Fall is always an active time in our household, with the start of a new school year, after school sports, Saturday cross country meets and getting ready for the holiday season. There’s a part of me that loves the fresh start of a new school year. There’s another part of me that hates it. There’s a lot on the calendar during this time and some weeks it doesn’t feel like there’s enough time to get everything done.
I actually went back to a paper planner this fall that I now use for both work and home and it’s been a game changer for me. While some tasks have had to fall by the wayside because other things are a priority and mama needs some downtime, a paper planner has really helped me be more productive. I really enjoy crossing items off of my list and don’t want a paper list to build up, whereas with digital lists I’ve used, I didn’t care if the tasks built up. Weird psychology that I can’t explain, but it’s working.
I read a lot by Laura Vanderkam about time management and I think my time management skills have improved a lot in 2017. I’ve learned the difference between “I don’t have time” and “It’s not a priority.” There is still room for improvement, but I began writing this blog post before 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning. That’s progress! I looked at the calendar late last week with all the tasks I want to accomplish related to blogging before the end of the year and then put them in my planner. And look at that–a blog post is being written!
Realizing what works and what doesn’t can be challenging. It’s taken me quite a few years to figure out what I don’t like about the fall and what I could change. I’ve done a lot of research and self-reflection leading up to this point to help me not feel so overwhelmed with the start of school leading into the chaos of the holiday season. Changing to a paper planner was a very small step towards changing my attitude towards time and how I manage life as a working mom with busy kids. Is it perfect? Nope, but it’s eye-opening and has helped me feel like I can manage.
What small steps can you take to make life seem less overwhelming?