Conquering the World 15 Minutes at a Time

15 minsIf you are like me, you feel like there is never enough time to get it all done. I usually keep a running to do list in my head or scare myself by actually writing it all out.  It is scary because there is more to do than humanly possibly.  Some of you will remember the sticky note method I talked about. I’m way more productive when I actually follow that method.

However, last month I went to a conference for my business and the keynote speaker said something that stuck with me.  He said there are 96 fifteen minute segments in each day.  Break down your day into smaller segments and conquer that to do list.  I was worried I would feel micro-managed but instead it is freeing.

I start with writing down the knowns for the day – appointments, after school activities, etc.  Then I fill in the routine – making lunches, car line, etc.  That leaves me with the blank spaces to fill in with household tasks, work tasks, fitness, Bible time, family time and anything else that needs to be done. I try to leave some margin in there in case things do not go as planned (because do they ever go as planned with kids?!).

It is amazing how much I have been able to accomplish this way.  My to do list is still way too long but I’m starting to see some items get checked off.  In my office I keep a white board above my desk and write projects that need done.  Having them visually in front of me helps me see where I can work in 15 minutes at a time of chipping away at those projects.

I’m still figuring out what document works the best for me for tracking this.  Doing a simple Google search brings up plenty of great options such a full week on one page, one day per page, etc.  Find what works for you and get started on feeling less frazzled and instead reaching those goals.

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Keeping the To Do List Manageable With Sticky Notes

Post It To Do List

About a year ago I learned a little trick that has helped me keep my sanity.  I was in over my head in things that needed to be done (what mom isn’t?!) and was frustrated each day that little was marked off my huge to do list.  Then I read on Life as Mom about her new Post-It Note system.  It was one of those “why didn’t I think of that moments”.

The goal is to keep your daily to do list to one standard sized sticky note.  If it takes up more space than that then you have too much on your to do list.  The goal is not to fill up every nook and cranny of the sticky note either!  I could easily add twice as much to my to do list daily by cheating the system but that defeats the purpose.

I have found that when I write my list, I get a ton more accomplished than if I keep it in my head.  Since it is summer, I have slacked a ton on writing my list so I’m committing to getting back into the habit.  My first goal is to write my list every day for the next 5 days.

The link above also leads you to a print out that can be used to map out weekly and monthly to dos too.  I have used this in the past but my current system is a laminated piece of paper I keep on the side of our fridge where I can write my long term to do list.  I plan to share more of that system in the future.

Since it is summer and I’m spending most of my time fighting off bad guys, setting up the sprinkler, or listening to the endless Minecraft talk between my boys, the to do list is a bit different than during a school year.  I tend to do a bit more organizing in the summer as we are home more but I try to do it in small bits instead of starting large projects.  Also, I work from home but find it hard to fit in quality work with the kids around so I’ve set a summer goal of one hour of work per day.  I have a master to do list for all my various work duties and I check them off as I go.  With staying very focused during that short period of time I find I can get a lot done and usually my work to do list is done by the end of the week.

A few things you will see every single day on my list is Bible time, laundry, and exercise.  I don’t fit in quality exercise daily but I do spend at least a few minutes daily on PT exercises for my foot injuries and try to get to the gym twice a week.

Finally, have fun with your notes.  Sometimes I buy them in my favorite color, other times I buy a shape that speaks to me.  As you can see, I’m currently using flip flop notes.  If you know me in person, you know I have a love for flip flops and sandals (of which I can’t currently wear thanks to foot injuries).

Feel free to join me in the 5 day challenge to write down your to do list.  Comment here or on the Facebook page if you are joining in.  Pictures of your sticky note list are wonderful too!

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Supermom Is Back!

Knock, knock.  Hello.  Anyone out there?

Sorry it has been so quiet around here the last month.  I had some great posts planned but no time to finish them.  I was working on a huge project for my online business and I ran into almost every pitfall I could during that month long process.  The good news is that the next time around it should take about half the time because I figured out most of the kinks.

That project ran into end of the year chaos.  Anyone else find end of the school year to be overwhelming?!  I never feel prepared for summer because I fill those last few weeks of school trying to keep up with all of the extra projects, field trips, field day, teacher gifts, etc.  By the time the last day hits we are all ready to just crash.

And that is exactly what we did.  We completely crashed for two days.  I let the kids have all the electronics they wanted and we just took it easy.  Then, I shipped them off to the grandparents and my husband and I took a vacation alone.  We went to Canton, TX for their First Monday Trade Days.  It is a huge outdoor flea market that takes days to go through.  We have been several times before but the last time was when my oldest (who is now 9) was a toddler.  We had a blast!  I didn’t buy as much as I expected but that didn’t matter.  I was shopping at my own pace and just enjoyed being with my husband and taking a break from the insanity of parenting.

