I don’t know about you, but I really have to watch my train of thought in the little moments of life or else I end up missing the most precious of moments trying to play catch up.
In the mundane of everyday tasks, I love to daydream about the future. Sometimes that includes drawing out a sketch or skimming pinterest looking for new ideas. Those moments feel productive and exciting. No longer do I feel bored and unmotivated with my list of to-dos. For a time, I can be transported to the exciting moments of someday instead of the dull and repetitive tasks of today.
However, in my preoccupation with the future, I have forgotten the present. When I don’t hold myself accountable to the work of today, the future crumbles into a mess of anxiety. The laundry backs up, school assignments are missed, and I am left wondering why I keep dropping all of the balls.
While this exact scenario may not apply to you, think about the things that do distract you from the work of the moment. Knowing and understanding your tendency when you are feeling most overwhelmed will help you better keep it in check.
Then there are those other circumstances that come up throughout life that make you wonder if you will ever be able to keep up – the lengthy to do list, health issues, exhaustion, work schedules, school, etc. Know your circumstances and list them out. Take the time to know what you have going against you.
Then stop and reassess.
What is taking up most of your time and brainspace? Do your daily actions reflect your priorities or have you allowed the circumstances of your life to cause disorder and confusion?
Now it is time to get things back to their proper order.
It’s okay – the laundry is already behind, one more day won’t hurt anyone. If they are truly out of clean underwear, throw in a load real quick and come back to this.
Your top four priorities are to God, meeting your own needs, your husband, and your children. …in that order.
- Are you making some time each day with God?
- Are your basic needs being met (sleep, nutrition, quiet, etc.)?
- Are you taking some time consistently with your husband?
- Are you allowing yourself to be present with your children?
Get creative. These priorities don’t have to be carried out exclusively of each other. Quiet time with God can double as quiet time for your needs. Training yourself to be present to your children will also help you be present to your husband. Think about what it is that you yearn for in each of those relationships and in caring for yourself. How can you make it happen to some degree? This doesn’t have to be complicated, but it will go a long way in helping you know that the right things happen each day.
Then start adding in all of the other things.
You may not be a schedule person, but writing it down will go a long way in helping you know what needs to be done and when. As moms, we have precious little brain space. Committing to paper and getting tasks off your brain will help you stop thinking that you are forgetting to do something important. Writing it down also helps you see if you are over-committing yourself. Are you using your time wisely? If not, what can you take off that list, or how can you ask for help?
Now for the hardest part: it’s time to focus.
This means actually carrying out what you have committed to. If this is the easy part for you, then that’s awesome. Carry those tasks out, nurture your relationships consistently, and care for your own needs so that you can continue to keep caring for the needs of others. If you’re like me and find this to be the most difficult part, then remind yourself daily. Write out a checklist each morning and check it off as you go. On days where I’m feeling a bit more tired I even write in a nap.
Try this for two weeks, and see how it goes.
Remember, God has called you to this moment in your life. He has entrusted your family, your home, and even your very person to your care. Do these things for Him, and let your life reflect Christ as you do them with joy.