Getting Through the Mommy-Do List (or ANYTHING for that matter) with Four Simple Words

My daily mommy-do list is always full of things that need to be done before the day is finished with many carry-over items when life needs my attention more than what’s on the list. This can be frustrating at times, but when it comes down to what really matters, some of those things on the list can wait. To help me determine which items can wait, and which need my more immediate attention, I use four simple words: Organize, Prioritize, Act and Let Go.

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Today, I haven’t any clients to see, so I’ve constructed a list of mommy-do tasks to tackle for the day. When I have days where I don’t have to work outside of being a mommy on-the-go, I fill this list with a slew of items that I am determined to accomplish before the day is over. As I sit here sipping my coffee, I’ve already cooked and eaten my breakfast, finished a load of laundry (that now needs to be dried and folded), had our upstairs neighbor dump a bucket of water on their back deck only to rain down and soak all of the furniture on my back deck, spoken with said neighbors and attempted to soak up the mess, and written the original version of this entire blog only to have it randomly erased (and unsaved) by WordPress. Great start to the day, right? But here I am, starting over. What can I say, I’m an optimist and overachiever (understatement of the year). So, before I let my head get in the way of what will actually happen during the course of today, I’m going to share how I integrate OPAL into my day to help me accomplish what is needed without getting overwhelmed or worse, down on myself.

ORGANIZE

In order to conquer the world, I of course need a plan of action. For some this means making an actual schedule where their time is held accountable by a timetable, and I’ve seen plenty of these SAHM templates online. For me, this works for all of 1 day before I’m found curled up in a ball, in the corner, quaking from an irrational disdain that I have for the piece of paper containing the time table that “made me” slave all day. So, when I decide to ORGANIZE, I simply make a list of the things that I would like to achieve for the next day.

PRIORITIZE

If you’re anything like me, you may find your list looking like a bucket list. In my mind, I am super woman and can fly from one place to another managing to finish everything in a matter of seconds before my kids decide to tear it apart again. In the real world, I’m still pretty amazing, however, I’d like to have my sanity when it’s time to go to bed. So, I PRIORITIZE what’s on my list. First and foremost, I PRIORITIZE my health and well being. Without them, I cannot be asked to do much of anything without growing impatient, stubborn or downright pushy with anyone that I encounter. So, the first things that I push to the top of my list are the very things that will put me in the right frame of mind to mindfully go about my day. These things may include working out, meditating with my children, taking time to write my thoughts in a journal, or just taking 10 minutes to sit and do absolutely nothing. I cannot stress enough how important the practice of self-care is when setting out to be productive for the day. After these things are set, I take a look at the rest of my list and choose three small tasks along with one to two larger tasks.

ACT

Now that I’ve ORGANIZED and PRIORITIZED my list, I feel pretty accomplished. However, ACTING on what I’ve set out to do is the actual goal. I’m one of those people who abhors being told what to do, (partly why I own my own business and am a personal trainer for a living) so my list of tasks needs to look particularly appealing. This is also why I put self care items at the top of the list. I am more likely to ACT upon my attaining my goals if I feel important and nurtured from the start.

LET GO

This is the most important of all the words for me to follow. It’s usually when my family is fed, the kids are bathed, story time is finished and everyone is in bed that I revisit my list to see what is left. It’s usually at this time that I also feel as though I can tackle everything that I didn’t PRIORITIZE on my list in addition to the items still left on it like doing an extra load of laundry, mopping the floors and even cleaning the bathroom. This is where I need to LET GO. If I didn’t PRIORITIZE it on my list, then it doesn’t need to be tackled for the night. On the flip side, if I didn’t finish everything on my list, that is ok. I decidedly take this time at the end of the night to listen to my body and how I am feeling. If I still have the energy to finish up a few things I started earlier in the day, then I will finish those things. However, if my day was rife with more challenges than I expected, then I might revisit one of the self care items on my list and repeat so that I can have a more restful sleep in preparation for the next day.

Following these four words that make up the OPAL in OPAL Mom™ really help me when it comes to doing anything. It’s not just the mommy-do list that needs to be addressed in my day, as I’m sure is the same for other mothers out there. One of the great things (and challenging things) about being a mom is that our days change from moment to moment requiring us to stay on our toes and be adaptable. And if all else fails, there’s always tomorrow.

For more information about my mommy blog and to join the OPAL Mom™ Community Forum, please visit: http://www.opalmom.com

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