Why do we think we have to multitask all of the time?

Businesswoman Juggling ResponsibilitiesRecently I was at home on a call with my business coach. I was completely focused on our conversation when I just happened to notice that my dog’s shed hair had decided to congregate under my kitchen table.  So, not wanting to waste time, I decided that I could clean the kitchen floor and have a thought-provoking conversation on the phone.

Why do we think we have to multitask all of the time? 

There has never been a time such as this in history. Women make up almost 50% of our work force and own 30% of small businesses.  Yet we are still more likely to take on the majority of the childcare and home responsibilities. 

We’re moms, wives, business women, business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and students. We’re taking care of our children and our parents.  We’re helping our community. We’re active in our church. We could drop dead from multi-tasking… but we’re making a difference!  At least that’s what we believe.

Here are some suggestions to help stressed out, overwhelmed women have some peace of mind (isn’t that what we all want?):

  • Reevaluate your busy schedule.  Prioritize it and let things go undone (yes, I know this is hard).  Put the big rocks in the bowl first.  What are you willing to give up?  That’s also a great question to ask each person in your family.
  • Ask for help. Be specific if you have to.  If others don’t know every little thing you do, they won’t know how they can help.
  • Communicate often – clearly and directly.  Don’t wait until resentment builds up and frustration becomes overwhelming.  This is when you can become irritable and even rude to the ones you love.
  • Deal with problems in the moment.  This is always best unless you feel that your emotional state will prevent you from being kind or clear. 

Of course, the holidays can be a very stressful time for women and we know why.  We tend to take on too much responsibility for everyone else’s happiness.  Expectations can be unrealistic.  This holiday season consider doing things differently. 

  1. Ask another family member to host.
  2. Ask others to bring dishes if you decide to host.
  3. Have dinner at a restaurant.
  4. Order a precooked meal.

There should be no shame involved. The idea is to lighten your workload so that you can enjoy the holidays as well. What a novel idea!

The media and society portray the ideal woman as someone who can rise with the sun, rush to the kitchen, whip up a gourmet breakfast, hand squeeze the orange juice, get the kids out the door, jump in the car and go to work looking glamorous, with a smile on her face. Absurd!

So I ask you, when will real women start to openly challenge the distorted image of the ideal woman? 

My vision of an ideal woman is a woman who knows how to be realistic, say no, ask for help, delegate or hire when possible… and definitely, get away from time to time.  Never underestimate the power of ME time, however you define it.

What is your new vision of an ideal woman and can you become her?

If you’re struggling coming up with asserting your voice, you and I should talk.  You may contact me via email or phone 703-505-2413 to arrange an appointment.


Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

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