Busy Mom Tips

Hopefully by now you have settled into a routine after the back to school craziness.  Are you wishing you could put an “out of order” sign on your head and run away?  Thank you to The Peaceful Mom for the inspiration for today’s blog…

Are you searching for a way to get it all done and stay sane?  Do you wonder if it is even possible to do that?  Is your to-do list growing while your time seems to be slipping away?

I know my daughter is grown but I do still run into days like this.  I think I still suffer from the same overwhelm I did so many years ago juggling work, business and family.  Here are some tips from the Peaceful Mom and me.

#1 – KICK MOM GUILT TO THE CURB

It is okay if you don’t get everything done.  Let me repeat “it is okay NOT to get everything done”!  Some things can wait.  Yup, I still suffer with mom guilt.  🙂  The best way for me to get things done is to set THREE tasks a day as my top priority.  I used to do this when Belinda was growing up.  Picking just one or two things to get done during the week while I was working full-time and being mom taxi.  I seemed to forget how well it worked until a business coach, Desiree Wolfe suggested the same thing for my business.

Some tasks can wait, it all depends on what needs attention at the moment. I have started using my Passion Planner for more then just keeping track of office hours, weekly to dos, business stuff and medical appointments.  I am using it to list my 3 things for the day.  I love the fact it has space to make lots of notes  as well as a spot to celebrate “good things which happened”.  Now, I am sure you could accomplish more than 3 things in a day BUT for those days when getting 3 things done is a struggle, you will want to have this system in place.  Sometimes the list looks like this:

Yup, when brain fog sets in, this could be my list of things to do.  The biggest accomplishment is no losing my temper and on some days it is a true miracle.

#2 THINK TINY

Do you have “time pockets”?  You know the 5 or 10 minutes while you are waiting for the kids in the school line or washing some dishes as you cook dinner.  I like the term “time pockets” instead of multi-tasking.  Pick a task to do while you are waiting (one which will only take a few minutes)… waiting for the kids, waiting in line to check out, waiting for your gas task to be filled.  How many time pockets do you have and how can you fill them to get more things done?

#3 – CHOOSE YOUR TOOLS

Busy moms need practical, functional tools to stay on top of all the details. Let’s face it we are not only juggling our own stuff but things for the entire family.  I use a paper planner, the calendar app on my phone and Notes on my phone.  I talked about my Passion Planner.  It is where I dream big, set my goals and priorities then create a weekly plan to pull it all together.  I use my smart phone calendar to set notifications and keep track of appointments because it is linked to my iPad and my MAC.  The benefit of Google Calendar is you can keep everyone’s stuff organized then share it with everyone across all devices.  You need to find a system which works for YOU.

#4 – MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOURSELF

I take time each week to plan for the upcoming week. My planning time is Sunday evening and I plan out:

  • My Calendar: Set the goals, projects and top priority tasks for the week and time block on my calendar.  I also prep for the week for posting on all of my business pages with CinchShare.
  • Meals:  Planning for meals is a BIG help for busy moms.  Since I only cook twice a week, it is not tops on my list.  
  • Money:  This is now part of my Sunday night routine.  Review the bills which need to be paid and figure out what the budget will be for the week.  

When you take the time to plan, you will find the week goes some much smoother.  Include scheduling the planning time on your calendar so you don’t make excuses.

#5 – BUDDY UP

Carpooling can be a life saver for the busy mom.  Team up with someone to share the mom taxi role.  You take the kids to practice, she picks them up.  You watch her kids so she can run errands and then swap so she watches yours.  Remember we don’t have to do it ALL!  Teaming up with other moms gives everyone a break.  No help?  Why not limit your kids extra activities and your extra commitments.  No, it won’t make you a bad parent!  

The BIGGEST tip is to remember what is really important and stop obsessing over little things.  For many years, I felt guilty for leaving Belinda a daycare from the time she was 6 weeks old BUT when things came together and I was able to quit my job to work at home, I realized what was important.  She didn’t remember spending days at daycare when she remembers (I hope) is the time we spent together while she was in HS and my schedule was flexible.

Remember you are doing the best you can do with everything on your plate.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Afraid to Say “No”?

Do you know what day it is?  It is WOOHOO Wednesday which means it is HUMP Day.  Today is when we take time for us.  Whether it is celebrating an accomplishment (large or small) or practicing some self-care or learning to step out of our comfort zone – it is all about becoming the YOU who YOU want to be.

The hardest word for me to say is “no”?  What about you?  I don’t mean the times when you have a scheduled conflict, I mean those times when you really don’t want to go or to do the requested task.  Do you get so anxious about saying “no”, you end up going against your better judgment and saying “yes” or just avoiding the conversation altogether?

I have been there more times then I care to count.  The proverbial people pleaser in me is learning to be more comfortable with the word “no”.  It could be because I am learning to “go for the no” in my business without taking it personally or maybe I am just feeling more confident in who I am.  Either way, I like the change.

Here are a few ways to help you when you really want to say “no”.

1. “Let me think about it.”

