[Me with the three A’s heart].
As a mom, you’re are the definition of super woman! Let’s be honest, every day you’re able to make things happen. Even when you’re overwhelmed, super chaotic, and overrun with demands and commitments, you still get everyone in the right place at [pretty much] the right time, and stay on top of most of it. When it comes to getting things done, you are a boss.
So before we go any further, let’s take a second to acknowledge how awesome you already are.
But I hear you… you wish things weren’t quite so stressy and frantic. You wish you had a little more time to breathe in between tasks. And you’d very much like some quality ME time when you don’t have little people clambering all over you!
I hear you, and as a busy mom to three little ones myself, I share your frustrations, passions, and commitments. While I wouldn’t change any of it for the world, life does get hectic when you’re juggling work, kids, school stuff, household chores, plus the million and one other things that I can’t think of right now.
So how can you better juggle so getting things done feels easier.
How can you tame that scatterbrain so you feel more organized and more in control?
How can you create more time for more things – including all the things that matter to YOU [that don’t revolve your kids?]
For me, the answer is all in the planning.
Here’s how busy moms are getting things done.
1. Reduce the number of things you have to get done
I know, that sounds totally impossible and probably a little ridiculous, right?
But let’s look at this another way.
Lots of overflowing plates have become a given in modern society. And it’s a big problem [yes, I’m talking to the converted!] When you’re drowning in to-dos and juggling an armful of different roles and responsibilities, it can be hard to keep it together because your brain gets overwhelmed and can even shuts down.
Welcome brain fog and decision fatigue!
But is everything on your to-do list as essential as you think? Or are you wading through too much clutter because that’s the way it’s always been?
It’s well worth looking over your list of to-dos and getting ruthless. What can you strike off? What can you delegate to other people? What can you combine to lessen your workload.
Focus on the things that really matter, remove the stuff that doesn’t, and enjoy making better use of the extra time you free up.
2. Leave space for contingency planning
We’ve all been there…
You have perfect plans and a clear schedule for the day and then BOOM! Life throws something at you, which you didn’t expect and the cart turns upside down! Your kids get ill (you get ill!) Work puts you under pressure with an urgent priority. You get stuck in a traffic jam. You need to do a detour back to school because your child forgot their PE kit. You get pulled into a long conversation with a friend in need.
The list goes on… But that’s life. Full of surprises that make time management laughable.
The reality is there are only two parts of your day that are under your full control. The way you wake up and the way you go to bed. Everything else can always have a spanner thrown in the works. The way out of this conundrum is to build in some slack and accept the fact that sometimes the day will derail, but that doesn’t mean everything won’t sort itself out in time.
3. Eliminate distractions – as much as possible
We live in an information age where entertainment and knowledge are at our fingertips. Everywhere you turn, someone (or something) is trying to get a piece of your attention, and when they drag you in it can be hard to pull yourself out.
Distractions steal your time and scupper your plans. They push you behind and leave you struggling to catch up.
As a mom, you’ve learned to be skilled at keeping one ear open while you do something else. But the reality is getting things done is easier if you focus on one thing at a time. So where possible, switch off your notifications, turn off social, and give the task at hand all your attention.
Working with zero distractions is an easy way to boost your productivity and get more done in less time.
4. It’s too easy to procrastinate
As a mom, you want your kids to be happy and healthy and you’ll do anything you can to give your children the best possible start.
But it’s not easy! Kids test you. They push boundaries and your buttons. They make you worry and they force you to dig deep into yourself. All this can be emotionally as well as physically draining.
In other words, there will be times when you are tired – aka NOT at your peak.
When you’re tired or feeling low, it’s very easy to procrastinate. It’s super important to listen to your body and rest when you need to, but you need to find the balance between rest and getting things done.
In short, good time management takes discipline. There will be many times that you’ll have to force yourself to take action when you don’t feel like it. It’s oh so tempting to put off hard, stressful, or boring tasks for another time. But the more we delay, the more the backlog piles up (and that drains our productivity further still!)
So be gentle with yourself, respect your needs, and be ready to call out your procrastination when it does show up.
5. Replace your to-do list with a plan for the day
I’ve got a secret obsession for lists. I LOVE being able to cross stuff off when it’s done. It’s true, I am a very task-driven person and a shrinking to-do list makes me feel accomplished.
I do still create a to-do list for the week using my Weekly Action Pad, but when it comes to planning my day, I get a LOT more detailed.
That’s because to-do lists are seriously limited when it comes to boosting your productivity and getting things done.
To-do lists don’t highlight priorities and they don’t reveal the optimum time to do each task. They don’t help you see your plan for the day either which means it’s all too easy to overestimate what’s possible and squander time needlessly.
This is where your bullet journal is a game-changer and a lifesaver!
Use your bujo to create an action plan for your day and you won’t look back. Instead of making things up as you go along, you can pinpoint exactly what you need to be doing at any given time to win the day.
Best of all, a robust plan leaves much less to chance.
Instead of leaving your stuff for the leftovers, you can plan to fit it all in. It’s true, plan well and getting things done becomes a whole ton easier.
Because lack of time should NEVER be a reason for you to miss out on the things that are really important to you.
How are you getting things done? Please share your favorite strategy in the comments below.