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Tips on "lightening your load" so you can better manage your day.

How does one lighten their load when they work a full-time job, have kids, a partner, care for an aging loved one, and maybe even a pet? 

Logically, we know that the idea of working non-stop and trying to give your all to everyone in your life is just not sustainable. However, you probably feel like setting priorities between all of your loved ones may also seem impossible. "How do I chose to help one loved one over the other?" 

A tip for managing juggling your tasks is, ask your self "what things on my to-do list can wait (or be adjusted) and which have to get done as planned?" In other words, categorize your tasks into "nice to have" and "must-have." 

Here are the steps: 

  • Create a list of all you have to do. 
  • Then add two columns next to the task and write in:
    • "must do or have" 
    • "would be nice to do or have." 
  • Go down your list and check the appropriate box. 
  • Add one more column for "What needs to be adjusted."

It could look something like this:

Our examples may not fit your lifestyle, but the idea is there. If your day is comprised of things like pressure from work, a busy school schedule for the kids, taking care of an aging loved one, and doing regular household chores. That is too much for anyone to do in a day. Also, it doesn't leave anytime for you to take care of yourself. Remember, self-care is actually the least selfish thing you can do. If you feel well, those you care for benefit.

In our example, we shifted some tasks to the nice to have column. Home-cooked meals are the goal, but on a busy day where you are stretched to the maximum, getting take out is sensible, not lazy. Most places offer salad and plain options for those on a restrive diet. By moving cleaning tasks to the weekend, you have more time after work. If your kids are old enough, perhaps they can pitch in. Then, scheduling a set time for all of your children to do their homework provides you with time to do yoga, read or sit and have an herbal tea. You need to decompress; why not do it while multitasking?! The homework is done, and you got a little me-time—a win/win.

Click here to download a blank copy of our example worksheet. 

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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

The BayPath Family Caregiver Support Program and CaregivingMetroWest.org has been made possible by funding from the Older Americans Act as granted by Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Participants may make a voluntary donation toward the cost of this federally funded service. Click here for more information.

CaregivingMetroWest.org was originally made possible, in part, by generous grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation. Additional funding support was graciously donated by Avidia Bank from 2018 – 2021.

Thank you, MetroWest Health Foundation and Avidia Bank, for enabling BayPath Elder Services to provide support and resources to family caregivers.