Taming The Beasts of Multitasking and Perfection

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6 Ways to Gain Clarity

To-do lists are how many of us get through the days and weeks. But do we have clarity on what needs to be done when? This is true for most but none more than for mothers. We have taken multitasking and turned it into an art form. In the long run, is that skill really serving us well or has it become a fragmented way to do many things with a mediocre outcome?

Here are 6 ways to gain clarity 

  1. Get quiet so you can get clear. Pick a space, a spot and a time to be still with your thoughts. It may be before everyone wakes up or after everyone is asleep. You may have to re-teach your family the importance of boundaries in order to have them respected. Just because one of your kids wakes up does not mean they have get up, especially if it’s early or on the weekend. Our kids were allowed to stay in their rooms and play, read, build forts for a few minutes upon waking up. It allowed me the moments I needed to inhale and exhale before letting them know they can come downstairs.
  1. Eliminate Distractions (as best you can). A great place to start is with all the non-essential notifications on our phones, which is probably quite a few. Silencing all notifications except for the few that you need. We may not realize how distracting the constant “bing” and “ping” are when trying to concentrate.
  1. Identify what matters most now. Whether you are incorporating this list of tips daily or weekly, there will be things that are immovable. The zoom call with your boss, the online exam your child has to take. These will be your big rocks. Plan around those.
  1. Give everyone a job and responsibility. Everyone in your home who is capable, should have an ongoing job/responsibility that is their own, no matter what. For instance, my daughter was responsible for washing dishes and making sandwiches. My oldest son cleaned counters, swept and packed snacks. My youngest son packed juices in the lunch bags and took the trash out. These were ongoing responsibilities. Let me caution you to not critique how and what they do, do not redo it and do not take it back. Allow them to complete their responsibility once they have been given the expectations. These responsibilities are not for payment or allowance. It is their contribution to the whole, the team.
  1. Be in the moment with the task at hand. You cannot effectively be on a zoom call (camera off), helping with algebra and eating dinner. Each of these events need your attention. Try to minimize multitasking. We think we are getting a lot done, however in most cases, each of the events is getting just a fragment of our attention.
  1. Experiment until you find what works. Be willing to tweak your morning and evening routines until you find the sweet spot. Remember the goal here is not perfection. Things don’t have to be perfect to be great.

In the midst of it all, grace is yours. Take it. Apply it. Setting yourself on fire to keep everyone else warm isn’t necessary. Take a moment to slow down and access where your time and energy is best spent. Don’t ignore how you feel and what your capacity is for the day at hand. Whatever isn’t accomplished today, can be moved to tomorrow’s to-do list.

Deborah Porter is a sought-after, influential voice on parenting, motherhood, self and soul care. She is a champion for moms everywhere and works with mothers globally to guide them through the process of learning to be gracious with themselves without the need to compare their motherhood journey with anyone else’s. Deborah is a certified life coach and regular contributor on CBS Virginia This Morning. Her advice column, Balance Life with Coach Deborah in Washington Parent, helps parents navigate the chaos, find their balance and not lose themselves in the role of mom. For more information visit www.deborahporter.net. Deborah’s complimentary Confident Mom e-book and additional tips are available at www.deborahporter.net.

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