***Today's post on 7 Secrets for Conquering the World is written by my super funny, real life friend, Chrisi, and mom to some of the cutest kidlets I know. She shares humorous tales on motherhood and life on her blog, The Water Wife. Go check her out!***
Hey Kelly! Thank you for letting me stop by today and share some of my secrets with y’all! I just love reading about your life and I am so inspired by how you find the time to work and raise a family! That got me to thinking about how every year I seem to get a little more efficient at running my household, especially with tips from my friends and other moms! So I thought today I would share how I conquer the world!
Okay fine! It’s not the whole world, maybe just at my house, but these secrets are pretty universal for women trying doing it all. The mothering, wife-ing, housekeeping, Jazzercising, showering, day to day responsibilities we have as women never cease. Yes, I said showering. I have a toddler. I am in the season where even one’s hygiene must be planned for. These never ending daily tasks are enough to exhaust even the most organized type A mom, but most of us also have work or other projects on the to do list as well.
You know what I’m talking about; the family photo albums your 4 years behind on, that annual calendar of the kids you give as gifts for grandma’s Christmas, last year’s taxes that you already filed an extension on and all those side hustles and businesses we’ve got to run. Productivity is always a challenge and if you’re like me, your to do list just gets longer so I am always looking for tricks to be more effective! I may not be Jedi status just yet but I’m well on my way and today I’m spilling my secrets for how I fit it all in. Here are just 7 secrets for conquering the world, at least my little corner of it!
1.The Master To Do List
Every woman I know keeps a calendar and a to do list. These two items are essential once you’ve had children and you figure out that pregnancy brain last much longer than 9 months and you have no way to remember anything that isn’t written down. But, here’s where I take it to the next level… The Master To Do List. I have a weekly list so I know what has got to get done each week. Then there are all those other gabillion little things that you need to do when you get a chance, but not necessarily this week. When I put all of that on one list, it makes my head spin. It’s too much; I’d rather watch Netflix and eat cookies.
Separate your list. Take all those tasks that can wait and put them on your master list. Hang them above your desk or somewhere you will see them and keep them in mind. I usually pick one of those items to work on that week or month depending on their time requirement. The master list keeps me on track with all my projects and keeps my weekly to do list short(er) and more manageable. The less overwhelmed I feel, the more I tend to get done
2.Sunday Night Prep & Plan
Speaking of lists, create your new ones on Sunday nights. In fact, use your Sunday evening to prepare for the week. I like to make sure the house is picked up and I sit down with my lists and calendar. I plan out my week, decide on a project to tackle and make out my weekly to do list, grocery list and menu. Getting everything ready on Sunday nights helps me to feel equipped for the week so I hit the ground running on Monday mornings!
3. Multi Task Chores, Not Life
Multitasking is my greatest asset to maximizing my time but if not used properly, it is also a relationship and productivity killer. In a world where we can’t live without our cell phones, it has become increasingly difficult to be present. It is a challenge to keep our minds still long enough to sincerely listen and spend time with even our family members. I find myself feeling guilty and disconnected when I haven’t spent quality time with my husband and children and therefore I can’t focus. I have found that multitasking is still a necessary tool if used wisely so I am learning when to be busy and when to be present.
If I’m cooking dinner, then I’m emptying the dishwasher while I burn brown the meat. If I’m unloading groceries from the car, then I’m also cleaning out the car. But if my kids are eating dinner, I’m not cleaning the kitchen; I’m sitting down with them. I’m asking them about their day (even when they’ve spent it with me). Those special moments make a big impact on all of us and allow me to concentrate on my tasks when my family is not around because I know I am present when they are. Utilize your time effectively and you will never miss out on the real people in your life.
4. Keep Your Workspace Clean
I work at my desk in a home office I share with my husband. My desk also used to serve as a catch all throughout the week. So when it was time to work or jump on one of those projects, I was completely discouraged by a cluttered work area. Nothing like fighting a bunch of tiny humans to go to bed, just to drag yourself into the office and find you need to clean and organize before you can even start your task. OVERWHELMING…. Forget it, back to the Netflix and cookies.
So keep your workspace clean. Whatever you have to do, I reorganized my office with a basket for mail, a basket for things that need to be filed and a miscellaneous basket so I no longer need to clean up before I start work. This makes for a much more productive environment even if I just need to pay bills.
5. Stay Up Late, Then Go To Bed
There are certain things I can only get done when my children are asleep so I find myself many times working late into the night. These late nighters are a God send because I have a quiet house and can focus and be effective. However, I’ve discovered that I can’t keep up that kind of schedule with a little early bird in the house so I make late nights part of my plan on my Sunday night Prep & Plan. I typically schedule 2-3 late nights a week so that I can actually accomplish something in this life and on the other nights I go to sleep early so my family can stand to live with me the rest of the time. I have an early riser and I’m not exactly a morning person so I have to make like a night owl. But if mornings are your jam, schedule a few mornings a week to set your alarm painfully early and get things done
6. Lower Your Expectations
No really, be realistic. I know you’ve heard this before. It’s not rocket science, but if you learn what is attainable for your life and your family, it will give your so much freedom. Embrace that some days and some weeks will be more productive than others. Appreciate what the slow days offer. My baby has been sick this week so I’ve been doing a whole lot of rocking and not much else. This post may be the only accomplishment I make this week. Sure, your feet may stick to my floors and my husband may not have clean underwear but… I’m loving all this extra snuggle time with my girl. I love to practice me some gratitude and I’ve learned to lower my expectations for what productivity means in each season. Like right now when it means brushing my teeth.
7. Coffee, Man
So how do I find the energy to multitask, be present with my family and pull all nighters? Caffeine. Seriously, I’m not a super hero. It’s called coffee man and it’s not just for mornings.
This is how all the people get the attention they need, all the things get done and I get a little time to myself! What are your best kept secrets? I would love to add to my super powers! Please share your tricks and if you enjoyed these, share mine! Find more of these little gems over where I live on the web at www.TheWaterWife.com come on by, I’d love to make you laugh!