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As a special needs mom, it seems like you’re always overwhelmed. It kinda comes with the territory. There’s always something to be worried about. A possible new diagnosis, a new test to run, routine special needs stuff, a new surgery, etc. Not to mention the regular day to day stuff you deal with too. It’s very overwhelming and can make you go crazy if you think about it too long. I totally get it.
But one thing I’ve learned is that even though you have something to worry about like a new surgery, life doesn’t stop. You still have to make sure things around your house get done. You have to be productive and get things done even when you’re overwhelmed.
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6 steps to help you be productive even when you’re overwhelmed:
1. Brain dump
If you’re new to the term brain dump it just means get everything out of your head. You just take out a sheet of paper and write everything that pops into your head. Just put a timer on for 5 minutes and write, write, and write some more. Just this one step is life-changing! I don't say that lightly. It really does help to get everything out onto paper. Sometimes it even helps you see that some of the things you think are big and are worrying about actually. It makes you realize that everything isn’t as big as you think it is or worth spending the time to worry about.
2. Scrub the list
Look at the things you wrote down and scratch off anything that you don’t really truly WANT to do or HAVE to do. Remember those things that you thought were big, that aren't? Mark them off too. Realize you honestly don't have to do anything on this list. Really. You don't have to do anything. You can CHOOSE to do the things on the list, but you don't HAVE TO. There is so much power in that realization. It can transform how you view your to-do list.
3. Categorize what’s left on the list
Put all of the phone calls together, put all of the errands together, etc. You can choose to rewrite the list or just use different colored highlighters for each category. This will help you when you get to the scheduling step. When you schedule like items together, you can get them done so much faster because you aren't wasting your time task switching.
It takes a lot more brainpower to flip flop back and forth between different tasks because you have to refocus and concentrate on the new task. When you keep doing the same like items during the same time period, you don't waste time refocusing. It's much easier to make several phone calls in a row than to make 3 a day at different times of the day.
4. Prioritize and schedule
Prioritize your list and schedule items in order of priority. If your phone calls are a low priority this week, schedule them last. If you have appointments and meetings, schedule them first.
5. Give yourself grace
You’re doing a great job, Mama. Pat yourself on the back. Really. You are a supermom. Stop being so hard on yourself and give yourself some grace.
You can’t talk bad about yourself so much that you just magically do the thing that you want to do. You can call yourself fat so many times that you just magically lose weight one day. You have to love and appreciate yourself first. You have to realize you are 100% worthy right now. Your worth isn’t tied up in your to-do list or your abilities. You are already worthy before you do ANYTHING. Remember that.
6. Done is better than perfect
You spend so much time making sure everything is right and perfect. Stop. Instead of striving for A+ work, strive for B-. Guess what, you can sit around and wait your whole life attempting to create A+ work 24/7 OR you can go out and kick some butt with some great B- work and live a wonderful and beautiful life with less headache. The choice is yours.
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