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How does she get it all done?
I've asked myself that for years on an almost daily basis whenever viewing the work of another woman. Pinterest, the beauty of the blogging world, instagram - these are just a few of the mechanisms, as wonderful as they are, that fuel the flames of my comparisons.
A life carefully curated.
Children sitting around a campfire wearing clothes from a local boutique that effortlessly coordinate while roasting homemade marshmallows for s'mores with homemade graham crackers and hand-poured chocolate leaves.
The chic and minimalistic breakfast nook with chairs angled from the table as though someone just got up leaving behind their 2/3 full coffee mug and fresh blueberry scone with crumbles.
And don't forget the succulent. There's almost always a succulent.
The beauty of a perfectly curated world? I eat that shit up.
I can't help it - I am complete and total sucker for the perfectly styled life. I dream of styled photos like those above in my sleep.
And do you know what's not included in those beautiful dreams of mine ? Laundry. And screaming kids. And dirty dishes. And the Chinese take out I grabbed for dinner the night before because I didn't have time to hit the grocery store.
Real actual life.
Real actual life is not included in my dreams because my dreams are my #lifegoals as they should be.
So then back to "How does she get it all done? How does she make it all look so perfect?"
The answer - she doesn't. And she probably never will unless she someday reaches movie star status and even then I think its debatable.
So here's what you have to do if you're plagued with the desire to do everything, be everyone, keep your head on straight, and waltz through life a freaking boss.
1. Recognize that when you're doing one thing, you're giving up something else (usually several something elses)
2. Time block, time block, time block
Recognize that when you're doing one thing, you're giving up something else
It may sound like a negative perspective, but when I embraced this idea wholeheartedly, I found that I came to terms with idea of not being able to do it all. I cannot physically cook a dinner from scratch, lead an arts and craft activity with my four year old, prepare homemade baby food for my 10 month old, fold the laundry, write the next blog post, and style the tablescape for the next holiday photo shoot all at the same time.
Even just imagining a human being trying to complete those tasks simultaneously is comical and we know that. So why do we trick ourselves into thinking we should be doing more?
If I'm cooking dinner, I'm making sure my kids aren't try to kill themselves, but thats about it. I'm giving up making baby food. I'm giving up the blog post. I'm giving up the laundry. Not forever, but for now. And that's ok.
The key is remembering that you're only giving up the other things for that very moment.
Five minutes later, you may be in a different situation. And then you'll choose something else.
Time block, time block, time block
The day I began time blocking my schedule was the day I finally felt I had made a huge leap into the idea that I may be somewhat in control of my life. It was glorious.
Time blocking is the idea that by regularly blocking out sections of your day or week for important tasks, you are creating the space needed to accomplish your goals.
Whether you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom, work out of the house mom or not even a mom at all, time blocking can work for you. Through time blocking you are forced to put what is important first rather than what is urgent.
As a work at home mom, it seems almost everything with my two kids is urgent and it usually is.
Have you ever tried explaining to a hungry 10 month old that her blueberries and cheerios will have to wait? It. Doesn't. Work.
I realized immediately that was not going to change. However, home care? Cleaning? Laundry? These are definitely not urgent for me, so I needed to stop setting myself up for failure by treating them as such.
Here is my current time blocked schedule. It takes into consideration Vivi's preschool schedule and Faye's nap schedule (which varies slightly daily). It allows time for the non urgent things that I have to do (read general pick-up, laundry, grocery shopping) but also includes the important things like my work and activity time with the kiddos.
To keep myself on this schedule until it becomes second nature, I entered the time blocks into my phone. At 6 am, I am reminded that it is time to check-in with my work on the blog. At 2 pm, I am reminded that I need to work on laundry. I also list a more detailed explanation of the time in my phone as well so I can never possibly say "I'm not sure what to do now".
Its important to remember that the system doesn't always work perfectly. Sometimes a kiddo is sick or having an off day. Sometimes I have an appointment to make. Other times family may be visiting. You gotta roll with the punches.
However, after time blocking for about a month now, I've noticed that I am meeting my personal goals more often, the laundry pile is no longer the size of Everest, and I'm cooking dinners on the reg.
Plus, I feel more in control of my day.
And that right there sister, is reason enough.
Ready to own your day like the Boss Woman you are? Download this free printable and begin time blocking your life.