Talk to any parent, and they will tell you there aren't enough hours in the day to complete that never-ending to-do list. When you're a parent, it isn't even as simple as doing what needs to be done. Things always pop up when you least expect (or need) them to, and every time you turn around there is something new that needs to be added to your list.
That long list may never be finished, but there are some easy things I’ve found that you can get into the practice of doing, which will increase your productivity around the home. Increasing productivity not only benefits your to-do list but your children and mental health, also. With less on your mind, you’ll better able to spend quality time with the kids when that moment finally arises (sans the frustration or anxiety).
The '100 Count'
When I don't want to do something, I practice the '100 count.' For example, I hate polishing the silverware, so I tell myself I don’t need to do them all at once. I wash as many as I can while counting to 100. Try it yourself. You'll be surprised at how much gets done. Breaking down difficult or unloved tasks in bite-sized bits helps them feel more manageable.
Short Bursts of Cleaning
A lot of things can be done in short bursts, while you wait for something else. While the coffee brews in the morning or I wait for the microwave to go off, I knock out the few dishes in the sink, or wipe the countertops down.
Remember you are not a one-man show. Delegate items that need to be done. Children as young as two years old can help with household chores, and most even have fun while doing it. Many parents find great success in giving each child two or three simple tasks. I’ve found that it helps decrease my overall workload and teaches our children about responsibility.
Forget the Long To-Do List
Psychologists have found that people are less productive when they have an incredibly long to-do list. According to them, the brain can only focus on so many different things at a time. Instead of writing out a long list of tasks that will never be accomplished in a reasonable period, I typically choose just seven important tasks for the day to tackle.
Declutter your home to make cleaning easier. Psychology also says this improves mental clarity, focus, and general happiness. The whole house doesn't have to be decluttered in a single run, either. Take a few minutes out of your day to start decluttering one closet at a time. Go through your old clothes, toys, and books to see what can be donated, too.
Get Some "Me Time"
I try and wake up at least fifteen minutes before the kids for a little "me time" to start the day right. Getting time alone ensures that parents don't feel like they do nothing but clean, work, cook, and tend to the children. Even spending those fifteen minutes sipping your coffee in peace can make the rest of your day feel significantly more manageable.
Sometimes as a parent, I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to finish a to-do list that never seems to end. However, I’ve found that there are things that I can do to help be more productive and keep my mental health in good order. The tips listed above can help increase productivity and remind us to take a breather just for ourselves.