Have you ever had one of those days (usually on Monday!) when the clock seems to move faster than ever? Or you have an appointment at 3:00 and you have to get those 10 chores done around the house before you leave?
I have a tendency to get frantic. I rush around the house. I practically ignore the kids. I get frustrated very quickly.
I get stressed.
And, when it’s all said-and-done, I feel awful that I got that way. Everything ended up working out just fine and I didn’t have to turn into a bear to get it done.
So, how do we stop the cycle and do what needs to be done without getting stressed?
Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way!
1. STOP! Caaaaaaaaaaaaalmmmmmmmm Dooooooooowwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnn.
The more we rush around, the more likely we’ll make mistakes, cause accidents, forget something and more. When you find yourself hurrying, make it a mental point to just stop dead in your tracks.
Let your brain and your body slow down and think about what you’re doing and why. I know the clock is staring you in the face and telling you that the minutes are passing too quickly for actual thought. It might seem counter-intuitive at first. But, you and I both know that when we get frantic, more messes are made than fixed.
You don’t have to sit down for an hour and *find a happy place*, just a simple pause can do wonders!
Grab the closest piece of something to write on, be it paper, a dry erase board or the window. Grab the closest writing implement, be it a crayon, a pencil, or just dip your finger in the ketchup!
Write down everything you feel like you MUST do – that way, you can ease your mind by knowing it’s all written down, not to be forgotten. Now, you can take a small step back and really determine what is the BEST thing to be doing this moment. Number those tasks.
3. Change your mindset. Exercise your thought-power.
While you have the pause button on, what have your thoughts been like up to this point? Have you been saying,
“I am going to be SO late!” or “I canNOT get all this done! I can’t believe he just left that laying there – couldn’t he have simply put it away? And, look at this! I told her three times to pick this up!”
Your brain is the ultimate message-relay center. With every thought, you are telling your brain and body what to do. You are affirming those things in your life and it ends up being a vicious cycle.
Do something else instead as you take a moment to collect your thoughts. Picture yourself getting those top priorities done. Feel what it would feel like to have accomplished it on time. You’ll be amazed at what simply picturing success can do for you!
Sound weird? It works! Try it one time. Go ahead – no one is looking. And, if they are, they’re about to watch you succeed!
Take just a little time and study what the really awesome successful people do with their minds. They did not sit around and think about how it couldn’t be done or how they couldn’t do it.
4. Communicate with those around you.
When I get in one of these frantic crazy times and I just gotta get it all done right now, I have a tendency to feel like my kids are *in the way*.
They get underfoot, they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, they are making messes just as quickly as I’m cleaning them.
What I’ve found is that they just need a little bit of communication to be more helpful.
Depends on their age, but just give them a little verbal direction.
I look at my twelve year old and just say, “I’m really sorry I’ve been going so crazy and taking it out on you guys. I’m not upset at you, I’m just in a really big hurry. Could you help me out a bit? I gotta get X, Y, and Z done by 5:00 – can you tackle one of those?” There is hardly a thing around this house that my biggest boy can’t do – he’s very helpful.
That’s because I’ve had him doing chores for ages! I get much more cooperation by taking a few seconds to really talk to him and ask for his help.
By the way, you don’t always have to give your kids orders or give them commands every time you want them to do something. Talking to them like regular people really works.
For my two year old, I’ll give her a choice of two toys – too many choices overwhelms her. Once I set her down to play, I frankly tell her that Mommy is working really hard to get some things done and I’ll need her help in a minute. I leave her to play for a bit and then, find something in my task list that she can help with.
If she’s having a particularly *troublesome* day, I have her stay at my side at every moment. I know! It seems like that would make things take longer but she gets far less *creative* when constantly supervised – and how much more quickly do you think she’ll learn these chores and want to be helpful?
Actually, all of them really enjoy Play-Stations! (No, not the video game machine thingy)
I set out a different activity for each of them in different places but within a few feet of each other. Each child gets started on one of the activities and then the timer is set – 5, 10, 15 minutes, whatever works, just depends on how much you need to get done! When the timer goes off, no matter where they are in the activity, they get up and move clockwise to the next activity. This is where a board game or something is really fun because they have to pick up in the middle of the activity.
5. Now keep going!
You can now get back to your list with everyone occupied and your own heart calmed and your mind ready to go. You’ll be amazed at how much more quickly and efficiently everything will work out!
Leave a comment below … what do you think about these ideas?
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