It is hard be a mom and a wife and own a business. Heck, it’s hard to be a mom and wife, period. Every day I feel torn in a million different directions and I try my best to manage it all without looking like a crazy person (I try to keep crazy lady at home, but then again I don’t know…people have seen me in the trenches, I am sure of it). My mom asked me today if I was getting dementia and I told her “it’s mom brain!”. It IS a thing and to deal with THAT while keeping my business organized I have developed some great tips and tricks.
First, use your calendar! As soon as an event comes up and it has a date and a time assigned to it, it should go on a calendar somewhere (I prefer my calendar on my phone). I don’t care what it is. A class, a trip to the dentist, a field trip, a birthday dinner or a time to go renew my business license. No matter how big or how small the event, it has a place in my calendar (and a side tip, if you are using a phone calendar, check it frequently for stuff that SHOULD BE THERE because my three year old is really good at deleting things). I have to say this too, if I just want to remember to do something (like take clothing to Good Will) I will schedule it and set a reminder so I see it and make the time to go. In addition, not only does each task/event have a place in my calendar but it is color coded too! This is key to staying organized.
Example: Everything is color coded. Next week, on April 22 it’s earth day/holiday (purple), a have a dog sitting client here (green), my husband is on travel (brown), and I have a miscellaneous family note (yellow).
Second, make lists! Make lists with sub lists that have lists. I used to make lists on notepads and post-it notes and on the backs of envelopes and it wasn’t cutting it anymore. It made life more complicated. So, I started to make a running to do list on my phone in Evernote. Once something is complete I check it off and let it sit there for a day or so (to give myself a pat on the back, as silly as that seems). Even if something needs to be done in 6 months, have it on there as a reminder. I have an item on my list to “call Eastlake Plumbing – pressure valve”. This item will stay there until I do it, but it’s a reminder that it DOES need to be done eventually. Not today, but sometime.
A to do list should be a living document. To be current in life, your tasks need to be current. My list changes daily with new things that come to mind, old things that are no longer necessary or stuff that is done. It should never be stagnant nor so overwhelming that nothing gets done. That brings me to my next point below.
Break large tasks into even smaller sub tasks and complete one task before moving onto the next. You can see this above in the picture. If a task seems too large to complete all at once, break it up into parts that make sense, and order them in a way that makes sense. Then, get to work while keeping in mind it is best to complete a task before going to the next. You are done DONE when all the littler thing are done! I feel like all of this is very elementary but sometimes it helps to see how other people accomplish day to day tasks.
Did you make a list?My Dad
Third, Cut yourself some slack. There are only 24 hours in a day and you can’t do everything. There are some people who have limitless energy and time (you know who you are) and to them I say “stop making us look bad!”. We have to be kind to ourselves. This is something I am terrible at! I am super hard on myself when the sun sets on the pile of laundry on my dining room table, or when the emails from the tax guy are unanswered, or when the bags of clothes have yet to make their way to the dry cleaner. Things will get done and the world won’t end if it takes an extra day or two. Tomorrow is a new day, that list is still waiting for you.