For many years, I started off my day by reviewing my To-Do list that I wrote the night before. There would be at least 10 – 15 items that I would complete within the 15 hours I am awake. AND would do them all while being a mom of 4 children (who are now all homeschooled), wife, student, entrepreneur, not to mention holding down my day job!
Adopting this lifestyle is a complete set-up for overwhelm!
Tonya Dalton says, “Overwhelm isn’t having too much to do; it’s not knowing where to start.”
I am sure you can relate. With the amount of tasks you have as a mom entrepreneur, creating a long To-Do list is not a good idea. It actually creates more chaos in your day, and you will have more tasks that will have to go over to another day. Those tasks may not even get done at all!
We all get that proud feeling inside when we check (or cross) off a completed task. But, we also get the disappointing feeling when we see so many of those tasks that stare back at us, showing us that we are NOT Superwoman.
After reading The Joy of Missing Out by Tonya Dalton, I changed the way I approach my To-Do List. In fact, I will never have a To-Do list again in my life! I now have a PRIORITIES list.
Here is what happened immediately.
- My list got shorter
- My thought pattern surrounding my tasks changed
- I accomplished 90% more of the tasks
- My productivity skyrocketed
All because I created a new and more effective system of ordering my day.
I go more in depth on this system with my clients in my Ultimate Mompreneur 8-Week Coaching Program, but here are a few keys.
- Stop writing a random list
This is the main reason your list becomes long. And a long list is unrealistic. I can write over 20 things I need to get done, but can only complete about ⅕th of the tasks. Take a step back and think about what you can get done in your work hours.
- Put pen to paper
Though many of us busy moms love to use apps to record things, there are some things that are more effective with pen and paper. According to PENS.COM, “When you write things out, you create spatial relations between each bit of information you’re recording. Handwriting activates parts of your brain involved in thinking and working memory, and allows you to store and manage information. The movement associated with the pen and your hand can help you encode and retain information long-term.” I have a printable that I designed where I write my priorities list daily.
- Solidify your times for work, family and self care.
When you are creating that list, I want you to put them into time slots that you create in the three categories mentioned above. If you know that you only have 5 hours of “work” time in a day, then there is no way that 20 tasks can be accomplished. Family time and self care time should not get entangled with your work time. This can lead to boundaries being crossed. When you work during family time, you risk the feeling of mom guilt, or your family feels less important. When you work instead of practicing self care, then you risk overwhelm because you are not taking the time to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.
- Take regular breaks.
Being a mompreneur can be pretty demanding. Your brain is going all the time. It is important to take regular breaks between tasks. I set a timer for 60 minutes at a time. Research has shown that the average human can focus for 90-120 minutes at a time. After getting a serious episode of Uveities (inflammation in the eye), I could not look at screens for weeks. This caused a serious disruption in my plans since I was in the middle of the launch of my Ultimate Mompreneur 8-Week Coaching program. I was going so hard that I went over my “break” times. I’d encourage you to use Blue Light Glasses whenever you are working. They have made a huge difference for me. My eyes are protected and they feel less tired at the end of my work day.
These were a few of the steps I made towards ditching my To-Do List.
I hope this was helpful.
If you would like to have a copy of my PRIORITIES Printable List, leave a comment below.