As moms, there’s plenty of times in life that we try to do it all.
Working out, dinner on time, work from home, create bed time routines, keep your kids in the newest clothes- it’s exhausting.
A lot of times this build up causes us to do exactly the opposite of what we want to do. Basically we end up doing none of it at all.
It feels like we’re gliding by and things are just sort of happening with no real intention behind it.
Well if you’re a regular here then you know that intentional living is no stranger in my lifestyle. Now this isn’t to say every single day of mine is planned to the T (I mean come on, I’m still a mom after all). But it is to say that I try very hard to be intentional with my days and activities for the day.
The other day a friend (that’s a new mom) asked me:
How do you do it? Be a mom, go to work, be a blogger, still work on things for you? I mean it just feels impossible.
The honest truth is, it is impossible. To do all of those things at 100% every day is impossible. There’s just not enough time in the day.
So here’s the secret to how I do it, ready mama?
I don’t do everything at 100%.
I do SOME things at 100% and others at barely 5.
Before starting my day I think on what is truly important to complete that day. What is the most important things I want to get done, the things I’d kinda like to get done and then the things that would be nice to get done but am not holding my breath for. And then, I let my day and schedule go around that.
Let’s call it my to-do list.
Many people have to- do lists. They have a notepad with 10 plus lines on it and they fill it with as much things as they can and begin working on the day. But there are so many flaws with that to-do list thinking.
- 10 daily tasks are just not manageable.
- They’re just cramming the list with every single thing they think they need and not having any true focus or direction.
- Their to- do list isn’t working for them!
In order to have a productive day you need to have tasks that are attainable.
Let’s compare two lists.
- wash laundry
- sweep floors
- mop floors
- take out trash
- write out content calendar
- cook dinner before 6 pm
- fold laundry
- help kid with school project
- fluff pillow
- walk dog
- take dog to vet
- go grocery shopping
Okay you guys get the point, I’m list fluffing. Which is honestly what most of us do. We think of all the things we possibly could want done in our life and write them on the spacious to-do list paper.
Now let’s look at this list:
- sweep & mop floors
- Write out content calendar
- walk dog
- grocery shop
Which list looks more manageable?
Now I know it looks like I have taken a lot off the initial list, and in fact I did. But the way I decided on what to remove from the list is the key. I’ll explain.
When I first wake up in the morning I have a ton of thoughts. Many of them are filled with household or motherhood tasks that just need to get done at some point. If I don’t take the chance to clear some of those things, then they ALL will seem like immediate things that need to get done. But the truth is, they aren’t.
Enter in: A Brain Dump
If you’ve never heard of this, it my favorite organizational tool yet. It is how I plan my day and clear out my head all at the same time.
A brain dump is literally what it sounds like. You dumping out all the things from your brain and organizing them into tasks and to do lists.
When asked with the question how do I do it “all” I had to refer to my system. Large to-do lists seem unmanageable. The list is daunting and we don’t know where to start so we either try to start at the beginning, miss important things that are actually at the end, do just the easy things or simply don’t start at all.
With a brain dump you not only release all your thoughts but you can then organize them too.
So let’s get into how to do a brain dump.
What you need:
- an empty paper/ notebook/ black computer writing screen
- quiet space
- noisy brain
Pretty simple in terms of supplies right? Now let’s start.
Personally, I set a timer (3 minutes) and then I literally just write. Letting every single thought that hits my brain flow through my pen and onto the paper. Sometimes it’s Tate, sometimes it’s the laundry, sometimes it’s groceries, etc. Once the 3 min is up, I then organize that dump. For me categories like personal, home and work are the most typical things that show on the list. Then once I have divided all of those thoughts into the sub lists, I then choose 1-2 activities from each category that are the most important to get done TODAY (not this week, not this month). Finally, those 1-2 activities from each category becomes my to- do list for the day! If anything on that list goes undone it is the first thing put on my list the following day before I even begin my brain dump. I try my hardest not to let more then one thing go incomplete but sometimes life or should I say motherhood happens.
This system has allowed me to not only increase productivity by attacking the most important things of the day, but also increase motivation!
As stated before, large to- do lists are intimidating and can decrease motivation before you’ve even start the day. There’s this huge list staring back at you, just teasing you knowing you won’t complete it all, talk about a huge buzz kill.
With this system I look at my list in attack mode and am ready to take on the day!
I have even created a document that I use daily that helps get this done! You can grab one for yourself HERE NOW!
Finding motivation is hard when you’re a mama. Just like everything else in motherhood it takes little tricks to keep the machine oiled up and working smoothly.
Have you ever tried a brain dump? Has it worked for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Take care if you too mama,
Don’t forget to grab you Brain Dump freebie!
Don’t forget to grab you Brain Dump freebie!