Welcome to three ways to start focusing and stop multitasking!
I want to greet all of you home-school and work-from-home moms, cafeteria workers, nurses, teacher’s aids, principals, and all the things, because we are, officially just that at times.
I would love you to truly begin to understand how to stop multitasking and start focusing. Yes, it is true. There are so many things on all of our plates and sometimes it feels like there’s no way to do it all.
Today’s post is a very meaningful and special training that I did live inside of the membership group that I host on Facebook. So if you are not already in my Systemize Your Life Facebook Group, go get inside the group because I teach in there every single week and do not want you to miss it.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
There are relentless pressures on you this very week and this very month. Getting kids into school with the current climate is rough. It’s rough on me and I’ve got systems supporting me. It’s just new, but there’s a way for us to get through it with intention, grace, compassion, and gentleness. All right, without further ado, let’s dive in.
LET’S START FOCUSING AND STOP MULTITASKING
Today we’re going to dive into three major things you can do to start focusing and stop multitasking. What is it about multitasking that you are having a hard time with? What about focusing on those specific things you have to get done that you’re having a hard time with?
So many of you guys keep asking me, how are you not doing your work when you’re with your kids? And how are you having your kids do something different during the day than when you’re doing it? How are you not sitting next to each other?
I know that multitasking is what leads you to be completely burned out. It’s also what leads you to be frustrated. It’s what leads you to be incredibly unproductive. It is so very hard to get anything done when you’re trying to do multiple things at once.
Motherhood, Multitasking, and the Reason for Burnout
We as moms tend to grow extra arms from somewhere once we have kids because there’s so much to do all the time. You have got to grab somebody or keep something from spilling and you have to do everything all at once. It ends up turning into something we do naturally, without even thinking.
Once we eventually get our feet underneath us and start to feel like we’ve got motherhood in the bag, we feel we could do this, we can possibly start focusing and stop multitasking. Maybe our kids are out of the baby phase or we have a couple of kids. Then you begin to think, oh, maybe I could start a business, volunteer my time somewhere, or take on a special project.
Multitasking Gone Wrong
The problem with that is you bring in this whole approach that you did when you first became a mom, which was to do all the things, all the time, and at the same time. And when you begin to put something else on your plate that requires actual focus and intentional time and energy. You don’t teach yourself how to segment what you’re doing outside of your children. Then it all ends up on your plate at the same time and you’re basically, what I call, eating spaghetti and meat sauce.
Ya, You might be really good at multitasking. Your spaghetti and meat sauce might even have veggies in it and it might just be doing the job well. But I know that spaghetti and meat sauce over and over again is no fun all day, every single day. Trying to get everything done at the same exact time leaves you feeling like you’re working 24/7.
Every single mom that I sit down and do a productivity session with says, “I feel like I’m working 60 hours a week.” The last mom that I worked with said she feels like she’s working 24 hours a day because you can’t ever tell your brain to turn off. You don’t know when you’re going to get to turn it on again because there really is no time to switch it off and on in your mind. It’s all just happening all the time.
So before we get into the three ways that I want you to tackle this. I got this idea one day from watching my daughter Bailey Mae as she was obsessing over a puzzle, moving and turning pieces until they fit.
Just Imagine all of these puzzle pieces and the only way to get them all to fit together succinctly to make an actual image of something is to study them. You have to figure out what color is on those puzzle pieces. Are they curved or round? Do they have a specific part or piece that would fit with this specific part or piece? And doing that, taking these insanely different pieces, touching them, looking at them, moving them around, and turning them upside until they fit together.
I then want you to think of those puzzle pieces and think of the time you put into your business. The time that you are volunteering, working on your passion projects, at home, with your children or husband, homeschooling, and your church.
They are all very unique and require a different piece of you every single time you show up. Require you to start focusing and stop multitasking. If you just show up every single time the exact same, with the exact same hat on for all of those things. You’re not giving your best energy and your best self to whatever that is. You don’t wanna show up to your business in your mom mode and you don’t wanna show up to your kids in your business mode. And you definitely don’t want to show up to your house in you’re lazy, I don’t have time for this mode.
