Recently I have started having issues with getting things done. My initial "I'm going to clean the WHOLE house!" enthusiasm is beginning to fade, turning some projects from "want tos" into "have tos". We have been very busy recently, so certain everyday chores have been shelved long enough to the point that they are now deep cleaning moments instead of a quick scrub, and I am not looking forward to getting them done. On top of the normal "it's STILL winter??" funk that one needs to overcome almost daily, I find myself in my 3rd trimester with an almost 11 month old daughter who finally figured out she can attempt vertical movement as well as horizontal.
Most days I actually don't do that bad. I really can't complain about my pregnancy since I usually forget I'm even pregnant most of the time, and I'm really not going to complain about my daughter who is still a fantastic kid no matter what stage she seems to come into. But somedays I find myself in the troubling position of having no energy to move and lacking the option to stay where I am for the rest of the day.
Just last week I was faced with multiple tasks that simply could not wait (doing the laundry to finish packing for the weekend, finishing packing for the weekend, getting the house ready to have my brother-in-law visit my husband while my daughter and I were away, completing the invitations to my daughters birthday party I was planning on hand delivering to some relatives that weekend, and doing some basic around the house straightening and cleaning that can get out of control fast if I don't stay on top of it). But after putting my daughter down for a nap, I just could not find the will to do ANY of it. In the end, this was my solution to this particular reoccuring problem:
1) Take a breather. If you are tired, then you are simply tired and need to rest. But make sure that it is within a time frame that you can spare. I gave myself 15 minutes to have a small snack and just sit and read. You could do the same or take a nap or go and sit out in your car and listen to some music if you are stuck at work. Trying to tackle tasks when you are overwhelmed and tired will make for poor results.
2) Break things down and take them one at a time. Even after my 15 minute break, I still did not want to move from where I was. I thought of all the things I still had to do that day and just wanted to hide under the couch where my chores could not find me (although I doubt I could have ever fit under the couch before, much less at this stage of pregnancy). Finally I took a piece of paper and made a list of everything that had to be done and then broke them all down so far that I literally could not do anything without getting to cross something off the list. The first two items on my list (and I kid you not) were: MAKE LIST and STAND UP. After about 5 items in, I started getting more energy and was able to just keep going though the list even though things got a little more difficult than my first few simple steps.
3) Prioritize. It turns out that I simply could not do everything that I wanted to do with the time that I had given myself to do it. I began to cut corners in places where I knew it really wouldn't effect much. I kept the packing and basic cleaning all in, but only did the laundry that we needed for the weekend and reminded myself that it was my 18 year old brother-in-law coming to visit while I was away and he would probably be fine with any level of clean house so long as the bathrooms were ready and he had a nice place to sleep. I also only worked on completing the invitations I was going to be handing out that weekend and left the mailed out ones to be finished when I returned.
By the end of the day, I had overcome the wall I hit earlier and had scraped together enough energy to complete the most important things I had to get done. I was able to go to bed (finally!) satisfied in the knowledge that I had done enough to leave the next morning with a clean enough house, just the right amount of clean clothes, and just the right amount of invitations. The three steps of sanity (as I've just decided to call them) are often a lifesaver in times when it seems what I have to do is bigger than what I have left in me to do it.