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How to Simplify Your Life When Every Day Feels Like Triage

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Do you ever feel like life is happening to you rather than for you? Like you have no control over anything because one mess leads to another and another, and by the time you drag your weary bones into bed at night, you’re wrung out but still feeling like you got nothing accomplished? And you know you need to simplify your life, but you don’t even have the time to figure out where to start.

That’s survival mode, mama – when there’s no plan for the future, everything on your plate is urgent, and the stress is so high that there’s no joy to be found. 

And you deserve so much more than barely making it through your motherhood. 

I know what it feels like to be drowning in your life. When every day leaves you empty because you’re so overwhelmed that the people you love take a backseat to the mundane reality of everyday life. 

But your life isn’t supposed to be empty. It’s supposed to be abundant. Full.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

john 10:10

Don’t let this beautiful season be stolen from you, sweet friend. Instead, step into all the wonderful blessings that overflow out of the fullness of His love and grace for us.  

Now, I know you might be thinking: that all sounds well and good, and embracing that hope is the life raft I need in this season, but how do I make the time to simplify my life when I’m already stretched so thin?

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

Do you know what triage is? 

Contrary to popular belief, triage is not just the nurse who checks your vitals and registers you into the ER. 

When there’s a natural disaster and the roads become blocked, the power goes out, and so many people get injured that there aren’t enough hospitals to hold them, paramedics head out into the field to do triage. They bind up and treat minor ailments the best they can while assigning a level of urgency to more severe wounds. This helps first responders know who needs immediate attention and who can wait. 

It’s like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound. But sometimes that’s all you’ve got until more help arrives, so you take what you can get.

When you’re in survival mode, everyday feels like triage. 

You know there are bigger steps you need to take, but you don’t have the time or tools needed to do the job. What you need is a little room to breathe, so you can catch your breath, make a plan, and begin to dig yourself out of the mess.

But where do you start when you’re so far behind that everything feels like a priority? 

Let’s lean into this idea of triage and start with taking the smallest possible steps that will make the biggest amount of difference. 

1. Automate Your Life

Automation is the hands-down best way to work smarter, not harder when you’re trying to simplify your life. Think of it like speed dial. When you save a number in your phone you do a little bit of work up front to create a new contact, but from then on, all you have to do is press their name and voila – you’ve saved both time and brain space. 

Outsourcing tasks and using online shopping methods for things like groceries, clothes shopping, trips to Target, etc. will save you both time (by eliminating travel and in-store time) and money (by eliminating impulse purchases). And you can find each of these services at reasonable prices (many are even free). 

2. Create Rhythms and Routines 

Creating rhythms and routines for the things you do every day is really another way of automating, because you are putting the things you do all the time on autopilot. And creating rhythms that batch similar tasks together helps to create habits, so you can eliminate both decision fatigue and the last minute rush created by forgetting something essential. 

Having rhythms in place helps to ease that feeling that there aren’t enough hours in the day. It allows you to go to bed knowing that at least the crucial bases were covered. This creates room to breathe, so when real issues arise, you aren’t bogged down by the stress of the mundane. And it allows you to set aside intentional time with the ones you love, instead of trying to squeeze them in between putting out one fire and the next. 

Foundational Routines

There are two foundational routines that are essential when you’re trying to simplify your life and get the mess under control: dishes and laundry.

No matter what goes on each and every day, you can count on the fact that there will be both dishes and laundry to do when the day is done. Because these tasks are never-ending, you have to find a way to keep up with them. 

The first step is to purge the unnecessary clothes and dishes. Keeping things minimal means less to clean up.

The second step is creating a routine that is realistic and sustainable for you.

For dishes that means unloading the dishwasher before bed or first thing in the morning, so you can keep the sink empty throughout the day.

For laundry it might be a load a day to keep the laundry mountain away, or a power session once a week with Netflix so you can fold everything at once.  

If you’re ready to get these areas under control, I go into detail with how to create sustainable laundry and dishes routines in my five day Out of Overwhelm Challenge for Moms.

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

3. Prioritize Self-Care

When I first learned that prioritizing self-care was the key to leaving overwhelm behind and creating a more purposeful life, I could have laughed out loud. I couldn’t go to the bathroom by myself much less find time to restore my weary soul. But oh, how I wish I’d listened.

I wasted so much time trying to hold everything together by sheer force of will before I figured out that the strength I needed could only come from a rested and restored mind, body, and spirit. 

Self-care is the single most effective way to begin taking back control of your life and time. Because you can’t give your best effort when you’re running on empty. If you want to pour out life and love, you first have to fill your well with it. 

Start small. Set a timer for half an hour after lunch and enforce a quiet time where you read or catch up on Call the Midwife. Get up 30 minutes earlier and meet with God before the day gets out of control. When you surrender your doubts and fears to Him in the morning, He can sustain you throughout the day like nothing else will. Take a candlelit bath after you put everyone to bed so you can unwind from the stress of the day. 

I know that carving out time in the messy middle of motherhood is a chore, but setting boundaries helps with that. Hear me on this, mama – it’s okay to lock the bathroom door! Your children will not self-destruct while you pee.

If you want more practical ways to make time in your mom life, this article: The 5 Best Time Management Tips For Busy Moms will help!

4. Clear The Clutter

Clutter creates stress. Does that resonate with you? Can you feel the mess making a mess out of you? If so, it’s time to let it go.

I know that sounds a lot easier said than done, but one of the best things about minimalism is that it’s not all or nothing. Even small steps toward clearing your home of clutter will help you find pockets of freedom. And I believe the best place to start is by clearing your surfaces.

When you clear the visual clutter on your counters, dressers, TV stand, etc., you’ll get the instant gratification that comes with being able to actually see your progress. Yes, clearing out the toys, dishes, and laundry will help you create the most time, but when you’re overwhelmed you need a quick win, and clearing your surfaces gets you the biggest results with the least amount of effort. Triage, remember!

Here is a post that walks you through decluttering your surfaces in detail:

Breathe Life Into Your Home By Decluttering The Surfaces

The Simplification Snowball

One of the most beautiful things about minimalism is that it has a snowball effect. Small changes add up over time, and you’ll find that as you create more margin in your days, you’ll want to become even more intentional about what takes up your space and time. 

Before you know it, simplicity will have seeped into every aspect of your head, heart, and home. And you’ll finally understand that minimalism isn’t really about your things at all. 

It’s about living simply so you can simply live. It’s learning how to stop managing life and start living it. And it’s freedom from all the distractions keeping you from the purposeful life you were created to live.

There are always going to be seasons when life is more chaotic and survival mode becomes necessary. Minimalism won’t solve all your problems. But it will give you the space you need to tackle the bigger issues keeping you stuck, and the tools you need to dig out next time overwhelm starts to press in around you. 

If you do nothing more than these four steps, you’ll be well along the path to simplify your life. It’s not a race or a competition. Do what you can when you can. Because small changes add up to big results. 

When we know better, we do better, and these tools will empower you as you leave survival mode behind for good!

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

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