- Use two notebooks, one for your home/family list and one for your business/craft list.
- Each morning, or the night before, in each book list 8 things you wish to accomplish during the day.
- Put a time limit on each item (i.e., "fold laundry - 20 min.").
- Get a timer and use it for each task. If little ones interrupt, that's ok. Stop the timer as many times as you need to.
- When the timer stops, that's it, you're done - walk away.
Seriously, this tip has been the best thing in restoring sanity to my day, that is, when I use it. The reasons I think it works so well is that I have a plan and direction for my day. Before, I felt that I had so much to do, that I couldn't even get started and by the end of the day found I had done almost nothing. Using the timer method, you may not finish the whole job, but you've made forward progress and you can cross something off your list for that day. It makes you feel accomplished and eager to tackle the next thing.
For me, I can get so distracted on the computer that "just a minute" turns into 2 hours. Hours where I may or may not have accomplished much, but the kids were getting bored, stir-crazy, and needing attention. Using a timer for this purpose keeps us all balanced and happy.
I try to alternate tasks from my "home list" and "work list", and stopping in between just to play with the kids and give them some undivided attention. I kind of use the same method, not with a timer, but just watching the clock, and make sure I spend at least 15 minutes just playing or reading. Sometimes you've got so much to do, you feel like you can't possibly stop to play trains, but really, you can. 15 minutes is a short time really, (you can clean the bathroom when you're done - really, it will still be there), and it means everything to your children. For my kids, they are then quite happy to continue playing by themselves while I go get something else done.
Don't worry if you don't get everything on your list done that day, you can re-add it tomorrow. Yes, as mothers we have a lot to do to care for our families and homes. But don't let it frazzle you to insanity (like I've gotten now and then). Be balanced, and productive, but most of all - have fun with your kids and be happy!
This life-saving tip came from The Pretty Peacock. Please take the time to read her whole post on Mommy-ing and Etsy-ing, it is full of tips and inspiration for the crafty mama. And check out her shop, she has a beautiful selection of personalized sterling silver jewelry. Here is one of my favorites: