i also love using a consistent rhythm. it's not time-bound, but by returning to simple patterns, we can easily flow through our days and get everything done.
i've found that having a rhythm makes me less anxious about feeling like i can get things done. I have many things that i do, and like everyone, i'm very busy. but i know that there is a time for everything that i both need and want to do, and knowing that, i can relax and do what needs to be done now, and know that those things will be taken care of in due time
like Lux, i do not schedule much for DS (2 yo). I agree with her assessment about how they do not really need structured things under 7.
but, this needs to be balanced against my need to be out and about with people--not feeling isolated and lonely. i found that going to play group (steiner based) once a week was great for us. It has a garden and free play, a circle time, free play, songs and story, then "morning tea" (water and muffins), and then more free play. we see the guinea pigs, and then it's time to go. DS *loves* it and has lots of "good friends."
what is great is that the moms are all there talking about things and having a good time. some moms also join "interest groups" such as baby-wearers or LLL or some such, but i find that is too much for me. going out once a week is enough, usually. but i also work--so my friend who is solely a SAHM, she tends to go to two events a week, and some moms just prefer more time out than i do, i suppose.
insofar as developing a rhythm, i started with the basics: eating and sleeping times. once i figured out when these things tended to arise as needs for me and my family, it was the loose structure on which i built the rhythm.
next, i looked at what was needed to facilitate eating and sleeping. so, for example, to get to bed, we need to have a night time rhythm. it's obvious that you need PJs and baths and such, but what is more difficult is really understanding the amount of time necessary to take one person through that, and once you have a baby, two people.
before my son was born (i have only one, btw), i just decided that everything would take "30 minutes more." and, it's just about right, honestly. So, while my own normal bed time routine takes about 15 minutes, i add 30 minutes for my son. so, the whole thing takes 45. this allows us to do it slowly and with patience and joy, rather than rushing, pushing and feeling frustrated. the morning routine is similar--if it takes me 15 minutes to get ready, add 30 for him. it works great.
for food, i put in 30 minutes before for prep and 30 minutes after for clean up. i find this helps a lot too. i have time for "help" and also to stop and do things like "sit on potty! sit on potty!" and still get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour. LOL!
From this framework of general times of rising, getting ready, eating, eating, eating and getting ready for bed and bedtime, i noted that there are two basic swaths of time between eating, eating, and eating that i could use in various ways.
so, i would look at that. i would look at two things: our natural inclinations between active and passive; and what we needed and wanted to do (individually, together).
just observing, after breakfast is an active time, then there's a passive, then another active heading into lunch. lunch is followed by a passive, then an active, and then passive then another active heading into dinner. and then after dinner we head down toward bedtime for him (dh and i, of course, stay up later than ds).
this allowed me to do certain things with that time. i like to get my chores done right away, so as soon as we are finished with breakfast, i do my daily chore (i have three chores and three chore days, really--bathroom, kitchen, vacuum/dusting). so, DS either helps me or he plays on his own. If he's seeking attention, i use a simple phrase: 'mommy washes the kitchen; DS plays with trains." more often than not, he's 'helping' me.
after i finish my chore, we then head into a passive time. DS likes to color during this time, and so he goes into that, and it gives me time to do some work or check emails or be online. whatever i need/want to do really. he's quite independent during this time.
once he transitions into something more active, we might go outside to play, or we might stay in depending. then we return home for lunch time. we spend that hour, and he goes down for a nap.
afternoons i tend to work, DH manages the time then. typically, they go outside again at some point, and also play inside at some point. it varies depending upon their energy and what is going on that day.
we organized each day around the things that we need to do, the things that we want to do, and the things that we would like to do if possible. now, because the rhythm is pretty well established, we actually do get to do a lot of the things that we would like to do. it's quite nice actually.
everything gets done. and everyone is happy. and when there isn't happiness, it's time to reassess and change the rhythm.