We were gone a week but we didn’t spend that entire time in Canton.  We purposely stayed in a small town instead of Dallas and visited nearby small town flea markets.  We slept in, spent hours watching mindless TV, saw a movie at the theater (a rare event) and just overall enjoyed relaxing and taking things at a slower pace.  It was a great week and I came back refreshed.

It has been crazy busy since being back and I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the next 2 1/2 months of summer, but we will get there one day at a time.

Stay tuned as I will start posting with more regularity next week.  My summer plan is two posts per week.  I know we are all busy in summer and therefore have less online time available so I will keep it simple around here.  In the meantime, like the Facebook page, subscribe to this blog, and invite friends to follow along.

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The Why Behind Supermom Without a Cape

Why Supermom

Our church has been going through a huge transition over the past few months.  Every so often a company (or church) has to step back and evaluate every aspect to see if they are headed in the correct direction and if there is anywhere they can improve.  That is where our church is right now.  A few weeks ago one of our pastors preached on the why behind what we do.  He gave a great quote from a Ted Talk geared toward high end executives and CEO’s that basically said most companies tell what their product is but they don’t tell the why behind it.  People want to be involved with the why.

So, why did I start Supermom Without a Cape?  Simply put, because I love moms.  It could be because I am one but I think a lot of it comes from my nine years in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), with 8 of those being in a leadership role.  I started out as the new mom that didn’t have a clue what she was doing and developed into a leader and a confident mom who realizes I don’t know it all but I will still survive.  I’ve watched many moms over the years go through that same process.  While I still very much fit the profile of a MOPS mom since I have a two year old, I also sometimes feel like the mentor mom since I’m older than many of the moms and have older children too.

Through MOPS and social media I’ve watched as moms feel weighted down by the pressures of society.  Too many people only share the positive aspects of life and don’t really show reality.  While I don’t share everything that goes on behind closed doors, I don’t hide the reality that parenting is tough and there are good days and bad days.  I like to keep it real.

We all have a story to tell and everyone has their own struggles.  Mine happens to be with dealing with a special needs child, an allergy/asthma child and the middle brother who feels left out.  No matter the story, we all need someone to lean on as we navigate this crazy world.

I want moms to know it is ok to be real and share the struggles.

I want moms to feel confident even when they don’t really have a clue what they are doing.

I want moms to know it is ok to need some “me time” and not to feel guilty for taking a few minutes away.

I want moms to learn a few tricks I’ve figured out over the years and then share their tips with other moms too.

I want moms to know their children love them even when they mess up.

I want moms to not feel guilty for whatever path they have chosen for this season of life – stay at home, work from home, work outside the home, travel often, etc.

I want moms to be able to find their own tribe so that they don’t have to go through this journey alone.

 

Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed. ~Linda Wooten

 

 

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How I Get It All Done Part 1

Juggling Mom

Most people these days have too much on their plate and are always trying to figure out how to squeeze it all in to their week.  I get asked often how I get it all done because my life is crazy busy with three active boys with medical needs and I work from home.  Simply put, I don’t.  I let a lot a lot slide just to survive.  In this post I’ll share some of the things I don’t do.  Stay tuned for an updated post of tricks I’ve found to help things run more smoothly.

1. Keep a company ready house. I would love to have a clean house all the time but reality is, there just isn’t enough time in the day to keep up with it all.  My house is very much lived in and the kitchen counter is almost always full of junk.  If you stop by unexpectedly, please ignore the mess. I will not ever try to hide it as I want others to know it is ok to live life instead of spending all your moments cleaning.  We have been working for years to create systems to keep the clutter at bay but my house will never be perfect and I’m fine with that.

2. Make everything from scratch. I’m a bit on the crunchy side and I’m a fan of saving money but over the years I have come to realize that I just can’t do it all.  I make what I can from scratch and then buy the rest.  Yes, you will find prepackaged items when you enter my house.  However, I try to keep it to more natural things and over the years I’ve drastically cut down on the junk.  If you entered my house today you would find store bought bread, jars of spaghetti sauce, and containers of yogurt.  Sometimes I do make our own gluten free bread but it is rare.  If I had all the time in the world I would gladly make more homemade items but I’ve had to come to a realization that there isn’t time for everything I want to do.

3. Exercise daily. Please do not read this as no exercise.  As you know, I love to run.  I struggled for ages with trying to get in the perfect amount of exercise.  I finally decided that something was much better than nothing.  A good week for me is running three times and a few days of strength training.  Many times that strength training comes right after a run and is only 10-15 minutes.  Again, something is better than nothing.

4. Create elaborate crafts with the kids. While I love seeing others make all kinds of fun things with their children, I’ve come to realize that just isn’t for me.  Yes, I love doing the occasional craft but you will not see me doing a Pinterest craft each week with my kids.  I have three very active boys so one craft lasts them about 5 minutes and then comes with 20 minutes of clean up, not to mention the prep time beforehand.  I’m a crafty person by nature but have let most of those hobbies slide by in this phase of life.  At some point I hope to be able to pull out the knitting needles and scrapbook items again but I’m lucky to do that once every few months right now.  This is just a season though and I’m glad I have those skills available for the future.

