To-Do list Triage

Mompreneuring is hard! Here's how I manage my to-do list overwhelm

I need to be honest.

Being a wife/mom plus running a business is hard.

I used to think being a stay-at-home mom was hard. And it is, don’t get me wrong. Interacting with mainly little people, keeping them alive every day, caring for their physical, emotional, spiritual needs, every day, every night, woah that is exhausting & hard! It’s exhilarating, wonderful, rewarding, & I wouldn’t want to not do it. But it’s hard!

Add in working or owning a business & it takes it to the next level.

Not only do you have to do everything you were doing, but now you get to add even more stuff, the stress of satisfying clients or customers, & the Mom guilt that comes with it.

Unless you have great systems in place, which hopefully you do, you can’t just decide to not work. Your business is depending on you.

If your family relies on the income you bring in, you have that stress of making sure your clients or customers are happy so the level of income stays there or continues to grow, which means you have the stress of finding new clients or customers.

You don’t have someone to pass things off on. The growth, stability, & success of your business falls directly on you.

On top of everything else that falls on your shoulders with the house & kids.

Having a support person or system in place can do amazing things in this area!

My husband is absolutely amazing. I know not everyone is blessed with amazing husband who is not only my best friend but is also my partner in household duties, kid tasks, & who loves his children well & spends the time needed to answer questions, mold their minds & hearts, & also gives them a great example of what it looks like to love their mother well. Neither of us are perfect, but we’re perfect for each other!

We’ve been married for 15 years now & they’ve been amazing years. There are 3 things that are foundational for our marriage:

  1. God. He is our foundation, our help, & our peace.
  2. Communication. I lucked out & married a man who is a great communicator. We can spend hours talking. Our favorite things to do is just drive around & talk. Or sit on our couch & talk. Our kids will walk into our room in the evening & we’ll tell them to wait because we’re talking & their response is usually “but you’re always talking!” 😊
  3. Laughter. Oh my, our marriage & family have to have laughter. It’s what gets us through the hard & stressful times.

I say that all, partly to brag on him because he is amazing, & partly because even with his help, support, cheerleading, & devotion, being a Mompreneur is hard. It’s exhausting, there are days I want to quit, days I’m sure I’m messing up.

But then there are days when I see the fruit of my hard work. Days where I see the work I’m doing for my clients lessen their stress or have a result that helps them even without them realizing it was going to help in that specific way.

Days that I see my children thriving because of the responsibility they’ve been given because I’m not fully focused on them or the house like I used to be. Where I see one consoling another one, showing compassion where they wouldn’t have previously. Days where everything clicks & we all go to bed happy & satisfied.

If you are in that frustrated & stressful spot right now, I want to encourage you Momma. If we were in person I’d love to sit down with you with a cup of tea or coffee, & figure out what to do to help raise you up.

Since I can’t be there in person, let’s talk about what I would suggest to help you. Let do a few things to help reduce your stress & make life more enjoyable. And seriously, if you’re feeling frustrated or down, do the following exercise! It can take 5 minutes, or 30 minutes. It totally depends on how detailed you want to be. But sometimes just doing this helps clear my mind & makes everything seem better once I’m finished.

First of all, get a piece of a piece of paper. Or open a doc on your computer. Something you can use to write on.

I want you to then start writing whatever it is that’s stressing you out. What’s causing you to not sleep well? What’s causing the frustration to rear up so quickly? What’ causing you to not have at least a little bit of joy each day?

I then want you to circle or highlight those things that are directly controlled by you. Your schedule, the home chores you want done, your workload, those are all controlled by you. Your child’s sleeping through the night, their attitude…those aren’t necessarily controlled by you! (So frustrating, right? If I could control those 2 things for my children so much stress would be gone)

Now, how can we fix those circled items?

Can you delegate some tasks?

Can you get stricter with your work schedule?

Can you put off a task or two until next week while you focus on something more pressing this week?

Let’s make the list in order of priority & categorize based off home, work, kids…whatever categories you have.

Now, once you have a list of tasks that you need to do based off their importance, categories, & what YOU absolutely have to do vs what can be delegated or postponed. Now I want you to take a breath!

Now, look at the list & I want you to pick a category to start with & give yourself 30 minutes to do as many tasks as you can, starting at the top of the list working your way down. Focus, set a timer, & see how many you can do in just 30 minutes. Once that timer goes off I want you to take a 5 minute break doing something for you. I usually read my book for 5 minutes, get a snack, go outside & just sit in the sun…something not related to what I’m working on.

Once my 5 minute timer goes off I switch categories, set a timer for 30 minutes, & then do as much as I can in that 30 minutes. And then I just do that routine until I have to stop for whatever reason, like it’s bedtime or it’s time to take a child to sports. But I’m always amazed at how much I can get done & how my stress is less!

I do this a lot on Saturdays, when my to do list is longer than my arm but I do want to have fun with my family! I’ll take the morning focused with this strategy & then have fun in the afternoons. Or if I’m feeling totally overwhelmed with work I’ll prioritize my list & do focused rounds with a timer & break when it goes off. I can do almost anything for 30 minutes!

What do you think? Does this strategy work for you?

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