Stop The Burnout
The point is, there’s a way to fit all of these things together. Get creative and start looking at it from a different angle. Have you turned it upside down, studied the colors, the nuances? Looked at the depths of what your children need and what your house needs, and on what days and at what times?
That is what I’m bringing to you, what I do, and what my heart loves. I love looking at and studying things and figuring out how to make them simple. How to make them fit together in the most effective and efficient way to start focusing and stop multitasking. So let me teach you a little bit about how you can do that in three very simple steps
BE MORE EFFICIENT AND FOCUSED WITH THESE THREE STEPS
We’ve actually talked about this before and I’m going to repeat things inside of the teaching that I do here. It’s all useful as you move forward and required for you to start focusing and stop multitasking. So if you already know what your responsibility buckets are, great, hang tight. We’re going to get to the second step in what you do with your responsibility buckets.
Step One: Knowing Your Responsibility Buckets
For those of you who don’t know what a responsibility bucket is, you need to sit down and you need to look at what is on your plate. What are responsibilities do you need to show up to on a weekly or daily basis? To allow you to start focusing and stop multitasking.
I like to look at things weekly. It’s enough time for me to not feel overwhelmed, and it is also enough time for me to know that something is showing up at least one time in my life. For the most part, I don’t really have anything that I have to do monthly. My big responsibilities, which are my responsibility buckets, are things that I have to do on a daily or weekly basis.
So my buckets would be my children, my husband and marriage, my faith and church, my friends, my home, and my own health and well-being. As well as, my career as an interpreter in which I’ve had for a very long time and I’m still responsible to show up there to serve that community, and then lastly Chelseajo.co, the business that I run from home.
Those are my big responsibility buckets. I have to do to be able to satisfy those within me, to look inside myself and say, these are all the things that I’m responsible for every single week.
Your homework is to write down all of your responsibility buckets on a piece of paper and in the next step, we will go over what to do with those responsibilities
Step Two: Putting Your Responsibility Buckets to Use With Time Tracking
The second way that you are going to be able to start focusing and stop multitasking is to actually know how much time each and every one of those responsibility buckets require from you on a weekly basis. This is the second part of your homework.
I can tell you there has not been one mom I have coached that has said, “oh yeah, I know how much time I need to run my business, clean my house, work out every week, spend time with my husband, be intentional with my children, and to volunteer,” or whatever their responsibility buckets are. Not a single one of them can spit out at you how much time they need every single week.
That is what I want you to do, that is what you have to do. If you want to stop multitasking, you need to know how much time you’re going to have to give to each thing. This is the biggest nuance of that puzzle piece, right? There is no way possible for you to stop multitasking if you don’t know how much time you need in a full day.
To be able to fit all your pieces or responsibility buckets together in a week, you have got to know how many hours you need in a week to complete all those tasks in your business. Do you need 20 hours or just 10? You may feel like you need 60, but I promise you, you do not.
Now, how do you even begin to know how much time it takes you and how much time you need for these things? You need to start tracking your time.
Bring your homework from step one, which was writing down all of your responsibility buckets, and move to step two, which is time tracking those actual responsibilities. Take those responsibilities and go over what you are going to do in one day. Every time you give yourself one of those responsibility buckets, I want you to start a timer on your phone. You’re going to have to start tracking your activities.
And trust me, it doesn’t matter what kind of business coach you go to, they are going to make you track your actions, your tasks, and your time associated with them. That’s the only way for you to get organized to be able to start focusing and stop multitasking.
If this isn’t for you, you’re like, peace out, go for it. See if you can get through not multitasking, without knowing how much time it takes for you to be dedicated to each of your responsibility buckets. It’s just not going to happen. You’ll keep drowning.
But, if you can give yourself one week to sit down and say, I think it would take me twelve hours to do all the tasks that I wanna do to run my business, grow my business, or start a business. Then I think it would take me two hours this entire week to clean my house and four hours to do all the laundry. Write it down.
I think it would take me maybe two hours every morning by myself to be able to get my Bible, study, my movement, get dressed for the day, look at my planner, and have a cup of coffee. Write it down.
