I don’t know about you, but I get asked, “So…how do you do it all?” quite a bit. Because I love y’all I finally decided to peel back the curtain and explain how I get so much done.
Here’s the answer: I don’t.
I know, I know….total let down.
While it may seem like I’m a master juggler—I freelance, I write books, I homeschool, I’m awesome, wait…—most days I rarely do these things at the same time.
Let me explain.
Writing takes up a huge chunk of my time (like ALL of the hours between 9am to 3pm and some of the hours between 9pm and whenever I fall asleep). Aside from my daily blogging duties for Clutch, I regularly have to meet deadlines for other outlets and keep up my own blogs. If that weren’t enough, somewhere during the day I fit in a few writing sprints for my fiction endeavors, cuz these books don’t write themselves. It’s a full time job, but unless I want to head back into the classroom (and Lord knows I don’t), I gotta do it.
Next up: Homeschooling.
Le Kid and I have a homeschooling approach that fluctuates somewhere between unschooling and me breathing down his neck to do math worksheets. On any given day while I’m penning an article he’s writing a journal entry or doing multiplication problems or reading a book (or playing Minecraft on the iPad—but we won’t get into that).
When I mention that I homeschool Le Kid, I imagine most people picture us at the dining room table pouring over history books and discussing the events that led to Revolutionary War or detailing the steps of the Scientific Method. We’re not.
Here’s what homeschooling looks like for us: We talk about whatever he’s interested in (right now it’s Minecraft and dinosaurs and other animals), I give him math worksheets or we practice with money; I make him write journal entries; and I ask him to read to me aloud.
While he doesn’t have to put together a project on California Missions, in my mind, the most important thing an elementary school kid needs to know is how to read and write, do basic math, and think. Everything else can (and will) be filled in later.
I have friends, I used to date (I’m…taking a break lol), I workout, I see films, I go to shows, I hang out with my family—I fit in my social life whenever I can. Unless I’m on deadline, I’m not writing most weekends (except for fiction) and am instead watching Netflix from my couch, or at a museum with Le Kid, or reading a book. It’s not always exciting, but it works. I’m not pressed to go out to clubs, and when I want to dance, I hit up a party.
So how do I balance it all?
Sometimes things get overlooked (mostly laundry), sometimes things don’t get done at all (taking my car to the car wash), but the things I deem important and absolutely necessary ALWAYS get completed.
And that’s the key.
When it feels like you’re drowning in impossibly long to-do lists and responsibilities here’s how you get them all done.
#1: Understand that you can do everything…just not all at once
Yes, I know you got this. I know you know how to grind. I know you can turn on “beast mode” and power through. But if you try to do everything at the same time you will fall flat on your face and burn out faster than Paris Hilton’s music career. Trust. Keep your sanity intact and pace yourself.
#2: Prioritize tasks
If you have a long to-do list, or juggle multiple responsibilities every single day, prioritize. Make a list of everything you need to get done, label the most important (or pressing or difficult) tasks, then work down the line in order of importance (or deadline or difficulty).
#3: Be flexible
No matter how well you plan or prioritize, things won’t always go according to plan, so flexibility is key. If you’re so stuck in your schedule or rigid way of doing things you’re going to be in for a rude awakening when your plan goes awry. Give yourself permission to mess up, be flexible, and make changes when you see fit.
Being able to do it all is an unrealistic expectation many of us place on ourselves. But with a little planning, preparation, and dexterity we can get things done—even if it takes longer than we first imagined.