Do you wake up with a to-do list running through your head, filled with anxiety? Do you go to bed thinking about how little you actually accomplished? Mom life is a lot. We do a lot. We are needed what seems like 24/7. How do we do it? Sometimes it can feel like we don’t. Life as a mom can get overwhelming, and we can get caught up with anxiety and depression all too easily. It’s time to stop living in an anxiety filled state and to start thriving.
Time management is rarely something that comes naturally. I had to work to get to the point I am at today. I still have days that I go to bed thinking, “Oh man, I could have done better today, but that’s ok, I’ll do better tomorrow.”
People are constantly asking me how I do it all, it’s my time management, my routines, my systems, but that’s not all. It’s how I do it, but it’s not the main way I do it all. It’s just a small portion of it. I know that may sound a bit confusing…So how do I do it all?
Navigating Mom Overwhelm by Relying on God and Defeating Anxiety
It took a lot for me to figure out time management. It was a struggle in the beginning because I was bombarded. I have always been busy. From being a single mom and doing school, all while trying to raise my kiddo alone. Then becoming a wife, a step-mom, merging our families and then having more kids. Then everything else on top of that outside of mom life, all of my other responsibilities. It’s a lot!
When I didn’t have time management in the beginning, I was just struggling to keep my head above water. So it took me a lot to get to the point of learning how to manage my time more effectively. Of course, time management is one big thing that can help. If you cannot manage your time effectively then you will struggle in all the other areas I am writing about today.
Rick Warren said, “Time is the most precious gift because you have only a set amount of it.” Use your time wisely so we don’t waste the most precious gift that God gave us. Ephesians 5:11-17 says, “Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.”
Using Time Management to Curb the Overwhelm
Don’t live carelessly and unthinkingly. The end of those verses are just so clear. God wants us to use our time wisely and that means managing it and not letting our time manage us. I’m going to say that again “We need to manage our time, not let our time manage us.” I have the full course that can help you learn to do just that from a biblical perspective. I have podcast episodes on pieces of it, as well, to help walk you through it. This course will help you master time management from a biblical perspective, focusing on priorities and fulfilling your God-given calling. That way, you won’t have to go through the years of struggle and frustration, overwhelmed by anxiety and fear due to not being able to get everything done.
I was fully overwhelmed and overtaken by daily life and unfulfilled. So the biggest way that I can recommend to start is time blocking and using a digital calendar with alerts for when you need to be somewhere. Set your day up in a 5 to 7 block schedule. The amount of blocks will be determined by your season of life. Do you have littles that are taking two or three naps? You are going to have the 7 block schedule. Are you someone that has kids that only take one nap or no naps? Maybe your kids are at daycare? Or a little older and they’re in school because you don’t homeschool? You’re going to have the 5 blocks.
Let Anxiety and Depression Dissipate with Time Blocking
The blocks consist of a Morning Personal Block – that’s you or you and your spouse, no kids. Then you have your AM Family Block – that’s you, your kids, your spouse (if they are home), and you devote this to family time in the morning such as breakfast, homeschooling, or getting ready to go to school. If it’s summer and your kids are home and you are home with them then this is whatever you want to do with your family.
Then you have your Work Block – No kids. If you don’t work then you’re completing your to-dos that you need to get done. This could be any cleaning that you don’t want your kids around for. This is random to-dos – paying bills, anything like that. If you work, then this is anything that you need to get done for your business, for your job that you are employed by, if you are working from home. This is the timeframe that you use to complete the things you need to get done. The timeframe of the block is really going to depend on your season of life and what you have to do when you work from home, out of the home, or whether you’re a stay-at-home mom and have errands you need to do.
End Your Evening on a High Note and Stress-Free
After the Work Block, is your PM Family Block – this is family everything. These are the things you do in the evening after your kids get home from school, or wake up from naps, or you get home from work. Usually this a a jam packed time block. This is homework, preparing dinner, eating dinner, cleaning up the house, and then your family time in the evening.
After cleaning up and your kids have gone to bed, you have your Evening Personal Block- and again, this can be just you or you and your spouse but with no kids. Your kids are in bed. If you have 7 blocks then you will have two smaller Work Blocks and then a Midday Family Block – which usually occurs in between naps. When your kids are napping would be when your Work Blocks occur.
Inside each block are routines that you created for that block. So when you create your day around these blocks, you give yourself permission to focus on those specific tasks in your routines that you have in that block. Then you have the permission to forget about everything else until that next block, reducing anxiety and freeing up your mind from constantly thinking about everything that you have to do. You stop trying to do everything at once, and you end up getting more done because you planned out your time and you’re being intentional with your time.
Setting Goals to Overcome the Overwhelm
The second thing is setting goals. Psalms 20:4-5 says, “May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers.” What are your heart’s desires and your plans? What are you praying for? Within all of these plans, desires, and prayers we have to rely on God, but we also have some things in the natural that we need to do and one of those big things is setting goals.
I recommend doing SMART goals. “S” means specific. What do I want to accomplish? Why is the goal important? Who is involved? Where is it located? What resources are involved? All of the specific details. “M” stands for measurable. How much, how many, how do I know when I made it, or how do you measure this goal? “A” is attainable. How will I reach the goal? Is it even possible? Is this an attainable goal that you can actually accomplish?
