I dropped the ball.
I dropped ALL the balls, honestly.
It's hard to juggle everything: parenting, work, marriage, the landscaping, the homework, the staff, the dishes, the laundry, the mail, the bills, the emails, the everything.
And the other day, everything came crashing down. I had overscheduled the whole family. We were running around like maniacs. We were fighting about who had to use the vehicles. Emails got forgotten, meals were eaten on the road, laundry piled up.
With my head in my hands, I chastised myself. I knew better than this. I knew I should have said "no" to that opportunity and that extra project, and I shouldn't have tried to do everything all at once.
But it happens, doesn't it? Especially at this time of year. End of the year programs and projects, open houses, birthday parties, new summer schedules. It all piles up and the calendar gets filled, whether or not we want it to. And then there's all the stuff that must get done no matter what: the laundry and the dishes and the emails. Everything is screaming "I'm important! No, I'm important!" and no matter how strong you are, it can just overrun you and leave you feeling helpless.
So what do we do?
Sometimes, we break down and just cry.
Sometimes we mute the phone and the email and let things fall down. Yes, we fail. Then, we go back to what works. Systems.
Monday is for marketing.
Tuesday is the staff phone call.
On Thursday, the house gets cleaned.
On Saturday, we do laundry.
On Sunday night, we order groceries.
These systems are my sanity. And when they are running, they keep me sane. And when I'm tired? I fall back on them.
When I ask myself, "what am I supposed to be doing right now?" my systems answer. I go to www.Todoist.com and I check what I should be doing today. What is overdue? What can I delegate. I survey my paper calendar and the digital family calendar. What's coming up? What do I need to prepare for? I check in with my staff. I center myself. I make a fresh To Do list on a small Post-it note. What is my focus? I know I can't do everything so what can I do right now?
The trick is getting these systems set up. And then following them! (That's the hardest part, isn't it?) And yes, we all need flexibility. Last week, when we had multiple open houses to attend, family coming into town, and birthday parties to prepare for, thing fell between the cracks. Stuff got forgotten. But today? Today I'm going back to the trusted systems. They keep me afloat during the busiest times. They keep me going. They run my world, even when I'm tired. Especially when I'm tired.
Weary warriors, hang in there.
You'll make it. You will. I believe in you.
About the Author
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!