Choose 5 things to do a day – you won’t regret it
I was listening to a podcast recently and the topic of envy came up. The presenter spoke about receiving a message from a subscriber who was envious of someone who lived in her neighbourhood and seemed to have it all: great social life, gorgeous home, loving spouse and she also works for non other than Google.
If you suffer from envy sometimes, you’re human, and it tells you that there are things in your life you probably aren’t completely happy about. So change it! It’s that simple. The energy you’ll put into making small steps to reaching your goals in life will be better spent (and make you feel better) than looking on social media and wishing you had the life someone else is protecting.
If you’re a curtain or blind twitcher who snoops on other people’s’ lives so much that you even know the sound of the engine for your respective neighbours, stop! Choose to do five things a day to make strides in your own life.
Learn to delegate
If your to-do list reads like the Magna Carla, you need to get a handle on it – today! From your spouse to your children to even co-workers, start sharing that love – and tasks.
Older children can make great interns if you show them the ropes and give them age-appropriate things to do. IT teaches them responsibility, and can be a great way for them to get to know more about what it is you actually do for a living, and what’s entailed.
Schedule home tasks like work tasks
This is one I’m working on, too. The premise is that you add these tasks to your calendar the way you would important work meetings and deadlines. It’s a great way to stop overwhelm, because everything will be planned out for you.
If you have a smartphone (please, ditch the brick if you don’t!) use Google Calendar (it’s free) or one of my other favourites – Moleskine Timepage to your advantage. Timepage does everything a standard calendar app does, but goes a little further. So, your contacts, events, maps and even weather are combined. I love the fact that I can see what the weather will be like on the day of an event, early enough for me to change my mind about an outfit. Everything I need to make life happen is in one place, and it is so uncluttered and customisable. If I’m feeling like having a yellow colour scheme one day, I can change it with just a few swipes to the left. Try it!
Be productive when multitasking
Juggling ten things at the same time and getting nothing done is not what multitasking is about. If anything, it creates confusion.
I prefer to use my time more wisely – I focus on one task at a time, but I line things up so I can get more done. So, for me, after the school run, I come home and load the washing machine. Based on the wash I use, I have about an hour to do something constructive, so I will run through the tasks I need to complete that day and look at what I can comfortably do in that one hour. If it’s blitzing through emails, then that’s what I do. If it’s writing a blog post (which does not take an hour,m but you get the gist of it!), then I do that.
The cog in the works comes when the phone rings, ad becaus eI run a business, I don’t switch my mobile phone off during work hours. I can tell quite easily when it’s new business coming in – and I answer it! If it sets up an important meeting, then that was worth the interruption. If the call is coming in from someone I know, I can choose to ignore it and call them back when it’s convenient for me.
Exercise with a friend
Last summer, I signed up for a meditation class with a dear friend, and it meant that we could ditch the guilt at not making time to catch up because we knew we would see each other every Tuesday. It made life a whole lot easier, and there was no excuse for not going to the class because we had both committed our time and finances to it.
Cook with children
My son always complains about not doing this enough, but small steps go a long way! Between him and his younger sister wanting to. Make cupcaChkes when I’ve just finished working and just want to catch my breath, the pressure is on, but I’m always pleased that they still want to do that and spend time together!
We are foodies at home, and what great way to bond and have a chat than to be preparing food in the kitchen together as a family. It slows things down, but on a weekend, there is no need to rush!
Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.