How to cope with a heavy workload: a guide for working mums

In my previous post I talked about mums who have it all. Clearly, the “all” doesn’t come easy so an ambitious mum probably finds herself in a busy job, just like mine. Mine is busy, borderline overwhelming, and I love it. I can cope because I have developed my own way of dealing with the demands of my role. Here is my guide:

  • Come to work early to get some work done before everyone comes in and starts chatting. Or stay in late.
  • Get up early to “pre-work” and go through your unread emails.
  • If someone is talking about a task or a process that does not affect you and that you don’t need to know about, don’t listen. If you do, your brain will get overloaded. Cover your ears and sing “lalalala”.
  • Find some time to relax each evening. Have some wine.
  • When you think you can’t cope with your workload, ask yourself: “Am I or anyone else going to die if I don’t complete this on time?” (If the answer is yes, you better have it done. Chop chop!)

  • Have some wine.
  • Instruct your kids to do chores so you have more time. I trained my 19 months old to do practically everything from loading and unloading the washing machine, to dusting and tidying up his toys. I mean they came out of your inside, so you have every right to make them work for you for the rest of your life.
  • Ditch the husband if he’s not being supportive.
  • Have wine.
  • Maintain a structured to-do list with clear priorities. Don’t use paper as you will loose track. (I personally love my One Note that is auto-saved and backed up on our company’s cloud.)
  • Walk into every meeting with a question “Do you really need me here?” If not, pack up and leave.
  • Have wine.
  • Work from home because it saves you a great amount of time you would otherwise spend travelling to/from work.
  • Have wine.
  • Love your job and your team. If you don’t, you are doomed.
  • Have more wine.

And that’s pretty much it. Finally, I would like to add that mums are excellent workers in general because they have high tolerance for chaos, are used to living on the edge and always adapt to everchanging priorities (“Mum, I know I asked for one and half egg omelette with heart-shaped ham and two cherry tomatoes of exactly the same size, but I just changed my mind and need a Mickey Mouse shaped fresh cream cake with rainbow sprinkles for my dinner.”)

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