Homesteading Time Management: Taking The Road Less Traveled

by Becky
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This is Part 3 of the Homesteading Time Management Series. Find Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE.

The irony of me writing about homesteading time management is this my busiest time of the year on the homestead! I find myself struggling to keep up with everything but then I remind myself that this workload is temporary. 

When you are homesteading I find that time consuming work comes in waves. Spring is incredibly busy. Things ease up as summer progresses and then it gets busy again as harvest and preserving time comes. Fall and winter are slow and give time to reflect and recharge.

I know many of you are in the same boat and are feeling overwhelmed because this topic has been requested by multiple people! It must look like I’m good at it or something?! Haha! But I am like so many of you, just learning and figuring out as I go along. 

Even though I am definitely still learning, there is one part of time management that I excel in. Because I am very driven to complete goals I set for myself, I have learned to cut out all the unnecessary fluff from my schedule and get stuff done. 

So today I want to share with you some things that we cut out from our schedule that resulted in a dramatic increase in our free time allowing us to complete more homesteading goals.

And in telling you these, please know that I don’t expect you to do the exact same thing as me. What is right for me may not be right for you. But I hope that it sparks some ideas of things to cut out in your own life so you can spend more time doing things you love with homesteading and stay focused on the goals you have!

1.  Fewer Activities away from home

One example of cutting out something that didn’t bring value to our life happened several months ago. Cameron and I experienced a serious burnout from taking kids to sports. During the Fall of 2019 the kids were doing soccer practice three days a week and Saturday’s practice was a four hour commitment.

Once the season was over, the kids immediately went straight into archery 3 days a week and running club one day a week. All the activities happened after a full 7 hour day at school for the kids and 1-2 hours spent on the bus in transit. 

I know having kids involved in sports is no big deal for most people but for us it didn’t feel right. We were coming home from all the activities hungry (since they happen through dinner time) and grumpy. We were arguing because everyone was tired. And even though we were all together at the soccer field or an archery tournament, it never felt like it was a family activity. 

We knew something needed to change but weren’t sure what. It was during this time Cameron and I read together, Family Friendly Farming by Joel Salatin and then the light bulb went on. 

It immediately felt like that was the answer to our prayers and the path we needed to take. The first thing being to homeschool the kids. I was very scared and hesitant about homeschooling my kids but I kept feeling like it was the right thing to do at this time of our lives.

As a family, we had a discussion with input from the kids and they surprised us by being almost 100% on board with getting a farm and helping, homeschooling, and spending less time in activities away from home. 

2. Scaling back on Device Time

Another example of cutting things out of your schedule goes with technology. I think smartphones and computers can be incredibly useful but you have to be careful to spend time wisely on them.  Educational purposes are almost always worthwhile. But getting sucked into social media spirals can be a huge waste of time.

Back in the days before I had a homesteading blog, I regularly deleted all the social media apps from my phone if I felt like I was wasting too much time on them. It was a really easy fix to quit wasting time. 

Now I share and teach about homesteading on several platforms- Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and my website- and I can’t disappear from social media like I used to do.  I really enjoy writing about all the things that we have learned.

Instead, I set screen time limits for social media using the screen time app. It’s just enough time to post and answer questions- nothing else. No time is spent going down a rabbit hole or scrolling mindlessly. It has worked better than I imagined! 

3. Less trips into town

Another way I save time is I don’t go to the store very often. In the summer, I try to only go to the grocery store once a month. We have enough fruits, vegetables, and meat (the meat is frozen and from local farmers) that we only need to go to the store for grains, dairy products, and a few other odds and ends. 

In the winter, I try to keep grocery store trips to once every two weeks. You can also do grocery pick-up to save time if that is available in your area. 

If you plan out your meals and make a list, you won’t need to run to the store for every little thing. Most of the time we think of meal planning as planning out dinners. However, in this case, you’ll want to have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks planned as well. 

Any other time we drive into town, we try to consolidate it all to one trip. That means if I need to return books to the library, I will also do the grocery shopping, and run all my in town errands on the same day.  It takes some planning too.

Running all your errands in a day can be pretty tough if you have kids in tow or even if you don’t! 🙂 But it’s also really nice not to have to drag out the errands over several days. It saves a lot of time to do it all at once. When we get home after a day in town we are all tired but it’s worth it!

4. Learn to Say No

This one is hugely important because it is a struggle for so many of us! There are so many worthy causes, social events, religious activities, and just general needs around us for service. They are all good things. But you don’t need to say yes to everything.

Each time you get asked to do something, you really need to weigh it out and decide. 

I usually ask myself these questions to help me decide if I will say yes or no.

  • Will it take too much time away from my family?
  • Is it a service that needs my unique talents?
  • Is it a social event that will be relaxing and/or include my family?
  • Do I legitimately have time to do what is being asked of me or will it take away from something I already have planned or a goal I have set for myself?
  • Will it bring joy to my life and/or someone else’s life?

It has always been super hard for me to say no because I often think it will hurt someone’s feelings! But having gone through years therapy, I realize now that how others feel is outside of my control. You can’t please everyone and you need to do what is right for you. It’s definitely ok to say no.


It’s all the little things I mention above that help give back time to my schedule. It’s crazy to me that even with all the technology we have to make our lives “easier”, we still find ourselves with never enough time. When we gain back time somehow we manage to fill it up again. What will you choose to fill your time with?

I assume since you are here reading this, you have felt the desire to homestead and spend more of your time doing that. I believe it is an innate desire and our human heart longs to be close to earth. We feel drawn to the dirt, raising food, tending animals, and being nearer to God’s creations.  I know for me it fills me with joy and peace.

Homesteading is a worthy cause and one worth fighting for. It may not be easy but you can give up all the good activities in your life for better and more meaningful ones. Choosing this lifestyle may require going against cultural norms that take so much of our time. 

You may even get opposition. Cameron and I have experienced both praise and criticism from friends and acquaintances as we expressed our goals of radical self-sufficiency and desire to someday make a living off our homestead and farm. Surround yourself with those who support you and believe in you. 

If you want to spend more of your time homesteading, set goals to work towards it. Shifting your time to more homesteading projects doesn’t need to happen overnight. In fact, it is best to ease into it. If you are finding joy in what you are doing, keep going! It is road less traveled by but it is so worth it.

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