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Is your brain as fried as a scrambled egg? Are you running low on mental bandwidth with too many to-dos spinning around in your head?
Being constantly worried that you’re forgetting something eats away at your ability to stay focused and present. You end up snappy and short-fused, taking it out on the ones you love the most.
You’re probably the one in charge of keeping track of teacher’s meetings, school events, sign-ups for sports and music lessons, buying birthday presents, school shoes and dozens of other things on any given day. On top of all of that you’re meant to be figuring out what you’re going to feed everyone tonight! It’s no wonder your head is in a jumble. No magic fairy will wave her magic wand and make it all disappear, but there are ways to make it much easier for yourself.
Become the Mama CEO of your family by sitting down and putting systems into place that will make the things you need to do regularly go more seamlessly.
The first vital step is to get it all out of your head. Anyone who thinks ‘I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember.’ is setting themselves up for trouble. Lists are your friend. Forget about sticky notes, backs of envelopes or scrap pieces of paper. Would the top CEO of a company keep track of things this way?
Trello is an amazing (and free) app that allows you to create separate cards for each task or project which can be dropped and dragged into different categories across a visual board. It’s like having a wall full of Post-it notes, only less messy and completely portable. It puts you in charge of your to-do list in a very empowering way.
Set it up on your computer first where it’s easier to figure out. Then synch it to your phone so you’ll always have your list with you on the go. If you need extra help, to not only learn Trello but also an entire time management system, especially for busy mothers.
Reoccurring tasks such as food shopping and preparing meals can be systemised. Fifteen minutes spent meal planning at the start of the week means you can food shop off of one list and not have to keep pondering what you’ll feed everyone. You’ll thank yourself for it the whole rest of the week. When planning your meals, consider what the week ahead looks like for you and your family. Do you have a travelling partner or guests coming over? Are you out for dinner any evenings? Do the kids have extracurricular activities or play dates? Are there days you’ll be running around with no time to prep? Planning meals around your schedule and lifestyle is the key to success. .
What about all of those annoying school notifications? Put important dates into your calendar as soon as the bulletin comes out. If the information comes in an email and you use a digital calendar, copy and paste the full details into the event when you schedule it in. No more having to hunt down the email. Delete it, or at least move it to a sub email folder called School.
You may want to devise a system for house cleaning or paying bills or create a family calendar for keeping track of everyone’s activities. There’s no definitive way. Simply sit down and figure it out on paper, then give it a whirl – tweaking as needed until it works.
Any time you spend getting a few systems in place will pay off quickly. You’ll stop chasing your tail every day and feel more in charge. Won’t that be a sweet relief?
*Kelly Pietrangeli is the creator of Project Me, a global movement of women who want to show up as their best selves more often. Blending personal growth with practical time-management strategies, Kelly aims to help women to reach their dream visions and true potential. Her new book, Project Me for Busy Mothers: A Practical Guide to Finding a Happier Balance, is out now.