Planning Projects Around Children

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There’s nothing I love more than having a project on the go whether that be for my home, garden or thinking of new projects for this blog. As much as I love the satisfaction of the implementation stage, I get a real kick out of the planning part too.

I was speaking to someone a while back and they were asking me about how I fit my projects around childcare, I made out that it was all a bit of a fluke but later I realised that I’m actually really organised when it comes to finding the time to be creative and work on projects that excite and inspired me. For those that don’t know, I’m a full-time mama, I look after my two small children largely on my own for 14 hours a day (thats from before breakfast to after dinner). Whilst I adore these brilliant young days, they are tough, and I know that as part of my general wellbeing I need to be able to carve time to dream and create.

Today I thought I’d share the ways in which I find the time to be creative whilst looking after two small children…

Be protective of your time

I have two nap times per week that are my time. I don’t see anyone, I don’t do any housework, washing, cooking etc. I use the time to make, be in the garden, photograph or write my blog. I am SO protective of this precious time – if you’re struggling to carve time out then put it on a calendar or tell people – anything that makes it official. Even if you get 20 mins, its so worth getting into the routine.

Write a big list, then work on the top three

Every few weeks I sit down and write a big list of everything that needs to be done across all areas of my life. I highlight only the top three most urgent/important and work on those. This stops me from feeling overwhelmed plus it means I’m not starting 100 jobs and getting nothing done (although there are plenty of days like that!). I was a PA/Office Manager for eight years before I was a mum, this method really worked for me and I can definitely credit the success of my Creative Monday’s to this method.

Look at the weather

Of all the projects I do, the ones in the garden feel like the biggest treat. Unfortunately living in the UK means I am governed by the weather. As there’s always a running list for inside and out, I check the weather forecast and work around that. This week for example, I had a free naptime and the sun was shining. Whilst the washing was calling my name, I shelved it and made the most of an hour in the garden, I’m so glad I did as it rained for the following two days!

Allocate certain jobs for certain days

I had a few sleepless night whilst prepping for the Spring Celebration Table, I knew what I wanted to do but couldn’t work out if I was going to have enough time especially as it was half-term and couldn’t rely on nap times. To calm myself I wrote out all the days I had until the shoot and allocated jobs to the days I knew I had childcare. This got me organised and focused (I worked backwards from the shoot itself), on my ‘mum-days’ I could concentrate on my little ones.

Turn off distractions

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say the internet, especially Instagram is my biggest vacuum of time (that and looking for tiny lost toys). Sometimes the only way to get on and get stuff done is simply put the distractions away and get on with it. I’ve been deleting Instagram off my phone once a week for mental reasons but I’m finding myself deleting it more and more when I need to crack on.

Set a deadline

Apart from preschool drop-off and pick-up I don’t have tonnes of deadlines – which in some respects is brilliant but not always conducive to getting anything complete. I set myself little goals to get projects complete by, it might sound crazy but if I say, “I’d like this done by Easter” I’m much more likely to get it finished.

Comments

Did you enjoy reading my post? Please do leave a comment and let me know what you think, I love to hear from you.

  • Claire Chalcraft

    Charlotte – thank you! This is such a practical list. It resonates clearly with me and I shall certainly put into action writing a list as a way of preventing feeling overwhelmed and also the procrastination by doing other things trap I often fall into !
    Best wishes and thanks again.
    Claire

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