The ability to live a full and complete life requires a commitment to planning and intention. It’s about understanding what is most important to you. Keep a list that outlines what you spend your time doing and don’t forget to include what you want to spend your time doing… your dreams, wishes and bucket list items. Add and remove to reflect the current state of life.
Now, the fun part. You know what needs to get done. How do you fit it all in, while leaving time for what matters most? What mom hacks, or life hacks, can help you reach the life balance you are seeking? I’ve put together a few to consider.
Hack #1: Time Management
At the end of the day, time management matters most. How you use your time determines how much you get done. Mindlessly scrolling social media is a huge time suck and hinders the ability to be productive and use time well. But it happens to all of us and more than I’d like to admit. Having an awareness of how you use your time is a great first step and then it’s about how you prioritize what needs to be done.
What’s the hardest task? Do that one first. This is counterintuitive. Often, we do the easiest tasks first and procrastinate on what feels hard or outside our comfort zone. But doing the hardest task first ensures more mental energy and willpower to tackle what needs to get done, no matter how difficult or unfamiliar.
This process is not going to come easy. But the sense of accomplishment when that hard task is done will make it worthwhile and help in creating a new habit – one where you do the hard things first.
Hack #2: Prioritize Tasks
When I think of prioritization, it’s often within the scope of deadlines – what needs to be done and when? While this is accurate, the goal is life balance, which means not just prioritizing what needs to be done but also making time for what is important to you. In order to truly prioritize, you must know:
- What must be done
- What needs to be done
- What you want to do
- What is important to you
- Where your priorities are
- What’s falling by the wayside
Another important piece of prioritization is writing it all down. Don’t simply make a to-do list. Write everything down in order of importance and priority. This will make it easier to understand and visually see what matters most and more specifically, how priorities play off one another.
Hack #3: Avoiding Procrastination
I’m going to put it out there. I’m a natural procrastinator. I truly believe I write better (and do most things better) when a deadline is approaching. Second, I need inspiration. If I sit down to write without a desired direction, it’s like spinning my wheels. I waste precious time with little to show in return.
I also firmly believe that procrastination is normal. It’s human nature to procrastinate when you feel uncomfortable, uncertain of how to proceed or something just feels hard. Life balance is about knowing yourself and when to give yourself a break. Sometimes procrastination is a necessary evil and sometimes you need a mom hack to get you through it. Here is what works for me:
- Take a mental break but a time limit on it.
- Don’t get sucked into mindless social media scrolling… do good will come.
- Focus. Turn off everything that might distract you and focus on the task at hand.
- Set specific time limits for activities to create the feeling of deadline pressure.
Hack #4: Life Balance (Work and Play)
No matter how busy each facet of your life is, balance is key to both success and happiness. If work always takes priority, eventually you will suffer from burnout. And burnout makes it hard to do well at anything. If you are burned out, your work is likely suffering, as is your home life and family, health and wellness. For me, it’s not so much about balance and seeking a desired state of alignment and I will be the first to admit that there is room for improvement.
Whether pursuing balance, alignment or some other desired state of equilibrium, here are a few tips to keep things in check:
- Know what needs to be done and what needs to be done well.
- Delegate what and when you can.
- Be present in what you are doing – if at work, focus on work. If at home, be home.
- Say no when something doesn’t serve you and your priorities.
Just like my children, I benefit from routine. I want to know what to expect in my day and I don’t like surprises. I plan to the best of my ability so that I can truly focus on what needs to be done. This also means avoiding distractions so that I can use my time well.
Hack #5: Declutter your life
When I think about the days when my life runs most smoothly, I know without a doubt that a neat and tidy home plays a significant role. But as a mom of young girls, our home is rarely neat and tidy. Often, there are cups, toys, and clothes scattered throughout. And my girls are not great at cleaning up.
I know that clutter adds to my anxiety and makes life feel more out-of-control. Currently, I’m doing the best I can and this looked like – a garbage bag to collect things that we no longer need or want, as well as the broken toys and missing pieces that inevitably compound. A donation pile for those things that are still in good shape, but are no longer needed in our house. Unfortunately, this type of progress is slow and measured but progress is progress and for now, that’s all I can ask for.
Do It For You
Being a mom can feel hard and lonely at times. And life as a working mama or mompreneur means more demands for your time. Figuring out a system that works for you is key to finding balance and ensuring time for what matters most in life.
Often times it’s the simple things that have the biggest impact and it’s so easy to forget that in the midst of chaos. Because let’s be honest, motherhood often feels a bit like organized chaos. By simply taking the time to assess your priorities each day and overall, you are better able to focus on what matters most, in the moment and in life.
As moms, we often focus on everyone and everything else. This is your reminder to do what needs to be done, but remember to take care of yourself too. Know that if you step back to assess what you value most, balance and alignment will likely follow.
And for all of the mamas who are struggling to figure out what matters most, talk to someone – a trusted friend, family member, colleague or wellness professional. Sometimes all you need is an impartial third party to help put things in perspective.