Show Up For Yourself
Show up for yourself and when you do, you may find, well crap, it took me six hours to do my laundry. What the heck? Oh well, now we know better for next week. So then the next week you go in and say, I need six hours for laundry and it only takes you two. And you’re like, shoot, what is happening? It took me six hours one week, it took me two hours the next week.
Guess what? Now you can bring that to the table instead, so let’s spend four hours a week on laundry consistently. Let’s get a system in place so that we can depend on a task being done in a certain amount of time. Then, I know when I need to show up for that task. I know I’m going to be able to get it done and I know I’m going to be able to bounce out.
Another good example is homeschooling. How many hours a week do you need to homeschool your kids? If you don’t know how many hours you need to be able to assist or actually educate your children, they’re going to flounder. And so you need to know during this time, this is when I am giving them their education. My phone is on airplane mode. I am not doing laundry, I am not preparing snacks, I am doing nothing but supporting them.
Do you know how I’m going to be able to do that? I’m going to be able to not multitask while I’m supporting my kids’ education. I know that the rest of the day, everything else that I need to get to, has its own time. I’ve already calculated and put it down, I can rest and be assured that I can now focus.
Step Three: Create Space For Your Responsibilities
The third step is creating a space for each and every one of your responsibility buckets throughout your week. Some of these things you’re not going to do every day. For example, some of you may not have to do laundry every single day of the week and some of you might like that approach.
You’re going to create space for every single one of your responsibility buckets and you need to map them out. This takes a little bit of creativity. Let’s remember Bailey, she’s three and she just turned three. The way that she looks at these puzzle pieces, the way that she manipulates them, the way that she moves them around. Well, that one doesn’t go here. Will it go over here? That one doesn’t go here? Maybe it will go over here?
Seasons Of Life
There’s a picture of what your life is supposed to look like right now in this very season. And maybe when that season changes, you’re going to have to mix up those puzzle pieces again, and maybe that season of change is going to come when your kids go back to school. Or maybe that season of change is when covid hit. Maybe that season of change is when you have a new baby.
You’re going to go through these changes and you’re going to have to know how to create space for every single responsibility bucket that you have. That’s why when Covid came and things went tumbling, crumbling down into my life, I figured out how to do this. Let’s move all these pieces around. I don’t really like it, and I don’t love it, but I’m not stuck with what’s happening and what’s being pushed on me. I don’t feel crummy about all this stuff I have to do. No, I get to be in control of where my puzzle pieces are, where they live and what they look like, and how much time I spend in them.
That is the greatness of our own freedoms and what I want you to have. The tools and the skillsets to be able to utilize the freedom that you have as a work-from-home mom. Use the freedom that you have to be able to look at all your puzzle pieces and start putting them together and line them all up.
DAILY ROUTINE EXAMPLES
How Much Time Do You Need To Focus?
What is it going to look like for you? Are you going to start your day with an hour for yourself, 15 minutes for yourself, or two hours for yourself? Then what are you going to do after that?
How much time do you need to focus on your kids? Can you clump it alt together? Can you get all of the time that you’re going to spend with your kids outside in the morning? Then straight into schooling time, then snack time, and then straight into a little bit of free play?
Or, are you going to group it all together and call that your morning or a.m. block? How much time is that? When does lunch start? How much time do you need for lunch? How much time do you need in the afternoon? When are you going to fit in time for your business?
What dynamic do you currently have right now with your children? Do you have kids that are older and trying to get them to the dinner table is like pulling teeth? You have all this time in the day, tons of freedom where you can really sit down and hammer out a whole bunch of work.
Or, are you the mom like me who has really little kids at home that need a lot of my time? My kids can’t go outside and run around. I don’t have access to a babysitter 24/7. So, I’m fitting my business time into these little pockets throughout the day. I use technology and I use screens, but not all day long and it is incredibly intentional. I’ve created space for that intentional technology.
I had to look at all of that, lay out all those pieces, and ask myself where my responsibility buckets are going to live. Now when I show up and I’ve done all three of these things. I’m showing up for the allotted amount of time I set. I’m focused on what I’m doing and I don’t have to do other things at the same time.
This is how you stop multitasking. You create time and space for one thing and you’re not doing other things.
