I hope that you got some good data in the last exercise. We’re going to be tackling at least one of your “no’s” in a minute, but first, we’re gonna chat about the lack of efficiency in the average mom’s life.
The average mom lives in rapid response mode.
- She wakes up because a baby cries or a toddler crawls in bed with her.
- She throws in a load of laundry because someone is out of socks.
- She fills her day putting out little fires everywhere: making a snack because someone’s hungry, picking up the toys because someone’s coming over, settling a dispute because someone is crying.
Her whole day is determined not by what she intends to do, but by the things that just seem to “pop up”. She tells herself that’s just the way it is as a mom of small kids. She shouldn’t expect or hope for time or energy for her own projects or self-care.
She’ll make room for that…someday.
Average Mom, though, could make space for her own interests right now, if she looked for ways to make her life more efficient. There are all sorts of tactics for this, from making Trello boards to scheduling a 10-Minute Pickup that the family does together at least once a day.
The most important part of making life efficient, though, is committing to actually solving the problems you uncover as you begin to be more intentional about your life–not putting a Band-Aid on these problems today and running to grab another Band-Aid when the bleeding starts again tomorrow. The efficient mom stitches that cut up so that the injury is no longer an issue.
Here’s an example of one exercise an efficient mom will do regularly.
Try this now:
Look the list of things you made that you’re choosing to say “no” to. (If you haven’t made your list yet, you’ll find the instructions here.)
Spend 10 minutes making a plan to eliminate one of the things on your ‘no’ list and taking the first action step to remove it.
- If a calendar item needs to go away, find the phone number of the person you need to call to cancel it, and schedule a time tomorrow to call them—be sure to set a reminder in your calendar so you don’t miss it.
- If one room’s clutter is causing you stress, take 10 minutes to locate a box you can use to collect items from that room which you’d like to sell/donate or use those minutes to rapidly collect trash and take it to the can. Commit to 10 minutes every day working in that room until it’s done. Schedule a calendar reminder for your daily 10-minute declutter.
- Is one of your bad habits relatively easy to eliminate? Spend your 10 minutes brainstorming ways to make the habit less tempting or considering other things you might do instead when the craving hits. What’s your first action step?
Alright. You have now committed to making your life simpler. You are practicing efficiency by realizing that any problem you have is solvable when you make a plan and take the first action step.
As you start to do this regularly, life gets a little more breathing room. Things start to seem easier. You have more time and energy for things that are important to you. You start to feel more in control, and this makes you feel a little happier.
You can supercharge your happiness by engaging in some simple practices, though.
Let’s explore what those might be.