Sneaky Self-Sabotage: 8 Ways We Don’t Get Things Done

The baby is finally snoozing, her little open mouth fallen away from the boob, her arms limp. I bring her floppy little self up to my face to inhale the smell of her hair for a precious moment before laying her gently into her crib. The big kid is at preschool, my husband is at work, and I have an unknown amount of that precious commodity: Time. Will I make the most of it?


Most parents heave a sigh of relief when they sense the beginning of having some time in which we might, just possibly, take time for ourselves or accomplish something that’s not kid-related. Because we love our kids so much, and we also have so very many non-kid things we need + want to do.

Yet sometimes, we don’t do them. And it’s not always because the children interrupt. Where does the time go? Often, it’s because we find sneaky ways to sabotage ourselves instead of working or playing at our best. Here are some of the top ways busy parents tell me they sabotage themselves:

1. Treating housework like the top priority.
2. Skimping on basic self-care such as sleep
3. Skimping on FUN
4. Fuzziness about goals, projects + action items
5. Avoiding tasks that make us anxious
6. Getting sucked into time-wasters
7. Over-acclimating to interruption
8. Taking on tasks we resent

I can’t claim to be perfect at always making the most of all my time (ha!), but between my own experiences raising two kids and hearing about those of my playful productivity coaching clients, I have learned a few things about how to get things done at home while caring for small children, whether you are a stay-at-home parent,working from home or working elsewhere and trying to get things accomplished on the weekend.

Up next in the self-sabotage series, unless my muse or my baby has other plans– and in my sleep-deprived state I warn you my muse is rather capricious of late, and my baby is a baby. Anyways, hopefully up next is Held Hostage by Housework.

Do you feel good about how you use those precious windows of open time? Are you ready to overcome your own sneaky self-sabotage and do more of what truly matters? What sneaky self-sabotage methods would you like me to write about?

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