by sandra beck
I was talking to my husband about the running of my company www.motherhoodincorporated.com and how I was feeling run down, overworked and getting really stressed out as my company continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Some days it feels like I am wrangling 6 horses that want to charge out of control while I hold on to the reigns for dear life. In the beginning, I fretted about too little work …now I fret about too much. My son who is four looked up at me and said, “Mommy, you just need to be Wonder Woman.”
He was right.
But I am no Wonder Woman. No snazzy cuffs. No invisible jet. No magic lasso.
I went online to find some tips on time management. I often complain about not having the time to get things done and boy was I surprised to find so much of the on-line advice blaming me for wasting time and constantly! What I found was that many experts said on average that interruptions happen approximately 8 times a day and adds up to about 2-3 hours of wasted time. I was also instructed that I can control these interruptions with just a little persistence and planning.
My first thought was, “You are out of your cotton-picking mind!”
My second thought was, “You are not a working mother!”
In my effort to “plan, plan, plan” and “if you fail to plan, plan to fail,” I realized a few things as I plan for Motherhood Incorporated’s day..
- No matter how much you plan or organize, a bloody nose, a dirty diaper or a high fever throws you off your plan.
- You are only as good as your support systems allow you to be – babysitters flaking, kids home sick from daycare, or husbands out of town throw you off your plan.
- Planning gets the dinner done faster, but won’t do the grocery shopping, the cooking or the cleanup while battling with your children over the “Yuk!” dinner you prepared.
- Established working hours only work if your kids, dogs, husbands and the planet Mercury are in alignment. Check your astronomy guide for that part of your “plan.”
- Planning to get everything done on your to-do list is like taking off all the baby weight you gained in your third pregnancy, plus the first and second, by this weekend.
It sounds like I am actively against planning, but I am really not. I am actively against UNREALISTIC planning. I have found that my own system at www.motherhoodincorporated.com works best. I write down everything I have to do each day prior to starting my work day. I put everything in one of three categories:
- Things that MUST get done today.
- Things I COULD get done today.
- Things that CAN WAIT.
I made a promise to myself that I will be proud of myself if I just accomplish the things that MUST get done. If I have time, I get to the could ones…but that is pretty rare. As for the things that are in the can wait category – well they wait and that is okay.
My advice for everyone reading this article – do the best you can, set realistic expectations taking into consideration your responsibilities, and hide two matching bracelets in your desk for the times you need to repel evil clients!