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Home » The Homestead Life

Where Do You Get Your Energy?!

Submitted by on August 15, 2011 – 8:17 pm 22 Comments
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This question always makes me smile.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked how I have the energy to keep going like I do. Everyone wants to know my secret!

I guess it’s funny to me because I always wish I could do more! There are so many days when nightfall comes all too quickly and I feel like I’ve accomplished NOTHING. Probably because there are so many things I must do before I can get to any other projects I’d really like to get done!

I’ve been thinking about how to answer this question, and I’ve pretty much boiled it down to three main catalysts which seem to help me make the most I can of each day.

Maybe this will help somebody.

Ditching the Tube– Getting rid of the television in our home no doubt forced me to get up off my bum during nap time, and get busy doing something productive. Yeah, I mourned for Dr. Phil for a week or two, but then it was like, “What the heck did I see in that trash anyways?!”

If you feel like you just aren’t getting enough done in the day, or that you aren’t achieving your highest homemaking potential… GET RID OF YOUR T.V.

As in, SELL IT. Give it away. Get it out of your home completely! Or at least cancel your dish network, cable, Netflix… whatever… and only keep it for an occasional movie treat.

I promise. After you’ve completely detoxed, you’ll thank me! You’ll also enjoy the added benefit of quality time together as a family.

Limiting the Sweets– I have to be honest… I am a TOTAL sucker for sweet stuff. Sweet tea, cookies, cakes, brownies… anything smothered in chocolate, oh man, I’m ALL over it! Ask Jerry. If there’s a dessert in the house, he has about 2 minutes to not only claim his piece, but have it eaten as well, before it’s in my mouth.

For this very reason, I try not to bake too many desserts. I know very well that if I make them, I will be the one eating about 98.5% of it. Not that nobody else wants a piece. I simply have ZERO self control. Shameful. But so true.

I attempt to limit my sugar intake not only for the sake of keeping my girlish figure (uh-hem), but also because I’ve definitely noticed that on the days when I’ve snuck one too many cookies, my energy level plummets, and I’d much rather sit at the computer than be proactive in the home. Not good.

If sugary treats are all too much a part of your daily diet, consider cutting back. Personally, I love drinking OJ with my breakfast, but there’s a lot of sugar in juice. So instead, I’ve found a cup of hot green tea sweetened with a little honey acts as a nice pick-me-up first thing in the morning, and gets me off to a good start.

I *try* not to drink too much sweet tea or juice throughout the day (definitely NO SODA!), and stick to water. I also do my best to keep my grubby fingers out of the cookie jar until later in the evening. Saving your dessert-fix for after dinner is a great way to still get your sweetness without sacrificing a productive day.

Being Held Accountable– Truly, you guys keep me motivated. Yes, ultimately I do this for my family. But YOU, my faithful readers, hold me accountable. I am constantly trying new things and learning all I can because I am eager to share with you, hoping to help somebody along the way. And I know that if I am having trouble with something, you will be there to encourage me.

THAT keeps me going!

Whether it’s a blog, a close network of friends, or your spouse- you need somebody to hold you accountable for your actions. Somebody who will give just the push you need to get going, and gentle encouragement to keep you doing all you can as the woman you are meant to be.

If you are feeling down, like you just can’t get it all done… take heart! You are NOT alone. Please, take it from me, you cannot get everything done in one day. There will ALWAYS be more. Always. Your job as mom and wife are NEVER done. But I truly believe that applying these three suggestions to your life will dramatically change your productivity.

And I would encourage you, if you wanna feel like you are doing more than just getting by day-to-day, make it a goal to at least try ONE new thing a week.

One new recipe, one new skill, SOMETHING. If you’ve never baked a loaf of homemade bread… try it! If you’ve never made homemade mayonnaise… TRY IT!

Make it a goal to learn something that would benefit your whole household, and find somebody to hold you accountable to that goal.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with everything we need to do, and WANT to do. Simply make the most of each day. Do all you can do. Try not to waste a moment on something that won’t benefit your entire family. And whatever is leftover, save for tomorrow!

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22 Comments »

  • mary says:

    You see, I just don’t get it – spending time watching TV is just the same as spending time surfing the net, reading blogs, doing research, etc.
    So, throwing the TV out is really not the greatest idea if one is glued to the net reading and reading and staring at the monitor. I’m torn between keeping both, but the internet is a tool (learning, research, directions, phone number, etc.), but the TV is nice, too. We don’t really watch TV, maybe one show per week, but the big screen is nice to watch movies. You could watch the same movies using your computer monitor, but then it contributes to being connected (having to use) the computer again. I just don’t want my kids growing up glued to the computer. It’s wasteful. It becomes mindless. It’s addicting. So, there must be a way to homestead via books vs. the internet. What do you think about the whole tv vs. internet thing?

