To do list

Dump, Delegate, Do, Delay – my motto for today

Yesterday I pulled something in my back, it hurts and the last couple of days I’ve fancied a jolly good cry, which means it’s time to listen to a bit of my own advice.   So I’m sharing this, not so that you worry about me, but just so that you know that I too am not always so tough or sorted.

The problem at the moment is feeling a bit overwhelmed with how much needs doing and how many decisions there are to be made.  They could be looked on as ‘opportunities‘ as I did the other day, but today they look like big decisions, that still have a big pile of unknowns and a slow slog uphill to sort them out.  It’s THAT stage.  You know the one where everything is a bit funky and nothing is clear.  I know it will end.  But in the meantime I need to do something so that I don’t get too stressed by it all.

I need to lighten the load a bit, and that’s where ‘Dump, Delegate, Do‘ and my additional ‘Delay‘ come in.  It requires a cup of tea and open mind to do it, because often it feels like there is no leeway for reducing the load (biscuits definitely help with the process!).

When I look at my work To do list and inbox, there are things that are not of big importance for my three overall priorities, so they will sadly need to be dumped or delayed.

Today I have to do my accounts, there’s no getting around that one.  Maybe I need to delay or slow down the ‘Mums Stand Together‘ campaign, whilst I’m writing my ‘weightloss without diets and boring exercise for busy mums‘ and sorting the paperback version of my ‘How to enjoy being a Mum more and get back your sparkle‘ book.

I’ve delayed a lot of cleaning already from weekly to monthly, but things are building up because it’s not clear on when they will get done.  Plus, the big northern one and I are both ‘boss’ types, i.e. we both work well as team leaders, less so as team members.  So we often assume that because someone covered a house chore yesterday, that they will do it again today, and then there is a panic at the end of the day when it’s not been done.  My powers of delegation need some more work here I suspect!

There’s also the general family or kids oriented jobs which are a bit all over the place at times as there are things as mums that we often assume are obvious, but they aren’t.  It’s weirdly helpful having the Big hairy northern one not working, but also not helpful.  So I’ve made a list on a white board, so it’s clear what needs to be done, and hopefully that will help things move along more smoothly.

Writing this I can see that the mistake I’ve made is increasing how many hours I work, because of hubby being around, but not taking into account the additional housework with no cleaner (I don’t get the evenings to catch up because of Little Dimples).  So I’m not getting as much fun ‘play’ time with the kids and I’m getting that ‘not doing any job well’ feeling.  I wonder if it’s the same for everyone, but time management is the step in the 6 steps of my book that I repeatedly have to come back to.  The contentment, health, space, money mgmt and sparkle ones get affected by time massively, but they don’t seem to go off course half as much on their own.  With time, the goal posts seem to be always changing.  Makes sense really, because as the kids grow, so their needs change and everything shifts again.

What I did ‘Do’ yesterday was go for a massage to give my back a break, see a friend and drink some wine.  There will be no running for me for a while, so maybe some walks with the dog and kids will bring back that sense of playtime for me.  Right off I go to get a horrid to do off my back …. my accounts ….. I can already feel the yawn coming on!

7 comments

  1. Thats the problem i seem to have all the time – NO TIME! and then its all so overwhelming! Its good you took a break yesterday sometimes you just need to stop and sounds like your body was telling you!

    1. It always seems that way doesn’t it! But I must admit once I’d started to cut things out of my to do list it did get easier and easier – and heh presto by the end of the week my back was much better. So go for it girl, get rid of some stuff!

  2. I’ve always loved the Do, Dump, Delegate, Tray it principle, but every now and then you need to remember to go through your tray!

    Housework tip – once a week do a quick clean – dust, hoover, bathrooms, kitchen – do all the bits everyone sees – shouldn’t take too long, you can break it into a bit each day or do it all in one hour slot.

    Then each week take a room and give it that extra special attention – even just for 15 minutes, there’s a lot of stuff you can dump in that time! I take two rooms a week and so by including the garage, the hallway etc as their own places every room gets that little bit extra every 6 weeks or so and is much more manageable – if a room gets missed because you’re busy, you know that in a few weeks it will get another chance so you don’t need to stress 🙂

  3. When I worked in support for a big database company we had specific days put aside for the big jobs to make us do them! We found that the big ones were only 20% of the work load, but took 80% of the time. It’s a great feeling to get them done, but in the meantime I like to just put them away for a while ;o)

    Thanks for the housework tip – my problem really was that if I continued as I was I was doing all the crappy stuff and the workload wasn’t getting fairly split. But I got a boost of energy over the weekend and the house is looking much better. I should be able to get the big hairy northern one to help out more now that it’s more manageable!

  4. I was discussing something similar with my 9 yo yesterday.I seem to spend all day cleaning, cooking and ironing.When the kids come home the place looks a mess again.By the time I’ve cleared up after dinner, tidied etc I’m too tired to do stuff that I want/need to do for myself.So I’m delegating a schedule where the kids can help out and get pocket money to save for birthdays etc.

  5. Aly, that’s great. It’s surprising that even a little delegation can help lift the load. Plus by giving them pocket money in return for doing something you will be helping their self-esteem.

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