Do you ever feel like you can’t seem to get everything done? I know I do! As soon as I get a task accomplished and crossed off of my to-do list I’ll remember 2-3 more things that needed to be done a few days ago. It’s a never ending cycle…and it’s exhausting!
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a ceo-mom, it feels like you’re constantly working doesn’t it? (And if you’re like me, oftentimes when you’re sleeping your brain is even at work listening for your precious little one’s cries.)
I’ll be the first person to admit that I don’t have it all together, but I just can’t pass up the opportunity to share a few tips that I’ve learned being a mom. Hopefully they’ll encourage you, remind you know that you’re not alone and help you on this motherhood journey that we’re on.
Why don’t we dive on in! Shall we?
Here are my 4 tips to survive the throws of motherhood when it seems like you can’t get everything done!
1. Set yourself up for success.
There are a ton of ways to set yourself up for success, but these three are my favorites.
- Pick up toys before transitioning to another activity.Is your house a mess? Are there toys strewn all over the place? (Well, you’re not alone sister!)Picking up toys before having a meal, taking a nap, or any number of activities not only keeps your house tidier, but it can also teach your child a bit of responsibility. If your child knows he has to pick up the toys before he can go outside and ride his bike, he might not get out every single toy to play with.
*Having a child under the age of two doesn’t mean that you can’t start training him now. My son sits beside me while I pick up the toys and I’ll say, “Help momma pick up the toys.” He’ll eventually get it, and I’ll be so excited when that day comes!
If clutter and disorder drive you nuts (my hand is raised), picking up the toys will not only be a sanity saver for you but it’s also a surefire way to combat the clutter monster before it starts.
- Wash your dish instead of leaving it in sink.You’ve just finished your cup of coffee and head to the kitchen to put your cup in the sink. Does this scenario sound familiar to you?What if instead of putting it in the sink you went ahead and washed it or even put it in the dishwasher? This simple task not only saves time because you don’t have to wash the dish later, but it also keeps your sink from piling up with dirty dishes.
You might not think it saves that much time, but when you’re a busy mom every second counts!
- Meal PlanPlease hear me out! (Yes, I know that many of you just rolled your eyes and sighed at the thought of meal planning.)When I say meal plan I’m not expecting anything elaborate but something very simple. In fact, I’m going to share my bare bones weekly meal plan with you.
Yep, there it is on the notes on my phone…it’s not anything fancy but it works for me!
Every Saturday I take a quick inventory of what we have in our cabinets/fridge/freezer and then assign a meal to each night of the week. I don’t necessarily make the meal on a certain night but I know I have enough meals planned for the entire week. (My favorite night of the week is leftover night!)
As you can see, I make super simple meals. And, when I have time I do a bit of freezer cooking. (Here are a few of my favorite freezer friendly foods.)
What do you do to set yourself up for success?
2. Have daily room time for your child.
This one was huge for me!
If you’re a mom of a little under the age of 2 you know how taxing it can be to chase a child around all the time. It’s hard to get anything done, but you have to make sure that he’s not into everything or hurting himself.
No matter the age of your child, I encourage you to schedule room time each and every day. For the littles, place toys and books in their crib/pack and play and let them explore in a safe environment for 30-45 minutes. You can also turn on the radio or open the window and let the sun shine in.
If you have older children, let them play in their room, read a book or just hang out. They’ll figure out something to do to pass the time and you’ll be amazed!
Room time might look different for every mom. Maybe this small reprieve could be doing something you enjoy (reading a book, crafting, or taking a cat nap). Or maybe it’ll give you a few extra minutes to work on a few tasks that you’d love to get accomplished!
3. Do the important things first.
Raise your hand if you find yourself trying to do the menial tasks on your list first and putting the most important tasks off until last! (Once again, my hand is raised.)
