of was “How do you teach your kids to develop a routine?”

I am guessing this question was asked so much because this week I had shared on my Stories so much about the different rhythms that the kids are involved in.

Just to encourage you guys, this can totally happen for you. It’s not like I have some magic pill, or magical Unicorn kids who are special and listen really well and do whatever I want them to. I am not a crazy mean mom either, where they are scared to not obey the rules. It’s simply consistency.

I say this a lot but I am also really big on explaining to your kids what the deal is and why you want them to do something instead of just commanding they obey. I explain to them, “Things are a lot simpler when we do this. I really want you guys to wake up in the morning and make your beds. It makes our day way easier. You get to pick out what you wear. We can just jump right into breakfast.”

Knowing that helps motivate them and makes them understand, especially as they get older. Bella and Leland are 9 and 7, so they understand that logic. They want to know why we do things. If I don’t tell them, they will ask. I encourage that.  

I don’t want anyone to think that I have all these crazy rules and I am a Nazi Mom. “Do not come out of your room until 7 a.m. or you will be in trouble!” It’s not like that at all. It is understanding that this is the way our house works and it runs really smoothly. Everyone enjoys it when it runs smoothly. We are all a team working together to make that happen.

I definitely have to remind my kids and prod them for other routines. During the day, they get caught up in playing, get distracted, and they will forget to do their chores. They forget to pick up after they have played with something. I definitely have to remind them to come back and put their things away. Just normal mom stuff.

But especially with the morning routine, I don’t have to remind them very much.

This came about from being really consistent. The rule right now is 7 a.m. Bella has her own room and her own alarm clock. The boys share a room and have their own alarm clock. At 7 a.m. both of their alarm clocks will beep to let them know it’s time to get up and start the day. Usually they are already awake for a half hour or so.

They know to make their bed as best they can. Hudson’s always comes out like “did you even make it?” He is only 5 and he does his best. Leo helps make his. Bella makes hers really nice because she is 9, and a girl.

They get themselves dressed and come down for breakfast. Then they do their chores. They unload the dishwasher. They just get into their rhythm. I don’t really have to remind them or prod them for that, because it is the first thing of the day.

It really helped me to fit in the most important things that they do in the morning routine. It is the first thing they do. They are not distracted yet. They are not exhausted from the day. It is morning. They are excited to come out. They know if they hurry up, pick up their room, make their bed, get dressed and come down, then they can have breakfast and start the day. Then after breakfast, we rinse the dishes, unload the dishwasher from the night before.

It is a really great morning routine.

Put what you want your kids to help you with in their morning routine. Then just teach it to them really happily. Don’t make it a drag. Don’t make it a chore list. Don’t make it “you better do it, or else.”

It is a part of our routine. It is a part of our family and they are valued members of our family. We are a team and we all need to work together. Otherwise, things are just not going to work out.

It was consistency. Going along with them in the beginning. Showing them what to do. How to do it. Where the dishes go. How to be careful with the dishes. They know it is OK if they break something; I’m not going to freak out. They are not nervous, afraid, or dreading doing the dishes.

They know how to make their beds. They know that I can tell when they are being super lazy and not making their beds well. Then I will nicely tell them “please come back and take care of your bed. Let’s keep our things nice.”

I also know which ones are too little and can’t make the bed very well. And that’s OK. The older ones will help the younger ones make their bed, pick up, pick their outfit for the day. They know the whole routine and it’s awesome!

It was a little bit of consistency. You may need to wait for your kids to get a little older before this works really well for them.

I would say for the rest of the day, teach them routines. Then just remind them to do their routines. Instead of having to remind them to do every single individual thing in their routine.

For example, I will say, “Hey guys! Let’s do our after lunch pick up.” We have lunch and rinse the dishes (or throw them away if it’s paper plates). They know to go through the house and pick up any toys that are out. Pick up anything that needs to be put away. They pick up the back yard. Wherever they were playing, they check it out and make sure it is picked up. That’s pretty much it.

