RACHEL BRENKE: Hey, hey, hey. Welcome to the Business Bites Podcast, I am your host, hostess, hosteer, podcasteer, Rachel Brenke. And this topic we’re going to discuss today is a little bit of a departure from business stuff. However, it is critical, crucial, and so important to running your business. It is managing having a household, whether you are a single person, a married person, you’re a single parent, parent, co-parenting, whatever, whatever your life situation is, there is a household of some sort of manage. My personal life circumstances is that I have a husband, five kids, and two rescue puppy dogs who are snoring at my feet as I record this for you guys. So if you hear grunting and groaning, it’s not me, it’s one of them.
But having all of this going on is by choice, obviously, so I’m not even going to sit here and hash out and tell you how hard things can be, it can be. How stressful it can be, it can be and is. The most important thing when running a business is getting your life circumstances and managing your household under control. This is getting the task done, washing your underwear so you have new underwear to wear the next day or go without. Whatever you prefer. It’s getting the dishes washed, put into the dishwater. It is doing all the menial things that need done in order to keep life going. So when I say household, this is what I’m referencing.
Now, I’ve written a book, it’s called The Laundry List. It’s a mom’s guide to balancing family and business. And I go into it, and it’s got a lot of processes and workflows and efficiency tips and all this high-level, deep-level, do this, do that, and you’ll be able to do both. But before I go into giving you kind of a high-level Cliff Notes of that, quick tips for today’s episode, just want to let you know it is okay if you don’t get your stuff under control. It may be more stressful for you, it may be more difficult to focus on either life or on your business.
And so my entire goal by teaching you some of my top tips for managing a household are to be able to take those tasks out of your mind space, out of the physical things that you need to do all the time so you can focus on two things. One, quality of life, which is spending time with your family, your self-care, your hobbies, all of that. And two, so that you can focus on business because we want to be able to have more time for business and so we want to take less time for other tasks.
So here are my big tips for managing of the household. Very first one is not unlike a lot of what I talk about in business. Scheduling certain days for certain tasks, okay? My business calendar is the exact same way. I do certain brands on certain days, I do certain blogging on certain days, social media updates, batch processing. I’ve got other episodes for this, I’ll stick them into the show notes for you guys so you could see that. But scheduling certain days for certain tasks, now, this is not a hard and set rule. You may all of a sudden wake up and realize it’s Wednesday, but I’m not supposed to laundry till Thursday but the kids have no clean clothes to wear to school, right? It happens.
So be flexible, give yourself grace on this, but understand that you can schedule certain days for certain tasks. I kind of crossed over a bit into the parenting scheme, which I’m not going to dive too deep into here since not all of you are parents, but by having certain tasks on certain days, I’m also able to mirror the expectation workflow or checklist or whatever it is for my spouse and also for the chore chart that I provide for my kids to get done. This helps to keep me in these little buckets in this methodical fashion of knowing, okay, Tuesdays and Thursdays are laundry. Wednesdays is this, right? These big tasks that we don’t necessarily want to be doing every single day.
It’s very similar to the episode where I talk about social media updates and blogging. If you’re having to constantly create stuff every single day, it becomes very cumbersome and tiring, and you can actually become resentful to it, right? Because you’re trying to do that and admin task and everything else. So for on that side, I recommend batch processing. Same thing for this. Schedule certain days for certain tasks, but also, pairing with that, certain tasks need to be done before you do anything else, okay? So, for me, I know that I’m going to be stressed doing morning laundry or dishwasher or getting the kids for breakfast. I know I’m going to be stressed thinking about my email, okay? I know this sounds really weird. And yes, I’m an email person, but there are still stuff that I have to focus on. So one of the things that I’ve integrated into my business is getting up earlier. It means I have to go to bed earlier, but it’s getting up earlier so that I can work on certain business tasks before I start moving into the family stuff and the certain home tasks.
So my day, I get up, I get my coffee, I start going through email and doing some specific tasks. This allows me to be able to not only get through emails, respond to them efficiently and quickly because nobody else is awake in the house. It takes that big boulder off my shoulders so I can focus on getting the kids breakfast, getting them out the door to school, start the laundry for the day or whatever needs to be done. But it also allows me to set myself up to create a to-do list for my team and for myself. So when I’m done with all that and I come back and I sit down, I’m ready to work. I’m ready to focus on what I need to be done.
Another thing with that, with doing these certain tasks or if we’re doing anything else such as getting up early and doing email and all of that, when I create my to-do list during that time, after I get the kids off to school and then I’m working on laundry because it may be Thursday, no certain days for certain task, while I’m doing the laundry, I can start thinking about some of those to-do list items. It allows me to have brainstorming time without sitting at a desk and staring at something, right? And I kind of, this is a good little segue and also a tidbit. If you get stuck with writer’s block or something or you’re just trying to brainstorm and writing it down is just not working, get up and go organize a cabinet, the spice rack, whatever it is that needs to be done, something on your long list of to-dos in the house to be able to help you.
So that’s the way that my day goes. I get up, I have to get my coffee, I get my breakfast, I work on emails and to-do list, I get stuff out to my team and out to my clients. The kids get up, and again, it’s not perfect. Sometimes the kids get up when I’m in the middle of that, but the kids get up, we have breakfast together, we get them out the door together. And then I start working on some of the household tasks because I don’t necessarily want to be doing laundry at 11:00 at night.