Setting Effective Goals: Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based
Now, I want to make a little caveat here with attainable, particularly when it comes to anxiety. When setting goals, it’s crucial to have an attainable portion. However, you also need to incorporate “God goals.” These are goals where you acknowledge, “I can attain this part of it, but I am relying on God to help me achieve this other part.” It’s important to have God-sized dreams and goals that can only be reached with His guidance. While there are aspects you can attain on your own (hence the attainable portion), don’t become overly fixated on it. Ask yourself, “Do you have the attainable portion for yourself?” But also, don’t dismiss the fact that anything becomes attainable when you seek guidance from God, especially when dealing with anxiety.
“R” is for relevant. Is this worthwhile? Is this the time right now? Does it match my other needs? Is it relevant for my current life situation? Or is it something that I might need to make a goal for further down the road or in a few years? Is this relevant to my life right now? “T” – Time Based. When do I want to reach this goal? Have a timeframe on it. How long should it take? Are there steps between now and then that I can take and how long will those steps take? You need to put a timeframe on it. If you don’t put a timeframe then this is just going to be one of those random goals that you hope one day, someday, down the road you can get to. Put that timeline on it.
Identify Your Goals to Lessen Overwhelm
Do you have something specific that you have set a goal for? Whether it’s something small or big following the SMART goal structure will help you actually be able to attain it. It’s important to have goals, big and small, short-term or long-term, and those God goals. It helps you to be intentional with your time and resources when you have a goal that you’re trying to reach. I have lots of goals, long-term and short-term, daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, yearly goals. I have personal and business goals and I have my God goals.
My current big short-term goal that I’m focused on right now is to get the house prepared to move. We’re going to be moving soon. How soon? We don’t exactly know but God has spoken to me about a timeline so I have an idea. And the timeframe is soon. We know that the property that we are currently living in, the owners are going to tear it down in less than a year to build storage facilities. So no matter what we’re going to be moving in less than a year. I want this to be an easy and smooth move for us. So I have a plan in place to have multiple SMART goals that I have set for different stages of the move.
SMART Goals Help Reach Dreams!
The SMART goals will help me achieve my end goal of a smooth and easy move. I can have tangible things that I know I need to do and accomplish in this process. Because I have set these SMART goals. The last move, when we moved into the property we are at now, was very sudden and quick. I was also about to have a baby. So it was not smooth and easy but thankfully we had lots of family and friends that were able to help us which made it a lot better. If I said that I want this to happen and be opposite of what happened last time, but then I didn’t set any goals to actually make that happen. It’s most likely not going to happen the way I hope and It’ll turn into what happened last time.
Set the SMART goals. Follow through with them. You will have time to actually follow through because your structure today is in a flexible time block system and you are going to see amazing things happen! You can have all the goals, follow the perfect time blocked day, every day, but if you don’t do this last thing, all of this won’t matter. Once I finally figured out how to manage my time effectively, how to set the goals to actually be achievable, and what to do within setting those goals, I had to seek God. If I didn’t seek God in everything, then all of that would have been for nothing.
Combat Anxiety and Overwhelm by Seeking God
Paul J. Meyer said, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” I would add this – seeking God. If you seek God, then he is going to do miraculous things that managing your time and setting those goals couldn’t actually accomplish for you. Proverbs 3:6 says, “Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.”
God tends to be the one that gets put on the backburner when things are busy or we feel like we don’t have enough time to actually do it all. Ok, I’ll pray later…I’m too tired. Or I have this I need to get done instead. I’ll read my bible later. Why is that? Why do we say that? We forget or we just haven’t realized yet His true power and made that connection.
God is the creator of all things including time. It’s impossible to add time to our day. When you manage your time effectively, it can seem as though you’ve added hours to your day because you’re making better use of it. You’re being intentional, but you’re not actually adding more time. We all know this, but God is miraculous. When you put Him first, in your day, you are going to be amazed at what happens with your time in the day. It’s like time miraculously stretches, hours are added, you’re productive during those hours and you enjoy it more. You’ll hear from God and He will help you to begin to live out that calling that He is placing on your life.
Seek God’s Will
Proverbs 3:6 says, as you’re seeking God, you’re seeking His will in all you do. The more you seek God the more He will reveal Himself to you. He is going to show you that path that you need to take for your goals. He’s going to transition your goals to His goals and your plans to His plans. It takes a combination of managing your time effectively in the natural and seeking God and asking Him to help you in the spiritual. Combining the natural and the spiritual is more powerful than you could ever imagine. And when you combine these 3 things that I talked about with you today, you will be unstoppable. Your day will start to go smoothly. There’s always going to be that outlier day but don’t let that deter you.
Anxiety Will Have to Leave!
You will begin to see the overwhelm dissipate, anxiety decrease, and as you set your sights on God, that fear, that anxiety, that overwhelm will have no place left to reside. It will have no choice but to leave your life. If you want help to practically walk out what I’ve talked about today, then you can head over to RestoredMama.com and check out the Ditch the Overwhelm course. It’s going to walk you through step-by-step on what we talked about today and it focuses on seeking God through it all. You will see that overwhelm, fear, and anxiety leave because it has to. It has no place left in your life when you are putting God at the center of it all.
Love you Mama!
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