This is the first in my new Habitually Happy Mums series. I personally have struggled a lot over the years with anxiety, de-motivation and just feeling so overwhelmed and not able to get myself organised and in a good routine. Since becoming a mum and having even more on my plate and a lot more responsibility my struggles have got 10x worse. I am sure a of lot people can relate to this, but especially Mums. There are so many things on our to do list and add on top of that the pressure of what society today tells us we SHOULD be doing to keep up with Instagram perfect lives. No wonder for many of us we just feel like we are chasing our tails and have no idea where to start to fix it and find a routine and rhythm that suits us, our families and the way we want to live.
As a serial procrastinator and imperfect perfectionist I often find my self searching for ways to create new habits, get organised and just generally fit it all in, without losing my mind at the same time. I have tried every planner, printed and digital, I have tried long to do lists, weekly to do lists, daily to do lists, and having no list at all! Having a big clean of the house weekly, cleaning a room daily, doing a small area of a room at a time. You get the picture!
I feel like I am failing most of the time. I just do a little bit of each thing and can never quite seem to get on top of anything or follow through as a mum, a wife, friend, in my work life, my hobby businesses, hobbies, housework and life admin. You name it and I beat myself up about it. And behind all of these things comes looking after me and my self-care. As Mums this is so often the case, I even struggle to fit in a shower because my toddler needs me or other things need doing first. My husband is great, we work together on everything and while I would love it if he put his socks in the laundry basket a bit more and maybe not make quite as many crumbs on the side and on the floor when he makes a sandwich, he is definitely a keeper and great hubby and Dad to Max. So why can’t I just get things done?
Well I don’t have the answers to that at the moment, but I am working hard to try and figure out new strategies, routines, tips and tricks to build healthy habits and find a routine that works for me and helps me to conquer all areas of my life. And as I find things that work for me or that I think may work for others who are struggling I am going to share them on this blog and on my social platforms. There may even be more on my Youtube channel and possibly even a podcast! (Yes I am aware that this is adding even more to my plate! But I believe it will be helpful to me and others and also keep me more accountable.)
So the first thing I want to focus on is motivation. Or lack of it. One of my biggest issues and something I know most people can struggle with to some extent at points in their life is finding the motivation and enthusiasm to get started on tasks. That could be tasks that you hate doing, have been dreading, aren’t quite sure of what you need to do, or could even be things that you really enjoy or want to do, but for some reason you are procrastinating on it and can’t just get your self up out of the chair and get started. For example a particular area where I personally really struggle with this is cleaning and organising my home. So I have put together 5 top ways to just get started with whatever it is you need to get done.
Here are my 5 top tips to help you to find your mojo and just make a start:
1. Use Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule:
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
This helps to switch the brain into gear and gets you moving when you feel stuck, check out her book our audio book The 5 Second Rule on amazon.
2. Set a timer for 15 minutes and make a start
Tell yourself, it’s just 15 minutes of whatever task you want to work on and just make a start.
Anyone can manage 15 minutes, but you could even just do 5 mins and build up.
The hardest part is always getting started. Chances are once you get going you will carry on and achieve at least one of your tasks.
3. Bring up your energy and mood
Put your favourite up-beat playlist on have a dance, even sing out load. You’ll be up and on your feet and feel so much better and be ready to begin.
4. Need to tidy but don’t know where to start?
Begin by picking up just 10 things and putting them away. You’ve done the hardest part, move on to the next 10 items. This could also apply to other things. Need to write an email. Just write 5 lines. Need to makes some phone calls, make a list and start with 2 of the calls and so on.
5. Start with simple but satisfying tasks that are quick to do.
Being able to tick a couple of tasks off your list straight away will motivate you to carry on and even to tackle the bigger tasks.
I hope these tips have helped you. I would love to know if you have found any of them particularly useful for you or if there are other things that you could share that help you get motivated and started when you are struggling with procrastination and overwhelm.