Common Issues And Questions From My Work-From-Home Moms
My kids literally will not leave me alone. They’re on me like white on rice all day, every day. What do I do with my kids? How do I get them on board with this program?
You train them, you teach them, you communicate, and you talk about expectations. Just ask them, what do you need today? What do you want your week to look like?
I don’t care how young or how old they are. If they’re super little and not communicating at all what their needs are, you know what their needs are. You just need to show up for them then. And some possible times when they don’t need you could be when they’re sleeping, when they’re with a sitter, when they’re out of their comfort zone, or maybe when you’ve strategically placed screen time if that’s something that you’re comfortable with.
And if they’re old enough to where you maybe don’t really know what their needs are, you need to be asking them. What are your needs and what do you need from me? This is what I need from you. And you ask them, how do we work together to make this work?
When they say, well I wanna spend time with you every day. I wanna do an activity with you every day. You can compromise because that’s what relationships are about and that is what you wanna teach your children.
Batching Your Time
I had a mom that I just worked with recently that was accumulating all the screen time that she’s been using in little pockets all over the day. She’s going to try and see if she can put it in a two-hour chunk, two hours of screen time, and then be done. And she’s going to have that focused time to work on her business during those two hours.
There should be respected boundaries regarding when you have work hours and when you need to focus. And that is a time when you’re not interrupted? Those boundaries will grow and strengthen as your children mature, just as if you were working outside of the house.
I know it seems harsh, but the reason I am so adamant is that I want my children to learn boundaries and never have to feel like they have to sacrifice all of themself for other people all the time. So at the end of the day, they feel lousy and really compelled to change something without the ability to actually change it. I want them to have the tools to say, I can give to you and I can expect you to give to me too. And it’s okay to teach our children that. So as they mature and as they grow, you can build on that.
But for the little ones that don’t understand boundaries, it’s important for you to have things on hand. For example, have their healthy snacks prepared and ready to go strategically. Place the work you know you can do with interruptions during the time when you’re going to be interrupted. What’s the easy work that you can get checked off your list in case they come in and bother you? Save your work that you absolutely need a hundred percent clarity and focus, for the hours when they’re sleeping or they’re in someone else’s care.
These things should be strategically built in whenever you go through step number three when creating time and space for your responsibility buckets.
What if I have laid out all the time that I need in my responsibility buckets and I don’t have enough time? What do I do?
I just had a mom tell me the other day that there’s not enough time to do her planner, plan out a full week, and then actually do time blocks. I’ve worked with many moms, and I do it myself with all the things that I’m juggling. I manage to make it happen. You will make happen what you want to make happen.
What Do You Really Want?
We all do what we want. We all are instinctually selfish by nature and focus on doing what it is that we want to do. So, if you don’t have time for something that you really want to have time for, that means you need to think about your priorities.
You need to think about what it really is that is important to you. How much time do you really need to be spending in every single one of these responsibility buckets? Do you really need to be giving all of your time and energy into your house all day every day? Who are you doing that for? Are you doing that for yourself or are you doing that to please other people? Maybe even as a means to escape something?
There’s a lot that you can sit down and look at when it comes to your behaviors and why you don’t have enough time to get everything that you want to get done. If there is a will, there is a way.
That’s where you’re journaling, prayer, and meditation come in. It’s so important to know what is the will for your life and what you should be putting your time and your energy into. What truly should your responsibility buckets be? And start working at it.
My Real Life Example
If you don’t have enough time for all the things that you wanna get done in a day, let me give you a really good example. Most of the time in my life, what I don’t have enough time for is working out. I didn’t have time for working out for months. And that meant getting up, getting dressed, getting in the car, going to the gym, doing the hour workout, getting in the car, coming home, cleaning, washing, getting ready, all of that. It was a two-hour deal and there was no way that was going to happen, I don’t have time.
Then the Coronavirus came and after that another excuse and then finally I just told myself I need to do something. For many reasons, this needs to stop and I hated it. I was mad, I was pouting, and I was so upset. But I know better. If I want something to happen, there is a way to make it happen.
So what did I do? I started doing workouts from home. I do them for 20 minutes and they are amazing. And even still there are days when I’m like, I don’t have enough time for a 20-minute workout. Yeah, I do. Get your bum out of bed earlier, Chelsea, and get my bum into bed on time so I can get up earlier.