Emmett knows he needs to go and find (he calls it) his Guggle. He is saying “snuggle”, but it’s what he calls his blanket. He goes to my bed and is allowed to turn on Netflix, which he watches for two seconds before he takes his afternoon nap.

Then the other kids know it is time to play quietly. It is not a tech time; they know that. Bella will usually go by herself (she is an introvert) and have her alone time in her room to color, draw or read. The boys will usually go play Legos together. They just know that is our afternoon routine.

Yes, I am reminding them of something. But instead of reminding them “Hey, pick up the living room. Pick up the backyard. Pick up downstairs. Go pick up your room again. Go play quietly, it’s quiet time” I just say, “Hey guys, it’s time for afternoon stuff, or afternoon pick-up” and they just know what to do.

The same for after dinner and all of that. I remind them it is time for a routine instead of having to remind them to do each individual task.

I promise you, it comes with age and consistency from you. And they will get it!

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Ep 016: Coffee + Questions with Allie

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Have you ever wondered why we chose to have our kids so close in age or how we create boundaries with technology? If you said yes, then this is an episode you don’t want to miss! And even if you said no, I believe you will still enjoy this episode, as I sit down + answer some of the top questions I get asked all the time. So grab a cup of coffee + enjoy!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The pros + cons to having kids close in age.

  • How she views technology + what boundaries she sets for her kids.

  • Tips for creating a morning routine that will work for you.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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DO YOU FEEL LIKE...

  • you're stuck in survival mode?

  • the mundane parts of motherhood have taken over?

  • every time you get something clean someone is making a mess behind you?

  • you’ve tried to get organized a thousand times, but it always comes undone within a few days?

If you are screaming "YES!", then Your Uncluttered Home is for you!

When you simplify your mess, you set yourself free to be a present, intentional mom who leads a purposeful life. 


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Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com and let us know you left an iTunes review. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's mini courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


I_ve_got_you_2.png

Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey ladies!  Welcome to an episode of The Purpose Show!

This episode is super fun and relaxed which I very much like.  I have been wanting to do Q & A for a while, just because I do get a lot of questions, emails, and Instagram messages.  Questions about my life and how I do things.  All the things that I teach on and inspire you to make changes with.  Sometimes you just have questions.

As my business has grown, I have had to become more and more removed from interacting with each individual comment and message. Sometimes when I get messages, by the masses, a lot of the same question again and again, it tells me that this is something that needs to be answered.

I try to take notice of that.  Every month I plan to have these episodes to just dive into 1, 2 or 3 questions that I get all of the time and just give answers.  I think even if you aren’t a person who asks these questions, you might find these answers helpful.  Kind of a free-for-all of inspiration.  That’s my goal for these episodes.

So let’s dive in!  Q & A with me…

QUESTION #1:  I am in the having-babies, family planning season of my motherhood and would love to know… what do you like and dislike about having your kids so close in age?

This is a super great question.

For those of you who don’t know, I have four kids.  My oldest, at the time of this recording, is 8.  She will turn 9 soon. Then I have a 7-year-old, 5-year-old, and a 3-year-old.  My oldest two kids are just under 2 years apart.  My two older boys are about 15 months apart.  Then Hudson is 5 and Emmett is three, so another 2 ½ years with them.  We had a miscarriage in between Hudson and Emmett, the last two.

Our kids are very close.  Brian and I definitely wanted our kids to be this close together.  We had multiple reasons that went into that.  But the main thing is we just really wanted to have a close-knit family. I think you can have that even if you have large age gaps between your kids.  I don’t think that necessarily means you will or won’t. We wanted our family to be close age-wise, and relationally close.

What I like about it is that it is very easy to remain closely knit.  The kids are all into the same things at the same time.  We don’t have to deal with our oldest rolling her eyes and being really irritated that we are at the park for her brother, who’s nine years younger than she is.  They have all kind of stayed into the same thing.

What this means is the youngest one will not linger in the baby phase very long.  That’s probably what I dislike about having them so close in age.  Well, it’s not that I dislike it.  I guess it’s just a bit sad, a con I guess.  There’s pros and cons to everything.