Sometimes, we’re just not sure we want to say “yes.”  Maybe it doesn’t feel right or it is a request you need to really think about.  Why don’t we just say, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” This may be tough at first if you usually say “yes” much too quickly and then end up regretting it.  This statement can and should then become a habit.  It will give you some breathing space to process the request and build the courage to be honest in your response. Then, if the answer is “no,” one of the next three statements can be your follow up.

2. “That’s not going to work for me.”

Whether it is a conflict in your schedule or a conflict in values, “that’s not going to work for me” is a boundary-setting statement.  Of course my problem is I usually follow it up with an explanation, but the truth is there is no need to explain.  This statement indicates your decision is about your needs and/or boundaries.  If the request can be negotiated, it lets the person know the only way to get a “yes” is for them to adjust the request to meet your needs.  If they really want you to do something, they will adjust and ask again.  Saying this statement takes some practice.

3. “I wish I could say yes.”

Are your riddled with guilt by saying no?  Are you afraid the person will be upset with you?  Yup, I tend to fall prey to all of those things.  So, when you feel bad about saying “no,” you could say this statement.  It lets the person know you want to be able to help, but you simply can’t.  Of course, this could also lead to some negotiating from the person requesting so be prepared.

4. “No.”

Again, every time you say “no”, it doesn’t require an explanation. Try a simple, “Thanks, but no thanks,”.  How many times has your “no”  turned into a “yes” due to a long explanation?  Why not try saying “no” then stop yourself from saying anything else. No really is a complete sentence – event if we don’t think so.

Remember when the situation arises where you need to say “no,” tell the truth and just say “no”.  You need to trust things will unfold as they should.

So, where are you saying “yes” way too often and as a result getting overwhelmed?   What is the worse case scenario if you say “no”?  Is it really as bad as we make it out to be in our heads?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Life Goals NOT New Year’s Resolutions

monday morning

WOOHOO!  Another short work week!  On the downside, I am headed to Philadelphia Airport with Belinda and Ashley.  They are headed home.  The last 5 days went way too fast.  It was great having them home for Christmas….Okay, before I start to cry AGAIN, let’s get to today’s blog.

We are just days away from the NEW YEAR.  Whether you read blogs or are a social media nut (you know Facebook, Twitter, etc) – everyone is talking about new year resolutions.  Over the years, I have made New Year’s Resolution and just as fast as I made them, I broke them.  Last year, I set goals – not HUGE, unattainable ones just ones that would improve the quality of life for me and my family.  Here are some ideas as you prepare to set your New Year’s Resolutions:

#1 Reducing Stress and Overwhelm

Stress is a leading contributor to illness and disease in the body, mind and soul. And an unchecked to-do list does not go rent free in your head. I want you to step back and inventory your life right now. Where are the biggest areas of stress and overwhelm? How can you reduce them immediately? Do you need help around the house, running errands, to make that doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off?

Make a list of things that are stressing you out!  Then simply ask, what would eliminate this as a stress in my life.  Maybe it is asking your family for help with the housework.  Okay, so it won’t be done exactly like you want – who cares?  Maybe it is saying “NO” to being the chair of an event or maybe it is looking for a job that you enjoy going to instead of dreading everyday.  Just explore the options of reducing your stress.

#2: Health

Your health is your greatest asset. If you don’t have it, you can’t think as clearly and you have a lower quality of life. Let’s get your body functioning at its optimal level! What changes do you need to make right now to make yourself feel better and live healthier?

This doesn’t mean you have to commit to loosing XX pounds.  It simply means making changes in your eating habits that will help you to feel better.  Starting in January, I will be cutting down (to almost nothing) sugar.  Will I still sneak a cookie or two?  YES!  Will I still have an occasional glass of wine? YES!  But I will be applying the 80/20 rule.  By doing this 80% of the time, I will feel better.

#3: Strengthening Your Finances

No matter where you are on the path to prosperity, it’s your birthright to live an abundant life. Do you need to save money? Get out of debt or start a debt repayment plan? Is it time to invest? Change careers into something more lucrative? Find higher paying clients? Let’s get your money in order and set some solid goals.

Okay, paying off debt was my “goal” last year.  I have to say that I made progress, maybe not what I dreamed it would be but that is okay.  I am paying it off and saving money.  I am giving back to my church and the community.  I am finding ways to increase my income doing things that I love.  I am no longer saying “I hate being in debt”, I am saying “I am no longer in debt”.  I am speaking abundance into the Universe.  If you haven’t read The Secret, it is a MUST read this year.

#4: Create More Loving Relationships

We cherish our most loving relationships. They give us food for the soul and provide us with inspiration and support through all of life’s seasons. Which are your most loving relationships? How can you create more of those? What changes do you need to make to become more loving?

My goal last year was to spend more time with family and extended family.  I am happy to say that I am moving closer to where I want to be in this area of my life.

So, what are your dreams for each of these areas of your life?  Not your New Year’s Resolutions, your dreams.  Share them with us.  Let’s all CELEBRATE and ENCOURAGE each other to reach our dreams this year.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!