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Managing the Multi-Tasking:: Task Organization

Mom-ing ain’t easy, we know that well!

We wear so many hats. We are:

The maker of breakfast, packer of lunches, taxi driver, appointment keeper, master grocery shopper, amazon prime wizard, homework helper, A+ housekeeper, ninja diaper changer, schedule organizer, meal planner…the list goes on and on…and on.

Overwhelmed

Do you ever look at your to-do list and wonder “How the heck am I going to get this all done? For Pete’s sake, there are ONLY 24 hours in a day?!” If you’ve been there, girl, I’m right there with you. Sometimes I feel like I can tackle all the tasks with ease and grace. I feel like a total rock star as I pat myself on the back, giving myself a “gold star” for my accomplishments of the day. Other times, I find that I’m running well behind schedule, with dried baby snot on my coat, and thinking, “This is nuts. I can’t possibly get to everything today?” I feel overwhelmed, bogged down, and a little defeated.

Realization 

What I’ve come to realize, through the help of a great mentor and friend, is that most of the time, I can’t get it all done in a day. So often I look at my to-do list and realize that I’ve tried to pack into one day what only some kind of superhero with an IV of coffee, flowing through her veins, can actually accomplish. With expectations set too high, I’m setting myself up for failure.

Organizing Tasks

Instead of looking at my to-do list and trying to figure out how to get it all done, my mentor helped me realize that I don’t need to get it all done. I just need to pick three tasks and focus on those. It’s been insanely helpful for me to write out my list of undertakings for the day—getting it on paper gets it out of my mind. With all of the to-do’s out of my head, I’ve got stronger mental clarity and I’m  free to assess which tasks are the most important. 

Organized TasksHow to Multi-task…the Organized Way

I look back at my list and circle the top three. These are the things that MUST get done in order to keep this ship afloat (a fellow OMB mom shared these must-do tasks in order to save time later). Everything else, no matter how important they seem, can wait. At first, that seemed impossible to me. “How can any of this wait? It’s all so important,” I thought. But after I started putting this method into practice, I realized that it was true. There are certain things that MUST get done during the day, everything else can wait, they do wait, and guess what?! Life goes on without any major disasters!

After I have my top three priorities chosen, I write them on a crisp, clean, new sticky note. I crumple up and throw away the old one (this alone gives me a huge feeling of relief)! 

With my priorities written out and clearly identified, I’m free to take on the tasks of the day. Instead of spending energy trying to figure out how to “get it all done,” I can focus my attention on getting the top three done and done well. I’ve become more productive, less stressed, and have an over-all stronger sense of accomplishment by implementing this simple stress-management system.

How do you organize your days? What tips or tricks have you learned that help you stay sane in this wonderfully busy season of life?

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