Have you heard the expression, “If things aren’t right at home, they aren’t right anywhere?” This is so true!

I’m a mother of six kids and we are organic dairy farmers. And if that’s not enough, I am a professional speaker and writer with my own company. When things weren’t right at home – kids fighting, house a mess, piles of laundry sitting around, and unplanned meals – everything suffered. If I worked on housework, meals, etc., I felt guilty because I wasn’t working on my business. If I spent time working on my business, then I felt guilty that our home was out of control.

Does any of this sound familiar? If so, then keep reading! I have three strategies that made a huge difference AND only take a little bit of time!

Strategy 1: Cleaning up – The Lick & The Promise Method
Every night at 9 pm, our family would a quick run through of our home, especially the main family areas. Each person was responsible for picking up “their” stuff and putting it away. We set the timer for 5 minutes and raced to see who could get done the quickest. I focused on the bigger items such as folding up the blanket someone had used while watching TV, straightening photos or other things that had gotten bumped, put up the remotes, etc. Within 5 minutes, the room looked good enough to avoid embarrassment if someone stopped over without notice.

I also used the 5-minute timer method for picking up the kitchen and bathrooms in the morning and evening. It’s amazing how much you can actually get done in just 5 minutes! I found it worked best if I did the bathrooms after the kids left for school in the morning so it looked good all day.

Strategy 2: Meal Planning 101

We live in the middle of nowhere so having food in our cupboards was essential. Plus, the quality of food is important to us. Why would we eat chemicals and additives we wouldn’t feed to our organic livestock?
I don’t like to shop, so I came up with a pretty good strategy to be efficient and effective when I did the big grocery shopping:

a. Write down a rotating list of nutritious meals that your family likes on a monthly calendar, similar to what schools use for school lunches.

b. Divide the weeks into how many times you go to the grocery store. For me, I went twice a month because it coordinated with our paychecks. I made a master grocery list for those 2 weeks and labeled it and made copies. The week prior to going to the grocery store, I would put it on the refrigerator and write down anything else I needed to add that wasn’t already on the list. I actually use a 2-sided grocery list and a highlighter – works great!

c. Eat BEFORE you go to the grocery store. Get what’s on your list. If I put something in my cart that wasn’t on my list, I made myself stop and ask how it would be used. Is it replacing something else for the meal? A snack? Or is it just an emotional purchase that just adds waist (or waste) to us? I found that going twice a month saved us a lot of money. How many of us stop in the store for 1-2 items only to spend $50 or more? I’m guilty!

d. Each morning, look at your menu and determine what foods needed to be thawed, marinated, or added to the crockpot. Do what you need to, prepare what you can. This truly eliminates a lot of stress later in the day!
Strategy 3: Focus on your business when you are working on your business.

By following the first two strategies, I found that I was able to work on my business with more focus and energy. The time I spent was more productive because I knew that if someone stopped over unexpectedly, the house looked ok or if I got caught up in a project, dinner was already planned and ready to put together. I began using my 15-minute timer for specific tasks that could easily become time-traps. I would set aside 15 minutes through-out the day to return calls or answer emails. Then I would turn my phone to vibrate and close out my email account. I found that I could truly focus when I knew the other tasks were scheduled and I would get back to them. My business took a huge leap as a direct result.

Being a mom who works from home isn’t easy. But it can be done in a way that brings peace and harmony to yourself and your family. Try these three strategies and let me know what kind of results you’ve achieved!

Author's Bio: 

Sue Henry, CEO of Sue Henry Talks is a speaker and writer. She converts time-consuming tasks into simple, 15-minute a day strategies. Sue is committed to helping women grow successful businesses while having happy, healthy families.

Sue is a contributing author to the NY Times bestseller, "Masters of Sales"; and the Amazon bestseller, "World's Worst Networker". To learn more about Sue's 15-minute systems, please visit http://www.workingmomathome.com