Sanity Saving Tip: Create Two ‘To-Do’ Lists


Have you ever had the scenario when you sat down to write an email that in your life-before-children would have taken less than five minutes, but with children at home takes at least half an hour with five interruptions – and ends up with you frustrated and stressed out?

Brain science shows that when we get interrupted from a task, it takes time to get back on track. This is why when our focus is interrupted from a task, it takes much longer to get that small thing completed, and when it happens again and again, we can feel the stress escalating.

I was meeting with a client a couple of weeks ago,  and I shared a strategy that helps me to keep a *little* bit of my sanity when I’m at home with my children. I create two to-do lists titled ‘With Kids’ and ‘Without Kids’. I have them stuck up near my desk so that I can remind myself of the tasks that are better done when kids are in bed, at school or being taken care of by someone other than me! This is because I am much more efficient at some tasks when I get a chance to do them without interruption.

Two to do lists

An example of the things on my list:


  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Craft
  • Decluttering
  • Reading
  • Planning
  • Laundry


  • Study/online learning
  • Sewing
  • Project work
  • Business planning
  • Writing

It’s a simple tool, but doing this has helped me to keep my expectations a bit more realistic. And it means that I’m more likely to be there for my children when they need my attention, because I won’t be getting frustrated as I try to ‘get things done’.

I hope that this tip helps you as you navigate your days!

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.


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