Is the laundry keeping you from your great work?

One of the things I hear a lot from my clients is, “I don’t have time to do everything I need to do to run my business and keep up with everything that needs to be done around the house.”  And I often think, “Well of course you don’t.”

So here’s what I see happening most often:

  1. You work from home and are easily distracted by things that need to be done around the house. So you find yourself doing laundry or vacuuming the floor when you should be working on your business.  It seems like you never accomplish enough on the business front.
  2. You eat sleep and drink your business.  Housework? What housework?  You don’t let housework of any kind distract you from taking care of business.  But now there are dirty dishes in the sink, piles of dirty laundry everywhere, and a mound of papers on your desk.  You’re tired of running to Target® every  time you need some clean underwear.  You’re also not working as efficiently as you could be because things are a little (or a lot) disorganized.
  3. You’re superwoman (or super worn out).  Your main priority on weekdays is your business.  You get things done and your business is running fine.  On the weekends or at night, you spend your time catching up on household chores, like laundry, dusting, and cleaning bathrooms.  Your house is pristine (or maybe not).  The problem is, you want to spend time with your family or maybe even sneak in some “me time” every once and a while, but you can’t find the time. Can you say B.U.R.N. O.U.T?

There’s a reason why women traditionally managed the household without working outside of the home.  They didn’t have time to do both. 

It may seem crazy to think about, but that pesky laundry could be keeping you from doing your great work and living the life that you truly want.

Here are my top 4 tips for running a successful business and a successful household without the overwhelm, stress, and frustration.

  1. Set up business hours for yourself.  Have dedicated days and times for working on your business and stick to them.  Sure you can be flexible.  We all have emergencies come up or days when we want to be a little spontaneous, but resist the urge to be distracted by non-income generating activities on a regular basis.
  2.  Build fast clean-ups into your routines.  These are quick tasks that keep things orderly but don’t require a lot of time or energy.
    1. Get out of bed, make your bed
    2. Unload the dishwasher, eat breakfast
    3. Eat lunch, load the dishwasher (if you eat at home)
    4. Eat dinner, load the dishwasher, wipe down surfaces, sweep
    5. Clean up incidental messes as they occur (ie spill something, clean it up)
    6. Have a home for everything and put things away when you’re finished using them
    7. Have your kids practice clean up time at the end of the day to put away stray items.
  3. Get or Hire some help.  If you have things distracting you from your work, piling up, or keeping  you from doing the things that matter most to you, by all means, hire someone to help you out.  You can easily find someone who can do it faster, better, and cheaper than you can. Plus, you’re providing someone else a job opportunity. 
    1. The first thing I would recommend is the laundry (because I’m highly biased against doing laundry– I have 3 kids and it simply takes too much time). I want to spend time with my family, not the washer and dryer.
    2. Other things you might consider: housecleaning, filing papers, lawn maintenance, errand running, and grocery shopping .
  4. Stop trying to be superwoman.  Somehow we got the notion that women are supposed to help bring home the bacon, fry it up, and then do the dishes afterwards.  That’s just crazy. Balancing it all doesn’t mean doing it all!  You don’t usually see men beating themselves up because they didn’t get around to mowing the grass.  Yet, modern women are killing themselves trying to do everything.  Remember, always focus on your GIFTS and build your life and business around those things. Automate, delegate, hire out, or drop the rest.


Follow these 4 tips and gain more time for your great work and your great life.  I would love to hear how you balance it all!  Please feel free to share your tips or comments below.

© 2011 Tiffany deSilva, Order and Balance, LLC

Want to reprint this article?  Be my guest; just remember to include the following message:

Tffany deSilva, founder and CEO of Order and Balance, LLC, specializes in helping women entrepreneurs  build rock-solid, financially successful and sustainable businesses that not only run seamlessly, but integrate seamlessly with their ideal lives, so they can overcome overwhelm and make great money doing what they love. Visit to your copy of the FREE report, “Get the Money You Deserve and the Time You Desire: How to Avoid the 7 Biggest Mistakes Women Entrepreneurs Make.”

5 Response to “Is the laundry keeping you from your great work? ”

Bill Painter
September 21, 2011
11:23 am

Comment :

Great tips. i know that anone working from home has these problems and it is too easy to tackle the other things before business.

Jeff Brunson
September 21, 2011
1:14 pm

Comment :

Wonderful, practical tips. I know so many will be appreciative to read and apply these! Thanks Tiffany.

Mary Ellen Miller
September 21, 2011
4:01 pm

Comment :

Thanks Tiffany! Boy can I relate to these tips. One thing that really helps me is to have an office physically separated from the rest of the house. When I go in and close the door I am “at work.” When I leave that room I am back at home. It helps tremendously in a field that requires self discipline!

Sue Painter
September 23, 2011
7:39 am

Comment :

If a woman coaches with me about building a business one of the first things we talk about is support system at home – including a housekeeper. Truly, you don’t get it if you think you can (or have to) do it all.

Kristina Shands
September 23, 2011
1:57 pm

Comment :

I’ve struggled with that very thing, Tiffany. It wasn’t until I committed to a set routine that I started to feel like things were under control. These are wonderful tips.

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