Do you get to the end of your day completely exhausted but weren’t able to do the things you wanted or wrote out in your time block? I got this very relatable question from a mother in our Thriving in Motherhood Community:
“I put in time blocks and write my routines, and it helps to schedule around meal times, but by the end of the day, I fill in what I did instead of actually doing what I wanted to do. I’m feeling so burned out, unable to rest, and feel like there is never any time to work on projects or time for myself. Any tips on how to plan effectively so you don’t get burned out?”
In this week’s episode, I talk about five steps to planning in a way that avoids burnout:
- Plan your rest and exercise first: You are going to need energy to do the things you want to do and manage a household. We established a daily Rest and Read time in our home years ago. A daily 10-20 minute power nap can give you a recharge to have an effective second half of the day. As moms, we are facing our own challenges that we can manage better when we are taking care of ourselves. I have also found recently that 20-30 minutes of intense exercise in the morning is giving me WAY more energy during the day. Things that once felt hard are easier now that I have increased energy.
- Put what you want to do at the top of the list: Write the three projects or tasks you want to get to this week. If you’ve created a vision, pull from that. If not, write a list and pick three things to do a little bit of each week. This can include things for you, your family, work, or service. A lot of time, we don’t get to do the things we want to simply because we haven’t clarified exactly what they are.
- Establish a weekly planning meeting with your spouse: Every week, establish your top priorities with each other as scheduled items. Work together to figure out how to support each other in getting things done that are important to you. That’s interdependence – thanks, Stephen Covey!
- Let housework take a backseat while you are getting your essentials figured out: So often, when we are overwhelmed and burned out, we make the house our #1 priority and decide once it’s in order, we can do other things. But then we get stuck because it’s hard to make the house perfect with people living in it, and it feels like everyone is working against you. Instead, focus on the basics like daily dishes, tidying up the house a few times a week (or even once), and deciding whether you will tackle laundry one day a week or one load every day. Bathrooms survive going every other or every three weeks if you are overwhelmed (ideal no, but survivable). Make daily rest, exercise, doing things in your vision, and weekly planning the priority until they are dialed in habits.
- Build your time block slowly, in small steps: When you write out a time block schedule, you are often writing down a whole bunch of things you don’t have systems for. It is an uphill battle all day to get to those things because the environment isn’t designed to make them easy to do, so it takes a while to gather the materials and get set up, and then you have to think through every step so it is slow going. Instead, start with the thing that is on fire and create a time, place, and space for that thing. Set up the environment to do it. Slow it to make it stick. Time blocking evolves over time. Pay attention to when you do something and it works, and make a note to try it again at the same time the next week.
If you want help in making progress on your home while still doing the things you want to do, check out the Simplify to Soar Club.