It’s no secret that I have lots of things going on at the same time – It’s an addiction, I think. I cannot sit still. I am not the type of person to sit down and watch television (well certainly not at the time it is on anyway – the record button is my best friend!) which works in our household because it means that LO gets the television after school for a bit and then when she’s in bed, hubby is normally home and he gets to watch what he wants.
I try to make time every day to sit with both my husband and LO and spend some quality time together because that’s what life is about, isn’t it? Granted, sometimes life is more hectic than other times and I do have to resort to working on my laptop whilst sitting in the living room – but I do still try to be around in body, even if my mind is frantically typing away.
I‘ve tried to put together my top 5 tips for fitting things in when you have a lot on. These are the types of things I do to try and find a bit of balance.
1/ Differentiate between the jobs and allocate time.
I am at university, so I have coursework to complete and studying to do and I also write books (no surprise there). Over this last semester at university, I have been on campus on a Tuesday/Wednesday. Therefore, I usually allocate the beginning half of the week to university study and coursework and then Thurs/Fri and the weekend I dedicate to writing and doing things book related. I cannot switch from one brain to another as they are two completely different ways of writing, so academic writing one half of the week, creative writing for the rest. Around deadline day this gets more jumbled, but as a general rule I work like this.
2/ Make time for YOU.
It’s hard to fit in time for yourself when there is just so much to do. But I think this is really important because if I don’t take time to recoup, I get ill. It doesn’t have to be a day or a week, even just an hour to sit in the bath and read a book, just take some time to step away from it all and do something for you.
3/ Learn to say ‘no’.
This is a particularly hard one for me and not one I exercise a lot. So this is more a case of do as I say, not as I do 🙂 I am a nightmare for saying yes to everything, even if it means piling on my workload even more. This is what I mean by – I think it’s an addiction. I just want to do everything! I said no to something the other day, mostly because I was struggling to get childcare but then I thought to myself, “come on, Lucie, you can’t realistically do this right now – just decline.” So I did… and now I feel bad! Even though I know I can’t do it.
4/ Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
We are not built to do everything ourselves. Life is hard and if we don’t learn to ask for – and accept – help when we need it, life can make us miserable. I frequently try to be superwoman and do everything myself, but realistically, if I let people help me, I will get there a lot faster and I won’t be as stressed. You can’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders alone, share the load. A problem shard is a problem halved, as they say. Even if it is something little like letting someone else cook the dinner one night so you don’t have to stop working.
5/ Get organised.
To-do lists, shopping lists, things to pay, emails to respond to… I write lists for everything. Because this then means I can keep track of what I have done and what is still outstanding. I have a folder for the hen weekend I am planning, and a folder for everything to do with The First Time Mums Club. I also have a new folder with planning for book 2 in and a folder for stuff to take to my accountant. By creating these little pockets of jobs, I am able to grab what I need, when I need it and complete the tasks a lot easier. So whilst it didn’t come naturally to me, I have learnt over the years to become super organised and now I love it. Unless it’s getting the washing and ironing done… then my system falls apart.
Housewife isn’t a skill I excel at – just ask my husband! 🙂