This week, Lucy shares her top tips on how to get stuff done when you have children…
When you’re a mum to young kids, chances are you’re tired and semi-permanently exhausted – and you need a planning system that doesn’t require your brain to be firing on all cylinders!
After having kids our heads are just so FULL; we’re now caring for new little people, as well as (trying) to still look after ourselves, have family time together, do life admin, keep it together at work, get the housework done… the list goes on, however much support or help we have.
When life is this chaotic and busy, you need to do the ‘thinking’ work once, when you do have some headspace, and then have a go-to system you can rely on to implement when the tiredness and brain fog is too much – yet you still just need to crack on.
The problem with many organisation shortcuts or ‘systems’ that you can google or find on Instagram is that they aren’t designed BY you, FOR you. They can feel like they are for someone more sociable, better organised, with more time etc etc. They are specifically successful for THAT person, at THAT time, with a particular set of resources, level of energy, and amount of hours available. We get sucked in, sign up to this ‘method’, then draw a blank when we don’t have the resources we need to operate in that way.
That is why you need to develop your OWN planning methods – your bespoke ‘To-Do’.
I did this myself when I realised that I had plentiful small windows of time to work around my two kids, but it was taking me half of my 45-minute availability to crank my brain into gear and get back into a flow. As soon as I got started I’d have to stop again; as naptime or my too-short evening was abruptly over.
Changing how you approach your to-do list overrides the need to do the thinking again every time. It means you can pick up work when (and where) you have the time available, and get results straight away, not see you faffing and watching those precious minutes slip away.
Your personalised to-do system needs to be:
Don’t overcommit or overwhelm yourself. Start small and build. Take some time to list out everything. Get it out of your head first then be RUTHLESS and start striking things off your list and circling those that are ESSENTIAL. What has to happen each week to A) maintain the status quo and B) move forward your favourite, most important work/life/family projects?
For you! It needs to be practical and fit into your life. If you only have your phone to hand – what apps can you use? Batch similar things together. For example, use nap time for jobs that require focus, when you’re out and about anyway at the park or on a nursery/school run do other errands/shopping, when you’re around the house (but liable to be interrupted) schedule non-important calls to make, and save research jobs for unexpected quiet moments on your phone when you’re a car passenger or perhaps too tired to be creative, but have a spare hour in the evening.
It needs to move the needle and actually get you to your goal. Do the stuff that matters, not the fluff! What’s the outcome you are seeking and what’s your one thing that will deliver that?? Work on the 80/20 Pareto principle; of 80% of results coming from 20% of your efforts. Focus in on that 20% that pays off.
Build in wins and stuff that makes you feel good! Vanity metrics are called that when they don’t give you results, so what are the life/business wins that do and that you can celebrate? Give yourself mini rewards for ticking those tasks off your list.
If you are still struggling with an overwhelming to-do list, Lucy is a certified Life and Business Coach and offers free 30-minute consultation calls if you’d like to find out how coaching can support you to get back in control and making progress again in your work, business, at home: basically your whole life! Book in to chat with her here: www.calendly.com/Lucy-Green/30min