How to become an overachiever...

Wow, thats kind of an obnoxious title, now isnt it? But I have to say I'm the classic overachiever. Or at least I strive to be (not that that is a good thing). A recent email from a friend prompted this latest blog. She asked me how I stay on top of everything. Well, truth be told, I don't stay on top of everything. I mean, I did just fold four loads of laundry (don't ask how long they've been clean). We consider the bed in the guest bedroom to be our second closet. The only reason I folded the clothes is because my mom is coming tomorrow and she needs to sleep in that bed and there are too many clothes on it to expect her to just push them to one side. Another case in point: I havent reconciled our bank account yet this year. Me, the one who has to balance the account to the penny. Not once.

That said, I am able to manage to juggle quite a few things at one time and I stay fairly organized (meaning, I at least know what I need to get done, even if I haven't gotten to it - like the laundry). So, my friend's email prompted me to think about what does enable me to at least appear to have it all together. Here are the first four things that came to my head. Maybe they are useful to someone.

1) I have an awesome support system. Seriously, my husband is so helpful around the house, with M and with cheering me on. I definitely could not get everything done by myself. I realize that I am a very blessed wife.
2) I've outsourced. I know, I know. Business lingo. But seriously, consider how you can creatively give tasks that take up a lot of your time and that you dislike or are not good at doing to someone else. For me, its housework. We are blessed to be able to afford help in this area twice a month. It's worth it to me because it gives me back time with my family. Even if you can't pay someone else, you might be able to creatively work something out. Another friend told me about an idea where two friends clean each others' houses together. One week they go to one girl's house and the friend does the normal cleaning and the homeowner gets to do some deep cleaning. The next week they switch. It doesn't have to be about housekeeping, but you get the idea. Now if I could just find a way to take care of the ironing...
3) Make a list in priority order. Yes, I am a list maker. Seriously, on my last list one of my entries was to find the previous list I had made and lost. But the key here is to make the list in priority order. Then, when I have time (in between naps and feedings and...), I tackle the first thing on the list and work my way down. I make no promises to myself how far I will make it down my list in a given time. That stresses me out and makes me disappointed when I don't get to something. In my list, I also balance things I like to do and don't like to do. I don't put all the things I don't like first because I usually quit before I get to the good stuff. That said, really try to do the list in the order that you wrote it. Granted, sometimes priorities shift. But priority does mean that some things must get done before others.
4) Realize sometimes I have to make time. Waiting until you have time to do something means that it will never happen. We are all too busy for time to just magically appear on our calendars. You have to make time to do the things you want to do. Sometimes that means you have to sacrifice other tasks - sleep, plans to go out, plans to stay in...you get the point. But make time for what you need and want to get done. And especially make time for your family and yourself.
Okay, so hopefully you gleaned something from this long data dump. I'd love to hear your feedback and any tips you have for staying on top of things too!