The Secret To Getting It All Done As a Working Mom
Do you ever feel like there just isn’t enough time to do all the things? In this episode, you're going to learn how to go from overwhelmed to empowered to get all those things done on your to-do list! I know as a working mom the anxiety and pressure of all the things we’re responsible for can feel like it's weighing heavy on your shoulders.
I know as a mom of two under two, a full-time neuropsychologist, and mompreneur with multiple side hustles I've had to develop a way to get it all done and I can't wait to share these tips with you guys.
In this episode, you guys are going to learn my secret to getting it all done as a working mom so you can have more time to spend doing what fills you with light!
Constantly feeling like what you're doing is never enough and that you can never get all the things done can lead to many negative emotions: it can lead to anxiety, it leads to to sadness, it can lead to stress.
And as a working mom you may feel like you're constantly having to push through and move forward despite feeling like you can never really check off all those things you have to do on your to-do list. Tina Fey is quoted as saying:
“I think every working mom probably feels the same thing. You go through big chunks of time where you’re thinking, “this is impossible – oh, this is impossible.” And then you just keep going and keep going and sort of do the impossible.”
And what I would like to do in this episode is share with you a way to make doing the impossible feel easy, feel seamless. To take away the overwhelm and help you do it with style and maybe even some grace. Shoutout to the biggie fans!
Because I fundamentally believe that not only can you have it all but you can enjoy the journey while doing so. I believe that working moms deserve to feel accomplished not only in the boardroom but also at home.
And as a psychologist, I know there are ways to manage burn out and help you feel accomplished without feeling like your hair is on fire in the process.
I hope that sharing this secret system it's going to help you free up more time so you can do the things that light you up. Whether that be spending time with your family that's present and not bogged down by all the things you still have to do at work. Or whether that's taking a walk outside and enjoying some fresh air for yourself. Whether that's having more time to work out or to be creative or to just play. Whatever it is that lights your soul on fire that makes you feel like a human being, that brings more meaning to your life– I'm hoping that this secret system that I've developed and I'm going to share with you in this episode it's going to help you do just that.
I know this secret system will change your life for the better. Not only has it worked for me but I have heard from other mom friends who I have shared this with how it has been a game changer for them as well!!
You know what you want (if you listened to episode 1), Go after it with ease, streamlined focus, and preparation. So with that said, in this episode, I want to share with you the second modAmbition pillar to having it all: Plan + Prepare.
Don’t make things harder on yourself, choose easy!
Working mothers make up a significant part of the labor force, accounting for nearly one-third (32%) of all employed women. So there are alot of us out there that have a lot of things we are responsible for.
It reminds me of this meme I saw with Tiffany Pollard looking exhausted that said, “me trying to excel in my career, maintain a social life, drink enough water, exercise, text everyone back, raise tiny humans, save for the future, be a loving wife, and stay sane and be happy.” I swear I’ve never resonated more with a meme. I mean it’s alot.
Which is why it's so important for us to choose easy. if you're a perfectionist or recovering perfectionist as I like to call myself sometimes we can get bogged down with overthinking and overcomplicating things that we don't realize that we can step back and choose to make each situation easier for ourselves.
And here are-
3 Working Mom Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier
HACK ONE: Streamline to what matters, let go, delegate
Okay so the first thing I want you to do is streamline. I want you to take a look at your larger goals like what are your goals for the next year the next 5 years in the next 10 years and then look at everything you're doing and everything you're trying to put on your to-do list and truly ask yourself “is this helping me get to where I want to be? is this helping me move closer to what I want to create in my life?”
If the answer is no I want you to let it go. So many times were doing things just because we've always been doing them or because someone asks us to do them but they really aren't serving us in the life that we’re trying to create for ourselves.
For example, I used to accept speaking opportunities and collaborations anytime someone would ask because I just thought that I should be gaining exposure or “Why not? I should help this person out” but the problem was not every opportunity was a valuable investment of my time as far as where I want to go in my life and I had to start looking at opportunities through that lens before I added them to my calendar. For you this could be volunteering at your child's school when you're not really interested in it or it isn't something that you value. Or it could be forcing yourself to make cookies every year for the neighborhood during the holidays just because you've always done it but it's not something you really enjoy. whatever it is I want you to streamline before you add anything to your to-do list ask yourself is this really something that's valuable to you? If there's something that light you up? Or is this something that's going to move you closer to the life you want to create?
And then if the answer is no, eliminate it and let it go!
And if the answer is yes then the next thing I want you to think about is - Can someone else do this? Is this is something that I need to do?
Because what I want you to remember is you can have it all but that doesn't mean you have to do it all! If it's a task that
- you don't enjoy
- or that you have the money to outsource
- or that you can ask for support from your husband, job, or friend- do that before you add it to your to-do list.
Sometimes as working moms, we guilt ourselves into feeling like we have to be the one to do all the things. But consider this your permission to receive all the support you deserve. It 100% takes a village.
HACK TWO: Perfectionism is the enemy of done
My second hack to make life easier as a working mom is to ditch perfectionism. One of the biggest things that may be holding you back from moving through your to-do list is trying to make everything perfect. Trying to be the perfect mom, the perfect boss, or the perfect wife will just lead to overwhelm. Remember, do your best but allow yourself to be human in the process. It’s okay if those kids don’t have the perfect birthday party decorations, it’s okay if your powerpoint presentation doesn’t have the perfect transitions, etc. You get the point. Ease up and get ish done.
