For most women, especially moms, our days are being reactively defined for us as we have nearly given up on controlling them with the deluge of unexpected interruptions that all seem important at the time. If we were to go back and really scrutinize this design (the lack-of-design design) we would likely be less than impressed as it starts to look like completely ineffective busywork with no actual accomplishment at the end of the day other than making it there.
Productive instead of Busy
in a week.
is not one
"Ah! I'm great, so good to see you, ya, I’m good, so so crazy busy, you know, kids, husband, job and nothing seems to get done..."
When friends run into you, is your initial response to explain how busy you are? Are you even rushing to explain it?
It's time to stop complaining (yes, it's a complaint) and take back control of our time. If we took a week to record where our time goes, we'd be shocked. Women, more than men, are complaining of being busy, however statistics show women are on social media and/or in front of the TV for up to 6 hours a day... SIX! That means the 'busy' moments are not actually busy, but fundamentally disorganized. That is going to change starting now.
1. Take the next seven days and accurately record where your time is spent. Be brutally honest, this is for no ones eyes but yours. Even checking fb at stop signs gets recorded.
2. Make a master list of mandatory things that must get done during the week. Include grocery shopping (with time required), errand pick ups, frequency and location (i.e. dry-cleaning), kid pick-up and drop off if applicable with location, bill paying, mail, email, etc.
3. Review and hone your master list, what Stephen Covey refers to as sharpening the blade. Consider new options for what's on the required list. Is there a new dry cleaner that’s closer to where you already are (work/home), get yourself set up with online bill pay, set up car pool for kids if the bus isn't an option, take ten minutes to unsubscribe from emails you never open, remove yourself from mailing lists for catalogs (save a tree, save your time, save your money from buying things you don't need!)
4. Plan ahead, ideally on Sunday. With roughly 30 minutes of planning you can easily eliminate four to five hours of running around. Plan your meals for the week including lunch boxes, make master grocery list from the recipes. Assign reasonable amount of time for cooking dinner. Map out errands geographically so you're not criss-crossing all over town. Declare goals for yourself on personal and business fronts. Assign each of the required activities a date and time on the calendar... then sit back and admire the free time!
5. Fiercely guard the free time you've worked so hard to earn. Time (and the word spoken) are the only two things you can never get back, so say 'No' to requests for your time that you are not absolutely thrilled to be giving...THRILLED! It's simple, but it's not easy. Once you start, and it does take courage (whole fear of not being liked thing often rears it's ugly head here), you will become incredibly empowered.
6. Going forward, avoid multi-tasking. Women seem to be masters at this, but its been shown to not give the results we are hoping for. So, apart from the dishwasher and laundry running simultaneously, focus specifically on one task, do it well, get it done, check it off.
7. Now add things to your day that will further empower you. Add in a task or two from MOXIfy Yourself and see how your days start function for your benefit!