Are you a working woman?
Are you a Stay-at-home mom?
Are you constantly snowed under commitments related to work,
housework, parenting, chores, cooking, cleaning and more?
Are you a robot?
Have I got your attention yet? Ok, then I can do away with the bold font and the italics 😉
I belong to a unique breed of mothers. I am the Stay-at-home-mom-who-holds-a-flexi-job-and-works-from-home-sometimes. Oh and I blog too. Across two blogs. And run two active Facebook groups. YES, I said that. It’s a real thing!
So, it stands to reason that I am always busy and unable to take calls, respond to text messages or acknowledge the flood of jokes that are delivered to me via Whatsapp. I ought to be strung up from the nearest tree.
I have always been a bit of an organiser. Blame it on numerology. Apparently, those born under the number 6 are designed that way. Without actually getting onto the sticky wicket of whether or not numerology works, let’s just say, I love to organise.
Which is why it came as a rude shock to me a few months ago to discover that I had no idea where I had put away my favourite yellow top. I also could not find my list of blogging ideas that I had meticulously written down in a notebook that was lying unused in my daughter’s desk. I positively cried when I realised that a personalised, author-signed copy of an anthology was missing!
That’s when it hit me. I had fallen into this littered wasteland of dis-organisation and it hurt. Mostly, my ego took the largest bruising, I must admit. So, instead of weeping buckets (which I did anyway), I rolled up my sleeves and decided to tackle this in the best way possible with the strongest tool at my disposal.
I am a time freak. I need to be everywhere on time. Sometimes, before time. Which looks positively weird, especially if it is at a birthday party and I am sitting there in the party hall, before the hosts have arrived.
I was reading my copy of The Happiness Project and realised that getting organised with all our commitments was not difficult, but just needed some dedicated discipline. So, I adopted the ten-minute tactic.
Assume you have a task, say, putting the washed vessels away into the shelves. If you really think about it, it takes only ten minutes. But, it is so boring! So, what did I do? I found a song that I loved, which was all of ten minutes and 23 seconds long, played it in the background and set about completing the task before the song ended. And it was done! With two minutes to spare!
The same goes for any of the routine tasks. Making a bed, folding the laundry, writing down to-do lists, they all take only ten minutes. What happens is we multi-task and that doesn’t get ANY task done.
So, once I understood this, I did the following:
- I got myself a diary where I could write everything down. (Insert joke about ‘diary of doting mom’ here)
- I write down my list each Sunday, planning for the week ahead.
- I make a list of things to do everyday.
- I take them in chunks of three and space them out over the whole day.
- I set my timer for ten minutes, complete one task and head over to the next.
It would be wrong to say that my life is completely back on track. I still cannot find that yellow top or that blogging ideas notebook. But, I DID find the author-signed copy when I cleaned out that one shelf last Wednesday! Yay! So, you know that this works!