Juggling Motherhood with Work, Renovations, Family, and
Simple steps to eliminating clutter, commanding focus, and getting
By: Pauline Hackemann
It's hard when you have to wear many hats. One
minute you are in a meeting at work making big decisions, the next you are
at home in an apron making dinner and 2 hours later I am in my studio making
art or applying for a grant. I admit that it is hard to juggle so many hats,
but if you have to, want to, need to for whatever reason, here are some
tips. I have juggled a higher education teaching job, a successful art
career, yoga practice and workouts, a part time PhD, cooking from scratch 6
days a week and redoing an entire house.
- Make lists: Just the act of making a list will help alleviate
some of the overwhelmed feeling you may have at all the tasks that need
to be done. You can make several types of lists under heading son
separate pages in a notebook, or put it on a large white board, always
in view = whatever works best for you. Make sure your lists are
accessible when you need them One list could be for the house, such as
shopping, take the dog to the vet, call the doctor about that bill that
did not have the correct insurance info on it, etc. Other lists are for
your other hats. For me, this is often broken down further into art making ideas, practical things, and grant deadlines.
- Set aside specific time for the tasks: Create certain
times, or days or evenings or week= ends, when you will complete these
tasks. Share them with your husband even and explain that I need Saturday
afternoon to do xyz on this list so can you take the kids if you have
to. If the tasks are regular, try to find a way to make time for these.
Get a relative to babysit, or get involved in a mums group that trades
babysitting time once a week if money is tight. If there is no Mum's
group perhaps think about starting one. This is especially important if your kids are young
and not in school yet. Or, get work done while your kids nap. If they don't, consult our reading list in order to set up a routine for them
- Make your way through the tasks: Check off the items
as they get done. This works magic on my stress level every time and
helps me realize how much I did get done, instead of worrying about what
I still have to do.
- When you get overwhelmed:
Do an activity that helps focus - for example go for a walk, get
some fresh air or exercise (you can take baby walking in the stroller or
go to a gym with child care) then go back to step one (1). And make that list!
- Remember that you can only do one thing at a time:
Concentrate on one small thing if need be but BEGIN simply starting
with something will make you feel better. So even if the list is long,
begin one of the tasks and aim to check one thing off your list.
Think to yourself if you had to pick the utmost important thing what
would it be? Do you REALLY need to check your facebook page or write a
long e-mail to a friend? Don't let the internet lead you to
procrastinate and stick to the task at hand.
- Reward yourself:
As an incentive, tell yourself, that if you get XYZ task done, you'll
allow yourself to upload those pictures onto your photo website or you'll lie down for a nap, or have that cookie, or glass of wine, or
call a friend.
- Create a routine:
If you set up a regular chunk of time for specific tasks every week,
this will help you get things done. This way you can think to yourself
on Monday, that I will do XYZ on my days - Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
It will also help you feel less overwhelmed.
Get organized. Make sure your space and your house is organized, It will
help you feel focused. Buy storage items, or a filing cabinet and get
rid of clutter. Make sure things are put away file them or shred them
make time for this kind of space maintenance and you will feel better
and it will help you focus. I believe strongly that surroundings effect
work and productivity. This includes your computer. Develop good
organizational habits, such as filing items away in your computer's
filing system. I like to create files with the year's date and in that
file I make new files or if it is one item, I simply put it in
there inside my computers disk, not on the desktop where it will
add to clutter!
Rome was not built in a day:
Remember that success is always the product of years of hard work and
perseverance. If you hear of a young music band, you might think they
just began, when in fact they have been touring for a decade - so
persevere - great success takes great effort, honesty, integrity and a
deep seated belief in your ideas.
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