And now, probably most pivotal to my business and managing of a household and business, there’s two major things. It’s outsourcing what I can, it’s being more efficient on certain actions. So those kind of go together in this example of grocery shopping, okay? Grocery shopping drives me crazy. We do a lot of fresh vegetables and primarily grilled meats and Crock Pot meals as well. So we only buy one week of groceries at a time which can be very cumbersome if I’m having to meal plan and then go pick up, bring it home, it takes like three or four hours out of my week on Sundays or Mondays in order to go do this, right? So I kind of have a nice little life hack to help you guys out with this. If you can’t outsource it, if you can’t afford to cook, you can’t afford someone to go do this all for you, this is my method.
Sundays, I sit down and plan out the meals for the week. This is looking at my calendar, what business engagements do I have, what kid activities are there? It deserves one day that I’m going to get up and things are going to be balls to the wall from the time I wake up. And so I need to throw on a Crock Pot meal, is there something I need to prep the night before? Sundays, we sit down and write out what we’re going to eat each night. It can be flexible but relatively within that calendar every single night, this works in other couple ways, too. By putting it out there, it scales down my grocery list and also keeps us from going out to eat.
One of the big things that we fell into early on in my entrepreneurship, and we still do this sometimes, is when things are so busy and yes, my husband, actually, he cooks more than I do, but he has a career, he’s busy as well. If we don’t preemptively do all this on Sunday and we don’t have groceries ready to go, then we just fall into this trap of going out to eat all the time, costs us more money. It’s a fight taking all the kids out and just becomes more stressful. And so by sitting down Sundays, we come together and we talk about the week stuff and what all is going on. And then we also just come up with five or six meals until the next week right then.
Now, once we figure out that grocery list, this is where I feel is like this true-life hack that’s just, I feel like it’s so ingenious but many of you may already know about these. I absolutely love this whole idea of either Walmart grocery pickup, you order online, you drive up, they put it into the back of your car. There’s Amazon Fresh, they deliver it to your doorstep. The issue that we had with that is because we have such a large family that we were maxed out on the amount of food we could get. So we ended up having to order multiple times during the week, and it wasn’t beneficial. It was less efficient for me to do it that way, but I also recently found Instacart. Instacart is a local grocery delivery, it selects multiple different stores. Like in our area even includes things like the pharmacy and PetSmart, a pet grocery store or a pet store, right? And so we have two major grocery stores to choose from and then we have those two other offshoots.
Instacart has changed my life now. Used to be I thought it was so amazing that I would do all my grocery planning, I’d get on and order it online, then I would have to drive to Walmart and it would be 30 minutes there, the 10, 15 waiting for them to load it, 30 minutes back which doesn’t sound like a lot, but that is an hour and 15 minutes every single week. Add that up, and that is about five hours per month I was spending on the groceries. Yes, it was way cut down from what I was doing previously, having to go to the store and purchase and I was confining it to five hours, but then now I have shifted to Instacart or use Amazon Fresh, and all of it is delivered directly to my doorstep.
The one thing that I love about the Instacart is that it can be same day. That is one of the super awesome things I found out about it. If I forgot a certain item and I definitely don’t have time to run to the store, I can just submit it and have that delivered to me later on in the afternoon. Now, keep in mind these three, the Walmart grocery pickup, the Instacart, and Amazon Fresh is only in certain areas, and I completely understand and embrace that it may not be beneficial for you. My recommendation would be to log onto these sites and request for it to come to your local area. One of the things with Instacart is that, unlike Amazon, it’s not Instacart that’s actually delivering the items.
The way they set it up is that there’s people that go do the shopping for Instacart. It’s very similar to an Uber-style set up for groceries. So you put in the order, these people pick up, they choose the order they want to do, they go to the store, they can text with you if they don’t have the items. You can do substitutions and you see what they’re doing the entire time when they pick up stuff and then when they’re driving to your house.
All right, guys. So those are my major tips for managing the household. The first was scheduling certain days for certain tasks, getting certain tasks done before anything else, and of course, outsourcing or being as efficient as possible. I focused on the grocery pickup for the efficiency stuff, and it’s outsourcing a little bit. If you can think of any other tasks that you absolutely do not like, really, really sit down and make a list and try to make a goal for that. One of the other big things that just sucks out a lot of my time, and I’m not very good at either, is cleaning of the house. And this is one of the very priority things that I talk about in my book, The Laundry List, and that I’ve always had a major focus on is finding someone to help clean and maintain the home for me.
When I had no two pennies to rub together in the very beginning of my entrepreneurship, I set some goals. And I said when I start making X amount, I’m going to quit doing this because I can spend, let’s say, $150 to have the house cleaned, and it may take that person or that company five hours to do it. Well, how much money could I have made in those five hours, right? Or even maybe I didn’t make the money, maybe that’s five more hours that I could have spent either on self-care with my partner or with my children or even my rescue puppy dogs. So keep those in mind. Managing of the household is important for all of you guys. Hope you take these tips. Please feel free to jump into the Facebook Group, Business Bites or just shoot me a message and let me know any other tips that you may have. I would love to include them in the show notes.
Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.
Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke
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