At age 18, I got married and moved away from home. It was up to me to handle the move and setting up the house. No one I knew spoke of getting organized or knew what life hacks or house hacks were. Productivity tools and tips? What were productivity tools ad tips?
Thankfully, it wasn’t that difficult because my husband and I did not have a lot of stuff and both of us worked full time. When we weren’t working, we had lots of time to spare because we didn’t have so many clothes, dishes, or other stuff that needed constant upkeep.
A Simpler Time
We lived in a simpler time when there were only wall phones, small TVs, and NO computers. Laundry only had to be done once per week. We washed the dishes after each use. There was no Internet to log onto or Netflix for entertainment and going out to dinner was an occasional treat, not a two to three times a week thing.
After we bought our first home, we continued to live a simple life (for a little while). I stayed home with my first child and quite honestly; the boredom all but killed me (figuratively speaking). So, I started working part-time outside the home while the grandma down the street watched my daughter.
My boss became a friend and would occasionally drop by for a visit with her daughter. She’d go back to work and say, “Oh my gosh you guys. You can drop in on Susie any time of the day or night and her home is immaculate.”
Not Naturally Organized
My home was immaculate because I was blessed with parents who taught me how to keep a home. Without a lot of material things and the distraction of the Internet, I had oodles of time to create systems and routines to keep it that way.
Honestly, my natural tendency as a child and through my teen years was as a B Messy personality type. In fact, I still exhibit those traits today. Most would not believe it. If you were to look at my office right now, you might. And my clothes – they aren’t always put up right away. However, I take every Friday and a little time on the weekend to get everything in the right spot again.
The only way I knew how to keep it all together was because as a child, my father would take the mess that was my room and toss everything into the center of the room. He would say something to the effect of, “Put everything in its rightful place. Do your best. I’ll check on you in an hour. If you need help, come and get me.”
Productivity, organization, and life hacks are mostly learned.
I got overwhelmed and distracted easily as a child. I’d start off strong but get distracted. Dad would come in an hour later to find me playing and ask me what I’d been doing as he chuckled. He would help get me started again and then leave again. It often took me (and dad) several hours to get my room cleaned.
On the opposite side, some weekends I would completely organize my room and even change the furniture around. Growing up with structure, and a neat and tidy home created an environment that became a comfort for me in later years.
By the age of 24, we had our second child and I stayed home full time. Shortly after, I started running a daycare. I called my mom for moral support as I got my home ready for the daycare inspector. And you know what, I got more than moral support. I also learned how to keep track of income and expenses in a ledger book and how to put together a daily routine.
Within a few short months, my daycare was full! There had to be even more structure and planning.
No Internet Or Google
Yet, there was no Internet or Google to search for answers. Thank God my parents were teachers and helpful. Not everyone has this type of help. We all need help. But I digress…
My parents drove out on occasion and my father, the teacher, gave me planning sheets to plan time blocks. To this day, I still use these sheets until I find just the right routine. (When I got a copy of MS Office, I used Excel to modify it. Here’s a free copy of the time blocking planning sheet.)
Back then, I had to buy what was available or create my own planning sheets and go to the library or print shop to get copies. Can you imagine today, getting out a ruler, pencil, and paper and drawing your own spreadsheets? It took a lot of time to plan my time!
At age 26, our third child arrived. Things got interesting. Our new baby started getting sick at about 6 weeks old. I had to learn to juggle a sick baby, our older two children, and several daycare kids. After all, my parents couldn’t come live with us. LOL
Again, structure and routine was the name of the game.
Thank God for Dr. Spock! He was a lifesaver.
I Needed Help
Oh, how I wish I could have just logged onto the Internet and searched for answers back then. But no, I had to call the parents or go to the library or bookstore to read about raising kids, child illnesses, productivity, organizing, or life hacks. I had to leave the house to print pages I wanted to use to structure and plan our time and tasks.
By the way, by 1988, we did have a computer. It had a floppy disc drive and a 56k modem. I would start it up and do chores for a bit before it would finally log on. Would you wait 10 minutes or more to log onto the Internet today?
Anyway, time went on, and there was more to learn every day. I had to keep reinventing the wheel. Things were changing quickly between electronic distractions, adding activities for older children, and moving a few too many times. Heck, it wasn’t until around 1996 that I learned about day planners.
As life morphed, there became too much to do in our daily schedules. We had to adjust again. This is where this post gets sexy…
I am part of something huge – something created by people who understand this problem! We all understand that you’re looking for practical productivity tools and solutions that will work in your world – whether you’re an empty nester or a parent with all the chaos and busyness that comes with raising a family.
YOU are SO lucky!
Why I Needed This Bundle Back Then
If I had the Ultimate Productivity Bundle back then, I would not have had to wait until Saturday for my parents to arrive. I would not have had to wait until I could get to the library to find books about cleaning, organizing, and productivity. And, I would not have had to go from store to store searching for planning pages that would work or spend days creating my own!
If you’re looking for help with productivity or time management, or just can’t figure out which day planner to use, this bundle is for YOU!
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If you need help or have questions, reach out to me or join my Busy Woman Facebook Group.
Until next time…
Susie The Busy Woman