Is it us, or is life getting busier and busier?
It seems that we’ve barely got one thing done before there are five other urgent bits of business crowding for our attention.
As mums, we’re used to walking the gauntlet of tight deadlines and crazy jobs. From maintaining a household, to getting the homework done, to putting dinner on the table, to keeping your own sanity, there’s a lot to get done.
Sure, our partners are there to help, but it often happens that you end up with way more than you can do, and you become seriously overwhelmed.
What’s the solution?
Here’s how to get shit done when everything becomes too overwhelming!
1. Write A To-Do List
First things first, you need to download all of the tasks that are just floating around in your head onto something physical that you can easily check back to, like a to-do list. Not only will a to-do list allow you to observe everything that needs doing, but by writing it down you’re less likely to forget something. If you’re running lots of errands, try and organise your to-do list based on location, and if you’re organising the house do so by room. You get the idea. You want to get it all on paper, so you can have the pleasure of ticking it completed!
Now that you have everything on paper, it’s time to prioritise. What absolutely needs to get done today? Is there anything that can be put aside for tomorrow or even the weekend? Do some things need to be tackled in sections, or is there something that you’re still waiting on? Figure all of this out, and then prioritise your tasks based on what absolutely has to be done first. This will give you a better idea of what your day is going to look like, and a feeling of greater control.
So, now that you’ve really looked at your to-do list, it’s time to pass the buck a little bit. Delegate any tasks that you just don’t think you’ll be able to get done to your network of helpers. This might be your older kids for household chores, your partner for some errands, or anyone who owes you a favour that you can cash. Our network is supposed to be there to support us, and you should be able to call on them when you’re really in need.
4. Focus In Bursts
Nobody can click their brains into the highest gear and run it like that all day. There needs to be time for rest and reset your brain, to stop the stress of being constantly busy from overwhelming you. So, for things around your home, set yourself a 20-minute timer to accomplish as much of your to-do list as you can. Then rest for 5 minutes, doing something that relaxes you. If you’re running errands, set aside a little bit of time in your schedule, even just 10-15 minutes, for a coffee and a relaxing sit somewhere. You’ll find yourself happy and more productive!
5. Don’t Multitask
We often pride ourselves on our ability to multitask, but when you have a lot to do multitasking is actually one of the worst things you can attempt. Splitting your attention is a recipe for disaster when you’re already overwhelmed and is just as likely to result in you throwing the towel in all together. So, regardless of how good you’ve been at multitasking in the past, tackle one thing at a time in order to get the job done right the first time.
6. Be Realistic
It’s important when you’re working through a backlog of tasks that you approach your capabilities in a realistic way. Think back to what you were able to complete in an average day in the past, and stick with that. Really, you should be putting less on your plate when you’re stressed, because you’re unlikely to be as productive. Remember, you aren’t a superhuman. Be realistic about what you can do and you won’t feel bad when you inevitably can’t get it all done.
How you respond to being overwhelmed will depend on who you are as an individual and how your personality responds to stress. At the end of the day you have to do what works for you, but we hope our tips help you to get on top of your task list!