Having invested a so much time into planning out my goals for this year and for ensuring I am organised for success. I want to be sure that I stay organised on an ongoing basis. To give myself the best possibility of achieving what I have set out to do. So below I have plotted our my list of tips on how to be a more organised mum
Recap and Review
Time is limited when you are a mum especially with morning or bedtime routines that take priority. However I am making a point to build in 10 mins either at the end of the day. Literally after my son is a asleep or first thing in the morning after I have packed him off to crèche. To review and recap the day before. What I achieved, what I missed, what I need to move forward into today and what I can shelve. Building my to do a list for the day ahead if you like and getting focused on what is the most important things to complete.
Preparing the night before.
Where ever possible I will spend some time in the evenings ensuring I am as ready as I can for the coming day. If I can prepare ahead of time for a take, than this is my opportunity to do it buying myself some space to breath as I work through the next day.
I will load and set my washing machine to go on overnight so I don’t have to wait for that the following day and can literally hang it out to dry first thing in the morning. I will plan our lunches and dinner for the next day and prepare these if time and produce allows. However if I at least know what we are to eat that is half the battle and a good chunk of time saved.
I will also plan what I intend to wear the next day and pull it out ready. That way when I wake with my son at 6.30am I don’t need to think about it and can get dressed quickly and easily without disturbing my husband too much.
Morning routine – create one and stick to it.
Building a strong morning routine is key to setting yourself up for the day. If you are dashing from moment to moment and forgetting things, it’s going to overflow into the rest of your day and your focus will wane. Instead I am going to take time to enjoy my coffee as my son eats his breakfast. Spending some time with him slowly getting him ready for the day instead of rushing against the clock and make sure I spend at least 30 mins exercising. If the weather is good that means outside if not a quick yoga practise in the living room will do.
One thing I will not allow to become part of this routine is my mobile phone. Once I look at it, I can sucked into social media, emails that have come in overnight and before you know it, I have lost an hour if not more. In fact when it comes to emails, I am assigning myself some time far later in the morning to work on these, with other more productive tasks set for the first thing.
Breaking things down and applying dedicated focus.
Working online can sometime seem like a black hole and its easy to get sucked in and before you know it you are a million miles from where you started. Equally when the task at hand is not your most enjoyable it is easy to find things to distract you.
So I have begun applying the promodoro method with the use of tomato timer which is online. I set the time for 25 minutes and I work solidly on that task for those 25 minutes before allowing myself a 5 min break to check social media or read an article.
If the project takes longer than 25, I just repeat the circle for as long as needed and if it’s a big task where I know I will start to lose interest I will break it up across several days and add other tasks into each day to help keep things a little more interested.
Be ready to adjust the plan when needed
Life gets in the way sometimes. Especially with kids. Things happen. Unexpected plans crop up. I am relaxing how I approach every day and reviewing and adjusting this as I go along. It may mean I have to give up some free time later, but if it’s to enjoy a quality family moment now than that’s ok.
prioritise your to do list and only focus on first 3 things
Once I have reviewed the day ahead I will look at what is the priority that day and only pick the top 3 things to focus on. Everything else can be pushed along later in the week. I aim to finish only those 3 tasks. If I do that with time to spare I will move on down the list but otherwise the rest of my to do list becomes a distraction. So its best to be forgotten temporarily.
Capture thoughts and inspiration on the go
Quite often whilst I am working on something another idea will pop into my head and I will divert my attention to explore this further. Before I know it I am deep into another task with the original left half done. This year I have a notebook close by at all times, so when these things spring into my head, I simply jot it down and add it to my action plan or to do list later in the day when I review things. Leaving me to continuing working on the task at hand.
Only do one thing at a time
I have been a busy fool so many times in the past. What I have come to recognise is that trying to do multiple things at once. May make you seem like you are achieving a lot and being productive but the reality is you end your day, week or year with a lot of half started, unfinished things and very often spend most of your time feeling stressed and under pressure.
Having gone through a stage where my head was just like the static you get on the tv. I couldn’t make head nor tail of things and I was unable to focus. I began to slow down and focus only on one thing and took my time to complete it and sure enough I began to regain my focus, have a clear head and actually started to be able to look at my action plan and tick things off as completed. So I have sworn from now onwards I will only work on one thing and forget multi-tasking.
Time blocking works also seems to work well for me. With this principle you are setting yourself a dedicated amount of time to focus on one thing and giving yourself clear signals about when to leave this and move on to the next task. Meaning you don’t get sucked down a rabbit hole and lose hours without little progress
Apply GTD principles
GTD stands for getting things done. It is a fantastic productivity method, authored by David Allen in his aptly named book “Getting things done”. The system works on 5 fundamentals.
Firstly call it a brain dump if you like. Write down everything you have in your head. Things you need to do, ideas, recurring tasks, appointments. Make this achievable by ensuring you can jot down things as they come to mind. Not oh I need to remember to do this later.
Break it down into steps
Next you need to break down each item further into the steps. That need to be done to do the task. If its post 6 blog posts, what steps is that going to entail?
1. Outline post ideas and research, 2. Initial draft 3. Proof and revise, 4. Format and add images, 5.scheduled for publishing date.
This is how you can easily see what is the next action in your task and move quickly from one to the other. Equally if there is anything that can be done immediately you should just go ahead and do it that second not put it off.
Organise by category
Once you have you actionable steps, organise them into an order that works for you. It could be grouping similar tasks together, ie. Drafting 6 different posts. Or is could be by priority so working on one post step by step to go live that day.
The key here is to prioritise things in the best way for you to do the overall task. Set deadlines if you have them, add them to your planner on the dates you will focus on it, set up reminders. The trick is to make sure they are all in the right areas for you to tackle them when the time comes, not to complete them now.
Now review your to do lists. First take a look and see which are the actions you should do first. Having broken things down earlier it should now be easy to see what can be picked up and completed in minimal time and what you need to do to move on to other tasks further on.
Additionally this is a step you are doing to want to continue doing from time to time. Come back to this list every time you have completed something, review whats still to be done. It will show you where you are making progress and where you may need to adjust your priorities
Get to work
Finally set to work on completing tasks and working through your to do list. Choose the next step in your action plan and set to it. Breaking everything down into manageable chunks that can be finished in a timely manner. That will lead you to achieving your overall goals.
10 mins decluttering a day
Finally the saying cluttered desk, cluttered mind really does apply to me. On a wider scale when the house is a mess, I feel disorganised, unable to focus and distracted. I spent some time last year following the Maria Kondo method of tidying up. Now I make sure everything has a home.
This way I spend 10 minutes each day just picking up and putting things in their rightful home. It stops the house becoming to cluttered. It saves me time when I need to look for and use an item next. Which helps me stay clear-headed and focused. This tends to be a part of my nighttime routine before I switch myself off you the day and relax.
Check out this post if you want more info on getting organised….