Do you ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? That no matter how prepared you get there’s always something that you miss? You have a whole school day to get as much done as possible before the kids come back. You may feel like you have so much on your plate. When you’re working constantly to remember everything, you bounce from task to task without really accomplishing anything.
What you need to do is stop and physically write down all the craziness going on in your head. The simple act of allowing yourself to let go of all the things swirling around in your head to climb out of survival mode and put yourself into a place of peace, confidence, and stability.
You don’t have to go to bed with your to-do list bouncing around your head, and you don’t have to worry about trying to remember everything in the morning.Think of your brain as a computer. If you have 57 tabs open, your computer is probably going to run slow, freeze up, and won’t work as efficiently as it could if you only had one tab open at a time.Each time you close a tab (aka write down a thought, worry, idea, or to-do), you are clearing your mind and allowing it the freedom to work more efficiently.
Stress oftentimes builds up and we aren’t always able to target what’s causing it. By writing it down you are explaining your worries so you can understand where the stress is coming from.
When know what may be the target of your stress, you can make a plan, delegate, cut non-important or nonurgent items from your to-do list (or reschedule them), and tackle the items that are causing the stress.
1. Complete most important tasks first.
This is the golden rule of time management. Each day, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete, and do those first.
Once you’re done, the day has already been a success. You can move on to other things, or you can let them wait until tomorrow. You’ve finished the essential.
2. Learn to say “no”.
Making a lot of time commitments can teach us how to juggle various engagements and manage our time. This can be a great thing.
However, you can easily take it too far. At some point, you need to learn to decline opportunities. Your objective should be to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about.
3. Sleep at least 7-8 hours.
Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity and wring a couple extra hours out of the day. This is not the case.
Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. You know if you’re getting enough. Listen to your body, and don’t underestimate the value of sleep.
4. Devote your entire focus to the task at hand.
Close out all other browser windows. Put your phone away, out of sight and on silent. Find a quiet place to work, or listen to some music if that helps you (I enjoy listening to classical or ambient music while writing sometimes).
Concentrate on this one task. Nothing else should exist. Immerse yourself in it.
5. Get an early start.
Nearly all of us are plagued by the impulse to procrastinate. It seems so easy, and you always manage to get it done eventually, so why not?
Take it from a recovering chronic procrastinator — it’s so much nicer and less stressful to get an earlier start on something. It isn’t that difficult either, if you just decide firmly to do it.
Moms tend to carry a massive invisible load.
Getting it out of your brain and onto paper allows you to set a portion of that burden on the table and go through it as you’re ready.
Your list is in front of you so you don’t have to carry it around on your mind and heart all day.
You don’t have to think about your entire list. You can focus on one single task at a time without worrying about what comes next. As you complete a task, you simply refer back to your list and move on to the next task.
Here are some examples of things you can accomplish:
Things that need to be done today
Appointments and appointments that need to be made
Calls to be made
Emails to be written
Shopping list for your weekly meal plan
Events to be planned/prepped for (dinner party, birthday party, game night, date night, playdate, holidays, vacations, trips, etc.)
Home maintenance to be done (declutter, organize, deep clean, repair, replace, redecorate)
Yourself (dreams, goals, projects, routines, habits, health, fun)
Now once you’ve scheduled everything you need for you family to thrive, remember to schedule when you can have personal time. Because we all know that if mom isn’t rested and happy, the whole family isn’t.
Ways to get some Self Care
What is self-care?
Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.
What isn’t self-care?
Knowing what self-care is not might be even more important. It is not something that we force ourselves to do, or something we don’t enjoy doing. As Agnes Wainman explained, self-care is “something that refuels us, rather than takes from us.”
Although self-care means different things to different people, there’s a basic checklist that can be followed by all of us:
Get up before your kids.
When you have kids, the day begins at a hurried pace. Once you hit the ground running, there is no stopping you. Waking 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time means quiet solitude to drink your coffee, read a book or listen to music.
Turn ordinary experiences into major events.
When you take a bath, add candles, bubble bath, quiet music and/or an inflatable bath pillow. Your regular bath has now become a spa level experience. If you watch a movie, turn out the lights, pop a bag of microwave popcorn and curl up on the couch.
Ask your significant other for help. Kids love their mothers but time spent with dad is important too. Let them bond with dad while you go shopping for a new outfit or root around in the garden. Since the time is yours, do whatever you like.
Use the Boy Scout motto. Always be prepared and you can spend more time in a relaxed mode. Fix lunches the night before. Iron clothes for the next day and place backpacks by the front door so kids can grab them on their way out. The fewer things you have to do throughout the day, the calmer you will be with your family and not experience burnout.
Take exercise breaks. When you get a few minutes the last thing you want to do is exercise but getting a little physical activity in your day has far-reaching implications. Exercise helps you to think clearly and stretches the muscles. Also, stress will drain away as powerful endorphins are released into your system. Do jumping jacks during a television commercial or jog to the bus stop to pick up the kids.
Moms, take care of you. Your family would miss you if you were not around to love and care for them. You owe it to yourself and you deserve a break from the daily hustle and bustle.