Why You Can’t Get Anything Done

And What to Do About It

There are days (and sometimes weeks) where we feel like we can’t get anything done.  We jump from project to project and react to never ending requests for our help, but aren’t able to ever feel like the things that need to get done are actually getting done.  Leaving us feeling frustrated and stressed.

As busy parents the reasons for this are varied, but here are five reasons why you may be struggling with getting anything done and what to do about it.

You’re Procrastinating

We all do it.  We put things off to avoid pain or something unpleasant.  I put off cleaning out our basement for YEARS because I didn’t want to deal with decisions about what to keep and what to toss and the spiders I was convinced were everywhere.  Procrastinating doesn’t mean you are a failure.  It just means you are human.  Here are some good tips to deal with procrastinating if you think this is what is preventing you from getting things done.

You’re Unfocused

When you don’t start your day with a clear intention of what you need to accomplish you will spend your day jumping from task to task and end up with a bunch of half completed projects.  This will leave you feeling frazzled and frustrated because you didn’t get that feeling of satisfaction that comes with completing a project or task.

To help you stay focused, block off time on your calendar to work on specific projects and get into the habit of identifying your most important tasks for each day BEFORE the day begins.  This will help center you before you begin each day and help keep you focused on what you need to get done.

You’re Distracted

Let’s face it, Kids=Distraction.  But even with kids underfoot it is still possible to find some pockets of interrupted time to get things done without them around.  To make the most of your undistracted time, make sure you have planned out what you need to accomplish and have everything ready to go so that when you have those moments of undistracted time you can get right to work.

And then there are other non-kid related distractions like TV, social media, and internet surfing.  These distractions can be a little trickier to deal with because there isn’t anyone to blame other than ourselves if we fall victim.  “I’ll just check Facebook real quick” can turn into 30 minutes of wasted time very quickly.  You can use tools like Freedom.to to block access to social media and other distractions on your devices.  Or try setting up rules like no social media/TV/internet until after you get your most important tasks done.

You Don’t Have the Energy

Your body and mind need energy to operate at their best.  If you don’t have the physical or mental energy to complete projects and tasks, you either won’t get anything done or you will fizzle out before completing them.  Here are a couple of suggestions to help you with low energy:

  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night
  • Put the right high energy foods into your body
  • Get exercise
  • Do your hardest work during your best times of the day

You’re Not Giving Yourself Enough Credit

Juggling the demands of life and needs of your family is hard.  And the reality is you are getting a lot done each and every day just by showing up and being a good parent.  Parenting isn’t something we write on our do list.  It is something we just do.  So give yourself credit for all the things you did during the day that never made it to your list.  Use a journal or notebook to write them down no matter how small you think they may be.  They may have been really big to someone else.

Being aware of the reasons you are struggling to get things done is the first step.  The second step is to actually take steps to overcome the obstacles.  Start small and just practice everyday being more intentional about what you are trying to accomplish.

Good luck!