Managing a full-time job, an almost full-time job, home, and family can get overwhelming. I generally have a mini-breakdown once a week where I have to tidy my entire house before I can get anything done because I’m just so OCD like that. There are a few rules that I live by to make things a little less stressful and get a little more done.
1) Learn To Love Lists
Making and writing lists are seriously the only things that keep me sane. The first thing I check in the morning on my phone and the last thing before bed is my list. Mentally, I know that I won’t forget important things that are on my mind when I’m headed to bed because they are written down in a safe place so I’m free to sleep peacefully.
I make lists for literally everything. No, really – everything! I currently have 12 active lists including Groceries, Work To-Dos, Email Newsletter Ideas, Shots Needed for Blog Posts, and my personal favorite, my “honey-dew” list (the list of things that I want Sahir to do around the house… i.e. “honey (please) do…” – if you don’t have one of these, start ASAP.
There are so many places where you can keep lists. I was a fan of writing them down physically for years in my planner, but recently migrated over to this decade and went digital. I use the app “WunderList” which is great because 1) It’s free, 2) I can share lists with Sahir, and 3) It syncs from my phone to my computer so it’s always accessible. It also gives me the ability to assign task ownership of a shared list and set deadlines and reminders. Highly Recommend!
2) No More “Down” Time
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started really taking advantage of my “down” time. My commute listening to old music has since turned it to a time where I learn about interesting topics from Podcasts like “The Daily” “Hidden Brains” and “GoalDigger”. If I’m not listening to a podcast, I’m usually listening to an audiobook (right now it’s The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – honestly, it’s so scary, not sure if I recommend it yet!)
My husband hates re-runs, I, on the other hand, could watch Friends reruns for the rest of my life and be fine with it. BUT we both work with background noise and he recently started playing documentaries on Netflix while we work. So far we are big fans of Planet Earth which is fantastic for working or eating dinner and The 13TH – but warning The 13TH is incredible and will suck you in and you will be mind-blown. Highly recommend.
3) Stop Multitasking
This one is the hardest for me and something I actively struggle with. I don’t know if it’s the millennial blood in my veins, but if I’m not doing 2 things at once something feels off. I’ve learned that this is counterproductive and I need to organize my time in a better way. So, I got help! Meet Focus Keeper! The app that follows the Pomodoro technique is a time management method designed by some dude named Francesco Cirillo in the late 80s that basically breaks down work into small intervals. Focus for 25 minutes, reward yourself with 5 minutes of Buzzfeed, Instagram, (insert your guilty pleasure here) time. It’s been proven to boost productivity and it’s what I swear by at work.