But Emmett didn’t really get into baby toys and baby stuff.  As soon as he could realize, “oh I want to go and do this with my siblings,”  he would want to go and play with what they were playing with.  He is into Ninjas, Legos, and all those kind of things way younger than the older kids were into those things, because they didn’t have someone pulling them forward.

It’s kind of a pro and a con.  I think it is mostly a pro.  I think it is awesome that my kids are very close in age. They are all into the same things at the same time and can play together really, really well.  I just really like my kids’ age gaps.

I think my favorite age gap is probably Leland and Hudson, who are 15 months apart.  It is basically like having twins.  They are very, very close. It has been a real positive for me. I have had no issues or complaints.  The pregnancy was hard because Leland was so little.  I also had Bella who was 2, when I was pregnant with Hudson.  That was hard, but once they were all here and their relationships started to form, and Hudson was a year old, it was very much worth the difficult pregnancy season.

I think it just depends on you as a mom.

QUESTION #2. How can I begin to limit my kid’s tech use.  I have no idea how to get started here.

I won’t go into the benefits of limiting your kids’ tech time.  I think it is easily findable online. There are lots of studies that are being done or have been done recently. I have talked about it a lot on my website and in webinars.

I think first, do a bit of research.  How it affects your kid’s brains.  Their attitudes.  Notice in your home how it affects your kids.  Get a ballpark idea of what amount of time you are okay with per day.

I used to be pretty rigid with 30 minutes per day and that was it.  Now it’s a little bit more fluid because we love technology and it is a big part of our lives.  It is my entire business.

For the kids, we have the Nintendo Switch.  We have a Vintage Super Nintendo the kids love to play with us.  We have Netflix.  We do all of that.  We have a normal home in terms of technology.

It is just such a normalcy for us to limit it. I don’t really feel the need to be super, super rigid and have a timer like I used to.  Because the kids will just naturally shut it down after that time.

Not always.  There are some days where it is raining, freezing, maybe someone is sick, and they will play all day if we let them.   Or they will switch between playing games and watching Netflix.   That’s fine. It’s a sick day, a bad weather day.  There are certain days throughout the year that are like that.  I don’t think that’s a big deal. It’s a rarity. It’s not the norm. I think that is the key.

Typically, it’s 30-45 minutes a day. There are definitely days where there is no technology at all. The kids don’t even think to ask about it.  It’s just not a part of our day.

I am really happy with the balance our family has struck with technology.

I think the first step in getting there yourself is researching, finding your ballpark timeframe during the day. Do you think it’s OK for your kids to spend two hours? 20 minutes?  It depends on you as a mother and what your gut tells you feels right.

I think that it is a great idea to take a break from technology altogether for 1-4 weeks or so if you want to.  It is sort of like a cleanse.

It will be awful at first. I am not going to lie to you.  Your kids will totally go through withdrawals.  They will be super whiny and bored. It will be really difficult.

But it is so amazing to see how their imaginations wake up from a deep slumber. They will start to use them again. Start to play again. Their relationships will get better with each other.  They will be playacting and having conversations. Coloring and playing outside. Making up games.  It might take a week or so, but they will get there.

I think it is really sad that technology has robbed our children of play in a lot of ways. I am very thankful for technology. Like I said it is a big part of our life. It’s in our home.  We use it all the time. It is part of most of our days, but I do think that it can take over and rob us of a lot of good, sweet memories.  Playing, that organic play that kids are made to be good at.  It makes them unable to do it, like they don’t even know how.  That’s not how I want my kids to grow up.

I would start there, by coming up with a timeframe.  Maybe consider doing a technology cleanse.

Some of you may have followed me way back in the day, but about two years ago we did a cleanse from technology.  We had found it was creeping back in and taking over again.  We were going to do 30 days of no TV. No Netflix. No Nintendo. Nothing.  We actually just removed the TV from the home to eliminate distractions.

Brian and I have had a TV in our room for a while, because watching Netflix together at the end of the day is one of our favorite things to do together.  So we left the TV in our room for us.  We didn’t really take a break.  It was mostly for the kids.

We felt like we were relying on it a lot as parents, so we did a 30-day no-TV thing.  We loved it so much.  We were so thrilled with the results of our kids’ relationships from that cleanse that it ended up lasting for over 6 months.

The only reason it returned is because football season came around and we love to host our friends and family for football games, so we brought it back.  After that, I feel like that was when we really hit our stride with technology being very balanced and not the main event in our house. It was a really cool time. We remember that season really fondly. We talk about it a lot. It was a neat time and started us off on a good foot with technology.

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Having said that, I think that you need to know in yourself what you want. Remember that you are the parent. Anything that you do for your kids in this area is meant for their well-being. You’re not being mean. You’re not being cruel or making things harder for them.  You’re trying to make a good decision. Raise them well.  Raise kids who know how to play, enjoy life, have conversations.  Kids that know how to interact with people. Kids that have the right priorities.  I think that is all a really good foundation.  I think that is the most important thing.

Consider a cleanse. Find your time limit.  Once you do, start setting those limits.

We have a timer in the kitchen.  We use Alexa. We will just say, “Alexa set a timer for 40 minutes.”  If someone is in the middle of a turn when the timer goes off, they are allowed to finish their turn, save it and then shut it down.  There is no complaining.  They know that’s the rule. There’s no freaking out, sighing, whining.  They know to stop and turn it off.  The way it got that way was just by us setting the timer ourselves, and saying, “Ok guys, let’s finish up this turn. It’s time to turn it off.”  And not giving any attention to their meltdowns or complaints.

There was a period of time where if they complained or threw a fit about the timer going off and it was time to shut it down, we would just calmly say, “Ok this shows me that technology messes up your attitude and you need a break, so we will take it away for three days.  Then you can have it back and we will try again.”  They learned that if they freak out and have a meltdown after the timer goes off, then they lose it for a few days.

You can find your parenting foundation in that.  What kind of a parent are you?  How strict are you normally?  Find a way to make this fit in with our parenting philosophy. What we do may not work for you. Or it may not sit well with you.  You might not want to do it that way.

I don’t like to get into parenting stuff because everyone is so different. It’s such a personal preference. Everyone comes from different backgrounds.  But those are some of the things that we have done that have really worked well for us. I feel really happy with and really proud of the place that technology has landed in our home.

That’s the journey we have been through.  The different things we have tried. The rules we have implemented.  At this point, it is just a house rule.  My kids know they are not entitled to tech time.  It is just not that way in our house.  I feel really peaceful about that. I really love where we are with that.  I hope that helps you guys.

Ok, we have time for one more question.

QUESTION #3:  I would love to develop a good morning routine, but I don’t know where to start.  How should I go about creating one that will work well for me?  How do I know what to do during my morning routine?  How do I know how early I need to wake up, etc.?  Thanks for any help.

Morning routine really comes down to you and your life, and what you need to accomplish.  I will use myself as an example, because there have been different seasons of morning routine for me.

A while back, a couple of years ago, I was in a place of starting my business.  Brian, at the time, worked for a big company.  He worked really crazy, long hours.  He was gone all day. We homeschooled the kids. I didn’t want to be working all day with headphones in while the kids were watching TV. I really wanted to do the bulk of my work early in the morning and be done, so I could be present with the kids and focus on homeschooling during the day. Then I could focus on the business during nap times, quiet times and after bedtime.

That meant that I had to get up super early.

This was huge.  God had really put this on our hearts. We couldn’t afford to quit Brian’s job yet.  I knew this was really going to go somewhere and I was very, very dedicated.

At this point, I knew that I had four hours of work to get done, before Brian left in the morning, for me to really grow my business and get it off the ground in the very tight timeline that I wanted.  I was getting up at four in the morning, dragging myself downstairs, pouring a cup of coffee, and getting to work on my laptop, almost every single morning except for Sundays.

That was incredibly difficult but also incredibly empowering and rewarded.  My business took off fairly quickly and what I wanted to happen, happened.  That was a season of my life where I knew what I needed to get done. I knew what time I needed to wake up to do that. That’s what I did.

