author, tips

Mastering the Art of Juggling: 5 Tips for Managing Multiple Commitments

Multiple commitments can be challenging to navigate! I know this first hand as I tackle motherhood, writing and University commitments. It’s important to keep on top of the things you’re doing and find ways to make your life easier and more manageable! Here’s 5 tips that have helped me to overcome my commitment anxiety and ease my life!

1. Use a Diary

I am a big advocate of using a diary. I find that if I don’t write my tasks down and don’t organise my day I get nothing done. Using a diary is a lifesaver for me and it helps me plan my life out and organise what I need to do and when things need to be done by.

I grab a weekly diary at the start of every year and slowly plan long-term goals out in the first week of January. Small weekly goals like ‘edit a chapter a week’ or ‘write a chapter a week’. It helps me to have a small goal to reach each week in order to meet larger goals by the end of the year.

I also outline my small daily tasks. Like which day to do laundry, which day to deep clean and all those nitty gritty details. Once University details are available I put in all my class times and due dates throughout the semester as well.

Throughout the year I then sit down each week with my diary and outline the tasks ahead for the week. Grocery shopping, meal planning, weekly writing goals, blog goals, etc. It’s helpful to sit down at the start of the week and outline what needs to be done. I find it helps me prioritise everything and know exactly what I need to be doing.

Of course, sometimes this shifts and changes. Just the other week my toddler came down with croup so a lot of my weekly tasks and goals were dropped. It’s okay for priorities to change like that and I feel more at peace being able to drop things when needed and put them back into my diary for the following week to catch up on.

2. Don’t Overload Your Plate

The life you have left is a gift. Cherish it. Enjoy it now, to the fullest. Do what matters, now.

Leo Babauta

This is often easier said than done. I, for one, am well-known to overload my plate and crash because I have too much to do. I’ve been learning over time to stop doing this and to take a step back. It’s hard but it’s so necessary.

I set small tasks each day so that I don’t get overwhelmed and break down. I set out times to work on University, times to be with family and times to do household chores. I break it down into small chunks that feel so much more manageable.

Sometimes life gets in the way, but breaking up the tasks into smaller goals really helps me to be able to push back my tasks and duties while still meeting my deadlines. If laundry has to wait a day or two then it has to wait, there’s bigger things that need addressing sometimes and you need to be able to pause and make sure you’re not doing too much at once.

3. Get Small Tasks Out of the Way in One Day

This definitely ties into the previous tip. Being a mother and also having other commitments is challenging. I find it so important to get household tasks done in one day so that I can prioritise the larger tasks throughout the week.

As I said earlier, I love using a diary. I’m very forgetful so I rely heavily on that diary to remember my tasks each week. I find that setting time aside to do the smaller tasks on one or two days really helps me to stay focused and centered.

I meal-prep on Sunday for the week ahead. This includes things like lunches, snacks for my toddler and easy meals to grab throughout the week. I usually take the weekend off writing commitments so it works for me to set some time aside to do this.

I usually set time aside on Monday to do laundry and change sheets and do a clean of the house. It resets me for the week ahead and I can focus so much better when things are clean and tidy. As I’ve said, sometimes things prop up and get in the way of this and I’ve come to a place where I can accept that and move on. Getting the small tasks out of the way definitely helps, but sometimes they needed to be pushed aside and sometimes an entire day ends up going on smaller tasks. Life is what it is and it is very unpredictable.

4. Prioritise Your Commitments and Adjust Where Needed

Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.

Stephen R. Covey

Tips 2-4 definitely all tie in together. It can be hard to prioritise commitment sometimes and even harder to adjust commitments you’ve set. Assessing the importance and urgency of each commitment is necessary in order to allocate your personal resources effectively.

For example, if I have a due date for an assignment coming up that takes priority over other tasks. I will always complete the assignment due soonest first as it is the more urgent one. Personal goals often take a backseat throughout the semester as deadlines for my classes are more important and urgent.

Setting a clear vision of your goals helps when prioritising. For me, my first goal is to graduate University and my second goal is to submit my book for publication. Both are incredibly important to me but my University is more urgent while I can take some more time working on my novel. I still set goals out in my diary for my personal priorities, but the more urgent priorities come first.

5. Take Breaks

Do something nice for yourself today. Find some quiet, sit in stillness, breathe. Put your problems on pause. You deserve a break.

Akiroq Brost

This is another tip that I honestly struggle with sometimes. The world we live in is so fast-paced and filled with deadlines and obligations. With the ‘hustle-culture’ surrounding you, it can be really hard to take a step back and prioritise your own mental health and physical well-being. But taking breaks is so crucial for your health and often helps you to meet goals and deadlines for effectively.

Continuously working without taking breaks leads to stress and burnout. We are not designed to work without stopping, our bodies and minds cannot cope with it. It’s so important to take time out throughout the day, and week, to slow down and rejuvenate. I take breaks throughout the day, whether it’s a break to play with my toddler or a break after dinner. During the week I always take a break on Sunday’s, I don’t do chores or work on anything on this day. It’s a day solely dedicated to resting my mind and body.

I step into Monday refreshed and renewed by doing this. My mind is always clearest when I take breaks and my productivity increases. Whenever I work without stopping, my mind wanders and I struggle to meet deadlines. Prioritising rest is necessary and will really help you to stay focused and meet your own deadlines and goals.

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

Mario Andretti

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