When was the last time you de-cluttered your wardrobe? It was probably more recently than the last time you de-cluttered your to-do list.
Working parents having the longest and most-never-ending to-do lists – and probably at least 2 for both home and for work. However, most of us are guilty of one huge mistake: not regularly reviewing our workload and ‘de-cluttering’. If we constantly bought new clothes and didn’t clear out the old stuff, the cupboards would burst. If we constantly add to our lists of jobs and responsibilities, WE run the risk of burnout – or at the very least – a very unmotivating and unproductive to-do list!
With every baby or child you have, you are adding the most enormous, life-long project to the top of your list of responsibilities. So which responsibilities have you ditched to make way?
Here’s a quick exercise you can do to review your responsibilities:
- Take 2 blank pieces of paper
- On one, write a list of all your current home-life jobs/responsibilities (focus on a weekly timeframe)
- On the other, write a list of all your current working-life jobs/responsibilities (again, focus on a typical week)
- Now go through each task and ask yourself ‘can ONLY I do this?’ and ‘do I LOVE doing this?’ Cross out everything that doesn’t fall into one of these categories
- Many of those things you have crossed out will still need doing – so if it’s not you – who else can do it? Delegation is something that can make us feel guilty – as if we should be doing everything ourselves – but consider that your low-priorities could be someone else’s opportunity (for example paying to get your car washed or giving a piece of work to a junior member of the team)
- Review what’s left and tweak as appropriate. This is your new set of priorities. What changes now need to be made to your daily routine to accommodate this? Start slowly, making small changes week-by-week
Jessica Jackley, American business woman, manages her workload and delegation with the reminder that ‘deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do’