Do you ever feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything you need to get done? Do you go to bed exhausted to get up the next day and do it all over again? Are you running on empty trying to juggle your kids, family, home, and work?

Imagine that you had a system that allowed you to figure out what tasks you need to complete each day (not just think you do), find more time and energy to complete them, and eliminate the overwhelm.

How much better would your life be? How much happier would you be? Would it make you a better mom and a better wife? Would you finally be able to find time for yourself, maybe fit in the massage you’ve been wanting, or even just a nap? 🙂

Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to lay out for you right here. I will give you a four-step system that will help you to do less of what you think you have to do, more of what you need to do, and more of what you want to do.

I learned this system from watching The Mom Conference in an interview with Jenny Layton of, and let me tell you right now… It works!

So, stick with me, and I’ll help you figure out how to get more done each day.

Your Time and Energy Bank Account

The first thing we need to talk about is your time and energy bank account.

Okay, I can hear you now…

“My what?”

Well, think of it this way – you only have so much time and energy to complete all the tasks you must do in a day (let’s call in your bank account).

And, for every task you complete, there’s a cost or a withdrawal from that account.

At the end of the day, you’ll have either used up your entire account, leaving you at a zero balance, spent too much and overdrawn, or saved a little.

The goal is to become more efficient in what you do so that you always keep a little reserve in your account.

Now that we’ve got that analogy in place let’s look at the 4 steps to get more done each day and avoid the overwhelmed.

Step #1 – Identify the Fires

Fires are tasks you can’t procrastinate on, ignore or put off until tomorrow. These are tasks that you absolutely must complete today.

These tasks have a deadline – maybe a project at work, helping your kiddo with homework, or fixing the flat tire on your car.

The problem with fires is that they are the most expensive tasks regarding your time and energy bank account. They throw you off your game. And, when you have to devote too much of that precious time and energy to them, you lose balance and set up a toxic productivity cycle.

That’s because when you spend all day putting out today’s fires, you have no time to get ahead for tomorrow, and then the cycle repeats itself. Tomorrow you’ll have a whole new set of fires to put out.

But what can you do to avoid that toxic cycle if fires are such important tasks that you can’t put them off?

The key is to slow down and look at what these tasks are. What you’ll find is that sometimes your mind plays tricks on you, and tasks that you think are fires aren’t.

Here are three questions to ask yourself to douse a fire:

1. Is this task someone else’s responsibility?

As a mom, you probably find yourself in the role of rescuer a lot! Your husband, kids, parents, and friends… all need you for something, and it’s easy to let someone else’s emergency become yours.

But, since you only have so much in your time and energy bank, if you put out someone else’s fire, you will have to say no to a responsibility that does belong to you.

And, yes, I know that it can be really hard to say no and take a step back when taking care of a task for someone you love. Just remember that when you do, you’re doing a favor for both of you.

For example, when you let your kids do their book reports independently, they learn responsibility and coping skills that will last a lifetime. And, as a bonus, you won’t resent that you missed out on your favorite show or stayed up 3 hours later and exhausted the next day just because your kiddo chose to put it off until the last minute.

Just say no once, and you’ll discover it can be a win-win for everyone.

2. Should this fire be part of a routine?

This question is used to figure out if there’s a way you can prevent this problem from becoming a fire again in the future.

For example, if you find yourself doing laundry at eleven o’clock at night because your daughter needs her shirt to wear to the chapel the next day, is there a way to set up a routine laundry day to avoid the need for last-minute panic?

You want to set up routines that keep these fires from building up and blowing up in the first place.

3. Does this need to be done now?

This question goes back to the idea that you may think something is a fire that isn’t.

To decide if the task must be done right now, consider the consequences of not doing it.

For example, if you think you have to run to the grocery store instead of going to bed because you’re out of milk, think about the consequence of not having the milk in the morning.

Will your kids not have anything to eat for breakfast, or will they have to eat something other than their favorite cereal? You may find that you’ve been putting out fires that weren’t burning.

Once you’ve asked yourself these three questions, you may find that you only have one or two fires to put out for the day rather than the six to seven you started with.

