Women are the CEOs of their households, the glue that binds families together and the fast feet that paddle vigorously beneath the glassy smooth surface. As such, we strive to manage our time and tasks the best that we can. But what about ourselves? In an age where mental health and emotional care are finally being prioritized, it’s no wonder why so many women are migrating towards the practice of incorporating a daily quiet time.
Establishing a daily quiet time gives us the breathing room that is so desperately needed in today’s buzzy world. Here are 3 guiding principles to help you design your perfect quiet time and why it’s so important to you and your family.
Here are 3 Guiding Principles to Design Your Perfect Quiet Time
- Understand what you want to accomplish during your quiet time
- Set yourself up for success the night before
- Start a journal to stay connected to your progress
What do your mornings look like? Do you wake up ready to start your day or does your day escape you by the time your feet hit the floor? If you could benefit from a more organized and thoughtful start to your day, continue reading for a deep dive into these 3 principles.
Quiet Time for the Mom + Wife | Why it’s important + How to Start
1. Understand what you want to accomplish during your quiet time
Who else uses a quiet time?
Almost all CEO’s, leaders and famous artists have some sort of quiet time in their morning routine. For example, here are just a few popular ones:
- Gary Vaynerchuk, cofounder and CEO of VaynerMedia, catches up on world news, social media trending and talking with family while on his way into the office.
- Kevin O’Leary, chairman of O’Leary Financial (a.k.a Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank), is awake and checking the market by 6AM, followed by a workout.
- Tony Robbins, one of the world’s most successful performance coach, has a signature 10 minute routine to prep him for the day, including a breathing exercise, expressing gratitude and praying.
A quick search will take you to a ton of different examples. Thus, point being, successful people model this behavior for a reason!
The importance of a quiet time
Maybe you’re not a famous artist or athlete. So then why is a quiet time important as a mother or wife to have designated quiet time? As mentioned, women are the CEO’s of their household. On average, it’s estimated that women spend about 4.5 hours a week on unpaid household work . This is about twice that of men. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, a massive about of mind work, such as organizing schedules, taking inventory of household needs, moving through endless checklists, commutes, pickup/drop off times, and, ultimately, making an effort to ensure that everyone’s day goes as smoothly as possible.
This responsibility comes with fatigue, stress, constant self-judgment and a steady fear of falling behind. But, a designated quiet time can change all of this! The best counter to an unpredictable outcome is preparation! A daily quiet time can be just that. A designated time for you to prepare for the coming day(s).
Prepare Your Strategy
We all have different schedules. Similarly, CEO’s, leaders and artists have different timeframes they are able to designate towards their quiet time. Likewise, ours will look different and vary in length. One person may have 15 minutes and another 3 hours. The first thing you need to do is determine what kind of time you’re working with.
It is highly recommended to wake up before your family, that way you can truly focus on you – hence the word “quiet”!
What is your “why”?
Once you decide your timeframe, you need to understand your “why”. The human brain is extremely clever and is one of the best sources we can rely on to talk ourselves out of anything. Therefore, to avoid this trap and actually form the habit of quiet time, you have to know what you’re aiming for.
Personally, I use this time to journal about my previous day any concerns about the coming day, I do a devotional, a dedicated prayer time (just a few minutes), and then I spend some time working on myself. This may mean reading a book, doing some self-evaluation, watching an instructional YouTube clip, listening to a Podcast, etc.
Outline your why
Tony Robbins has a great goal of “stronger body, stronger mind”. That’s his “why”. My “why” is that I am more than just a mom or a wife. I have dreams and goals that are important to me. Maybe you feel the same. Or maybe you’ve let yourself become so covered up with life that you’re buried too deep to remember any dreams you once had. Let this be a reminder that you do have them!
Once you know your “why”, write that down somewhere or put it in your phone – anything that serves as a reminder.
2. Set yourself up for success the night before
Get your sleep
Consistency is key. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. I get this is challenging, but your body will adapt. Plus, once you form the habit, you’ll feel strange, if not guilty, for not waking up on time! Remember your “why”. It’s worth being uncomfortable temporarily, as you form this new habit.
