It’s easy to feel completely overwhelmed during the summer holidays.
It can sometimes feel like we have so much that we need to do but we just have zero time to actually get anything done.
However, A bit of planning can go a long way.
So when you are feeling like your to-do list is getting longer by the second and you feel like you are drowning in your to-do list, I have a few tips that will help you feel back in control.
Literally what it sounds like.
Write absolutely everything that you are thinking about down – and I mean everything. Things that need to be done, things you fancy doing, things that need to be done at some point.
Write it all out on a piece of paper.
It can be a bit overwhelming seeing it all in one page (or even two or three!), but getting it out of your mind and onto a piece of paper frees up so much brain space.
The next step is to categorise it.
It’s tempting to skip this step, but it honestly makes such a difference to how overwhelming things seem.
Get a new sheet of paper and put all the paperwork tasks together, all the cleaning tasks together, all the errands together etc etc.
It makes it so much clearer to see what actually needs to be done, and when you are planning when you are going to get these tasks done you can try and group them together.
It takes 20 minutes for our brains to switch from one type of task to another (e.g. emails to cleaning the bathroom), so grouping like-tasks together (e.g. emails and filling in a form) will make you so much more productive in a smaller period of time.
Look through what you have on your list. Make a note (or maybe highlight a certain colour or star*) tasks that are urgent and need to be done as soon a possible.
Go through your list again and highlight in a different colour tasks that needs to be done soon but are not urgent.
Do the same again with a different colour for tasks that can wait until after the kids are back in school. These items can be written on a different list and can be forgotten about you now.
You have written them down, so you won’t forget them and you can get back to them another time.
Plan it out.
You don’t need to plan out or time block absolutely everything (although if that is what works for you, you do you) because the school holidays is all about being flexible and it’s really hard to time block when the kids are home because their needs change so frequently.
I do recommend that you plan out your ‘Top Three’ things for each day.
These three things are the most important and urgent things that need doing.
If you got to the end of the day and the ONLY things you had achieved are these three things – then it has been a productive day and you are moving the needle forward and it means that the most important things are being done.
Once you have written it down on a set day it helps lose the ‘omg I have so much to do and I don’t know when I am going to find the time to do any of it’ feeling.
Find the time.
If you have done all the above and you still feel like you just don’t have time to do it with the kids round – try and find a small block of time (maybe two blocks), where you can set a timer for 15 minutes and just power through and get those three things crossed off your list.
Maybe after dinner once your partner is home they can keep an eye on the kids while you have some uninterrupted time getting things done.
Or (my personal favourite) wake up earlier than the kids and get some stuff done before they have woken up.
Re-evaluate your todo list.
Do you truly and honestly need all those things on your todo list? If they have been on there for over a year and you have no intention of doing them in the near future, maybe cross them off!
Ask for help.
We are not meant to do everything on our own.
I know asking for help can feel like you are failing in some way, but you are honestly not.
Maybe try one of these:
- Ask your partner to call in to pick up groceries on the way home from work.
- Ask the grandparents to have the kids for an hour (or an afternoon) for you to power through your todo list.
- Ask your partner to take the kids out for the afternoon on the weekend for you to power through.
- Ask a friend if they would have your kids for a play date in their house for you to get on, then you can do the same back for them another day.
- If you know someone is going to get groceries, ask them to pick some up for you. Or if someone is going near to where you need to run an errand, ask if they would mind doing it for you.
People genuinely want to help you. They wouldn’t offer if they didn’t.
They probably don’t know the best way to help you – so ask them.
I am really bad at this. I just find it quicker to do it myself – which I know is a really bad mindset to have – I’m working on it.
The summer holidays is as good a time as any to teach your kids how to do some jobs around the house and then give them the responsibility of that being their job (maybe a good time to teach about pocket money too?).
It doesn’t have to be anything major.
Getting them to make their own beds or put their dirty clothes in the wash basket add up and make a big difference.
If you search on pinterest or google you will find loads of age-appropriate tasks suitable for children – have a look and see if you find some inspiration.
Sometimes you just have to tune in to how you feel and accept that nothing is going to get done today. That is okay. Unless it’s completely urgent, it can wait.
It will still be there tomorrow.
I hope you found these helpful. Let me know how you keep on top of your todo list over the holidays!