Making a schedule on a homestead is crucial for maximizing your time and getting all your daily tasks done. There are so many moving parts to this homestead lifestyle or farm.
Without a schedule, or rhythm if you will, you can find yourself spinning the wheel all day long and not getting anything done.
Working cattle, household chores, laundry, schooling the girls, garden work, preserving food, paying bills, our 2 business’ paperwork, grocery shopping, and cooking from scratch are just some of the tasks that I do every day or at the very least every week. Not to mention throwing in the extracurricular activities the girls are involved in or any major projects around the ranch.
I only have the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else, so how can I get all that done?
A day-to-day routine or schedule.
That is the only way I survive. With a schedule I don’t feel like a rat racing on a wheel, never getting to the finish line.
Schedules help with time management no matter how you look at it. Even if you are not a scheduled person, try making a loose schedule and see how it works for you. I promise it will benefit in some way because every little bit counts when it comes to schedules and routines.
Failing to plan is like planning to fail.
Last week I shared 8 of my daily habits over on YouTube, make sure to check that out!
What research says about making a schedule.
Research has shown that schedules and routines are incredibly beneficial for children. When children know the flow of their day, how it will run, and what is expected of them, they feel a sense of peace, comfort, belonging, and in control.
Children likely behave better and have more self confidence when they have a schedule to follow.
Research has shown that children have better social and academic success when they follow a routine or schedule. In the beginning they may resist the routine, but it won’t take long for them to feel the peace that it brings knowing what to expect next within their day.
But children aren’t the only ones that benefit when they follow a schedule.
Schedules are important for adults too.
As adults, we make so many decisions in a day. From the moment we wake up, we start making decisions. It starts with, “Am I going to get up right now or hit the snooze button?” When we have a schedule or routine in place we not only maximize our time but some of those little decisions are already made for us.
Stress levels begin to fall by this one step of making a schedule for yourself to stick to. And the overwhelm starts to fade.
If you are not a scheduled person, I encourage you to do your own research on what a good schedule or routine will do for you and your family. That may be the motivation you need to become one!
I am a scheduled person. I always have been. So today I am going to share my steps for making a schedule on a homestead. This schedule will include daily chores, how I preserve our own food, when to do I go to the grocery store, laundry, schooling the girls, homesteading tasks and more.
When I am making a schedule on a homestead there are a few steps I follow right away. I usually make a new schedule at the start of every school year. It usually is similar to the previous year but seasons of life change so it’s important to adjust your schedule accordingly to flow better.
When making a schedule on a homestead, start with a list.
The first thing I do when making a schedule on a homestead is make a list. I have touched on this before but today I’ll go more in depth.
Write everything out. This should be a bullet list of everything you do in a day. Make a list of the things that never change like laundry, dishes, school, making your bed etc. and the things that your do seasonally like canning/gardening.
Do not rush this process and get other family members involved. You want to make sure you don’t miss anything, so ask your spouse or older children, if they agree with the list and if they would add anything.
This may take you a couple days. As you go about your days and daily life add to the list the things you are doing.
This is probably one of the most important steps to maximizing your time and getting a routine or schedule built that actually works for your family.
Take some time at the end of the day, while you are making this list, to reflect on the day and all that you got done.
Once you have your solid list, it’s time to move onto the next step.
Create blocks into your schedule.
I always look at my days in blocks. I don’t really put a time slot on mine, although I have a rough idea of what time to move onto a new block.
For me having a timed schedule doesn’t bother me one bit. I thrive in structure. Other’s I know are not the same way. If this is you, don’t add times. Build your schedule to make your day flow, not to stay on a time schedule.
Blocks help with this so much!
What I mean by blocks is set a block schedule for first, second, third, fourth etc. However many blocks you need for your day. They can be as big or little as you want.
Think of natural “breaks” in your day. That usually will be where one block ends and the next one begins. For example, I get up about 2 hours before my girls. This is considered my first block. The natural break in my day is I am no longer awake by myself but I’m now getting my girls up. For them this is their first block of the day but my second.
Once you have your blocks set up, you can reference back to your list and start plugging in what you want to get done in that time block. Make sure you are being reasonable. If you cram too much into your block, it won’t work and you’ll end up frustrated.
