We are all guilty of being last minute Lucys. We get so overwhelmed by the amount of information coming at us everyday, and all the things we are told we need to be doing each day to be a good parent, employee and live a successful and purpose driven life.
The real truth is that most of us are overwhelmed by responsibility and living each day in survival mode. Even those without children, pets and family to care for. We're here to tell you that is perfectly normal.
However, this pattern often leads to procrastination and avoiding certain tasks. And over time, we start to feel bad about ourselves and feel less worthy.
So, let's forget about what you missed or forget to do. You just need to have a plan to help you cope each day and keep moving forward. Aim for progress not perfection.
Here's our best tips to become more mindful of your limited time and help beat procrastination.
1. Maintain a calendar
Fill out a calendar Include details about public holidays, activities you and family have committed to, and times you and other family members are at school and work.
This instantly shows you what little time in the week you actually have available to do life admin tasks, errands, and to take on other responsibilities. It also helps lift you up by making you feel more organised.
You can use a one month calendar or planner, or a full 12 month printed calendar if you prefer. We recommend maintaining a one month calendar, as trying to think too far ahead will becoming too overwhelming. You can view our monthly calendar planners here.
2. Focus on the week ahead
Let's fill in a bit more detail in for the week ahead. Fill in all the tasks you need to do on their due date for the upcoming week only. You can also use a separate weekly planner to give you more room to include more detail, like the one below.
This can be as simple as scheduling when you need to rsvp to a kids birthday party.
3. Ask who can help you
Brainstorm who can help you get all the things done during the week. This is really important, especially when you have a family. It doesn't mean who can you hire to help you.
Think of a school friend's parent you could ask to take your kid to the Football Game on Saturday, or ask your partner to pay that bill. Just because something needs to be done, it doesn't mean it has to be done by you.
If you want to delegate the task, write the person's name or initials next to the task on your calendar or planner.
4. Schedule spare time
Look for a half hour gap in your week. Fill this in as spare time or you can name it something a bit more creative. This time is there to help you finish or catch up on anything you didn't get done during the week.
If you're an early riser, you might want to use that time to yourself to catch up during the week. However, we don't recommend changing your wake up time and routine to fit more tasks in. This is counter productive.
5. Block out productive time
Irregular or non-routine tasks are the things that tend to weigh us down the most. You know the things you want to do around the house, like cleaning that oven, or something you've been wanting to research or a trip you've been meaning to plan.
You need to make time to be able to do these one-off things. Set aside 30 to 60 minutes each week just to do ONE of those things on your random long to do list. I like to set aside an hour on Wednesday nights after dinner for those tasks, when we don't have any after school activities.
If you have a particularly busy week ahead, skip scheduling this time for that week. Knowing you will be able to jump back into something next week, will take the pressure off.
If you are starting to feel more panic and stress about simple everyday tasks, or avoiding important things that need doing, you need to give yourself a mental break.
Give yourself permission to do nothing for a few hours, a day or even a few days. When you're feeling better, you can always make a plan to get back on track using the steps above.