7 Ways to Tackle Your Long To-Do List

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My sink is full of dirty dishes. My living room has baby toys everywhere. I have piles of clean laundry needing to be folded. Why does it seem like nothing ever gets done?

Do you ever feel like you need a weekend to recover from a weekend? That has been my struggle for weeks. My job recently gave me Saturdays and Sundays off. Something I’ve been waiting on for years. I’m so thankful for more time with my husband and daughter, but weekends seem just as stressful as weekdays.

For the last 2 months, I’ve made To-Do lists for the weekend. Things I wanted to clean, accomplish, or repair that I didn’t have a chance to do during the week. My husband and I work opposite schedules throughout the week, so I thought weekends we can do double the work in little time.  At least that’s what I thought.

With countless home projects, cleaning lists, and trying to get out of the house; weekends were becoming overwhelming. It seemed like I never got a single thing done. On Monday mornings I would wake up to an unfinished list. How did we have two days but not get one of these items complete? I finally figured out why.

I was making a list of 20 things and expecting EVERY single item to be completed by Sunday night. My husband and I would kind of clean throughout the week. Making sure dishes weren’t overflowing our sink or keeping up with Aurora’s cloth diapers. But nothing major was getting done. That’s when I decided to change my expectations a little.

My husband and I recently sat down and talked about how chaotic the weekend seemed. He always wanted to get out of the house while I wanted to stay to FINALLY complete my to-do list. That’s when I decided to make a list of everything I wanted done. It may still be as long, but we give ourselves more days to finish.

Instead of working on the list just on weekends, my husband and I tackled things throughout the week. Each day,  we try to finish one item on the list. Maybe more depending on what it is. I can’t tell you how relieved I felt by the weekend. Yes, I still wanted to get a few things done. However, the list was way shorter. Weekends are finally becoming a time for family togetherness and relaxation. I’m no longer going into the beginning of the week stressed from not finishing my list.

I think as moms we try to do so much at once and then feel awful because our perfect vision was not completed. For me, I was putting so much pressure on myself that I had little time to enjoy life. Now,  I even have time on weekends for just me. My husband gives me a few hours just to unwind, write, or do something that allows me to relieve stress.

If this sounds like you, here are some ideas that could help you enjoy weekends a little more.

  1. Make a list of what you want done. Don’t expect to complete everything in ONE day!
  2. Prioritize your list. For example: dishes, laundry, doctors appointment and sweeping. Try to pick a few of them that day and work on completing them.
  3. Split the chores with your spouse. If you’re a stay at home mom, you can do a few things and give the rest to your husband when he comes home. Maybe you even have older children who can clean. Give them things to do. Don’t stress over HOW they’re cleaning. Just let them get the job done. Delegating is key.
  4. Don’t be hard on yourself if you DON’T finish in a day. Give yourself a break. You’re human.
  5. Find time for you. It could be going for a walk, drinking coffee while reading a book, or trying out a new recipe. Find something you can do for you. Try doing this while your little ones are taking a nap. If they don’t nap well, then wait until your spouse gets home. If you have older children, set a rule for quiet time each day.
  6. Ask for help! Don’t be afraid to ask your spouse for help. Don’t throw them the list or kids when they walk in the door. But talk to your spouse about what you need. If you set realistic expectations for one another then you’ll find yourselves becoming less stressed.
  7. Most importantly… Take time with your family.  Checking off items on your to-do list may feel great. However, try not to let that be everything you do.  Even if that means the dishes sit in the sink a little longer. No matter how dirty your house may be, investing in your family is the most important.

Other moms, have you found a great way to balance your daily tasks and family life? I would love to hear your thoughts. You can even add a few more tips or ideas. You never know who it could help. Feel free to share in the comment area below. Also, if there is a mom struggling with her to-do list, don’t be afraid to share this blog.

Until next time,

Heather

 

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