You guys just have to decide what’s important to you. And the things that you are making time for will begins to start to morph and they will look a lot different to you.
And this brings us to our last question.
How do you make yourself do this over and over and over again?
When we talk about knowing how to create the time and space for all of the things that we want to do and actually start focusing and stop multitasking through everything, it’s going to take some discipline. You have to practice showing up and making yourself do it. Try your very best. All you can do is put pen to paper, try your very best to log your time, and see how long it’s taking you to get things done. At the end of the week, go back and assess.
This isn’t going to be something that you figure out overnight. Being able to know exactly what time you’re going to do all of your tasks in motherhood and business is going to take time. Just like it would take time for any major company to figure out how every single moving part of their company operates. That’s built over time.
If you’ve never spent any time or energy building that well, you start now. You start from the bottom, you start with one part and you keep going and you just don’t give up. What I know for sure is that by doing this in my own life over the past five years, it’s created, I wanna say a beast. It’s created a business.
ENJOYING MOTHERHOOD AND BUSINESS AS A STAY-AT-HOME MOM
It has really been the calling on my heart to show you guys how much more joyful. How much more productive, and how much more peaceful life can be when you stop operating under
the mode of, “I have so much to do and I have no time to do it.”
You don’t have as much to do as you think. It’s just that you’re trying to hold everything that you do have to do in your hands at the same time. It feels heavy. It feels like a lot. So, I want you to put it down, mama. Put it down and pick one thing up, then put it down and pick the other thing up, over and over.
“You don’t have as much to do as you think. It’s just that you’re trying to hold everything that you do have to do in your hands at the same time. It feels heavy. It feels like a lot.“
What It Really Feels Like To be Focused
There’s no way to do motherhood without being exhausted. It’s exhausting. But it doesn’t have to be the exhaustion that leaves you depleted and dismayed, and have you spiraling into depression. We all have days of sadness. The joy in the jubilee that I feel most days when my feet hit the floor is astounding. I know I’m in the right place. Every time I show up, I know that’s where I’m supposed to be. Whenever I get a twinge of something not feeling right, I go back and look at what happened. Why didn’t that work? How can we fix that?
You can do the same thing too! Am I exhausted at the end of every single day? I am, but I’m fulfilled, I’m satisfied, I’m happy. And my work shows it. I’m actually moving the needle. Making change happen in my home, with my kids, in my business, and in my marriage. These things are changing for me. The work that I’m putting in is actually showing progression and there’s something to show for what I’m doing.
When you multitask, it just often feels like nothing’s ever done. Like you’re continuously working and yet everything is still just an utter mess. There’s still more laundry to do. Always dishes to do and there are still a million things to do in your business. You just never feel like it’s done.
Start Focusing And Stop Multitasking Recap
So that is all that I am going to give you for this today. Let’s do a quick recap of your homework.
- Think of and write down all of your responsibility buckets. What are you responsible for?
- Then, think about how much time it’s going to take you to complete each of those.
- Lastly, take that and create the schedule that works best for you.
When mapping out your schedule. Think about what it looks like for you right now. In this season of your life. If something doesn’t work out, it can always be tweaked. Just like putting a puzzle together.
I would like to invite you to head over and join the Free Systemize Your Life Facebook Group. These blog posts. Everything that I teach over at the Systemize Your Life Podcast, we follow through with inside the Facebook group. I’m also there to support you, give you homework, and prompt you with questions.
I hope you found today’s training incredibly impactful. If you feel you need a little extra help getting your life and business organized. Head over and check out The Systemize Your Life Academy. My complete home management system to help you start focusing and stop multitasking. I want to make sure that I am making an impact on your motherhood. Teaching you step-by-step how to put actionable steps in place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any suggestions that could help keep me accountable in actually focusing and getting rid of my multitasking habits?
I am so glad this training resonated with you in this season of your life! I would actually suggest joining the FREE Systemize Your Life Community where we give lots of extra support and you can connect with others just like you. Also check out Systemize Your Life Academy, our 4-week program that will give you one system to manage your time and help you prioritize the most important tasks. Thank you for reaching out!