The bottom line of juggling like a crazy lady
As a working mum, have you ever consciously acknowledged how much juggling you do every day? When life seems like a mad scramble. And your calendar resembles a full blown military operation (especially one under the name “Summer”). Probably heck of a lot.
“Good job someone’s good at it” – you reassure yourself. Although feeling dog tired and worn out, there doesn’t seem to be another option, right? So, tending to your own needs may long have become a casualty of putting others first, whether it’s eating sensibly, exercising, relaxing or regularly catching up with girlfriends,“There isn’t time for that!”.
But here is the thing:
For all our belief in multitasking powers, neuroscience studies have proven that the human brain, female or male alike, isn’t capable of doing well more than one thing at a time. Well yes, we can walk & talk or eat & watch TV. As these’re the innate, habitual actions we do without a second thought. But when it comes to planning, thinking through, or decision making our brain does task switching instead.
Working in this mode is very taxing for the brain, with far-reaching implications.
Keep reading for the true costs of chronic multitasking and tick off those you’re bearing right now. Do you often feel: lazy and lethargic, uninspired, forgetful, easily distracted, poor at completing things, fixing attention on negative thoughts, disorganised, overly emotional? On top of mental fatigue your:
~ Productivity plummets.
It more than doubles the amount of time it takes to complete tasks.
~ Mistakes are inevitable.
Whilst your brain is switching between tasks, the number of errors you make goes up. Try it out with a test at the end of the post.
~ Confidence and self-esteem take a nose-dive.
You start doubting your abilities and becoming uncertain about yourself. A perfect scenario for anxiety to take root. You’re literally turning into another person.
~ Stress level builds up.
You’re operating at simmering point, capable of erupting without warning. Your whole body undergoes a biochemical sea of change responding to a raised level of stress hormones.
~ Healthy choices?
What healthy choices? They’re simply forgotten. When under stress, our thinking brain takes a back sit and you fail to remember your morning or Xmas health resolutions.
So, the bottom line is this:
To continue nurturing your family, taking care of yourself is necessary. And yes, there are ways to do it without running on empty or turning into a stranger to yourself. Try instead:
1. Doing one thinking (cognitive) task at a time
When working on a project, making a shopping list, planning child-care or a family holiday, concentrating solely on the job in hand would help you completing it faster and more accurately.
Let go of hoping your other half, or anybody else possesses mind-reading abilities: ask for help. Don’t forget that children are growing up and can benefit from having their own manageable responsibilities. Reasoning with your inner perfectionist can kick-start the change.
3. Doing things just for yourself
Simple things like a walk with a friend, hot stone massage or a local dance class can do wonders to your mood and boost brain resilience to life’s eventualities.
4. Thinking about how you’re thinking
How you talk to yourself can either help you or hurt you. Is it a relentless inner worrier and critic you’re listening to? When you don’t like yourself, everything suffers and depression and anxiety often develop. Become aware of your mental talk and contemplate if it’s helpful or harmful.
5. Being kind to yourself
Becoming friends with yourself and your mind is a sure path to an authentic, happy life. Foster your inner sanctuary where you can withdraw to from time to time to restore your powers. At the end of the day, you’re doing your best.
Over to you
Work-life balance for working mums means that we’ve got two endless “to do” lists. All of us can get frazzled by trying to complete them. So if you’ve felt that way, which one of these ideas most resonates with you? Or, if you have another way to shake yourself out of the ‘juggling like a crazy lady’ mentality, I would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment below.
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