I love fresh inspiration for old stale problems! Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management from the Inside Out offers up the 4D's as a way to handle overwhelm. I love it as parenting tool. Let's review!
Diminish - "Yes, and a wee bit smaller, please."
Time Management Hosting a dinner party? Diminish the overwhelm by getting part of the food pre-prepared, Diminish the overwhelm by NOT using your fancy china, and still use the fancy wine glasses. Think, "How can I get the essence of a fancy party without going crazy."
Diminish: Parenting - Devices, Hello?! Screens are here to stay. Can we diminish the impact having house rules on bedtime and wakeup time? Diminish by allowing screens in only the public part of the house. Diminish by having one "Device Free" day a week. Diminish by turning off the router at a certain time each evening.
Delete - "No thank you."
Time Management - Just don't do it. Say "no" to the holiday card if you don't love it. Say no to The cookie exchange if it doesn't bring you joy. Say no to the holiday traveling if it brings only stress.
Parenting - Fighting about shorts in winter, either delete shorts (take them out of their room) or delete the fight (you decide not to care about it). Trouble cleaning the playroom - DELETE 80% of crap/stuff in there. Yes, 80%, you will thank me!
Delay - "Yes, and later."
Time Management - Need to clean out the garage? YES! And we don't have time for that during the holiday season. Note your calendar, hire and organizer and schedule for a couple days in March.
Parenting - Child asks if they can go to an edgy concert. A fabulous phrase I learned from PEP, "If you need an answer now, it's no. If you can wait until tonight (or until I talk to your Dad, or until you bring me more information), the answer is maybe."
Delegate - "Yes, and not me."
Time Management - Vacuuming the house before our holiday party goes to our tween. We know we can do it better, AND we are grateful for the mediocre effort the tween does. Delegating means we appreciate help and we act like we appreciate the help.
Parenting - Sometimes we all need a little help. We can't really delegate parenting, and we can take breaks to re-energize. Hand off to a spouse (without a spreadsheet of instructions on how to do it OUR way). Hand off to a reliable teen, an hour to yourself in your house alone while children are outside at the park can do wonders for you, your child and that teen!
In a time management or parenting pickle, think the 4D's!