Organisation: moments of work, rest, rushing and creativity

by kath_red on 12/04/2012

in Books, Link Love, Newsletter

What with a weekend of camping and pile of washing to catch up on, a head cold and couple of days in bed and a number of looming deadlines — I am officially in the land of chaos! A friend wrote to me recently asking what is my secret for juggling everything I do — family, laundry, books, website, making etc… and really I had no answer. Because all I want to do today is make a cup of tea and go back to bed and read my book. Instead I am catching up on emails, still in my pj’s, the house is a mess and the washing is in a huge pile on the laundry floor!

I wish I could say I was organised, but actually I seem to lurch chaotically from one deadline to the next trying to make time for family in between. Actually that is not entirely true – I am organised in my mind — even though I am constantly missing appointments and forget about dinner sometimes, I do have a few key moments in my day where I stop to make time for the important things — moments of work, rest, rushing and creativity – it is all a balance isn’t it?!:

  • 1. Breakfast is important — we eat a hot breakfast together — we have a cup of tea and do our chores and get ready for the day. We don’t linger — but that five minutes eating breakfast together is important to connect us and still us ready for the busy day ahead.
  • 2. I nearly always do a 30 min rush around the house, quick tidy here and there, load of washing on, make the bed, clear the kitchen … just enough to quell the rising tide of chaos that continues to threaten.
  • 3. Morning is for emails, website, writing – while my mind is fresh I can get my thoughts on paper. And clearing my inbox is actually cathartic – just like clearing the laundry pile – feels like I can move on to the creative and fun part.
  • 4. I pause for a cup of tea, a few rows of crochet, a few pages of my book, update my twitter. I check the mail, flick through a new magazine, put another load of washing on. Such is the benefit of working from home — not all the chores are left to the weekend or to my day off. I can squeeze a little bit of organisation in here and there.
  • 5. Sometimes I go to the gym or to pilates or meet a friend for tea and craft.
  • 6. But mostly I get onto my big projects – my major deadlines. Sewing, designing, making – and in between I try to keep my studio in a user friendly state. Sometimes I need a whole day to get it back to rights. I seem to create a lot of mess when I am in a creative tunnel.
  • 7. Kids home from school – I stop again. Afternoon tea, we sit and chat about our day, I do a little baking, get dinner on, the kids do their music practice or go to a friends house or have soccer practice or simply read a book or maybe it is their turn to cook dinner! I put another load of washing on.
  • 8. I have an hour of quiet while the kids are doing their own thing to finish up what I was doing. Or maybe to put my mess away, or maybe just to sit and read a book too!
  • 9. We eat dinner together — always! And then we clean up – get ready for bed, the kids sometimes clean the kitchen! we do some chores, get organised for the morrow. We put the radio on and get dancing while we clean – it helps!
  • 10. Family novel time only if we managed an early enough dinner – we make a snack platter of fruit, cheese and chocolate, a pot of tea too! And we read a few chapters of our family novel. The kids then go to bed – there is squabbling and arguing over the bathroom and the usual bedtime drama.
  • 11. Finally a moment alone with my hubs — we can sit and catch our breath. A moment of respite – a glass of wine – an uninterrupted conversation!

How do you organise your day? Do you have key moments of work, rest, rushing and creativity?

Whipup this week: I hope you had a lovely Easter :: Last weeks newsletter was quilting focussed :: A post on advanced crochet toy making :: Guest posts by Thumbtack press and Handmade Olympics.

Cooking this week: Greek lemon oregano chicken :: Tonkatsu – Japanese pork :: Pot roast :: Wholewheat pizza

Reading this week: Three fun craft books from (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2012):: Noah’s Knits by Fiona Goble :: Criminal Crafts by Shawn Bowman :: Zodiac Felties by Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate . I love this publisher – they do some really cool and unusual craft books. Criminal crafts is a stand out for me because it is really quite unique. Tongue in cheek.

[Thanks to publishers and distributors for sending me books to review, I don’t get paid to post reviews but I am an amazon affiliate] (Australians can purchase craft books online through can do books or booktopia or else browse booko for the best prices.)

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jojoebi April 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm

my schedule is similar to yours and we also have meals together, breakfast especially as it is the only time when my son gets time to spend with daddy apart from the weekends. I do one big cleaning job a day the rest is jus trying to keep on top of everything as the week goes on. I am also a morning person so I try to get anything important (that needs brain power) done early in the day.


2 MatCoes April 13, 2012 at 7:11 am

Sounds like a life well lived to me. You tick off the most important boxes for me with meals together and reading time. We need more of that in our home.


3 amie plumley April 13, 2012 at 10:39 am

Your post made me smile, and realize that I’m not alone in the chaos that is involved with working, parenting, and creating. Thanks for sharing!


4 Christie-Childhood 101 April 14, 2012 at 8:39 am

I loved reading through the rhythm of your day :) We too prioritise meals together and I love the idea of family novel time.


5 Tonya April 14, 2012 at 10:45 am

Eleven is a very nice number for the day! Now, I must work down my day to a less overwhelming number! I am excited and encouraged by your words! A very lovely flow.


6 kath_red April 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

yes a life well lived and well loved. thanks for your encouragement friends. xx


7 Deepa April 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Reading your post made me realize I miss working from home (though it was bad in other ways, I am very extroverted). So, I have to ask, you do 3 loads of laundry every single day? Seriously?

And if you drink tea after dinner doesn’t that keep you up? Do the kids drink tea too?
I am full of questions. :)

I love the idea of a family novel collectively read. My kids are too little but I will store this idea for future use. Thanks for making time to post every day- I love reading


8 kath_red April 17, 2012 at 11:59 pm

no – not three loads of washing everyday – although it sure feels like it some weeks. But If I am not doing washing – then substitute another daily task – folding the clean laundry, or stacking or unstacking the dishwasher or picking up stray socks from around the house – etc…

And no – drinking tea in the evening is a lovely ritual – certainly doesn’t have to be a strong variety – mint tea or green tea or weak milky tea is lovely.



9 Deepa April 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Ah, makes sense. I do 3 loads of laundry every weekend and I do know the feeling of “substitute some task.”

I think I’m going to try the mint tea after dinner thing. Right now, as a family we eat fruit- which is a good ritual. Thanks for sharing your day with us!


10 Darlene April 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I do like your routine. I am also a morning person however I don’t have a routine I stick to so I think I am inspired to so.

I need to start the arvo tea routine with my kids! It would be a good way to connect to them and listen to them before the evening rush.

Thanks for this.


11 Cheryl April 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Our days sound very similar… I’m probably not as organized though and there is the baby to contend with.


12 rebekka April 25, 2012 at 7:20 am

I love this post so much! I am an artist who works from home as well, and even though we don’t have children yet, I find it so difficult to organize my time! I’ve experimented with so many different “schedules” (including not having a “schedule”) and still haven’t figured out what works for me. So I love reading about the way other work-from-homers, especially creative ones, work. Your schedule sounds absolutely delightful :)


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