Exhausted without sleeping for anything more than 4 hours a day, physically and mentally I must admit I wasn’t ready to go through 7 months of sleepless nights. Oh, I don’t have a problem sleeping, if that is what you are thinking. Give me a room with soft pillows and queen sized bed, I’ll knock out as soon as you leave the room. My problem is the nightly feeds that I am fully in charge of. My little one feeds every 3 hours, hence the minute my body relaxes into the deep sleep, I am woken up by her hunger cries again.
Stubborn as I was, I’m still going on a full charge in accepting projects from my clients and handling housework on my own. At some point, I begin to lose focus. I went into the supermarket one day and totally forgotten what I need to buy. I nearly missed a client’s deadline because I thought it was a Wednesday instead of a Thursday. I was angry whenever my little diva kicks up a fuss, refusing to take her nap, meaning that I will not have time for myself that afternoon. I couldn’t write anything more than a sentence or two for MiddleMe. All I wanted was a break and a good night rest.
That one night when I was rushing an assignment for one of my clients and my family was nagging at me to go to bed was the final straw that made me realize that I had totally lost my priorities. Myself and my family.
So to straighten myself quickly. I made an action plan and stick to it.
I asked my husband to take over the nightly feeds at midnight so I can have uninterrupted 5 hours of sleep from 10pm (the time I go to bed) to 3am (her next feed).
Next up, I reduce the number of assignments I have been taking, being very selective of the nature of the assignments and the length of time it takes to complete them. I negotiate for a longer deadline for all my assignments to cater in for days I couldn’t write because I need to care for her. I also set up a diary to keep myself abreast with all the different clients, their preferences, assignments and deadlines for easier tracking.
I planned all my articles in advance, making sure I have backup articles if I can’t write that day. I started drafting out my ideas on the go and fill in the body later when I have time to sit down. Same thing, I set up an iCal specifically for MiddleMe so I can keep track of the articles I scheduled.
I divided my time each day to complete a major housework over a week. My husband helped over the weekends as well. It is so much fun when you don’t have to do housework all by yourself, and much faster too. Instead of buying groceries at a day in a week, I spread out my shopping into 3 days a week. Yes, I may have used more time/ days to go and get my groceries done but I spend lesser time each visit and both me and little diva are in a much better mood after shopping. On the plus side, she naps longer when we are home.
No more sugary high. I forsake my Coca Cola (Sob!) and watched what I put into my body. Sugar high means sugar crash. Sugar itself isn’t good and combined with exhaustion, it’s a recipe for trouble. Limited intake of carbs, more fibre and more water. I need to watch my health. Given that the only solution to allow me to go back to my regular sleep to 8 hours daily, is to hire a nanny. It is very easy for one to fall sick when your rest is not adequate. But that doesn’t mean I’m torturing myself. I do sneak a couple of cookies every now and then. 🙂
My Little One
So instead of getting angry everytime she doesn’t want to nap, I switch her nap time to a physical activity that I know will tire her out. Whether it is strolling at the park, shopping for groceries or even joining her on the playmat with her toys, we’ll both enjoy ourselves and usually ended up, both of us taking a nap together!
When you lose focus, don’t despair and don’t procrastinate. Do up an action plan, remove the elements that are obstructing your focus view and slowly but steadily introduce the changes into your life. I just break down my own element list to show you how I manage to change it so that I have more time and able to refocus on my priorities. If you think you have lost focus, try my method and let me know if it works for you!
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