This begs the question, what do you do with all the stuff that you can’t fit on your plate? Anything that’s left is overflow, and I know that when I don’t manage this effectively, I begin to feel frustrated, stressed and headed towards burnout. So I came up with these four categories to help me work through and better manage the overflow:
Utilise your family and friends – maybe your partner is going to pick up some of your jobs or your oldest child can earn pocket money doing a chore. Perhaps you might trade services with someone. Or, you can pay someone to do something on your ‘to do list’, if that’s an option.
2. Put it on hold.
Remember, not everything needs to happen right now. I’d like to have a vegetable garden, but I don’t have time at the moment. It’s going to have to wait until the kids are older and more self sufficient. Don’t be afraid to hit pause and do it another time.
3. Change your expectations.
Your house cleaning doesn't have to be perfect. You don't need to have a gourmet meal every day of the week. My garden is not the tidiest one in our street. Look for those things that can be lowered to a B standard, rather than trying to do everything at A+. Ask yourself, what is good enough for right now?
4. Just stop.
If it doesn’t fit on the plate, and I can’t find a way to do it, then I’m going to stop. For example, no more wasting time folding face washers or kids socks and jocks, I’ve bought little boxes and I’m just throwing them in now – done! I’m also going to practise stopping other people putting things on my plate. Of course it’s my fault, I let it happen, so I’m now taking ownership by saying ”Thanks for thinking of me, I’d love to be involved/help but unfortunately it’s not something I can fit in right now, perhaps next time”. Stopping is a very practical way of managing workflow and overload.