And when reclaim the time and energy you’ve been spending on these fires allows you to get more deliberate with what you have to do each day to make better decisions, become more efficient, and get more done.

Step #2 – Identify Your Regular Tasks

Now that you know your real fires, it’s time to list your regular tasks.

These are any tasks that must be done consistently for best results, predictable tasks like laundry, yardwork, bills, spending time with your kids, and cooking meals.

You’ll find these tasks make up about 75% of your workload because, as a mom, there are a lot of repeats.

These tasks aim to set up routines to take the stress out of them. Routines are the secret sauce for getting things done and being more productive.

I know that not everyone is a fan of routines – they can seem boring and mundane, but if you skip this step and don’t make your regular tasks a routine, they have the potential to flare up into fires.

But you must set up your routines correctly, or you will fail.

Check out this post to learn the four-step system to set up routines that work and help you crush your to-do list.

Step #3 – Identify Your Projects

The next step to getting more done and eliminating the overwhelm is to identify any non-routine tasks that require a series of steps and usually can’t be completed in one sitting – in other words, your projects.

These could be organizing your bills, re-decorating, re-doing your yard for changing seasons or planning for Christmas or a vacation.

When it comes to projects, there are two different groups of people who have a hard time with them. You might see yourself in one of these.

  • The first is those who can’t even start their projects because they’re too busy trying to keep up with normal life.
  • The second is the people who love projects and get them started but have difficulty finishing them. These people usually move from project to project, getting started but then fizzling.

If you’re one of the first groups that can’t figure out how to find the time to start, here’s what to do…

Since you’re good at doing the day-to-day, you must make your projects part of your regular life rather than seeing them as something you’ll do someday when you finally have the time.

Set up an appointment with yourself. It can be every day, three times a week, or a two-hour block once a week where you give yourself the gift of project time.

If, on the other hand, you’re one of those people that gets a project going and you’re so passionate about it and moving forward, but then life always seems to interfere, do this:

Don’t take too much time away from your project. When completing a large task like this, momentum is your friend.

So, instead of taking a couple of days away from your project to do laundry and clean the house, only take a couple of hours each day so you can continue to work on the project.

That way, when you return to the project, you haven’t found a passion for a new project.

And chunk your project up.

That sounds weird, but I mean not to pick too big of a project but instead split it into multiple, more manageable projects.

For example, don’t say, “I’m going to organize my entire house.”

Instead, set a goal of reorganizing your pantry and then reevaluate to see what area of your home needs to be worked on next.

Also, don’t avoid projects fearing the time and energy they take to complete.

The good thing about these big tasks is that when you complete them, the feeling of accomplishment you get replenishes your energy and nourishes your spirit, keeping your bank account balanced.

Step #4 – Identify Your Priorities

Now you’re going to set your priorities (tasks you can do today that will positively impact the future, restore personal balance, and bring you fulfillment).

Here’s the deal…

We all know that we’re supposed to have our priorities in order. But, more often than not, we allow ourselves to fall to the bottom of the list.

Do you see yourself in that? Always putting your kids, husband, and work first? Never having time to care for yourself and do what makes you happy?

It’s easy to do as a mom – but when you’re running on empty, you don’t have much to share with others. So, it’s time to refill your tank and your time and energy bank account by finding time for yourself.

Ask yourself this one question…

“If everything else just melted away, what would I want to spend my time on today?”

There’s no wrong answer, and it will be different for everyone.

You might want to go out with your friends for a girl’s night. Maybe you want to finish that scrapbook you’ve been working on. Or, maybe you want a nap.

Whatever your answer to the question was, it is now one of your priorities – no longer to be put off to take care of everyone else.

Remember, in 10 years, doing this one thing to make yourself a happier, more balanced person will change how your kids see you, your marriage, and your health for the better.

Okay, there you have it…

Those are the four steps to get more done daily, eliminate the shoulds and do more of the wants, and finally say goodbye to overwhelm.

Start implementing them today to make deposits into your time and energy bank account and find more time in your day.

Hope it helps you on your journey!

And, as always, I wish you a strong family, optimal health, and a smart income,

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