I used to dread Sundays.
I don’t know about you, but on Sundays I have the BIGGEST to-do list: lesson planning, meal prep, laundry, not to mention washing and styling me AND my daughter’s hair. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I would go to sleep Sunday night feeling anxious because something on my to-do list wasn’t done. Then the rest of the week I would have to play catch-up, which of course made me feel even more stressed out.
I remember going to sleep on Saturday night already feeling like I had lost the battle for the next day.
Then I had this amazing epiphany that shifted my thinking and made my life a lot less hectic.
Are you ready for it?
Here it is: It’s okay if EVERYTHING on my list doesn’t get done.
When I finally accepted that, I had so much more peace of mind. I was actually able to start enjoying my Sundays-and even started looking forward to them.
But there were a few changes that I had to make that made a huge difference in my productivity that I hope you can start implementing too.
1. Make a to-do list and PRIORITIZE it
On Saturday night, I would make a list of everything that needed to get done, and then spend the rest of the day trying to multitask every moment to get it all done.
I would cook while waiting for laundry to get done, try to lesson plan while playing with my kids, and basically try to do the impossible in a 12-hour period.
When I started prioritizing that to-do list, things go so much simpler. I used Brian Tracy’s A--B-C method to figure out one or two things that absolutely had to get done that day and make those my “A” items. If I got nothing else but those 2 things, I went to sleep feeling accomplished.
Every day highlight no more than 3 things that you ABSOLUTELY have to do yourself every day. Some things you can delegate, other things you can eliminate entirely and do at some other time. Using this method will also make your to-do list a lot more manageable and take away the feeling of being defeated before the day even starts.
2. Make a daily schedule
For the longest time, I would crawl out of bed and go straight to the kitchen to get breakfast ready before the kids woke. Then once they woke up it was time to get them ready for school. I would leave for work every morning wishing the day was over so I could get some time to myself. I kept hoping and wishing for more time to work on my blog, or enough time to exercise.
It wasn’t until I made a schedule for myself where I included all the things that I wanted to do but couldn’t seem to find enough time to do. I realized that I had more time than I thought. Once I accounted for every hour that went by, I was able to squeeze more productivity into my day.
Something about having my daily schedule programmed into my phone with alerts put me in a different mindset. I was eager to go to the next task and get it done. I stopped feeling like I was constantly falling behind.
My husband and I started scheduling our date nights, and time to do things with our kids as a family. We even scheduled financial meetings and found our relationship got SO much better when we were on the same page about our money.
And maybe most important of all, I started finding ways to get the spiritual upliftment I needed. I figured that if I was too tired to wake up early to get that time alone with God, I could have it in my car on the way to work. I started listening to sermon podcasts from Steven Furtick and motivational podcasts by Rosetta Thurman.
Getting into a daily routine that I had planned out instead of just letting the day happen to me made a huge difference in my state of mind. I was more upbeat and excited to start my day because I had more control of it. My spirit was being nourished constantly instead of running on fumes.
3. Focus on ONE thing at a time
Multitasking is overrated. At least for me it is. Whenever I try to multitask, I end up burning breakfast, or putting the wrong answer on the exam’s answer key, or some other mistake that makes me regret multitasking. I used to love listening to my favorite YouTubers while I did stuff during my planning period at work, but then I realized I got more done, and done well, when I focused on ONE thing at a time.
The same thing applied at home. My nerves were less frazzled when I just enjoyed playing with my kids and reading stories to them instead of trying to prepare Instagram posts while trying to spend quality time with them, then feeling guilty about it.
When you use all your brain power to accomplish a task, you’re able to figure out ways to get it done more efficiently, and then you have more time for the next task. If you keep doing it for every task on your to-do list, you’ll find that you actually have time left over at the end of the day to do something you enjoy or get ready for the next day.
Sometimes it’s so tempting to feel like YOU have to do everything: the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, helping the kids with their homework. But I realized something after several attempts at laundry: my husband is better at it. He folds the clothes like a military man, and puts everything away. So after a while, we agreed that he would be the laundry person.
It’s okay to let someone else help. Family members, friends, professional services-use any and all of them if they’re going to help you use the time you have more efficiently. =
Just a word of caution though: be okay if your helpers don’t do things exactly the way you do it. I know it’s easier said than done, but trying to micromanage everything will only stress you out even more. Focus on your strengths and try to delegate the other stuff.
5. Be realistic.
Your to-do list and daily schedule can’t have 500 things that ALL get done. If you get you’re A-list items done, consider that a win. One time I was talking to a close friend of mine and telling her how overwhelming it felt to try to get so much done on the weekends. She casually replied to me that she had been stopped trying to do all that. “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” she said. “It’s either I clean, or do laundry.” he let her husband know that she was only going to do one of those things, so the other stuff would either get left undone for a week, or he could pick up the slack.
As moms, we want to make sure that we take good care of our families. Sometimes though, that desire causes us to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to get it all done, and to make sure everything is perfect. The reality is, there will always be more to do. Everything won’t be perfect.
If you get into the habit of prioritizing the most important stuff (that includes self-care by the way), being realistic about what you will accomplish every day, and focusing on one thing at a time until it’s complete, you’ll find that you actually get more done than you thought possible. You’ll go to sleep at night content instead of stressing about stuff that was left undone.
In other words, you won’t dread Sundays anymore.
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