It’s such a crazy time. Have you been able to focus? I mean... politics, health, economy, job, family etc.etc! It can feel like life is on 100%, 24 hours a day and we are trying to keep it together and get it together. Before the epidemic we complained about not having any time to balance work and family, now it’s all happening in one place. And balancing all the moving parts, especially as a woman is a lot.
By nature, we are multitaskers, physically, emotionally and mentally. We wear many hats in our careers and family life and being organized, focused and motivated can be challenging. I’m a mother, business owner, wife, friend, daughter, creative… the list goes on. I had to find a few ways to get myself back in line, focused and activated.
Here are 3 tips that I use to get focused and are useful in organizing your personal and professional life.
USE A CALENDAR!- This one is such a simple thing but a game changer! Paper calendar, online calendar, google calendar, doesn't matter, use one. Beginning with the minute you wake up to the time you go to sleep, schedule each hour of the day with your tasks.
Like many of us who are quarantining, we are home where the “work you”, the “wife you” and the “mommy you” are all activated simultaneously. Your day probably includes at-home tasks and work tasks. It’s easy to plug in your work tasks into your calendar - Zoom meetings, conference calls but I’m pretty sure that adding your “at home” tasks is new to you. It felt weird to me, creating a reminder to “take out the fish to thaw” but if I didn't include my home tasks into my daily schedule, I would keep working throughout the day, and then be frustrated with myself for not remembering to prep for dinner.
SCHEDULE YOUR KID’S ACTIVITIES IN YOUR CALENDAR!- Stop using the kids as an excuse! Hard to hear right? During quarantining, I realized I was allowing my 6 year old free reign around the house without any scheduled activity and then I would complain, “my daughter is driving me crazy and I don’t have time for myself!” So who in the hell was running my day, me or my 6-year old??
Now I have all of her online school classes, homeschool time, breakfast, lunch and dinner scheduled in my calendar! Once I began scheduling her into my daily calendar, it became easier and easier to add everything else in my calendar.
If you’re using an online or phone calendar, create alerts/notifications/reminders for each day’s tasks a day ahead or even a few days before the event or task so you are reminded of what’s coming up and whether preparation is needed.
For instance, my daughter’s virtual art class is every Thursday at 11:00am. I set an alert for 2 days before, just to make sure she has all of her tools for the class. I may have to go shopping. When I’m prepared she’s prepared!
DO NOT FORGET TO SCHEDULE YOU-TIME IN YOUR CALENDAR! This is the most important tip. Generally women put themselves last on their task list, making everyone and everything more urgent and important than our own physical and mental health. But there’s nothing like looking at my calendar and seeing that I’ve scheduled a quick lunch with a girlfriend or a scheduled hour of quiet reading time. Take some quiet time for yourself whenever, wherever and by any means necessary! Pretend you’re going to the grocery and park a few blocks away, put the seat back and relax. Soak in the tub late in the evening when everyone’s asleep. PUT “ME TIME” IN THE CALENDAR. You’ll thank yourself later:)
A QUESTION FOR YOU: What tools or resources do you use to stay focused and organized?
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