    • Mary,

      I agree that the internet can be addicting. And computer games are no better than video games sometimes! Moderation and quality are key. The problem with tv is that there is so much junk on there nowadays, it’s hard to control what you and your family watch and are exposed to. At least with the internet you can deliberately surf, and control what you are watching, learning and reading. You don’t have to worry about inappropriate commercials popping up unexpectedly, and you can definitely use it as a great research tool. I’ve thought about getting rid of the computer as well, but it’s just too valuable for looking up everything I’m curious to know, not to mention helpful homeschooling materials and educational games 🙂

  • Jill says:

    Great post! I would also add to get your financial freedom. Right now, I must work outside the home. On the weekends, when I’m off work, I get WAY more done in a day than I do wasting away in the office cubicle.

  • Jamie says:

    You are amazing! I would like to fence off my garden, but in the winter (we are in Iowa) this is where my husband also makes a large snowpile from all the snow in our driveway. I am afraid the fence would get buried and ruined pretty fast. We have about 5 acres and lots of stuff for him to get hurt on, etc. Also we live on a paved road in the country with not a ton of traffic but enough that I certainly need to watch for him going too close there too. I have an older boy who is 7 and he helps me keep track of the little one but even so he is still only 7 and he gets distracted or off on his own little adventures too. I’ve gone to the garden when he naps too but I also try to use some of that time to work on reading with my older one. Oh well, it will all get done eventually I figure. 🙂

  • We cancelled our cable about 2 months ago. We have netflix and Hulu if we want to watch something but I have noticed a big difference in the amount of TV I watch. Probably one of the best things we could’ve done was cutting that cord!
    I will agree with everyone that the Internet can be a huge time waster if you aren’t careful. I can find myself surfing blog after blog and before I know it an entire hour (or three) are gone! Lots of useful info out there but it does you know good if all you do is read it 🙂
    Great post, so glad I found your blog. Lots of inspiration!

  • We have no cable. We don’t want the trash in the house. We usually keep the T.V. in our attic, we take it down to watch movies we rent from the library. Now it is sitting unplugged in the corner spare bedroom, Aaron’s too busy to haul it back up, and it is way to heavy for me to do it, so unused it sits.

  • We LOVE not having a TV. It really does free you up for all kinds of other activities! I did like the comment about putting on Little House on the Prairie…ha, I can see how that could be fun and motivating! 🙂

  • Rebecca says:

    Your post sent this song spinning through my head…love it!

    You may ask the formula for the things I do
    Thinking there’s some mystery that’s evading you
    How do I get so much done? Would you like to know?
    Listen very carefully! Don’t you tell a soul!
    Good old-fashioned callous-making, backbone-breaking work
    That’s the simple formula, just Plain Hard Work!
    I work all day, I work all night, I’m up with the mornin’ sun
    Cause nothing gives me satisfaction like a job well done!
    ~from The Great American Time Machine, Ron Hamilton

  • Great post, really appreciate it. Funny thing about the TV, though… it sort of has the opposite affect on me. I put in old shows like the Waltons or Father Knows Best or Little House on the Prarie and just let it play while Im cleaning house, and as corny as it sounds I gess I feel like I have these old tv housewives keeping my company and keeping me motivated. but I never sit down to watch them, and maybe thats the main difference. 🙂 But I totally take your point… sitting to stare at the tube (or the computer!) can zap tons of your time. gotta keep it limited.

    thanks for the input, it was helpful!

  • We don’t have TV but the Internet can be a big time waster. You can add sleep to your list.

  • Jeanna says:

    I just recently came across your blog and have to say I’m loving it! I have some questions though..When you first started on your homesteading adventures where exactly did you start. I want to learn so much that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’ve been blessed to be at home with my family for about 2 years and its my hearts desire to be more self sufficient, living off the land to benefit my family. My husband and I have approx 11 acres and are doing nothing with it; I want to and he has no interest whatsoever 🙁 How do I get him on board and how did you get you husband on board with ditching the tube? Thanks so much for any extra advice!

    • Hi Jeanna!

      Wow! 11 acres?! Man, think of the possibilities!! Yeah, you so need to be homesteading, lol! Have you and your husband sat down lately and had a serious discussion about our current economic state, and the possibility of having food shortages? Do you have kids? If so, how would you take care of them if grocery stores were empty, or the food was too expensive for you to afford? I’d encourage you guys to have a good heart to heart, and consider making a plan. Perhaps after thinking more about this, your husband would feel the urge to start getting your house in order. Maybe you can read some of my prepping posts to him?

      Getting rid of our tv was easy. My husband was NOT happy about it at first, but when the whole D-TV switch thing happened, and we lost our antennae stations, we simply couldn’t afford a converter box. (I was SO glad, too! I couldn’t wait for the whole thing to take effect!) So, as much as he hated it, the tv was gone. But after about a week, he realized how much better off we are without it. And I have to praise the Lord, the changes in our family and in my husband are AMAZING!! Wow. What a difference!

      Maybe you could get your husband to agree to turning it off for just one week?? Good luck with everything!! I truly hope you are able to use that land to its fullest potential!

