Whose Got time??

I don't know about you, but as a mom sometimes I feel pulled in so many different directions that I can never really do anything really well.  Or finish any tasks I have started.  When I was a new mom and I only had one baby who slept all the time, I would start a project and most of the time I would finish it.  As my family has grown and I have gotten busier and busier I have had less and less time.

Recently, I would just  get so down on myself because I just couldn't get it all done.  So because of that I found myself, not even trying to start ANYTHING.  My house was a mess, I was behind on my work, my kids felt neglected.  As a mom and a wife and a CEO that is no a very good way to feel.

Well, one night I was feeling particularly low, and Jenn came over to talk about inventory for the business.  I explained to her my frustrations.  And she had the best advice ever!  I knew in my head that I just needed to do things little by little and eventually everything would get done.  But my motivation just wasn't there.  My hubby told me this ALL THE TIME.  And I would try and do well for a day, maybe two but I would always become overwhelmed again.  I just hated not being able to be SUPER MOM/WIFE.  You know?

Well then, Jenn told me.  "Why don't you set a timer?  And when the timer goes off, no matter where you are in a project or a chore or whatever, you stop.  That way you can do things piece by piece and not feel so overwhelmed."

Activity Timer - Productivity - screenshot

I thought "WOW!  Why didn't I think of this??  We set timers for our kids all the time, why don't I set timers for myself?"  So I have to say...it WORKS!  For me at least.  I have become the most productive person!  As I have set the timers, I have been able to be fully engaged in whatever I am doing at that time, instead of my mind going in a million different directions all the time.  And my level of stress has gone WAY down.  I don't worry about getting things completely finished, because I know it will get done piece by piece.

For example, I set a timer for 30 minutes.  And for those 30 minutes I am only allowed to clean my house.  I don't put any rules as to what I can or cannot clean.  But I just know that at the end of the those 30 minutes  I get to stop cleaning, whether I am done or not.  It is amazing how much you can get done in such a short amount of time.  Even 15 minutes is amazing.  Especially when I am trying to beat the clock.  Another project I set the timer for is for sewing.  This has been so helpful because with sewing I am never really done. So it would be dragged out to the point where I would get so burnt out it wasn't fun any more because I would try and get a project completely done before I stopped.  But as a mom, you can't do that.  There are other priorities that come first.  So as I do a little at a  time I feel like a I have accomplished things at the end of the day, and I have done all I can.  And whatever I didn't get done that day I will work on tomorrow!

The other thing that I have set the timer for is for a family time.  I know that sounds weird that you need to schedule family time.  But for me I feel like because it's important enough I want to be completely present for the kids and not be thinking about anything else except them for 30 minutes to an hour.  We can play a game, or read books together or play barbies or whatever.  But for that 30 minutes to an hour I am ALL in.  It has made a huge difference in our relationship too!  They feel like we are connected and that they know that even though mom is busy, I take time to spend JUST with them.  That is not to say that I don't spend time with them other times of the day either, because I do.  But...those 30 minutes to an hour are special time together that is JUST for them.

There is a book that I have been wanting to read:  It's called, The Book of Doing by Allison Arden.  Every day activities to unlock your creativity and joy.  She talks about just doing things a little at a time and enjoying everything while you are doing it.  I think this makes your life so much richer and fuller when you are fully engaged in something for a short amount of time verses half engaged in everything all the time.  It can be exhausting!    There is a quote that I found and I can't remember the author but it says:

 "Be where you're at, when you're there."

How much happier would your life be if you were fully engaged in whatever you were doing, while you were doing it.  And as a mom that is hard to do, but the more we try, the happier we will become.

Lastly, I wanted to tell you the app that I have been using as my timer.  It's called Activity Timer- Productivity.  The thing I like about this timer is you can "see" how much time you have left.  It's not just numbers or a timer winding down.  It makes time more tangible and easier for kids to understand, and it helps me too.  Plus I can set as many timers as I want.  It's great!

Activity Timer - Productivity - screenshot

Activity Timer - Productivity - screenshot
Activity Timer - Productivity - screenshot

The  bottom line is, when it comes down to it, we only have 24 hours in a day and during that day we have to get as much done as possible.  So if we learn to schedule things a little at a time it will go a LONG way and we will be able to get more and more done in a smaller amount of time.

So I am off to go set my timer!  Here is to another productive day!