This post was updated on 16/05/21
Are you trying to juggle it all? Job/business/house/kids/pets/ the list could go on. Is it making you feel flustered, that you’ve taken on too much and don’t know what to do next? In this post I’ll provide you with tips on on another way to manage your various roles and responsibilities-without feeling frazzled
I used to live a stressful life. I wanted everything to be perfect Before I realised how unhelpful it was, I used to juggle and try and do ALL THE THINGS. No way would I sit down and relax. It took me collapsing at a fitness event for me to slow down and think about me.
I learnt to adopt new values including progress over perfection, as well as keep things simple. My mindset and wellbeing improved and now I’m passionate about helping others do the same.
So let’s talk a more about juggling. It’s very easy to take on too much, and when you’re trying to do lots of things at the same time, it can be difficult to keep track of how much you have really taken on.
You might be trying to do two or three (or more things) at the same time. This could be checking your emails whilst cooking dinner and keeping an eye your kids. Having a conversation with someone whilst picking up things in the supermarket, ringing a friend whilst you sort out bills and paperwork. There are lots of examples and I could go on.
What I’m more interested in is-how does that juggling make you feel? I asked some women this and they said
That’s because when you are juggling (too many tasks at the same time) tiring your brain out. Your brain is having to work so much harder. When we’re feeling overwhelmed, the tendency is to try and multi task and also quite typical to struggle with concentration. You might flit from task to task as your mind is working overtime
You cannot focus on something you are constantly context switching. So research has shown that switch from one task to another, it takes you 20 minutes to regain focus. If you’re doing a task that’s due to take an hour just think how much time you’re also wasting! Multi-tasking doesn’t work. You cannot fully concentrate on two tasks at the same time.
So let’s talk about another way. The way to get all your things done and be left smiling at the end of it.
Prioritising and focusing on one thing at a time.
In my coaching program, Chaos to Calm, we look at productivity. You can be busy ALLLLLL day long but think instead about what you are achieving in that time. Did you cross off the most urgent and important tasks? No? Then its time to look again at how you manage your time. It’s better to get things done for 4 hours in a day, rather than be busy for 12 hours and only have things half finished. There is something I’m creating to help you with this, which I can tell you more about soon. I believe that you can get control of your various responsibilities, but it doesn’t involve juggling.
If your to do list has 7 million things on it, which are MOST necessary? For your business? You? Your family? Are you choosing fun, easy, entertaining stuff to do over what you SHOULD be doing? You’ve got to be really honest with yourself, about what you can get done in a day, especially when you are juggling. Start by listing ALL the things you do on an average day, from cleaning the kitchen to a work meeting.
It’s so important to write things down. If things just go round and round your head, not going to help overwhelm and it will just make you feel even more frantic. Write a list- include everything you have whirring in your head. Then look at where you can fit it into your day. When something new comes up, someone else wants help with something; you can make a judgement. Does that over-ride what you’re already doing in terms of urgency- or can you schedule some time to do it later.
Then whatever you’re doing, give it your full attention. This method of managing your time is a lot less stressful as you can remain focused and you get a greater sense of achievement, because you can tick things off as you go through. Who doesn’t like ticking things off a list?!
If your day doesn’t feel like your own. If you are working around other people’s responsibilities or things you think you “should” be doing. If you are fed up of living on someone else’s timetable or doing things that you think are expected of you. Or maybe you don’t even know where you day goes! Then this is the challenge for you.