I love to read time management books. I devoured my first one as a college student. Later, as a young mom, I bought everyone I could get my hands on. Now, I actually write them. The most important time management tip I've discovered?
You must strike a balance between working with your brain (while your body is mostly idle) and working with your hands (doing something mostly mindless).
Here is what I mean:
If you are someone who must work most of the day with your brain generating content, solving problems, balancing equations or entering data, usually while you are busy brain-wise, you are sitting still on your fanny. After a few hours, while your mind may be tired, your body has been idle and may need to stretch a bit.
On the contrary, if you are busy moving about with your body--on your feet and on the move--but are doing a rather repetitive and mundane task, you may need to stop moving, sit still and let the creative cerebral juices flow.
This rule of thumb isn't just for the office. In the mom life, it is also helpful to switch things up a bit in our productivity.
Have you been busy working with your brain, paying bills and then helping junior with his homework for the past two hours while you sat at the kitchen table? Time to pop in a movie or tune into a favorite television show and mindlessly watch while you fold laundry cross-legged on the living room floor working with your hands.
Or, perhaps you have been weeding the garden and cleaning the garage all afternoon using your body but not really your brain. Maybe a break to swing in a hammock, pen and notepad in hand, while you plan out your menu for the week would be just the ticket. It would rest your body but engage your mind.
By switching gears and striking the balance between brain work and body work you can avoid burnout, increase productivity and save your sanity too!
Blessings, Karen Ehman
....................... This post is part of the Finding Balance series.