Somewhere in recent history, women’s work – staying home and raising a family – has become akin to a symbol of slavery. However, quite to the contrary, to run a household efficiently and effectively, and turn a profit, one needs to understand basic business principles. If you do not, then, yes, I can possibly see how it may seem like drudgery, but I am still a fan of “women’s work.”
Efficiency is the key to running your business (in this case your home). When there is efficiency; there is profit. We measure profit in several ways: Monetarily speaking, owning and spending less will save you money. It is just that simple. Time management should also be high on your list. You may ask yourself, “How will this save me time, if I have to do everything from scratch?” Well hold on, planning is the key to time management; plan your meals, your grocery list, and you will free up more time than you would have imagined. Physical Profit—by doing most of the tasks manually, you will be using your body, resulting in a workout simply through doing housework. Healthier lifestyle: healthier happier you. Once you have gained your ‘physical profit,’ you will easily move to the higher level of profiting from less stress and drama.
Think of running your household in the same way you would run a company.
You will need:
Inventory: Food, soaps, detergents, cleaning supplies, clothing…etc.
Equipment: Vacuum, Washer, Dryer, Dishwasher, Computers, Phones…etc.
Utilities: Cable, Phone, Mobile Phones, Water, Electricity, Gas, Trash Collection… etc.
Office space: Children need a place to play and homework spaces. Adults need work-spaces. You need outdoor spaces: one needs a break room after all.
Organization: You will need folders or files for keeping track of purchases, utility bills, auto maintenance, and equipment maintenance (washer/dryer, dishwasher, water heater, air conditioning, lawn mowers, snow blowers…etc.)
Contacts: physicians, mechanics, tax agents…etc. Create a contact list that not only serves your family, but your life as well. Networking in all areas of life helps build a foundation of resources.
Finance: Savings accounts for back-up cash flow: 10 to 20% of your income each paycheck. Paying yourself first is of utmost importance.
Checking Accounts: for immediate cash flow: budgeting every penny you spend will lead to having money left over at the end of the month, rather than more month left after money. (Simply do not spend more than you earn.)
Retirement Accounts: for long-term spending: think of a retirement account the same way a company plans for long-term debt. Your retirement is long-term debt, money you owe over a period of years to pay off a balance; that balance would be what you will live on when you no longer wish to work. If you begin to look at retirement savings this way, you will succeed in paying off that ‘debt’ and the reward will be collecting on it later in life. Keeping track of your retirement account and reviewing it once a year, will serve you well. What will your R.O.I.(return on investment) be? Could it be better?
You need to understand how basic business works in order to establish a well-oiled, profitable, machine that is your business: your life. You may or may not have team members (spouse, children), depending upon where you are in life. Either way if you manage your business correctly, it will serve you well, thus eliminating one source of stress and bringing you one step closer to the harmony you desire. Let us begin in the kitchen where you may find you have more inventory and equipment than your company needs.
Create a Chart – Make Each Day Count.
I realize those of you with families may find it difficult to designate one day for laundry, one day for cooking, etc. Yet it is not impossible. Instead of Monday being laundry day, make it Saturday or resolve to do one load an evening – throw it in the washer when you get home from work, right before you head out to walk around the block.
As a child, you thrived on structure and there was a set time to do everything. Why are you not using this system in your adult life? Your mom was right, you cannot live your life by the seat of your pants, nothing will be accomplished – not only will unfinished projects accumulate, so will stress.
Take a proactive approach to life – being proactive instead of reactive, removes the stress of not knowing what is coming next, and replaces it with the serenity of knowing that everything is taken care of, and all is in working order. By working each day, picking one thing out of your ‘to-do’ list you will accomplish so much more than trying to tackle everything all at once – multi-tasking is NOT the answer. If you begin, and subsequently finish, one task, you will not only complete something, but also the satisfaction of completing that something will fill you with a sense of accomplishment and pride – this is indeed good for the soul.
Multi tasking leaves you disappointed and frustrated.
Why do four things simultaneously with mediocrity, when instead, you can do one thing at a time with perfection? This whole notion of multi-tasking is nonsense and should be thrown out of your vocabulary immediately. For those of you that just muttered something about being assigned a million things at once in your job, how your ‘in-box’ is overflowing with projects, tasks, and those things you ‘will get to,’ I hear you and I understand. I multi-tasked my life away in all my roles, both personal and professional. I squandered away nearly 25 years of my life, not knowing what was next, running this way and that. It created enough havoc to send me running to the nearest psychoanalyst to help me work through the issues. As it turned out, I had a ton of issues and the biggest was trying to be everything to everyone: I had missed the point of life from the very beginning.
Engage your brain.
My father always said, Engage your brain, when one of us did something stupid, although I do believe it usually fell under the category of Do as I say and not as I do, since I do not recall my father ever following his own advice. As crass at that may sound, it is a simple statement of facts. At any rate, it is wise to think before you act.
Come to think of it, neither of my parents ever really followed their own advice; my father constantly telling me to go out and seize my future as it wasn’t going to just show up at my front door, and my mother always saying, fail to plan, plan to fail. Later in life, my father always told me to have my ducks in a row, which was most important; yet on the day of his death, within hours, we were out trampling about in search of a resting place for him at the local cemetery.
One would have thought that he would have placed all his ducks in a row before his demise; he did, after all, have cancer and knew precisely where he was headed. Perhaps one’s impending death does not create a need to practice what you preach. I do not know what my father’s final thoughts were, nor if he was afraid of death, all I know is that he was tired – tired of being sick and that his time on this earth was finished because his body simply ran out of steam.
Do not get stuck in a rut, nor should you continue to multi-task as this will leave you frustrated and angry; we all know that frustration and anger will lead to health issues and believe me, as a cancer warrior, you do not wish to sacrifice your health because of your anger. Run your like a business; understand all basic business principles as these will take you far. Ask yourself, each day, if you are turning a profit in ALL aspects of your life; personal, professional, health, financial,emotional, spiritual. If the answer is no to any of these, the it is time reassess a few things and move towards total abundance.
Be grateful for every moment, every breathe, every star in the heavens above. Take comfort in the ordinary. Celebrate the ordinary. Enjoy the laundry, dishes, housework, all the ordinary activities of life simply because you are doing them for the ones you love.
Changing your perspective will transform the ordinary into the EXTRAordinary.