A couple days ago, I was sitting down to plan my day and write my daily to-do list, and I had a realization! Now, for most people, this probably isn't exactly a big "aha!" moment. But for me, it was kind of mind blowing! As I tried to choose the things that were most important and absolutely had to get done that day, I realized that I literally cannot do everything I'm supposed to do in a day. This isn't exactly a new realization. But this time, instead of being stressed out that I can't do it all, I decided that this is just how it's going to be. And it's okay.
I'm sick of feeling discouraged and defeated when I don't get everything done that I'm supposed to do, all while keeping my house perfectly clean, making my family healthy and delicious meals, and teaching my four-year-old algebra and world history. I know there are some unnecessary and unimportant things I can cut out of my life (and I'm working on it), but I also know that I'll be much happier if I just do my best every day instead of stressing myself out in an impossible effort for perfection.
I often feel so inadequate and feel like so many others are juggling so much more than I am, and that they're doing it so much more successfully than I am. Social media definitely doesn't help this perception, and I think we all struggle with it sometimes, but I also know that this comparison game is a horrible game to play. Each of us has our own struggles, and we each have our own strengths. And it's unfair (and unhealthy) to compare our worst days to someone else's best days. So, I'm working really hard to focus on my own goals and to avoid comparing myself to others. And I've written a list of a few things I can do to help me eliminate stress and remind myself that I can't do it all, but that this is totally okay.
Pick the Top Five
think I can accomplish so much more in a day than I actually can, and this sets me up for those feelings of defeat and failure. So instead of writing out endless to-do lists and assigning tasks to every single minute of the day, I'm only going to pick the top five things that have to be done each day. And if I cross those five things off of my to-do list, I'll re-evaluate and pick a couple more tasks or if nothing is that important, just be done for the day. If nothing else has
to be done immediately, I'll reward myself by doing something fun with my little boy or even take a minute to do something I want to do! And you better believe that cleaning the house, doing laundry, and making dinner will be on that list, because let's face it, I do these three things almost every single day.
Eliminate the Extras
It's so, so easy to fill our days with things that are good but unnecessary. I know I'm definitely guilty of this! So I'm trying to find those "extra" things in my life right now and cut them out of my life. There are so many things that can fall into this category, and we all waste time on different things. I'll often look back at my day and see several times that I totally wasted time, and that's what I'm trying to avoid. Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge advocate for downtime because I absolutely hate being scheduled every second of the day, but I want to be smarter about my downtime. Instead of just wasting time, I want to take a break and do something I actually love. Mindlessly scrolling through social media anytime I don't feel like being productive? Not worth it! Going for a walk
with my little boy and listening to his adorable, nonstop chatter? Totally worth it!
Enjoy the Moment
I often think that I need to get everything on my to-do list crossed off and then have fun. But my little boy is so good at helping me remember to have fun while we work. And also that, sometimes, it's best to just set the to-do list aside instead of passing up on some of those sweet, spontaneous moments. After all, the dishes and laundry and to-do list will always wait. But grabbing a couple dollars and chasing after the ice cream truck with your little boy? There just aren't that many opportunities to do that. I also want to take the time to include my little boy in household chores and teach him how to work. I can load the dishwasher much faster by myself, but with his "help", this everyday chore becomes so much more fun. He actually LOVES helping me with dishes, so I want to let him help me while he still thinks it's fun. And when I'm folding a load of laundry, it goes so much faster when I watch one of my favorite tv shows. And when we're cleaning and decluttering the house, we have so much more fun when we turn on the music and dance while we work!
Make a Plan
And last, but not least, I still want to sit down and make a plan for each day, but instead of filling my day with an impossible to-do list, I want to plan time for work and time for fun. This is definitely more difficult in the summer when kids are home from school, but I also think it's more important. So I'm going to try really hard to work in the morning and leave our afternoons free for fun!
I've been feeling so overwhelmed lately, but making this plan has made me feel so much less stressed and so much happier! I really think if I focus on what's most important and aim for progress each day, instead of perfection, I'll accomplish just as much, but I'll enjoy every day so much more. We'll never have enough hours in the day to do everything we need to do, so I'm just going to do my best and enjoy all of the happy little moments!
Featured Image PC: @lorrainestanick