Do more, stress less. Here’s how.

Denise Krebs/Creative Commons

By Kirsten Adshead/motherbility

I often think of my life in terms of children’s stories.

If it’s cloudy and rainy with wind gusts up to 40 mph? It’s a “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day”.

Getting my youngest dressed in the morning? “One foot, two foot, red foot, blue foot.”

As the crowd of neighborhood kids stampedes toward my house? “‘And now,’ cried Max, ‘let the wild rumpus start!'”

This is what nine years of parenting has done to me.

And I’ve decided that if my entire life was a children’s story, the perfect title would be this: “The Berenstain Bears And Too Much To Do.”

That’s the reality of mothering, and entrepreneurship — and doubly so when you’re trying to do both. Anytime I’m confidently juggling a ball or two, I’m fully aware that there are another five I’m dropping.

So I’ve devised a simple plan for getting everything done. And doing it all guilt-free.

I’ve broken my life down into five categories: Self care, home, family/friends, writing, and business administration.

Every day, I devote at least one hour to each category. On really organized days, I plan the details out ahead.

Today, for instance, here’s what that looks like —

Self care: Shower, half-hour exercise, watch TV at the end of the day

Home: Fold laundry, go to the bank

Family/Friends: Meet with Erin; cookie sales with child 1, read with child 2, play with child 3

Writing: Blog

Business Admin: Website redesign

Right now, is my writing hour. So as I sit here and write this, the laundry needs to be folded, I’m not yet ready to meet my friend at 9, and I didn’t exercise this morning.

And I’m not worried.

Because when this hour is done … whether or not I’ve finished this post … I’ll set the computer aside and work on something else.

Somethings will take longer than an hour, and that’s fine. As long as at the end of the day, I’ve put in at least an hour toward every category, I can feel confident that I’m successfully progressing on motherbility, while honoring my relationships and getting housework done as well.

That feeling beats stress and guilt any day.

Adapt this system as you will. Maybe you prefer larger blocks of times — maybe even a whole day — devoted to one task. Maybe Monday is household day, Tuesday is administrative, etc.

Maybe you work best when you strictly adhere to a plan. Or, if you’re like me, you may prefer flexibility. (If I spend all day at a conference, for example, am I going to worry that I didn’t check off each of my hours that day? Nope. I just roll with it.)

That’s all fine. Whatever works for you.

I’ve found that this is a nice, simple way to organize my life. I may not be the most graceful juggler, but at least all the balls stay up in the air.

More productivity and less stress every day?

“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”


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