Example of my first block:
For me, I wake up at 5am and I wake my girls up at 7am. This gives me a solid 2 hours to get a lot done! Here is what my first 2 hour block of time looks like.
5am: wake up, get coffee and read bible/devotions/quiet time with the Lord
5:30am: blog work
6:30-6:45am: start one load of laundry, make bed, get dressed for the day
7:00am wake girls up
I follow that rough time schedule but really in this block it looks like this… First block: get up, devotion time, blog work,1 load of laundry, make bed, and get dressed. Just set the list of tasks you want to get done in that time spot.
You can then add times to it at that point or leave it as it is. The goal is to just know what tasks you need to get done during that part of your day.
Making blocks for other family members.
Make sure that whoever is going to be apart of your day also has their own set of blocks. Now I don’t do this for my husband, even though he is in and out of the house all day, but for the girls I do.
Their blocks are a lot less structured then mine, but they are set so the girls know what to do. Having a homestead schedule for everyone is so important to running a thriving busy home.
Remember that list of tasks you do in a day that you created? This is where it becomes really important. Look at that list again and mark the things you need to do yourself and the things that can be delegated.
Now take those things that can be delegated and plug them into other members of the families time blocks. So instead of your blocks being jam packed full of household duties, divide them out amongst your children to help! This will free up your time some and help them to learn how to be a team player.
Even if you don’t homeschool and your kids go to public school, they can still have a block in the morning before they leave to help them pitch in a little bit. The duties may be short but every little bit helps!
There are a lot of different things that can be delegated, even your smallest child can help! If you need some inspiration and ideas on kids chores, check out my post on how we handle kids chores on the ranch.
Using a day planner.
Now that you have a rhythm down and you have your blocks made it is important to get it organized so it’s easy to follow. You can make charts on the computer, if you like that sort of thing, or you can use a day planner like I do.
I always tease and say my day planner has my whole life in it, if I lose it I won’t know what I’m supposed to be doing!
There is some truth to that, however I have been doing this for so long that I do most of this all by memory and habit. I know what I am supposed to be doing in each block but there are tasks that change on a weekly basis depending on what season I am in.
For example in the winter months I am doing less canning and maybe more organizing inside the home. My daily projects will look different depending on the season.
What do I put in my dayplanner?
I have not found the perfect homestead planner yet that works perfectly with how I run my schedule, so for now I just buy a Walmart day planner every year and make it work. I have a goal of making one, one day. But I haven’t gotten to it yet.
In this day planner I have my meal planning, daily schedule, and my monthly goals and tasks.
On the monthly calendar of my day planner I will write goals I want to get done that month, along with anything that needs to go on the schedule like appointments and any tasks that has to do with our own home. I also plug in any blog work meetings/appointments as well. It works best for me to have my business and personal tasks at hand all in one day planner.
On Sunday night I sit down and plan out my week. I look at my monthly calendar to see what we have going that week and then plug in accordingly. Since I have already planned my blocks I know the things I will do every day, but now I plug in any extra projects or tasks that I will do in my afternoon block.
I will also plan all my meals for the week in my day planner.
Make sure to reference if you need to be out of the house on a day or have a busy night, those meals need to be quick and easy. This ensures you have healthy food on your table even when you are busy.
Stay consistent for at least a month so it becomes a habit.
The hard work is now done, it’s time to implement it!
Once you have your list, made your blocks, delegated tasks, and figured out how to organize it either in a day planner or with computer sheets, it’s time to implement it!
This step is crucial to it being successful. You can not expect something you didn’t train to do. This takes time, patience, and consistency. It is important during the training and implementing process that you stay home most of the time.
Now I am not saying you can never leave your home. However, if you are trying to implement blocks in the morning that has a cleaning schedule in it, you don’t want to be planning park playdates in the morning within the first couple weeks.
It takes time for any system to become a habit. So stay home, get your system going where everyone knows what to do and when to do it, and then you can change things up a bit as you need to.
Once your schedule is a habit for all, if you want to go to the park on a random Wednesday morning it’s no big deal. The next morning everyone knows what they should be doing and your schedule just starts right where it left off.
That’s the beauty of a schedule and routine!
I hope the process I use for making a schedule on a homestead was easy to follow and you get some sort of rhythm going in your home. Remember we don’t want to just survive but to thrive in our homes!