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How to actually get your to-do list DONE as a working or stay at home mom
Let’s face it, as moms we can sometimes let our to-do lists pile up, but it’s an honest mistake! We know all too well what it’s like to be pulled in 20 different directions at once, and all the little “interruptions” that make up what we like to call “#momlife,” aren’t looking to go away anytime soon. And we don’t want them to! But sometimes a mama had GOT to get stuff done! So what’s a girl to do? I’ve come up with a list to help any mama, working or stay at home, actually get her to-do list DONE.
Motivate yourself to get up as early as you need to
I don’t know about you, but the afternoons are terrible when it comes to getting anything done! Kids are cranky and needy, errands need to be run, dinner needs to be cooked, etc. If I have something to get done for work or school, the likelihood of it getting done is tripled if I jump on it in the morning! I credit that first cup of coffee for that. There’s also just something about mornings that makes me a lot more focused in general, but I don’t think it’s just me.
Know when you work best
That being said, you know when you’re at your best. While I can tear through an assignment before 8 am, my husband looks like someone from the walking dead until at least 9 am. Are you a night owl or a morning person? Me? I’m basically useless after 9pm. I’ve written entire blog posts past 9pm, read it the next morning, and then deleted the whole thing and started from scratch with a non-delusionally tired mind. My point is, you know when you work best. If you’re a night owl, plan to have your evenings free because that is when you’ll be at your best to tackle your workload.
Go crazy with your to-do list.
I used to be not much of a list-maker, but when I started to get surprised every other week by a deadline that sneaked up on me, I realized it was time. Now, I use Asana to plan out my MONTH. Yep, complete 360° turnaround there. This way, I now have 0 surprises and I know when all my deadlines are, days or weeks in advance, giving me plenty of time to plan out how I need to spend my time on each task. If I see a free day before a big task is coming up, I’ll now know that I can use that time to complete that task, instead of having to cram it into an already busy day because I didn’t realize the deadline was coming up.
Best of all, if you can get your spouse to use Asana, you can actually delegate tasks to others on your “team;” that is, if your husband will actually remember to use it. You’re on your own with that one!
Schedule your days
Being a mom/wife, employee, blogger, and student, there’s always something I need to be doing in my free time. But being the scatterbrained person that I am, if I don’t plan well, I’ll end up starting 5 different projects, and finishing none of them. Instead, what I do now is have certain days for certain areas of my life. Now, given, you can’t hang up being a mom and pick it up later, but you can control the days you have to do grocery shopping, running errands, etc. My suggestion is to do something like this: if you work, make Mondays all about work, make Tuesdays all about home management, Wednesdays about that other thing you do, etc. That way you won’t feel overwhelmed and pulled in 100 directions at once. Your days will be more focused and you’ll wipe out tasks one-by-one instead of having 5 things you’ve started and are struggling to finish.
Ask for help!
There’s no honor in freaking out because you decided to try to do everything by yourself without asking for help. Try some of these things we like to do:
- Trade babysitting days with a friend
- Communicate with your spouse! Before you’re overwhelmed and freaking out, ask them to take on some of your regular tasks to free you up!
- If you can afford it, hire a babysitter to come over one day a week JUST so you can work, run errands, and get your to-do list done.
Get out of the house when you can
The need for this is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes it can truly just be impossible to get anything done at home. Sometimes when I get a little overly ambitious with my to-do list goals for the day, my son likes to remind me that, ah yes, I am his mommy, and he does need me. Quite a bit, actually. Which is great, but sometimes a mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do, and nothing going to get done in this house where I’m needed. If you can, take the initiative to get out of the house and sit at a table to work. Use one of the methods I outlined in the last point!
When you can’t get out of the house, get yourself an extra pair of eyes
Have you ever been told to sleep when your baby sleeps? If you’re like me, you thought, “And then when do I get anything done??” Most of my blog writing happens during those short nap times, which is when my VTech Safe&Sound DM271-110 Audio Monitor with Open/Closed and Motion Sensors sooo comes in handy! VTech’s baby monitors come with up to 1,000 feet of range so I’m able to walk all over the house, even out in our yard, and still know what our toddler is up to. And when he wakes up, I can tell him I’m on my way with the two-way, talk-back intercoms! Because I love this baby monitor so much, I created a little video to show you guys how I use it every day as a working, multi-tasking mama! (Check it out below). Best of all, it’s available on Amazon where I already buy all my baby essentials!
Tell me, mamas, what get’s you organized an on-task?? Leave your own tips in the comments below and share this post with a mama in need!