Not long ago, I experienced my “hit-bottom” days. My kids had been sick, my husband had just gotten better and gotten sick again. Being the only one who had been healthy and making sure the household is running smoothly, I finally cracked.
Dishes were everywhere on the kitchen counter. Kids were crying. There were yelling. My blog neglected.
All of a sudden, my life felt very stressful and unmanageable.
Has this happened to you?
Here are a few things I try to remind myself on days like this.
Get more sleep
Yes, it’s true. Sleep deprivation has been used as a torture mechanism. Whenever I start to become grumpy and can’t seem to feel motivated for anything, I know it’s because I haven’t been sleeping well. Some of the things I’ve done to get myself to go to bed on time is to set a reminder on my phone every night to remind myself to go to bed. Sounds silly but it works! I’ve also made sure to let my husband know of my plans to go to bed early so he’ll not tempt me with another episode of Suits.
Trust me, not only will you wake up feeling happier, you’ll have more patience with your children. By the way, here’s what Arianna Huffington says about sleeping your way to the top.
Make a list
As a parent, there are so many appointments and activities on the go that it can get stressful just thinking about it. Write down all the things that need to be taken care of for the next few weeks. Mind map it. Brain dump in on paper. The process of writing things down kind of acts as a way of emptying them from your head and it can be quite freeing.
I personally love Google calendar. I schedule all my appointments, birthdays, even date nights and girls night out. This way I know I’m getting enough girls’ time as well as date nights out with my husband. Also, I delegate! You don’t have to do everything yourself. Assign items on your list that your husband can help with.
Do the one important thing today
There are so many things to do when you’re trying to get your blog going. Especially when it feels like a never-ending project. There’s always improvements here and there. Each morning, I’ll look through my master list of items left that I need to do to achieve a goal. For example, I had just launched my website. The things I had to do were writing my About page, testing my sign up forms, making sure my social icon links are correct etc. So everyday I will pick one thing that had to get done. And I won’t do anything else on that list until I get that one thing done.
Schedule time to work
Perhaps like me, you get frustrated when you haven’t had the chance to do what you love doing. Schedule the time! If it’s not scheduled, it won’t get done and it’ll just become something that you’ll do “later”. Talk to your family and let them know that certain times of the day you are not available and it’s non-negotiable. I noticed if I get to work on my blog for 2 hours straight, I become a more present parent when I get back to my family. Think of it this way, you are not taking time away from your family. When you’re happy, they enjoy you so much more.
Wake up early to work
Imagine your willpower as a bucket. When we wake up in the morning, your bucket of willpower is full. Throughout the day, we slowly use up our willpower and by the time the kids are in bed, you have very little willpower left to work on things that matter to you. With more willpower, you can focus better on the task at hand. If you’re not convinced waking up early to work on your business sets you apart, you need to watch Robin Sharma’s viral video on how to wake up early.
Reverse engineer your goal and set a deadline
Plan your goals and set a deadline. For example, you might want to have a website up and running next month. That can sound super stressful for someone who has no experience or idea how long that might take. Breaking them down into daily or weekly tasks makes it more manageable.
Write down the goals you want to achieve by the end of the month. Reverse-engineer it down to smaller steps or tasks you have to do to get there. Even if you didn’t meet your goal by the end of the month, you are way closer to completing it than before.
Sneak in exercise
Ahh yes, exercising. I have been steadily going to the gym twice a week for the past 8 months. Even now, there are days I still dread going. Especially when it’s dark and -24 degrees out in the winter. But I remind myself that every time I go, I’m always glad I did because I feel so great after. My mind’s clearer. I feel more energetic.
But there are some ways to sneak in some exercises too.
For example, do 20 squats every time you brush your teeth. Do 30 jumping jacks after you wake up first thing in the morning. Do a plank every time you check Facebook or Twitter or Instagram (this one might be tough 😉 ). See how sneaky that is? Before you know it, you would have done 40 squats, 30 jumping jacks and 1001 planks! 🙂
I’ll leave the most important for last. I think the difference between bloggers who are more successful and those who are not is not that they are smarter or more talented or luckier. Successful people start even if everything is not clear yet. They apply what they’d learned. They don’t wait for it to percolate. They start doing. I’ve certainly been guilty of over-analyzing and over-researching an idea. What’s been refreshing lately is asking in a Facebook group about an idea and getting immediate feedback. Or writing the idea out as a blog post and see if it resonates with anybody. If we act on all of our ideas, eventually, one of them is going to stick. 🙂
What is the ONE thing you can do right now to go from overwhelmed to in control?