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On dropping the ball… and picking it back up again

Categories: Career, Making Time, The Juggle

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There are times when you’re juggling work and parenthood and housework and home work and you drop the ball. Or a few balls, or– as happened with me last week–pretty much all the balls.

Usually, I know that if work is taking up a lot of my time on any given day, I can tilt the scales in the other direction and pick up the parental slack. But other times, the dropped balls seem so… numerous. And I feel so… singular. And I need more motivation in order to start juggling it all again.

Here’s what I do:

1.) Change my “to do” list into a “have done” list. Sometimes, focusing on what you’ve already accomplished that day makes the stuff you have left to do seem less intimidating.

2.) Acknowledge the fact that you can’t do it all every day. I don’t only mean acknowledge this to yourself, but to your support system. I touched base with my dearest friend (who is also a breadwinning mom), and confessed that I had too much on my plate. And she immediately offered to help. And—and this is the hard part for me—I accepted the help.

3.) Take a deep breath and draw the circle. Someone once told me that the best way to draw a circle is to start by drawing a circle. Sometimes, the only way to get it everything done is to start at one end and keep going. Break a task down into baby steps and take one step at a time, and then another. Next thing you know, you’ll be adding another item to that wonderful “have done” list.

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