4 ways to reduce your mental load
Do you know that feeling when you have so many to-do-things in your head that you just cannot stop thinking about them? At outside-of-home work, we call this project management. It is paid. At home, it is mostly invisible because it happens in your head. You are still the responsible project manager, even though you are unpaid ;-). Doesn't get us anywhere to complain about it, so let's see how we can deal with that. Sometimes we need complaining though and that is totally fine :-)
4 practical tips:
1. Make the mental load visible. Remember that I told you about this family calendar the other day? This would be one possibility. Can you think of others? How could you make the mental load more visible? Maybe make a list of all tasks and share it?
2. What if there is anyone who you can shift some of the tasks to? How much is your partner involved? Are there other people around you who can help and support? Which tasks can you split? Would it be possible to divide up some sectors? eg. I am responsible for the bills, you are responsible for school stuff? This is what I do: Everyone makes a list with all the tasks he/she is doing. Then cluster the tasks and then try to divide up the clusters.
3. Imagine if the house was not perfectly cleaned. Imagine if you made it a fun family activity on the weekend. Would that change anything?
4. Prioritize and focus. One step/thing at a time. Do you write down your tasks? Do you have weekly lists? Daily lists? For me personally, writing the to-do-things down and making lists helps to get them out of my mind. Example: I take an hour to do all the administrative tasks that I need to do (private and work). After a short break, I take an hour to work on my online program and after another break, I start writing a proposal for 1 client etc. etc. I don't do daily lists because this is too stressful for me when eg. one of my kids is home sick. Unfinished tasks I put on the list again. This makes it easier for me to stay in the present and be focused.
Maybe that will help you as well, let me know how it works!