Busy mum, if you’re not getting enough things done on your to-do list, you’re not alone. It’s common to feel a little overwhelmed, rushed, and even guilty when you’re unable to get everything done each day. Staying focused at the moment and finding joy in the mundane life is challenging.
Then the little things seem to start piling up. The dishes are dirty and the laundry needs to be done. The only obvious solution is to be even busier and to schedule every minute of the day.
It is important to remember that nothing stays finished for a long. Most of us feel like everything has to be done before we give ourselves permission to enjoy life. However, that moment of feeling “caught up” never seems to come.
Sometimes, Let It Go and Let It Be can be your best friend.
If you need to create a little more space and enjoyment in your life without feeling guilty, try these hacks:
1. Learn to be glad that you have more work to do.
Remember, if you have more to do, your time is valuable. Imagine the implication of not having any tasks to complete at work. You’d likely be out of a job sooner, rather than later.
- Be grateful that you can be purposeful to help other people in your life. However, learn to be assertive at the same time to say no when you have reached your limit.
2. Look for dead time.
You might believe that you’re busy 24/7, but that’s likely untrue. Use those moments between tasks to mentally relax. We all think much more than necessary.
If you’re working on a report at work, you’re probably also thinking about lunch, the unpaid bills, and what you’re going to do this weekend. None are helpful, nor do they help you get your report completed.
- You’ll be much more relaxed and get more accomplished if you mentally limit yourself to the task at hand and focus on the progression. Having a nutritious meal is important so meal planning so you don’t have to think about it anymore once it is done on the weekend.
3. Slower can be faster.
The military has a saying, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” Calmly approaching each task will frequently result in getting it done quicker. As our minds become overstimulated, it is much more challenging to stay focused. I meditate at a minimum of 5 minutes a day but have an amazing impact on the day. Read more on my other blog: Meditation helps me to set intentions for the day.
- Think about how quickly you tie your shoes each day. Now try to tie your shoes as quickly as possible. You’ll almost certainly find that you’ve become slower. Any excessive increase in tension slows things down.
4. Limit unnecessary tasks.
There’s no point in spending valuable time on things that don’t matter. If you’re spending time on tasks that have little meaning, ditch or delegate them.
Be honest with yourself that you don’t like folding clothes so instead of avoiding the tasks, find a solution to resolve the tasks. My hack is to hang clothes onto the hanger straight away from the washing machine while it is wet but ensure fixing the crunches so when it is dry, it dries nicely and goes straight to the wardrobe pole.
I only iron when I need to. Although it is ironic thinking about how I used to iron all my clothes including underwear!
5. Limit the important tasks, too.
You can probably only get a few important tasks done each day. Making a list of 5 is certain to lead to feeling overwhelmed.
Pick the 2-3 most important tasks to focus on each day or week or month. The rest can wait until tomorrow. You may think that then you wouldn’t finish anything then. Do the best that you can, your old self will thank you for standing up for yourself. You know that you will do it or wake up early or stay up at night if it is an emergency.
6. Give yourself the time you need.
Everyone does some mental math each day that goes something like this, “This meeting ought to take 60 minutes. I’ll need 20 minutes to interview that job candidate. I have 30 minutes to drive home and change. Then, I still have 15 minutes to get Sarah to soccer practice.”
- We all tend to be optimistic, and our mental schedule requires everything to go perfectly. The interview could take 20 minutes, at best. It might also take 40 minutes. It probably won’t take 10.
- Be realistic and give yourself the time required for each task, as well as the time between tasks.
- Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique? It is a kitchen timer to maximise productivity in 25 minutes.
If you’re constantly in a hurry, life can feel chaotic and joyless. Find solitude in what you do. Give yourself some solidity of being slack occasionally.
You have more time available than you realise. You can also learn to enjoy a busy schedule. Focus on each task and give yourself time to complete it.
Remember that remaining calm in solidity and slowing down can increase the amount you get accomplished.
Call to action : Challenge yourself to complete the work-life balance assessment and try some of the hacks to see if you feel any improvements in your life.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built on one night: a small step is more important than not doing any step at all.
Happy Solitude Day! Busymumhacks x