Let’s face it, some weeks are crazier than others. As moms (and maybe you wear another hat like a business owner or employee) we tend to have a lot of things on our plate (adults seem to like to call these responsibilities). Even with our best super mom cape on, our plates get over-full and life happens. Our list of responsibilities grows even when we work hard at saying “No”. And it’s okay- sometimes. We are adults after all, and we have the capacity to do much more than we think we can when we set our minds, hearts, and ways to it. The last few weeks have been like this for me. To get through them without going insane I have made these few adjustments. I hope you find them helpful as you strategize how to manage your time when you find yourself busier than normal, or even during the regular weeks.
- PRIORITIZE: Looking at what needs to be done for the week and prioritizing what comes first, totally keeps me sane. Sticking to the plan helps me win during busy weeks. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when there is a lot on your plate or you are dealing with abnormal circumstances. Laying in bed thinking of all the things that need to get done is NOT helpful. Making a to-do list is! Using a planner/calendar or making a daily to-do list might be tools to consider if you don’t normally plan your days or make lists.
- MEALS: A plan for lunch and dinner and sticking with the same breakfast options simplifies (and sometimes speeds up) meal times which would otherwise be a source of stress for me. This is the method I use and it has been working well for me for years. I almost ALWAYS repeat weekly menu’s when I am short on time for more creative planning. As long as there is a healthy dinner on the table (or counter), who really cares if it’s the same dishes you made the week before?
- BATCH CLEANING: Dishing or laundry can quickly take over a whole day. I find when life gets busy, it helps to “batch” the cleaning as much as possible. (Batch = doing the same work in a group at one time, not in small steps over a longer time.) For me, this means, leaving dishes to pile up until lunch and then again until after dinner. At first this was really hard for me. Walking past a mess can be almost impossible. In the long run, saves me a lot of time to not stop what I was doing, to pick up a few dishes or a small mess. I also get careful about how dirty clothes really are and if those jeans can get another wear before a wash. (Gross? Maybe, but sometimes necessary.) I normally do laundry once a week, and this really helps me out on busy weeks when I might otherwise leave a load overnight creating a double wash- who has time for that?
- TEAMWORK: Recruit all the help you need. Kids can do a lot more than we give them credit for. Husbands too for that matter. No one can read you mind, so ask for help- clearly and kindly. When things are hectic- make sure your team knows they need to pitch in more than usual, be more supportive, and help keep the team winning.
- BREATH: Take time to breathe. Busy days can quickly wipe you out just when you need all your strength. Keep up with exercise, healthy habits, staying in the Bible, cuddling with your spouse or kids, are things you can’t afford to cross off the list. Take time for what matters most, all the rest usually works itself out.
One final note. When I find myself in a crazy week, I give myself grace to be okay with whatever my best looks like. If it means store bought cookies for the teacher luncheon, so be it. If it means take out pizza for dinner- the kids cheer! Nothing on your agenda is worth your health or sanity, so let it go and give yourself extra grace because, “this too shall pass.” And next week will hopefully be “back to normal”. ((Wow so many cliches here! Sorry about that.)
It’s your day, make it happen your way,