Being a wife and mother to the most important of two (well, 1.5)men, takes a lot of energy and time. By the end of the day, I’m usually exhausted, both physically and mentally.
I wish I could say every task on the ‘To Do list’ is accomplished, but that’s not being honest, or realistic.
After the day is finished, there’s always a few things that you end up missing: a load of laundry in the dryer, forgetting to pick up onions for tomorrow’s stew, and then there’s the dinner dishes that need to go in the dishwasher…
It’s easy to want to ignore some chores when you’re overwhelmed, or just plain tired from all the other stuff you do every day.
And raising a child is hard work enough – I rarely have time for anything extra. And when I do, I find myself playing games with my son, because this really is more important than mopping.
I’ll even admit that I have a few projects lying around that range between nearly completed to ‘haven’t – even – started’ and it’s usually because by the time I remember them, I’m just done. Done with the day, or totally lack the motivation to work on them.
But, here’s a few tips that do help me build up the necessary motivation to hack it out, and get it all done. Starting with…
I am a big checklist person. Somehow, seeing things on paper, keeps everything in a very cut-and-dry perspective for me. Just making a list of everything you want to accomplish for the day, keeps you on track and it won’t matter if you forget anything. You can always go back to the list. Best part? If something isn’t crossed off, you just move it to the next list.
I write two lists for the day; My ‘Must Do’ and my ‘To Do’. The ‘Must Do’ is pretty self explanatory, it’s the things I have to get done that day. Laundry, mop the floors, go to the store…you know, those everyday tasks. Then I have my ‘To Do’ where I list those extra projects that I need to have the time set aside for, and opportunity. Printing wedding pictures for our frames (I still have three to fill). Replacing the elastics in a few Flip Cloth Diaper covers. Painting my toenails. Basically things I want to do, and need the reminder to help me remember to do them. If I can get one extra project a day crossed off that list, it’s a good day. And I only start that list when my ‘Must Do’ is at a point of completion. It’s my motivation to get the ‘Must Do’ list done – I’ll be able to paint my toenails! I can work on that scrapbook I’ve been wanting to start. I can do something both fun, and that needs to be done. Even if I only get around to finishing one thing on that list, it’s my motivation to finish all the necessary tasks of the day first. Kinda like my own, “Do your homework before you play videogames.”
One at a time…
The checklist also keeps me from feeling overwhelmed throughout the day. It’s daunting to think of everything that needs to get done in one day – suddenly once naptime hits, snuggling with the baby and watching Grey’s Anatomy seems a lot more appealing than vacuuming. It’s a lot less stressful to focus on one task at a time, and I personally get a lot more done when I can say, “For now, we do the floors. Ok, floors are done-now I can start on the breakfast bar.” I don’t even think about anything else on the lists, or look at the massive pile of towels on the laundry room floor. I’m not focusing on that – I’m focused on the breakfast bar.
Browse for inspiration
Yes, this seems counter-productive, but it really can motivate you. When I browse Pinterest for organization and decoration ideas for the closet, I’m reminded that first, before I can do anything new, I have to do something with the piles of folded laundry on the floor. Installing hooks on the cabinet doors for my pots and lids are a great idea-and will force me to pull everything out to prepare for it. When I want to recreate a flower bed by my front door, it will require pulling all the weeds before planting the flowers. I think it helps to see a picture of completion that I can think of and work towards, when doing unappealing tasks like cleaning the garage. We have a storage closet under our stairs that has now become the “stuff away area for everything we don’t want to look at. It needs to be gone through, so I’m looking at a lot of new ways to organize everything in there, and how to turn some of the clutter into something useful. So while I don’t even want to think about going in and decluttering, I know I have a stack of wire baskets that could be put to better use, and a great bathroom deco/organizer idea. The baskets are in the back of the closet, so I’m forced to finish the cleaning task before the fun part. It’s all in perspective… and at the end of the day, if I don’t get around to it…
It’s ok to leave for another day…
If you absolutely have to, just abandon the lists for a little bit-snuggle with the baby, or play on the floor with the toddler. Call a friend! Take a few minutes to recharge so when you do tackle chores and projects again, you’ll feel more energized. If you don’t get around to it, it will be there tomorrow. The goal is to find motivation, and if you really aren’t up for it today, the worst you can do is overwhelm yourself so much that you can’t do anything tomorrow. So don’t stress!
This is just how I find motivation to get me through the days when I really don’t feel like doing much. How do you find motivation when feeling completely unmotivated? Share below!