Being a full-time mommy and working from home is like juggling two full-time jobs at once. Remember the days when everything on your “to-do” list was checked off and there was nothing left for you to do? Remember when we were kids and used to get “bored”….those days are no more! ;) I’ve found that there is ALWAYS things to be done. When my husband asks, “Are you done with work for the day?” or “How much left do you have to do?” my answer is usually, “I’m never done, but I’ll stop if needed!”
It seriously is such a huge joy and blessing to have the ability to stay at home with my son, run my own business, and create my own hours. I couldn’t be more thankful. I’m exactly where I want to be. However, that certainly doesn’t make each day easy or my task list finish itself magically…no fairy godmother here. ;)
I have a lot of roles in my life. On top of having the honor of being Soren’s mommy, I also blog full-time for my business, run a graphic design company with my business partner, plan annual events, travel, speak, write for various blogs, run a YouTube channel and do my very best to keep up with our home, OH! and spend time with family, friends, and my sweet husband. Whew! I get asked the question a lot: “How do you do it all?” Well get ready, because I’m about to reveal all the secrets for getting things done…;)
- You Can’t – You thought I might have stumbled upon a secret formula or machine that makes time stand still? So sorry, I haven’t found one yet…but let me know if you do! The biggest secret to having a busy life and “getting things done” is realizing you CAN’T get everything done and you shouldn’t put that expectation on yourself OR let others put that expectation on you. Do what you can, when you can. Be adaptable.
- Sacrifice – While I wear a lot of hats, more often then not I’m wearing 3-4 REALLY WELL and letting the others get dusty. This analogy simply means that on a weekly basis certain roles are sacrificed and aren’t completed to the best of my ability. For example, I might be winning at getting house chores done for the week but let my inbox get filled to the brim. Or maybe I’m on top of my email game but I haven’t showered. all. week. You can’t do it all, so it’s important to be okay with that and realize some things might be sacrificed here and there.
- Set Priorities – Since we know things will be sacrificed it’s important to prioritize your roles and tasks. What are the most important things to you? For me it’s being a mom and spending time with Jon especially. This means that I do my very best not to sacrifice these roles in my life and allow other things to “get dusty” if needed before I would let those things “get dusty” in my life. This makes putting things off until another day a little easier when you know what you want to say “no” to and “yes” to.
- Be Intentional – When little ones go down for a nap, this is typically the best time to get things done. Be intentional with this time! Use a prioritized task list and work through it one at a time. Try to keep yourself from filling your time with un-important tasks like browsing the internet or binge-watching your favorite show. If you only have 2-3 hours stay focused. :)
- Plan Your Week – I like to start off each week sitting down and planning everything out. Where do I need to go? Errands? Big to-do’s? Events? Wish-list items? Scheduling appointments and outings in your calendar and put together your task list for the week. Have a task list of things that MUST get done and another for things you’d like to get done, bonus tasks if you will. :) This will make it easier for your brain not to panic when you see so many un-checked boxes because you know you are focusing on the priorities and letting yourself be okay with only accomplishing a few (or many none) of the wish-list tasks.
- Accept Help – If you are fortunate enough to live close to friends, in-laws or parents that are willing to lend a consistent hand, be sure to take them up on the offer! You could also consider hiring a nanny for one day or a few hours each week. My mom comes over and watches Soren for me on Thursdays, and this allows me to plan to make a good dent in my task list. I usually stay at home so I can continue to nurse Soren if needed, but sometimes I will head out to a coffee shop to really focus if I’m working on a large project.
- Work at Night – Sometimes, but not every night, I dedicate the evening to work. I don’t want to do this every night, because I still want to make time to spend with Jon and have “me” time or meet up with a friend for a late night latte. But about 1-2 times each week I work a lot in the evening. After Soren goes to bed at 7 p.m., I usually have about 4 hours of good uninterrupted time to focus and get things done. If you are not a night person, then I might suggest working in the early, early morning before your little one gets up for the day.
- Stay Organized – It can save you so much time and effort if you stay as organized as possible in your work life. If you have a desk at home, make sure there is a place for everything so things are easy to find. Also, make sure your computer is organized! If this gets away from you and you can’t remember where you put an important email or if you wrote down the time of an important event it will cause you a lot of un-needed stress. Create folders in your inbox, on your desktop and in your office to store things to you need. Use organizational apps like task lists and calendars that sync to all of your devices for easy access. Who needs to be wasting 30 minutes tracking down information when you’ve got other work to do?! :)
- Stop – The last thing I want to be is a “workaholic” I never want to sacrifice my well being or the well being of my family for work. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do but it will never be more important than my family. If I ever get to a point where I feel completely overwhelmed, stressed and out of sorts I like to take a step back immediately. Sometimes this means un-plugging for a week, sometimes it means taking the day off and not worrying about work, and other times it means not working that night and just soaking in the tub with a cup of hot cocoa. Be okay with taking a break. You want to feel re-charged and energized to get things done and sometimes stopping it just what you need to accomplish that.
- Experiment – And finally, know that what works for one person might not work for everyone and what works today might not work in three months. Be willing to adjust and adapt your schedule as needed to fit the needs of you and your family. Experiment with different schedule changes, seek advice, and check up on yourself often.
You can do this mama!! xox
Image : Disney Baby