I got myself and two kids up and dressed, blogged, tweeted, worked seven hours, attended a business lunch meeting, answered countless e-mails, prepared and cleaned up dinner, fed the dog, wrote the grocery list, updated Facebook, bathed one Great Dane and two kids, read bedtime stories, soothed a grumpy three-year-old to sleep, wrote another blog post …
And, this was just on Tuesday. How do we do it all and manage to maintain our sanity?
For me, it’s focus.
I keep a running list, or I should say lists. I have work lists, personal lists, grocery lists, to-do lists, honey-do lists, pretty much a list for any occasion. But, this keeps me focused on what needs done and helps me prioritize effectively.
When I’m asked for suggestions on how to keep things organized, or how to get things accomplished more quickly, I always suggest lists. It’s a visual way to see what you need to get accomplished, but it’s also a visual way to see what you’ve already done. To me, the feeling of crossing things off of my to-do list is reassuring. I can, and will, get all these things done. Generally though, crossing a few things off just makes room for that many more. I’m sure you can relate.
I also try to focus on one thing at a time. Admittedly, I’m not the best at multi-tasking, so I try to do one thing at a time and do it well. Focusing my energy on one task at a time makes me more efficient.
It’s easy to get distracted, especially in this world we live in today. We are pulled in so many different directions and wear so many different hats. But, if you can focus on one challenge at a time, you are more likely to accomplish that goal quickly and move on to the next. This is especially important, I think, when it comes to separating business from parenting.
When I have a rough day, which happens more often than I’d like to admit, I refocus on what’s important. That is always my husband and my children. My work, my business, my volunteerism, my friends, my hobbies, they are all important, but not as important as the family we’re building. That’s what I’m most proud of at the end of the day anyway.
When the extra-stressful, busy days hit, it’s easy for our vision of what is truly important to get hazy and blurred. That’s when it’s the most important to take the time to refocus and perhaps make that list to prioritize everything.
When you lose focus it’s easy to become distracted and overwhelmed. When that happens, try to zero back in on your motivation and your main personal focus. For each of us it may be different, but for each of us it’s equally important.
Dawn Berryman is the founder of MarketMommy.com and Market Mommy:: The Blog, online marketing resources for mom entrepreneurs. Market Mommy shows moms how and where to market their businesses. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University and has worked in the marketing/communications field for more than 8 years. She resides in rural Ohio with her husband and two young children. For more information, please see: Market Mommy.