Getting things done in a chaotic season
As I was driving the kids home from their classes today and the 4 year old was screaming thanks to the time change putting our commute in the midst of her “tired time” and I drove while my right arm was stretched into the back seat on her leg to console her, I managed to drown out the sound with thoughts of how I would get things done this week (since talking to crying 4 year old was doing nothing but making things worse 🙁 )…
Just to give you a snapshot of my life: I homeschool an 8-1/2 year old while juggling a 4 year old, AND run my health coaching business (currently without the aid of a mother’s helper… so add “while I look for a new mother’s helper” to the list) on top of managing my household. Admittedly, my husband working from home is a huge help in that I can take care of some of my work before his work day begins and during his lunch hour (thank you, 3 minute commute). But finding time when you have an active family is still rough.
I found that when I was still in school and my practice was just starting to grow, the time I had allocated for studies was increasingly being taken by my growing business. It was kind of a nice problem to have, but clearly–I needed to carve out time specific to the differing needs.
Today I realized that I have to do the same thing for some of my “mom tasks”. That which cannot be automated (like dinner meal plans) needed to be given the time it deserved. When would I look at the winter catalog of kids enrichment classes or spring academic classes? When would I reconcile the bank account? Or when would my husband do it (he needs time to help, too!)? Doing these things with the kids at their current ages was difficult at best and hubby and I can’t stay up late enough to get things done after they’re in bed.
And hey… dates? What about those.
We’re not a particularly rigid family. We’re more of a “go with the flow” kind of crew. But we’re starting to really rock the scheduling thing. But I’m going to pull out my calendar and really pick through it better. I need to allot some time to “household” stuff and I need to keep a running list of things that need to get accomplished during that time. As it stands, I have a place on the fridge to jot down work tasks that I remember throughout the day and week–stuff that I need to do during my work time. I need to have a similar to-do list for my “household administration” time.
Try it out:
- Get a calendar system that your family can share. Whether it be Google calendar, iCalendar, some other electronic version, or good ole “paper calendar on the side of the fridge”… and enter all of your family’s obligations and ongoing activities for the next 6 months.
- Make a list of the major topics or goals that are not getting enough time in your life–in order of priority.
- Figure out what of these can be delegate or automated. I do a lot of automated payments for monthly bills that are the same every month, and I subscribe to a weekly meal planning service for our dinners that includes a shopping list.
- Look for blocks of time on the calendar that can be dedicated to working on your topics or goals. Even if you can find a 15 minute block that is devoted to nothing else–it will be a help.
- Keep a “to do” list for those blocks of time so you can hit the ground running when you sit down. This will help you make the most of your available time and you will find that having a list available makes quick work of figuring out what you can get done with the time you have!
Don’t forget to schedule in some time to change your health. Book some time on my calendar to discuss your health, your concerns, and to talk about how to proceed. It’s free!