I don’t know about anyone else, but sometimes I hit a week, or even just a few days where I feel like I can never get enough done, or everything is happening all at once. Then there are days where I just can’t motivate myself to do tackle projects. And the worst is when those two things overlap. Balancing the need to get things done with the motivation to go full steam ahead isn’t easy… but I’ve found these five things help me through:
1. Make Lists
Oh the irony. But actually, when I’m feeling frantic, taking a minute to sit down and make a list and wrap my head around what’s actually needs to get done and what isn’t a priority. Ranking your to-do list also helps you budget time and make sure that you don’t forget to do anything! Plus, knowing that you’ll get to task two by accomplishing task one is a great way to keep you focused.
Especially when it comes to cleaning, do two tasks at once. Laundry can happen at the same time as cleaning the kitchen, and running the dishwasher is a chance to fold clothes. Then you’ve crossed cleaning the kitchen and laundry off of your list at the same time! (honestly, I just wrote half of this post while boiling water for pasta. multitasking works!)
3. Plan Ahead
If you know you’re going to be busy, try to make your to-do list in advance. Make sure you get your sleep. Try to avoid scheduling meetings on not-busy days. Sure, you can’t plan to hit a period of zero-motivation, but if you know you’re going to be out of town all weekend, it’s a safe bet Sunday night/ Monday morning are going to be a little hectic. When you can’t plan ahead, make a physical note of the situation you found yourself in. (Note: don’t make a mental note, you’ll forget it – trust me) That way, next time you’re more prepared.
4. Do One Thing at a Time
I know, I know, I just suggested that you multitask…. But sometimes it’s not the answer. Focusing on one thing and getting it done then moving on to the next task helps you get things done efficiently and effectively. If you’re scatterbrained, you might not do something correctly, in which case, you’ll have to re-do it, which means twice the time for one task. Instead of answering emails while you clean, get all of the cleaning done, and then turn back into work mode!
5. Phone a Friend
If you’re really struggling, ask for help. Sure, you’re not going to call a friend to help you with laundry (unless you’re a college freshman), but if you’re setting up for a dinner party and you’re feeling overwhelmed, call one of the girl friends who is planning to be there anyway and ask her to come early and “keep you company” aka help you chop onions. Or if you’re trying to get a major DIY done before a certain date, enlist your boyfriend to help. Boys love power tools.