A few weeks ago I was scrolling Pinterest and I saw a quote that really stuck with me. It was a simple statement, “Don’t try to do everything all at once.”
Wow, did that hit you like it did me? Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed with my to do list, I think back to this statement. It encourages me to live in the present.
Most of my anxiety comes from needing to do 5,000 things around the house, having 3 kids pulling me in each direction, and trying to get everything done before the day is over with.
You know what I mean?
I talk more about mom life and being overwhelmed as a mom in a blog post here.
When I saw this quote, it’s like somebody smacked me in the face with it. Like duh, we can’t get everything done in a day. We can get the kids fed and bathed, we can run the errands, do the laundry, mark stuff off the to do list, but it will never all be done. There will always be more stuff to do. So why are we rushing things?
How to take small steps and stay focused
If I wake up in the morning and see that a lot needs to be done around the house, which hello; is every morning, I start by making my coffee. Because let’s be honest, nothing is getting done without the coffee first.
While getting my coffee ready, I’ll see if the dishes need to be done. I’ll turn on my Keurig and while that gets started, I say to myself, “ok let’s unload the dishwasher while we wait.” Otherwise I’d be standing there useless staring at the wall for 2-3 minutes.
I don’t focus on anything else except finishing the dishes and the coffee waiting for me. Before you know it, the dishwasher has been unloaded and reloaded again. Now bam, the coffee is done. It’s like a reward to myself. First two tasks of the day – coffee and dishes – done!
Have a positive start to your day.
That’s a great way to start the day. If you can implement small goal settings just like that, you’ll find yourself more motivated to finish the other jobs on your to do list. You’ll also find yourself staying in the present and focusing on what you could do right that minute.
If you just focus on one thing at a time you will be less stressed and less overwhelmed.
What if you cut yourself some slack?
Tell yourself that it’s ok if the kitchen counter is piled up with junk (yeah, Lauren). It’s ok if the laundry doesn’t get touched today because I have other things going on at this moment.
Stop trying to do everything all at once and focus on one task at a time. Start moving at your own pace instead of rushing through things just to get to the next task.
If we stop focusing on doing everything, our anxiety will ease up. Your feeling of being overwhelmed will drift away and you’ll start to see that you can enjoy your day, if you just focus on one task at a time.
All of the other stuff will get done. It might not get done this minute or even on this day, but it’ll get done. You’re not a slacker nor a lazy mom. You’re a mom with a never ending to do list and too little of time to be stressing yourself over it.
So what’s it mean to live in the present?
I’ve read a lot about living in the present and what that means.
The past holds a lot of heavy burdens.
The future brings uncertainty and stress from worrying about what could be.
When you stay in the present, you can be at peace with what’s going on around you. There’s always something good happening right in front of you.
You just have to open your eyes to it and live in the moment.
So in conclusion, focus on one task at a time.
Make your to do list, set it down, and come back to it as you complete a task and are ready to move to the next. Don’t try to do everything all at once and cut yourself some slack. Live in the present.