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:
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.
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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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!
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!