  • Maegan says:

    Perhaps this one hasn’t been said yet because it seems like the “no brainer” but the one thing that truly helps me get my list done as a single homeschooling mom with three jobs outside the home is to start my day in God’s Word. No matter what. If that means 5:00 AM I will do it. Because for me it is better to walk with Christ through my overfilled hectic life than for me to make a certain mess out of it and my relationships because I didn’t make time for Him. For those of you who don’t have that as a habit may I suggest start by reading one Proverb a day and a simple prayer before you interact with anyone else. It will change you and your perspective.

    • Thank you, Maegan! You are absolutely right 🙂

      • Jamie says:

        The only question I still have is how do you keep track of your children when you are working outside? I have an 18 month old and it seems when I am doing yard work or in my garden, he is off and getting into everything in our garage, runs to the barn, one day he had grease all over himself from the wheels on my garden cart, etc. I feel like I don’t get much done some days as I am running after him constantly.

        • Jamie- Very good question, lol! Okay, so this is how it goes around here…

          Most of the outside chores are done in the morning, when my husband is still at home. That way, we can tag team watching the kiddos. Jerry feeds the animals while it’s still cool outside; Jada and Ty (7 and 4) usually go out to help him. After he comes back in, I go out and milk the goat. Later on, if it isn’t too hot outside, we’ll all go outside to work in the garden or on a project. I usually wait until Elias (the baby) is sleeping, so I can leave him inside. The good thing about only being on one acre of land is that everything is literally right in our backyard. I’m always just a few sprints from the door, so I don’t feel bad about stepping outside with the baby monitor. I do bring him with me on occasion, carrying him snuggled against me in a sling. But most times he’s better off indoors where the bugs and hot sun can’t get to him.

          The older two are fine on their own outside. I can always see what they are doing as I’m working; usually they are either catching bugs, climbing their tree, or digging in the dirt. It’s the youngest two I have to work around. When Xia (my 2 yr. old) was younger, not quite walking yet, I would bring her outside with me in a stroller. I’d give her a toy to play with while she sat, and I did a little work. That never lasted too long, but I was able to sneak in a bit of gardening here and there like that. Last Fall, when it was cool outside and we could be out for most of the day, I would put Xia in a play pen outside, with a few toys, and let her play there beside me as I did what I needed to do. That worked out well.

          Now that she’s able to get around (meaning, wandering away and getting into mischief!) it takes a little more effort to work AND keep her close by. Fortunately, our garden is fenced in, so I can just close myself in there with her and she can’t go out of my sight. Often, she’ll content herself eating tomatoes and watching the chickens (which have their run butted up against the garden fence).

          During the summer, it’s just too hot to be outside for very long. We do our morning chores, and then the rest of our day is mostly spent indoors. I’m looking forward to cooler weather again so we can all go outside together for longer periods of time!

          So, that’s basically how I do it. I won’t lie, it’s frustrating sometimes not being able to get outside and work more in the garden like I’d love to do. But at this stage of my life, I just have to be content to do a little here and there as I’m able to work around the munchkins 🙂 Meaning… my garden is full of weeds, lol!

  • Oh and the TV thing is a big one. We have a TV and Netflix but ever since we got rid of cable 8 years ago, I rarely watch it.

  • I have also been asked this question. My response is usually,” I try to eat right (very little sweets, refined flours and sugars), my yard/garden work and animal care is all part of my exercise plan and my responsibilities motivate me”. When I say my yard/garden work is part of my exercise plan, I mean it. I take every opportunity to do physical work- hand mowing, weeding, cleaning animal pens. These are all things that keep me active which as a result gives me more energy. Having so many animals that depend on me also motivates me to get out and get things done.
    I also always add,”I am not a very good housekeeper”, because it’s true and because somehow it makes people feel a little better about themselves.
    I am not sure if this is something that you are good at but it seems many people who are able to do a lot are also organized. I am not one of those people which is why my house is not very tidy. Maybe being more organized would also help me to be a more consistent blogger too. I am working the organization thing.
    Loved the post Kendra. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Mona,

      Housekeeping is definitely NOT something that comes easily to me. I’d much rather be doing something fun than washing dishes, folding laundry, and cleaning. Bleh! No. My house is usually very “lived in”. I try desperately to keep it clean, but it’s never completely done. As long as my family is fed and happy, I’m cool with that 🙂

  • These are great tips, Kendra! May I add to that… limit the internet {sigh…}, limit the starches {salty things in bags – even the organic ones!}, and report to my spouse what I did that day?

    He never really asks for the details (guys are like that), but when he says, “How was your day”, I try to give him the highlights of what I accomplish. He’s such a wonderful guy, he wouldn’t complain if I said I took a nap all afternoon, but I like being able to share with him that I was productive. After all, he’s out there working all day, I should at least try to do the same!

  • Todd says:

    I agree…TV is a time sucker! Nice post.

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