Pick up the night before
The best way to start a new habit is to set yourself up for success. Waking up earlier the next morning may require some additional prep the night before. For example, each night, I clean the kitchen and pickup the house. This doesn’t mean perfection, but by doing this simple act, I don’t feel pressured to do this in the morning. This is a great way to start with a clean slate.
In addition to picking up, you might consider doing other ‘next day’ prep: packing lunches, laying out clothes, showering the night before, etc. Whatever will make your morning run smoother – do these things the night before. You’ll be amazed at how much smoother things go. Also, this is a great way to reduce stress. It’s less to think about, it’s less to do in a rush, which means less issues coming up, and it allows you to be much more “in the moment” especially for those few minutes or hours that you get with your children before you head off to work.
Coffee!!!! (or your favorite morning drink)
While I’m cleaning the kitchen, my first priority is to get the coffee pot ready for the next morning. I have one of the cheapest versions of a coffee maker that I could fine (because I’m cheap – frugal sounds better) and, even this version, has a timer for the morning. I set this, because coffee is a must when I wake up. Whatever it is that you like to have in the morning, get that ready. Smoothie? Get your freezer bags prepped the night before.
Have an idea of what you want to work on
This is similar to knowing your “why”. Possibly, the worst thing you can do is wake up early, get your coffee and then just stare at the wall. If you don’t feel a sense of accomplishment, you’re not going to convince yourself that this is a worthy habit to form.
Each night, I spend maybe 1-minute thinking about what I want to accomplish the next day. I do this the night before, because it takes a good 15 minutes before my brain actually engages in the morning. This way, I know exactly what to open or get started on as I sip my coffee and start to wake up a little more.
Given that this may be a new behavior, entirely, maybe you don’t have any projects or tasks to do. If this is the case, I recommend journaling and getting a book. These are two easy defaults – journal about your day, how you’re feeling, etc., or start reading a book and journal about your learnings. Even with these simple defaults, you will be really surprised at how deep your thoughts are when you actually listen to them!
3. Journal during your quiet time to stay connected to your progress
A starting point
Journaling is a fantastic way to help clear your mind and think through problems or concerns you may have. Also, when you journal consecutively, you start to find situations where you can trace your thought process from start to finish. This is a great awareness for how your mind works.
If you’ve never journaled before, it can be a strange habit to start. No, not every entry needs to start with, “dear diary”! If you need a starting point, jot down some categories of your life: family, faith, career, hobby, etc. Whatever fits you best. Then, just work down the line and use these questions to guide you:
- How is this area of life going?
- What are my concerns?
- What are some possible solutions?
Even these three questions will give you plenty to write about.
Plan Your Day/Week
Another great way to start journaling is to use this time to plan ahead. Do you know the meals you’re fixing this week? What about that upcoming birthday that is sneaking up? With any household there are at least 450 random things that need to be done. Maybe your version of quiet time is to just give yourself some dedicated time for planning.
This is huge!
Could you imagine starting your day/week knowing what you needed to do and having your days out in front of you versus frantically chasing them down? Create that life for yourself! Remember the saying, “if mama ain’t happy then no one is happy”?
Start your project
One of my favorite parts about journaling is being able to track my thought process and progression. I’d like to consider myself wise or, at least, conscientious enough to strive for wisdom – a vast difference to my old thinking. This development didn’t occur by chance. It was very intentional and journaling helped me track my progress and know where I needed to continue self-development work.
Think of goal and write it down. Then, jot down the needed baby steps to accomplish this. From that point on, journal, daily, about what you did that day, big or small, that moves you towards that goal. You will soon be amazed!
I love the verse in Proverbs 31:
“First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolling up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.”Proverbs 31:17-18
Every day is a blessing. Every day is also chaotic and full of decisions and trials. So I challenge you to have your own version of quiet time. Your own ‘you’ time. Time for you to breathe, reflect, be grateful and pray. Give this time to yourself. Your household depends on it and you are worth it!
Remember, YOU are a lady well-loved.