This post has been written in collaboration with Absolute Domestics
How long is your to do list? I have a few lists. One list is for projects that need immediate action, another is for what needs to be done this year and another is a bucket list of dreams that I want to achieve in no set amount of time. I need to refamiliarise myself with that list because at the moment I am focusing on the immediate attention list and it’s doing my head in.
Over the weekend I have been thinking of how I’m going to get on top of that to do list. It’s difficult to do when you have young children – especially a baby where you have little time to yourself. Sometimes it’s not simply about having more time to do things either. Sometimes it’s about being resourceful and thinking ahead. I loved Smaggle’s #futuremesaysthanks concept and with that I have put together a list of ways to get ahead when you’re feeling behind.
1. Work out when you work at your optimum. When you work at your optimum you are more efficient at getting work done. For me it’s first thing in the morning but because a certain baby likes to wake up at 5am or keep me up late at night, getting up at 4am is difficult. BUT if there are mornings where Phoebe sleeps longer (like yesterday morning), I make the most of it and will get up and get started on that list. When dad and I worked as plumbers, we preferred to put the difficult jobs first thing on a morning because we would have more energy to attack the job.
2. Outsource what you can afford. I find housecleaning takes up a couple hours of my time. Now that I am working, if I get more work I will invest in a cleaner like Absolute Domestics to help me keep on top of my to do list. The drawback of using a cleaner is often the cost but think of ways where it can be made affordable by only getting the cleaner in once a fortnight or hiring them to do those messy and put-to-the side jobs like cleaning the blinds or the oven. In business it could be outsourcing the bookkeeping or getting safety manuals done after a job is completed.
3. Make the most of unexpected quiet moments. Sometimes I am able to get Magdalene and Phoebe to have a nap at the same time when Esther is at Kindy which gives me an hour to look at my emails and respond to any queries. On the days that Esther is at home, if she and Maggie are playing quietly together and Phoebe is asleep I may be able to pay a bill or do something small on my to do list. On the days that work was quiet in our family business I would catch up on filing or do a stocktake of how much gear we had on hire. Sometimes I would negotiate a better deal on fittings that we would purchase all the time.
4. Batch your work together. Cook double dinners so that one night there is less time in the kitchen and less clean up afterwards which means more time getting work done at night. I batch write my blog posts and resizing images so I’m not logging into different sites online constantly which takes up valuable time. The same can be done for business. Do all the photocopying at once. Type all the letters in the one time.
5. Get a babysitter. Organise a family member or babysitter for an afternoon or a morning so you can dedicate some time to getting on top of that list. You may not get completely on top, but you would have made a start which does wonders to your mind. With our plumbing business, most plumbers don’t need babysitters, but having an offsider in business can really help carry the workload. Don’t underestimate how much difference your workload can be by employing an apprentice. Don’t think they are just there to be on the tools. Teach them how to do some of the business related stuff so they can hold the fort while you go on holidays.
Sometimes working on the weekend may be a necessity and the only time you can have a change of getting ahead. Just don’t make it a habit every weekend. Family time together is important.
The last tip is don’t pile more work on your to do list. Once you are ahead in certain area, don’t think that gives you permission to add more to your plate.
For me, being ahead as a mum with my work and blogging means that if we have a week of sickness or unexpected turn of events, I have a buffer to meet my deadlines.
What have you done to get yourself ahead? Do you outsource any of your to do list? If you’re a mum to older children does it get easier keeping on top of that list?
This post has been written in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.