Why Can’t I Get Anything Done?

First of all, I want to bust this myth that you’re not getting anything done. I’m sure you are doing plenty: feeding people, cleaning up after them, offering comfort and figuring out how to cope with this season of life. But I also understand the feeling that you are not getting anything done.

One of the struggles I have had as a mum is to figure out how to organise my time. The major issue is that I’ve often been a bit ambitious with how much I can actually fit into my day: I USED to be efficient and could get stuff done quickly, but now with little people making messes and demands and needing extra cuddles, time seems to get gobbled up in urgent interruptions and painfully slow mealtimes while my mind races to all the things that are left undone.

How about you? Are you dealing with your current reality or are you still struggling to come to terms with the new demands on your time?

If you have over-inflated ideas of how much time you have available, or you constantly feel like you are behind in just about everything, today’s post has a few tips and tools for you to try.

Why Can't I Get Anything Done-

  • Take a deep breath and realise that this season won’t last forever: Whatever season you are in, whether you are feeding a baby multiple times a day, or pregnant and exhausted, or dealing with a mix of babies and toddlers, this season is going to change quite quickly, even though it feels like it is dragging on forever right now. Think of how much a baby changes in their first year of life: you are going to need to keep changing and adjusting your expectations along the way as well!
  • Stocktake your schedule: Write down your commitments and the ways you spend your time in this current season. Fill out a daily or weekly planner with all the activities that you do with your children: free time, nap times, your work hours, regular appointments or playdates, etc, plus household tasks that take time, like meal preparation, laundry and grocery shopping. This overview enables you to examine how much time you really DO have. You might get a surprise about how full your week really is! (You can get access to a free planner by joining the resource library)
  • Finish what you start: One of the reasons I feel overwhelmed is when there are just so many jobs on my list that I am not getting to. Often I start something, and then get distracted by something else, and then forget to finish the first thing off. One trick that really helps is to see something through to the end: if you put the dry clothes into a basket, fold them and put them away so that the job is done, and you don’t have to think about it any more.  Choose one task and start practising finishing it off. Feel how great it is to cross something off your list.
  • Plan the big projects: When you’ve done your weekly schedule, you can see if there are actually specific gaps where you can make time to pursue some of the hobbies and recreation activities that you would like to do. You might decide to catch up with girlfriends one evening a week, or find half an hour to pull out that book you want to read. Or you might see that the morning you go to playgroup is not the best time to do your grocery shopping, so you change that errand to another day. Using your daily and weekly schedule, you might find ways to streamline your errands and tasks, or gaps where you can improve the way you use your time (I’m looking at you, Candy Crush!).
  • Give yourself a break: As mums of young children, we struggle some days to get ten minutes of ‘space’ where we can think/plan/reflect/rest. I love using my kitchen timer to have ‘reading time’ where the children sit (on a mat, on their bed, on a beanbag or on the couch) and have their reading time, so I can have just a bit of space to read or journal or rewrite my to-do list! Of course, this quiet reading time can be followed up by sharing a story together, but remember that getting into this habit will require practice and a bit of encouragement to stay in the reading spot until the timer goes off.
  • Don’t do it alone: One of the biggest things woman struggle with is asking for help, but there is no reason we have to do everything. Think about how you can ask for help with something today – maybe it’s asking someone to look after a baby while you get something done, or maybe you need assistance with cooking or shopping or cleaning. Lighten the load by sharing it!

Getting everything done will always be a challenge, because we tend to fill our lives up with possibilities, and there will always be more to do.  Learning to balance new routines as we care for our families takes a lot of adjustment. So, give yourself a pat on the back for what you have achieved today, because you are awesome!

How are you going with ‘balance’ and getting things done? Comment below and share your tips!

Would you like a template for a daily and weekly schedule? Sign up to the FREE Coaching Mum Resource Library to get a copy! (And access to a whole heap of other cool tools and worksheets!)

About The Author


Tanya lives in Canberra with her husband and two sons. She is passionate about helping women to live fulfilled, purposeful lives. She enjoys reading, cooking, craft and creating memorable moments for her family.


  • Lauren

    Reply Reply 05/09/2016

    This sums me up right now… Wanting to get done so much more than I have time for right now, and feeling down when I don’t get things done! But when I look at my week and how much time I spend feeding babies, ourselves and just the day-to-day tasks.. I can see why there isn’t much leftover time!! My mantra for today.. It’s just a season!!

    • Tanya

      Reply Reply 05/09/2016

      You’re right! The season you are in has lots of ‘must-do’s and you are in fact doing a great deal! Even resting is a ‘must do’ for a new mum! So take it easy with your expectations of yourself, and live fully in this current season! x

  • Sally-ann

    Reply Reply 12/04/2017

    So life with a 17 month old, being pregnant and working still is simply exhausting. This week I have worked every day and I am looking at the kitchen full of dishes, the ever increasing pile of dirty washing, the dinner I need to cook and the other jobs that need doing and wonder where to even begin.

  • YES!! My gosh, I’m so glad that I found you! I can relate to this very well. It’s only been quite recently that I’ve realised it’s not that I’m disorganised and unproductive/lazy – I’m just doing A LOT! Since i realised that I’ve been much kinder to myself and it feels good.

    • Tanya

      Reply Reply 03/05/2017

      That makes so much sense! Being kind to yourself is going to help you be more productive in the long run! All the best!

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