I recently went through the Make Over Your Mornings eCourse. (I totally loved it, by the way!) Crystal shared the illustration of how when we put our big rocks (important tasks) in our jar first we’ll have more time to fill the rest of the jar with smaller rocks, sand and even water. I’m a visual girl so this really put things into perspective for me.
She also had us process through this concept (and encouraged us to include our spouse too).
If I did NOTHING else today except ___________, my day would be a success.
Here’s what I put down:
- Quiet time
- Making supper
- Walking/exercising 3-5 times a week
(While it may seem like a simple list to many of you, I have to be realistic and set myself up for success with doable items on my list. As my son gets older I hope to add a few more items to this list.)
When I decided that the four items above were the most important for me and my family it made it so much easier to go to bed at night not having everything on my to-do list accomplished…and anything else I get done throughout the day is just gravy.
Make a list of the most important things for you and your family and focus on them first!
4. Turn it off.
I’m not naive enough to think that I won’t step on a few toes with this tip. In fact, I’m preaching to myself with this one because I’m quite guilty of this myself.
Turning it off (whatever that may be for you) takes away the distractions and helps you focus.
It’s so easy to get on Pinterest or Facebook for just a few minutes only to look up at the clock and realize you’ve been on there an hour. Anybody? If social media is your time suck, set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, get off!
I’m a work-at-home mom so when naptime comes it’s time to get my work done. For me, turning it off is closing my email when I’m working on computer projects or putting my phone on do not disturb (I think I just heard a few of you gasp at the thought). These tiny tasks allow me to focus on the project at hand and boost my productivity level.
Stopping to read the newest email or text takes your mind to another place and you lose your train of thought.
The texts and emails will be there when you’ve finished your task. I promise that you’ll survive and that you’ll get a lot more done to boot!
If you don’t believe me, I dare you to try it!
Girlfriend, I wish I could waive a magic wand and tell you that it is possible to go to bed each night having completed everything on your to-do list. But the reality of the situation is that we’re not going to get everything done every day…or even most days. Give yourself grace by realizing that you’re not Superwoman and just do the best you can. That’s all anyone can ask of you!
Wish you had time to time to just slow down and breathe?
Whether you want to slow down and breathe, add margin to your life, or tackle a few of those daunting tasks on your to-do list, I highly recommend that you check out the Make Over Your Mornings eCourse.
As I mentioned above, I recently took Crystal Paine’s 14-day eCourse and loved it (especially since it only took 15 minutes a day to complete)! There were tons of practical tips and tricks to apply to my life so that I will be able to set myself up for success each and every day.
If this eCourse sounds like something you need in your life (and, really, who doesn’t), head over here to check it out!
P.S. I love that this eCourse is for women of all walks of life (business woman, moms, grandmas, etc.)!!!
L I N K S O F T H E D A Y
5 Words Every Mom Needs To Hear
Super Easy Slow Cooker Lasagna
There is no rule that one must be accessible 24/7. You are in charge of the way your own phone is used.
If you can, renegotiate the division of labor in the house. It is easier to get everything done when more than one set of hands is working.
You are so right, Karen. Sadly, nowadays we think we’ll miss something if we don’t have our phone right beside us.
And, yes, more than one set of hands is super helpful.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing!
Such a good post!
Thank you for your kind encouragement, C!
[…] Getting Things Done Ideas for a Mom to stay positive and get things done! […]
Great advice! Especially to do the important things first. It’s so easy to get distracted with little tasks that are not important and take up too much time. Thanks for sharing at Mom-to-Mom Mondays.
Thank you Rachel!
Meal planning (and getting it out of the freezer the night before) has been such a game changer. I plan my meals for the week, too, and then look at my planner every night before bed to make sure I remember to lay everything out so it’s defrosted, ready for the slow cooker, etc. the next day.
I love the “room time” idea. I’ll have to try that!
I need to do more freezer cooking. I think about it often but never take the time to do it!
Room time has been fabulous for me. I look forwarding to hearing how you like it, Alison!