Prioritize, organize, and optimize your “chores” to focus on your career.

Are you drowning in chores?  Prioritize, organize, and create time to focus on your career.  I get it, I was drowning in chores too, but found ways to make time while running my business full time, sharing the load with my husband who also works full time, and managing the kids’ schedules.

There are three simple steps to get all of those chores done that are hanging over your head.

  1. Prioritize.
  2. Organize.
  3. Optimize.

Starting out with prioritization, figure out first of all what actually needs to get done and what doesn’t.  Skip the less important tasks.  There’s no reason to organize or create systems to tackle chores that don’t need to be done in the first place.  Here are a few examples:

  • Laundry: Do the children’s pajamas, socks and underwear really need to be folded?
  • Pool: Do the toys really need to be brought in every night?
  • Groceries: Do you really need the tomatoes to be taken out of the bag or can they just sit like that on the counter?  (note, it’s one thing if they’re wet, but if not – let them sit out for a day).

Organize the additional tasks.  Schedule time in your calendar to prioritize these and make a chart for when you’re going to complete each task.  We must make time for each and every task.  If we don’t set aside time, how will it actually be completed?  Rather than make it a daunting task once a week, I would recommend setting aside three to four times per week for different activities.

Create time by completing the tasks in a different, more productive way.  This could be through outsourcing, creating automated systems, or combining tasks.  Here are some examples for each category:

  • Outsource:
    • You can hire people or organizations to help you with the following tasks: Laundry, Pool, Landscaping, Yardwork, Gutters, Painting, Taxes, Cleaning.
  • Creating Automated Systems:
    • You could have groceries delivered and while this is outsourcing, it’s also an automated system in that it saves your list from week-to-week for next time, making it easier each time you order. 
    • We purchase the same white socks (with grey toes) for our kids.  That way, we don’t have to sort socks and figure out it’s match. 
    • I also use a white board in my mudroom for my priorities and color code my calendar to track my tasks.
  • Combining Activities:
    • What if you could cover two items on your “to do list” at once?  For example, could you rake the leaves and create piles for the kids to jump into?  Or, better yet – have them do it! 
    • Could you listen to audiobooks while cleaning or folding laundry?
    • I multitask by catching up on work emails while watching movies.  In fact, I’m writing this blog while watching a movie right now!

We hope these tips help!  I’m a busy working mom with kids in elementary school.  I get it.  You can make time to focus on what matters.