Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This ONE Thing has changed my SAH Mommy Life

Everyone has asked me - how do you like Staying at Home????

I always answer that I love it (which I do), but it has come with some interesting challenges.  One of which is figuring out how to actually get something DONE with all of this free time. This is what I mean:

  • I put Mia down for her nap at 9:00am, ready to get ALL THE THINGS done during this 2-hour window
  • Clean up kitchen from breakfast
  • Bring toys from the kitchen back to their "toy area"
  • Walk past 3 pairs of my shoes on the floor, bring them to my closet
  • Look in the mirror and remember that I haven't showered in 3 days
  • Take a shower
  • While in the bathroom I notice some random items in a drawer
  • Decide to re-organize my bathroom drawers
  • See a photo album in the bottom drawer.
  • Look through photos for 5 minutes
  • See a picture of my sister and realize I haven't talked to her in over a week
  • Text back and forth with her 
  • Bring a random camera battery from one of the drawers to the office 
  • See a mess on the desk
  • Clean off desk and notice my computer
  • Decide I should check some email
  • Open a tab for Facebook while my email loads (who can wait those 4 seconds?)
  • Waste 20 minutes on FB
  • Read a post on my moms group page about an interesting parenting approach
  • Look up on Amazon for a book about the approach
  • Remember that I should order some X,Y and Z 
  • Read reviews and compare products for 20 minutes
  • Remember my to-do list and leave the computer to get the laundry
  • Throw a load of laundry in the wash
  • Come back to hear Mia crying, awake from her nap

And there goes my precious window for prime productivity.  With half of one to-do list item done.

So, a few months ago I listened to an interview about a book called The ONE Thing by Gary Keller.  I honestly haven't read the book yet (though coincidentally Joel just read it and loved it), but the interview explained it well enough that it is about how we need to stop trying to get so much done at once, and just focus on one thing at a time.  It can even translate into one thought / thing for a week, month, or a whole year, which I also think is a great idea.  I'm pretty sure he even suggests the One Thing should be narrowed down to one word.  Whoa.

ANYway, since being a SAHM I have realized how little I can get done with  seemingly "so much time!"  So I remembered this idea of the One Thing and started deciding that at the beginning of every day (and sometimes before) I would decide on the One Thing that I want to accomplish, the thing that if I just get this done today, I will feel satisfied.  It may be a load of laundry (washed AND dried) or another chore, an errand or a blog post, but whatever it is, I write it down on a weekly tear-off calendar on my fridge and make sure I get it done.

You guys, this may seem like it is a small goal, but it has changed my life.  Going from a 9-5+ job to an "Every Day's a Saturday!" feeling (which can be very good, and very bad), I feel like I finally have a handle on my days, on realistic expectations for my to-do list, and so much better focus.

She just couldn't wait to eat those eggs.

I usually do this One Thing during Mia's first (and sometimes only) nap of the day.  Which means, often I get it done before noon which is - seriously - the best feeling ever.  Anything I get done after that is like a huge bonus!

Because babies are notorious for un-folding your to-do items.

One of my favorite bloggers Jen wrote an awesome blog post about daily routines that has equally enhanced my life.  She reflects on the schedule that Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity follow, and how their day isn't what you might expect, and the lesson you can take from it.  She has 6 (I think?) kids, so her struggles are NOT my "I keep getting distracted by FB" struggles, but actually real daily routine struggles.  Anyway, it is a great read if you are looking for even more inspiration.

Have a great day!

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