5. Coupon for groceries. I used to be one of those crazy couponers. I could save a fortune at the store through matching coupons with sales.  However, that took a lot of work and multiple trips to stores.  That was fine with one child but with three, I just do not have the time.  Not to mention, the coupons aren’t as great as they used to be.  I still keep a very minimal grocery budget but try to get by with using what I have and stocking up during great sales.  It took a lot for me to finally give up my beloved coupons but now I can finally shop guilt free without them.  I still keep a few around for dining out but that doesn’t really require a lot of time and energy to maintain.

These are just a few of the things I do not do in order to keep my sanity.  Please share in the comments or the Facebook page some of the things you let slide so that you can enjoy this phase of life instead of feel stressed.

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This Supermom is Exhausted!

You have probably noticed it has been a bit quiet around here lately.  It is because this whole foot saga is wearing me out.  Wearing a cast, trying to heal two very different injuries, and keep up with three kids is more than I can handle at the moment.  I had no idea breaking my ankle would wipe me out so much.  It was a minor break compared to what it could have been, however, it was still a break.

I guess I should back up a minute.  I never got a chance to post after getting my MRI results.  I had several minor issues going on but we did find the root cause of my running injury – I ruptured a ligament in the middle of my foot.  My doctor said by this point in time he would normally be doing surgery but he has never seen anyone tear a ligament in that spot and it would be difficult to repair.  Instead we are trying a cast for three weeks.  The boot I was originally put in after I broke my ankle was causing the two injuries to fight and I was miserable.  Now I’m in a walking cast and have a week and a half to go.  The ankle is just about healed but the ligament is another issue.  Some days it feel fantastic and other days I’m miserable.  Hopefully there will be more progress before the next doctor’s appointment so that there is a clear direction on which way to go.  It has been seven weeks since I last ran and I have a feeling it will be many, many more before I run again.

Last week was spring break so that didn’t help anything either.  The boys were crazy and really needed to be out doing something but I couldn’t chase all three of them while hobbling around so we spent most of the week at home.  However, this week I’ve been trying to get back on track.  I have a small Amazon business that I run from home and I didn’t even touch it for two weeks so this week I’ve been getting back in the groove with that.  Today I finally made it to the blog tasks.  Slowly I’m getting back in the groove but by middle afternoon each day I’m toast.  I’ve been napping with my toddler this week so that I have the energy to make it through the evening routine.

On the bright side, I read last week that healing a bone uses a lot of calories!  It probably doesn’t make up for the amount lost from lack of exercise or the junk I consumed while trying to survive spring break but I’ll live in denial a bit longer and pretend I’m burning a ton of calories carrying around this heavy cast.

I get asked often how I do it all.  This post clearly shows that I don’t.  I’ve had to let things slide so I can concentrate on healing me.  With that said, as I’ve been sitting around I’ve had time to outline several blog posts in my head.  My goal is to get some of those out next week so be looking for new posts soon.  Subscribe to keep up to date or “like” the Facebook page for the latest and greatest posts.

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2015 Goals

I’m not a huge fan of the New Year’s Resolution but I love setting goals.  I don’t necessarily set them at the beginning of the year though.  However, the beginning of the year is a great time to re-evaluated what I’ve already got going, see what needs tweaked and what needs added or subtracted.  Having said that, he are my major goals for this year.  I personally have them all broken down into smaller subgoals but I’m sharing the big picture with all of you.  Why?  Because accountability is huge when it comes to sticking with goals.

Household

My major goal in this area is to clean out the entire house to the best of our ability.  I’m sure some areas will be missed but something is better than nothing.  We are planning a spring garage sale so that we have an incentive to keep working towards. So far I’ve been spending 15-30 minutes a day cleaning out something.

 

Weight

I’ve struggled with my weight all my life.  After my first child it took about a year to get the weight off.  With the second I never lost the last 20 pounds despite sort of trying.  With the third I still have 15 to go and he turns 2 next week.  Yep, that adds up to 35 pounds I would love to lose.  I tried really hard that first year with my last but barely lost anything.  I’m back in the game and ready to give it another whirl.  I would be content with 20 pounds gone at this point in time.  I received an activity tracker for Christmas and it has been a huge help at getting me up off my feet.

 

Business

Running a business at home while raising kids is not for the faint of heart.  I always feel behind on either the house or the business.  However, my husband has worked two jobs for five years and we are ready to have him home more.  Our goal is for my business to be making enough by the end of the year so that my husband can quit his second job.  He loves this business too and is learning how to help so once he is home we can continue to grow it even more.

 

Now that I’ve put myself out there, anyone else care to share their goals?

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