I love setting goals – BUT I also like breaking them down into mini goals, because a goal is not something that you can achieve in a day, not even a short-term goal. BUT you can come up with small actions every week to tackle your most important goals and keep on track to achieving them within the time that you have set to do so. That is why having an organised mind is so important.
As a busy working mom, so many things come up every day. My To-Do list remains full for pretty much the entire week. However, when I reflect at the end of the week, it always feels good to have accomplished some of the most important tasks that I had set out to do.
So how exactly can you keep an organised mind with so many
responsibilities, increasingly having more things to do, and information
overload from anywhere and everywhere?
I learnt most of the actions below from a book titled “The Organized Mind”. It talks about some of the misconceptions that we are taught to do like multi-tasking, which actually works against you when you are trying to get things done. So if you are looking for a good read about productivity, click on this link to get your copy of the book.
Plan during the weekend for the week ahead
There is nothing worse than waking up on Monday to a hundred emails and missed phone calls from people looking for you, or worse, meetings already scheduled for a better part of the day, without having a plan for the week.
Mondays to Fridays can be crazy for all of us, whether in corporate or self employed. An organised mind starts with proper planning and writing down your plans.
I know that a lot of #worklifebalancegoals women plan for their weeks on Fridays or Saturdays. For me, the most realistic day is Sunday afternoon while everyone is enjoying their afternoon nap. At first it used to take me up to 2 hours, but now it takes at most an hour, because I have a system in place as to how I plan for the week.
To-do list dump
Make a list of everything you have to do. You will obviously
not get everything done during the week, because #mommystruggles, but it will
help you to relieve some of the stress of remembering everything that you had
Make a decision
Make a decision on your planning day as to what you will do
with each task in the top two quadrants (Important), so that you leave nothing
You can only decide on the following actions, with the deferral
option the least desirable:
- Drop it: e.g non-urgent and non-important items
- Do it: e.g important items
- Delegate it: e.g urgent and non-important items
- Defer it in time: e.g important but not urgent
Make sure you prioritise your list based on the most complex items and give them enough time to complete.
Schedule your “Do it” items:
Make use of calendars, whether physical or on an app, to
schedule all the to-do’s that you decided to do, and give each item enough time
in your calendar. When you have scheduled it, you are more likely to do it than
if you just leave it on your to-do list.
Remember to make good use of the free pockets of time in
your calendar where you have 2-3 hours of uninterrupted scheduled time. You can
use these pockets to get the complex items done, and also batch similar tasks
For example, I schedule 2-3 hours over the weekend to prepare my blog posts for the week. That way, I do not have to worry about what I will post when the day comes.
Do not aim for perfect: Satisficing is good enough
This was another new term I came across from the book I
mentioned earlier in the post. Satisficing simply means “deciding on and pursuing
a course of action that will satisfy the minimum requirements necessary to
achieve a particular goal.”
As a working mom, I learnt the hard way that things cannot
always be perfectly done, otherwise I might just end up not getting anything
done. If you have completed a task to a minimum level of acceptable standards,
then it’s time to do a happy dance and move on to the next thing. You can
always come back and perfect it if you have time. I am not saying, do scrappy
work and expect to get a pat on the back, but aim for 70-80% and not always
120% like a lot of us moms try to do.
I hope this was helpful, and will give you a good start to
the week ahead! Keep safe x