I myself am what I like to call a recovering perfectionist and what helps me release perfectionist thinking is leaning into being more flexible. The more I can approach things with a flexible framework, the more I can choose easy in my day to day decisions.
HACK THREE: My last hack to help you make life easier as a working mom is “The Easy question”
Before you put anything on your to-do list, ask yourself:
“How can I make this easy” or another way to put it is “Am I overcomplicating this?”
Ok now that you know how to choose easy let’s move onto to the next part of my secret system to getting it all done which is PLANNING.
Dale Carnegie said, “An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.” and I couldn’t agree more.
Before you start planning be sure you have done the step of streamlining your to-do list and delegating anything that you don’t have to do.
And then once you have done that here are my planning tips specifically for working moms:
TIP #1 Use both a Digital + Analog Planning system
Digital planning is going to help remind you of all your appointments and meetings, while paper planning will help you wrap your brain around the larger picture of what you need to get done. It also helps to not have to keep everything in your mind, and serves as a valuable place to brain dump. Plus physically writing things down has been shown to help us get things done.
And I know first hand that having an effective planning system can have a tremendous affect on your mental health. There was a time after having my daughter and returning to work, I was completely overwhelmed riddled with anxiety and just felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. I was also in a season of getting back to manifestation routines and I just couldn’t keep track of everything with my digital planner. So I dove into creating a system with paper planning alongside using my digital calendar, just so I could wrap my brain around everything. You might know that I also have a manifestation coaching program called Dream Life Academy and I started using 3 separate planners to implement my manifestation techniques into my planning system because each planner was missing something I wanted. I had a goal planner, a weekly planner, and a daily planner. Ironically, at the same time my clients began asking me for a planning tool that they could use implement everything they were learning. Which is when I decided to create my own planner, the Manifestation Planner Printable. I really created it out of a desperate necessity to overcome overwhelm, because I believed me and my clients deserved to pursue our dreams and have it all without feeling overwhelmed by the journey. I believe we all deserve to enjoy the journey and I loaded the printable with a system to help women do so. If you want your own copy it will only be available for a few more months before we release our modAmbition Planner so get it while you can.
Link to Manifestation Planner Printable: https://www.consciouslifeshop.com/collections/modern-paper/products/manifestation-workbook-planner-printable
TIP #2: Virtual Running To Do List
Create a virtual running to-do list in your favorite project management software. I like Trello but you can use whatever you like and segment that list into different categories. I have a card for my work to dos, my home life to dos, my personal finance to dos, and my side business to dos.
Then when you are planning for the week in your paper planner, only pull from your running digital to-do list and only add things that are pertinent for that week.
This will help you feel less overwhelmed during the week but also act as a placeholder for your other to-dos and projects that are not imminent.
TIP #3: Plan in segments
Planning tip 3 will help you save time as a working mom.
Create a habit of planning in segments - yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily.
This will help you batch your planning and not have to deal with the anxiety of starting your day frantically planning.
Instead, imagine how peaceful it feels to wake up Monday morning feeling contained and motivated because you know what to expect. As you’re sipping your hot morning coffee, your mind is free to daydream or think about fun things like how you will do your daughter’s hair that day instead of being filled with angst and worry about the week to come.
Ok now moving on to the second part of this pillar which is PREPARE!
We’ve all heard that Ben Franklin quote, ““By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” And it couldn’t be more true.
Planning is just one piece of the puzzle to getting it all done as a working mom. The other crucial piece is preparing for what you have planned.
This means just doing little things before hand that will have you thanking yourself later.
So I want to share with you how I prepare for the week on Sunday. And I should say it doesn’t have to be Sunday. I actually do most of these things Friday evening through Sunday evening.
When it comes to preparation there are 3 components that I like to remember and you can think of it as a metaphor of cup of old water: Empty, Cleanse, and Refill.
And here are a few examples of what this looks like for me.
I also have a helpful free checklist for you that I will link in the show notes, which is what I call my Sunday Success Checklist: https://www.modambition.com/pages/sunday-prep-checklist-sign-up
This checklist will make preparing for your week super simple, and it is definitely a valuable component to my secret to getting it all done as a working mom.
So some of the things I do to Empty are things like cleaning out my purse or brain dumping any lingering to to-dos in my planner as I plan for the next week. Emptying your cup is all about getting rid of all the things that you don’t need from the past week, so you can start the week off fresh.
Then for the cleanse part of preparing for the week I do things like laundry or cleaning the car. Our cleaning lady cleans our clothes but I take time on the weekend to put all the clothes away and set up the dirty clothes for her the following week. If you don’t have a cleaning lady this can mean a little Sunday home cleaning reset that the whole family can be a part of to get done quickly.
The last part of preparing for the week if Refilling. This can be very literal like refilling the p antry and fridge, and all those little canisters and containers in the kitchen and bathroom (think refilling coffe, cotton balls, qtips, etc). It can also mean refilling and organizing things like your work bag or diaper bag. It can also be metaphoric for filling your self up with self-care and self compassion. I will talk about this more in our Fill ourself up Pillar episode, but some things I like to do are take bubble baths, do my nails, and plan my workouts for the week.
Again for a complete checklist of Sunday prep be sure to grab our free Sunday Success Checklist!
So that is my secret system to getting it all done as a working mom: choose easy, plan, and pre
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