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Are you ready to intentionally up your time management skills, mama?
If so, then get ready for a talk about my seven tips for creating a realistic to do list for moms.
Last week I shared with you guys a new series launching on Twins and Coffee all about sharing my personal tips for getting things done as a busy mom. And well, here we are.
Diving into my first big step in managing my time as a busy mama.
And that is all about creating a REALISTIC to do list, and my tips for putting together that realistic to do list for moms.
I’m talking one that you can actually hold yourself to, and doesn’t make your head spin.
Yes I’m crazy. But this is totally possible.
Even if you have 500 things you feel like you need to be doing at the same time.
Trust me, been there, am there, and I get it.
I am the kind of person that always has about a months worth of abtainable tasks on her mind at any given time that I want so badly to do RIGHT NOW. Currently, my “dump list” (which we’ll talk about soon) is two pages long.
So. Much. Stuff. I. Want. To. Do.
And SO LITTLE TIME.
But with my little hacks, I have worked towards mastering the art of the “realistic to do list” and am saving a bit of my sanity in the process.
And you can too.
First thing: Create the Dump List.
Okay. So wtf is a “dump list”?
Everything on your mind. Dumped onto a piece of paper. Or five.
The goal here is to sit down with a refreshed mind and actively think about everything you need and WANT to be able to get done. No time frame yet.
Everything on your mind. If Comcast needs to be paid on the 15th, jot that down. Remember an appt for next month? That too.
Any and everything you are thinking about, jot it down and date the page.
I like to use a regular $1 spiral for this.
This is the list you are going to craft your actual to do list from, rather than writing out a point blank to do list straight from your head.
Those kinds of to do lists always lead to an overwhelmed mama, and a list that makes your head spin.
So, first step in creating a realistic to do list? Bust out that dump list.
Next: Get REAL.
Okay, now you’re going to walk away for a sec. And before you tell me this is taking way too much time, hear me out.
Walk away and go do something else. Take a shower (that you likely already need to do), fold your daily load of laundry, get the kids some lunch.
Whatever it is. Go do something so that you can come back to your dump list after a few minutes.
After walking away, you’re going to look back at your list and get real.
What can you REALLY accomplish on this month? Then this week.
Go ahead and jot down a little note next to each thing.
I usually do something like go through and put a dash next to everything for the month, then a 1,2,3 or 4 next to which week and leave it at that.
This might seem like a LOT of work just to create a to do list. But really? You’re planning out your whole month in one sitting.
And not forgetting anything in the process.
But we’re not even to the writing it out in your actual planner yet. There is still some more work to do first in order to create the perfect and REALISTIC to do list.
Then: Think About Timing.
Timing comes in two parts.
One: the time it takes in the day.
And two: can you bunch some of the tasts to limit the amount of time they each take?
I am all about maximizing my time inside of the day. So planning out my tasks effeciently is key.
For instance, I know that personally, I work best in the morning. It is where I am able to busy out my best blog posts, and really think.
Come the evening, my brain is mush unless I sneak in an extra coffee after 5pm which I try my best not to do anymore lol!
So with that in mind, I look at my to do list and make little notes of where the task would fall best.
Can I do it while the twins nap? Or is it a phone call that should wait for the PM nap time? And if I have a deadline for a project of 10AM, that tast best be scheduled for the AM.
Do you see where I am going with this?
And then next would be the bunchings. If I have a few different phone calls to make, I used to schedule them all in for one day. Then I quickly learned that it is best to schedule across multiple days in order to get to them all, and for them to get back to me when I am most likely not on another call.
I hope this is making sense.
A big part of creating a realistic to do list is timing your tasks appropriately.
But: Don’t forget about YOU.
What do most people leave out when creating a to do list?
And WHAT is it that makes most to do lists not realistic?
The fact that they are stictly work.
You are setting yourself up for faliure if you aren’t incorporating time for YOURSELF into your to do list.
You are just as important as your tasks, and you need to schedule in that collection time.
So now I want you to go back to that dump list and write down “30 minute block for myself” and you’re going to fill that time frame in with whatever you want.
Reading, a bath, sitting on your ass.
Something that is NOT work and is JUST for you.
And another thing; don’t scratch this off the list if you are doing something else for yourself that day.
Like say you are having a girls dinner out Friday night.
You’re not cancelling your 30 minutes to yourself because of that.
That little fraction of the day needs to be an every day thing that you can always look forward to and learn to enjoy.
Also: Catchup time is key.
One more thing before we tackle actually writing out this master crafted to do list.
You can’t forget to plan for catchup time.
It might not be every day, but every couple days make sure there is a block just for catching up on missed tasks.
And then if you do get everything done for the week, you can use that time to sit down and binge watch a new show until Netflix asks if you’re still there.
Or get out and do something you’ve been dying to do but keep telling yourself you don’t have the time!
Now: Write it out.
At this point, you should have a pretty solid idea of what you should fill your planner with.
I personally love paper planners, but you can use whatever you like.
Just make sure that it is all written out and you are being REAL with yourself.
If you have it all written out and you’re looking at it like oh my lord.. no I can’t do this.
You have TOO MUCH on your list.
What can you move? What can wait until next week?
Can you delegate anything? Or ask for help watching the kids one afternoon so you can bust some stuff out by yourself?
Your to do list should motivate you, not make your head spin.
Finally: Make things happen!
Now you are set, mama.
Lets make shit HAPPEN.
You got this.
You have my best tools for creating a realistic to do list for moms.
How can I help you now?
Did you see the post last week where I shared my ten tips for busy moms? You can read that here if not!