Joy at Home | Tips for Homemaking and Stewardship

Kitchen

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
~Proverbs 31:27

Homemaking can be frustrating. There's so much to do, and never enough hours to do it all perfectly. Here are the must-dos for increasing your homemaking productivity without sacrificing quality.

Touch Each Piece of Paper Once
Sort the mail as soon as it comes out of the mailbox. Pay bills, recycle junk and file the ads for your grocery shopping. If there are items that need to be dealt with at a later date, paperclip them in your planner on the week they need to be addressed. If there’s something that requires a joint decision, keep the paper visible in a designated place and set a deadline on your calendar for when you and your spouse will make a decision or take action.

Do Your Hardest Task First Mark
Twain said, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." Many successful business professionals have adopted this principle into their daily to-do lists. Shouldn’t this work for homemakers, too? Others have recommended making a list of six priorities before going to bed, and working on number one, even if it takes all day, because it is your most important accomplishment. You’ll be surprised by how gratifying it is to just get one thing done when it’s the one thing that you’ve been putting off!

Make Time in the Word a Priority
While the first and second principles are vital, there is something even more important than these: Pray and study the Word of God. It can be so easy to become distracted by the fires that need to be put out during the day that our time with God is constantly relegated to "later." But sometimes, later never comes, so make your time with God the first item on your to do list! You’ll benefit from:

• Peace because difficulties are kept in perspective
• Purpose because you remember your work is as unto God (Col. 3:23)
• Effort as you remember to glorify Him (1 Cor. 10:31)
• Grace because you know the Lord sees your heart and not just the outcome of your effort

Even if you only have a few minutes before you need to get the kids out the door, take that time to pray. Consider getting up earlier if the morning schedule doesn't allow for time in the Word. And if you wake up an hour or half an hour before you're supposed to get up, use that time for your spiritual nourishment instead of trying to get back to sleep, since you'll wake up feeling groggy and have an even harder time getting the day started, anyway.

Set Internet Hours
It's not bad to spend time on the Internet, especially because there's such a wealth of information availa- ble. But make sure you budget time for it and you don't constantly refresh your Facebook to check for new comments. Set your time limit, enjoy yourself, and then move on.

Have a Plan
When you have the brain capacity to plan, do it. Consider making a chore chart so that you re- member to tackle those easily-forgotten tasks. Think about establishing a regular rotation of meals so that you won’t be asking yourself, “What’s for dinner?” at 4 p.m. It takes much less energy to follow a plan than it takes to create the plan in the first place. So on a good day, create those plans so that you don’t have to think so much when the next bad day rolls around. Try implementing the above suggestions one at a time to see how they work for you. Don't change too many things at once or you'll become over- whelmed and you'll be back at square one. Enjoy everything you do for your home to- day! It's all so important! "

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