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New Year Momentum Challenge Day 3: Stop mundane tasks from taking over your life

Becoming a new parent at a time when a lot of other things were in flux in my life, I found myself starting day after day determined to make good progress on a projects only to get around to none of them after having a busy day filled with miscellaneous tasks and housework and feeling pulled in different directions. And at the end of the day I would feel exhausted and frazzled from juggling many things at once,  and guilty for not being fully present for my child and frustrated because I felt like I was treading water and never making progress.
So today, for Day 3 of our New Year Momentum Challenge,  I am sharing two techniques that I use to reclaim my time and feel in control of my own to-do list.

Tip 1: Do it first –possibly the world’s simplest organizational system

In one of my favourite mindset books “The Big Leap”, by Gay Hendricks, the author reminds us that actually we have enough time to do anything that we want to do, it’s just a matter of whether or not any given thing is a high enough priority. So his organizational strategy is simple.  In the morning list the three things that are most important to you to spend time on that day and commit to doing them first.  Let the housework, answering emails and other maintenance tasks take up whatever time is left.

Tip 2: Park the tasks you are not currently working on, both practically and mentally

Yesterday we talked about some things that can make you feel drained mentally and emotionally.  Something else that can drain you is feeling pulled in different directions and trying to multi-task all the time.  The trouble with multi-tasking is that we can only make decisions about one thing at a time.  Decisions require the undivided attention of our conscious mind.  So anything that demands two decisions at a time (like operating a cellphone while driving) actually requires us to interrupt one decision-making process to attend to the other and is therefore may not the most conducive to efficiency (or safety).

Something else that I noticed during that crazy time of new parenthood was that even when I was supposedly doing only one task, I was busy worrying about all other things I had to do which of course detracted from my focus, made me less efficient and a lot more stressed!  So I found it helpful to make a schedule to get various tasks done so that I could stop worrying about them knowing they would each get their time.

Journal your answers to the questions below help clarify how you can reclaim your time and keep mundane tasks and the anxiety that can go with then at bay:At the end of the day how often do you feel celebratory at what you have achieved or experienced that day?

        1. Do you often feel frustrated at the end of the day and if so, why?
        2. Do you often feel pulled in different directions?
        3. If so are you actually doing multiple things at once or doing one thing at a time but worrying about multiple things at once?
        4. If you often feel stressed by juggling multiple things at once, what can you do to focus on one thing at a time both practically and mentally?
        5. What are the three biggest priorities for you to spend time on tomorrow?
        6. Will you commit to doing them first thing in the day?
See you here tomorrow for Day 4!
New Year Resolutions Time

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