Important To Do

How To Reduce Your To Do’s: Dump, Delegate, Do, Delay

Important To Do

There are thousands of time management courses I bet.  Probably a few hundred written for Mums.

This is as simple as it gets for you, with a couple of extra twists I’ve added in to spice it up and make it more effective.

It can be so difficult to work out what needs doing when there are potentially months worth of things that you ‘could’ be doing.  Just making the time to sit down and work out what the To Do list is takes time ironically!

You Don’t Have To Do Everything


Five Minutes Is Important


Just remember it’s not a race, you don’t ‘HAVE’ to do everything and 5 minutes can be a valuable slot of time.  So it is perfectly polite to say to someone that you can’t do something or that you don’t have ‘five minutes’ (which means at least 15mins) to help them out.

If you want to be sure that you finish the week without panic about what still needs doing and at least enough things for you to feel some satisfaction and contentment with how the week went, then you will need to make a list.  I doubt that there are more than a couple of tired Mums out there with the ability to hold it all in their heads.  The rest of us will otherwise fiddle around, fire fight, suddenly realise we did things in the wrong order and have last minute panics to get things done, which inevitably means shouting at the kids.

In my book I go into this in much more detail.  It’s the step that makes one of the biggest differences in my life, but also seems to be the one that I have to continue to keep my eye on and adjust as the kids grow and life changes.  So I thought I’d do a quick summary for you:

1) First you need to work out your 3 Life Priorities.

2) From here you can work out your Top To Do’s that are non-negotiable

3) The stuff that is lowest down the priority pile gets dumped

4) Then work out what can be delegated

5) Then work out what else you are going to attempt to do

6) And what you are going to delay


My Top 3 To Do’s are pretty simple and apart from (2) don’t take any time, but I remind myself each morning.  Sometimes I still forget, as I did when I wrote this post and realised that I hadn’t adjusted to the changes in my family’s life caused by the big hairy ones redundancy:

1) Cuddle the kids, do the evening book read every other night, make something creative each week (then I’m a happy mummy)

2) Write, write, write, but write in a way that will help my books become the must have ‘pick me up’ books for mums and that I enjoy

3) Drink water, eat healthily, walk the dog, play with the kids, watch my thoughts, count my blessings each night


The best bit is you can treat yourself to a cup of tea and at least one biscuit while you are doing it!

If you would like some help with working out your Life Priorities and your top priority to do’s then either pop over to my Facebook page and ask a question, or come and join in the fun on Pinterest in my board all about Life Priorities.

Feel free to commit to your top 3 to do’s and pop them in a comment below; I’d love to know, I’m sure everyone is very different.

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!