My rock bottom with the COVID-19 stay at home order was last Wednesday.
Why? For those of you that don’t know me well … let me let you in on a little secret. I’m an overachiever, a perfectionist, and I have a slight form of OCD (joking … no, but really).
With working my FULL TIME J.O.B. from home, while home-schooling kids, cooking three meals a day, all the extra laundry and cleaning, entertaining a 16 month old, the NOISE; I was MAXED out. I was not only struggling to get everything done, I was mentally sabotaging myself because every second (no matter what I was actually doing) I was thinking about a bazillion other things that I should be doing. I was spinning BIG TIME.
Because of that, even when I DID have dedicated time to work on my job or my business, I was just staring blankly at a screen. I had SO many “to-do’s” that I couldn’t even start a single one. I was FROZEN (cue Elsa. ‘Let it Go. Let it GO!’).
Why was this happening? After a 24 hour mini-breakdown; I realized that I had not adjusted my expectations to the season that we are in. I was still trying to be the Leader, the wife, the Mom, the Friend, the Business Owner, the cook, the house-cleaner: All to the exact SAME levels and expectations that I had for myself pre-lockdown … BUT ALSO while taking on being at home with my husband and my very young kids 24/7, being a preschool teacher, and expecting my husband to put in the same effort on his business as before lock-down. Oh, and since I was at home all day, I should certainly be able to get in a work-out EVERY SINGLE DAY. No excuses.
Is this resonating??
HOLY CRAP. No wonder I had a full time ticket on the STRUGGLE BUS.
We must reset our expectations given the season that we are in. We cannot DO IT ALL (certainly not right now).
It’s more important than ever to have a bullet proof system in place to keep you focused / efficient / and UBER productive.
Here’s what I’ve implemented since my breakdown, and I’m happy to say, it’s working well … not perfectly … but good enough to keep my sanity.
- Sunday: PLAN MEALS for the week, make a grocery list, and a plan for who is hitting the grocery store and when. (20 minutes). The important thing here is that you are thorough. Make sure you get every ingredient for the week, so you aren’t needing to make extra trips to the grocery store. Every night, I look at my menu for the next day and take any meat out of the freezer that needs to thaw.
- Every night, MAKE A LIST of THE 3 most important things that need to get accomplished tomorrow. (5 minutes) I make a list for:
- My J.O.B,
- My home/family, and
- My business. Right now I’ve given myself a pass for only 1 thing on my business.
- MAKE A PLAN. What is it going to take to accomplish those things? Do you need help? Do you need time? Do you need support? (10 minutes)
- COMMUNICATE that with your spouse or partner (and kids if applicable). TELL them what you need. ASK them what they need. Get on the same page of how you can support each other. (10 minutes)
- WORK YOUR PLAN the next day. When you are sitting down for your dedicated time to your job, have those 3 things visible, know what you are focused on and drown out the rest. Keep your list with you throughout the day and mark them off as you accomplish them. At the end of the day, rinse and repeat. Push anything to the next day that did not get accomplished, and most importantly: don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t nail every single thing. This is an unprecedented time, and we are all learning every single day.
- BE PRESENT with wherever you are in your day. If you are being a preschool teacher, BE a preschool teacher. Be aware of and don’t allow thoughts about all the other things that need your attention or focus. FOCUS on where you are. TRUST ME on this one. If you can’t learn to master this, you won’t accomplish anything.
This is a time for you to learn to be UBER productive in very shortened bursts of time. This is HARD, but if you can set up a system and a mindset that works for you and your family, you will come out of this with a new skill set that you can utilize when life gets back to “normal”.