There are other seasons where I woke up at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning.  I would get a few things done, have some quiet time, exercise, enjoyed my coffee, and then started my day with the kids.

Now my season of life is very calm and mellow. I am not in a super crazy hustle season of my business. I have a large team that does a lot of the backend work for me (pretty much all of the backend work for me).  I am really focused on enjoying my life, my family, and my role in my business which is to lead you guys, put this show on, come up with new creative ideas, new topics and things like that.

Now my morning routine is very loose, simplified and enjoyable. I usually get up about 6:30 in the morning (a lot less early than I used to).  I read. I pray. I have some time of meditation and worship. I will read my Bible. Have my prayer time first. Then pour a cup of coffee, read a chapter of a current book.  I am always reading a book. Reading is very important to me.  Usually I do some Yoga or take a walk.  Then the kids come down for breakfast and we start our day.

My morning routine is a lot more relaxed.  I don’t need it to be rushed. My husband is home with me and running the business with me.  We are homeschooling our kids.  It doesn’t need to be so rigid and crazy.

Hopefully, that gives you a bit of an example that it can ebb and flow, shift as your life does.  Your morning routine should reflect where you are at in your life.

Having said that, where do you start?  Look at your life. Look at your schedule. What would help you to get done in the morning before your day really starts?  By that I mean, when your kids come out of the room and it’s time for breakfast, to get them ready for school, whatever your normal daily schedule is, what would be so helpful for you to have done?

Is it quiet alone time?  Is it reading and self-care?  Is it exercise?  Is it just waking up, taking a shower, getting dressed for the day? Having a cup of coffee in peace before the day really starts?  Is it getting up really early and knocking out a bunch of work tasks?

My biggest thing has always been, “what is the most important, key thing that I need to do today?”  I want to start the day out by getting that done first.  There is a saying that I read in a book once (I can never remember who said it), “If it has to get done in the day, then it needs to be done first.”  Otherwise life happens, interruptions take place, and you probably aren’t going to get it done.

Right now, in this season, that’s self-care.  I am in a place where my job is to serve other women.  I see a lot of unkind messages on a weekly basis. I am dealing with a lot of judgement from other people. I have to be “on” all of the time and I am an introvert.  That’s draining sometimes. My kids are at home all of the time and we are homeschooling.  That’s also an energy drainer.

Right now for me to be my best self, the most important thing is to have that time with the Lord, and take care of myself first.  Work can wait and start later.  But before, that was not my season and I really needed to make things happen, to hustle, to get where I am today.

Ask yourself where you are at?  What is the most important thing that needs to get done?  Would it help you greatly if you got a meal in the crockpot?  Got a load of laundry done? Got yourself dressed for the day before your kids woke up?  Would that be, “Oh my gosh, that would feel so good!”

Or is it something else. Start there. Once you have your answer (pair it down to 1-2 small things; be realistic) ask yourself how long each task will take you and that will give you your wake up time.

If you know that you will have to get 3 hours of work done before your day starts, and you serve your kids breakfast at 7:30 in the morning, then you know you need to wake up at 4:30.  See how that works?

Also a bit of a trick… if you are finding that it’s too much. If it’s an ungodly hour and you do not want to wake up that early to get those things done, see if you can fit something into your evening routine.

If your kids go down at 8 o’clock for bed, is there something you could do to “prep” and get it partially done?  Maybe you could lay your clothes out. Set the alarm. Choose the workout video for the in the morning. Make breakfast for everyone and have it in the fridge ready to reheat in the morning.  Maybe you could wake up a bit less early. Can you get your workout in at night?  Can you get 45 minutes of laptop work done before you go to bed?

Look at your schedule and routines from an aerial view if you can. Detach yourself emotionally from the stress of planning it all.  Look at the breakdown of what you need to get done each day? What does your morning routine look like?  What does your evening routine currently look like?  How can you find the cracks and fill them?  Arrange it in a way that really works for you and increases your productivity.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!