Lately, I’ve had so many things to accomplish, I’m not sure what to do first. I spin in circles, sit and do nothing or just do the wrong things because I don’t know where to start. Have you ever been there? I’m guessing if you’re the procrastinator type, like me, you definitely have.
Here lately, we have had a lot of things to get done, not just on my blog, but in our family life as well. The things that we have to get done are not the types of things that we can complete all at once, but things that have to be done in small increments. Paperwork, appointments, more paperwork, emails galore, scheduling, research and blogging, to name just a few. It is literally overwhelming to think about sometimes, but amazingly, we keep chipping away at them and slowly but surely, we get things done. Maybe not as fast as I’d like to, but still they’re getting done.
When I’m in that stage of life, as a mom, I tend to turn to some tips that I’ve learned through the years. Here’s what I do:
1. Make lists. I’ve resisted lists for a long time. I hated lists as a child, so it was hard for me to decide to use them as an adult, but alas, sometimes you just have to. And sometimes, it feels really good to check things off of that list! In my email program (Gmail), I am using a plugin called Productive Inbox to help me make a list that I always see in my sidebar when I’m responding to emails. It is very helpful. I love getting to check the box that it’s done. It makes me feel so accomplished. Here’s a funny story though. Once, I noticed some things on my list that I knew I didn’t put there. It turns out, my husband discovered my list and added to it, lol. It appears he likes my list approach and wanted to nicely remind me of the things he’d been asking me to do as well.
2. Do Hard Things First. As written about in the book called, “Eat That Frog”, if you choose to stop procrastinating on the hard things, and begin with them instead, you’ll get more done in the long run. Just jump in, make yourself start with the harder things and it all steamrolls from there. It really does work!
3. Prioritize. Of course, sometimes, your list isn’t necessarily hard, it’s just abundant. There’s so many things on your list, you just don’t know where to begin. That’s when you decide what’s the most important. What will make the most impact on your day or week if you get it done? Can you batch the things on your list? Make all of your phone calls at once, answer all of your emails at once and write all of your blog posts at once? (Yes, I’m talking to myself…lol.) Good, then do it!
4. Be OK with a Rest Day. Sometimes you’re so busy that you just need to take a day’s rest. If you take a day to just do nothing, you’ll be able to be more productive tomorrow when you get back to it. I know it’s hard to take a break when you have so many things hanging over your head, but really it works and you’ll often find that you’re more productive because you took a break. Depending on your list, I realize it’s not always feasible, but a lot of times it is. So do it!
5. Assign. Get your family or even your friends in on the to-do list. If it’s simple cleaning tasks that’s on your list, just divide it up between you. If it’s more complex, you can’t exactly do that, but….you may be able to hire it out, if you have enough extra cash. Sometimes, just paying someone to get it done faster is totally worth it. Of course, if you have a limited budget like we’ve had for years, that may not be possible. Don’t feel bad, just offer to trade with a friend. Many hands make light work.