Top 10 Productivity Tips for Extremely Busy Moms
“Tomorrow’s the day you’re going to get things done,” you tell yourself as you fall into bed for the night. You have good intentions, but who’s kidding who? You always have good intentions! But most days you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing.
Being a stay-at-home mom is easy, right? No deadlines, screaming bosses, boring meetings, right? WRONG! I have TWO pint sizes bosses now, and throw in a few four-legged bosses and I’m looking at a total of 4 bosses each morning. Unless you are a superwoman (and in my opinion, every mom is a superwoman no matter what) and know how to manage and organize your time each day, it can be quite stressful most of the time. For me, being productive doesn’t come naturally. In order to be productive you have to start with motivation. Some mornings when I haven’t slept well, or a kid shows up at 3am to snuggle, or a puppy barks at 5am to go out, I feel less than motivated! However, when you connect your productivity to the motivation it takes to complete your tasks, you will learn that it means a happier mom, kids, spouse AND puppies at the end of the day.
Let’s look at a few ways you can be more productive as an extremely busy mom:
10 Productivity Tips
- Get up earlier
This wouldn’t be an article about productivity without adding this first piece of advice. Get up earlier. Easier said than done! I admit that I haven’t mastered this one. But I think the point of getting up earlier is to have time for yourself. Time for a walk, time to netflix and chill, time to sit in silence. For me, I stay up late after the kids are in bed. That’s what works for me. If it works for you, then great! However, our next point….
2) Workout in the morning
The first point about waking up earlier goes hand in hand with exercising in the morning. I will admit that getting a workout out of the way in the morning is the way to go. When 5 o’clock arrives, I’m guessing that with kids home, dinner to fix, dogs to feed….that a workout is not going to happen. With that said, if you have a flexible schedule, you can still work out in the morning. I like going to the 9:30 am class myself.
3) Get up and get dressed
It’s super tempting to work in your pajamas all day. And some days, I think it’s perfectly acceptable. For me, the long winter days called for many days of yoga pants and work. However, there’s something about getting up and putting some makeup on that helps boost your confidence. Also, if your hair and makeup is done, you can jump on Facebook live to your fans at a moment’s notice!
4) Take time to relax
You need to work hard to be successful working from home. It’s not easy. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take a moment to yourself! Set aside an hour for lunch, for a walk, or even a nap on the couch. It’s not healthy to constantly feel under stress or pressured.
5) Get out there
When I started working from home, I loved the silence. After 19 years in corporate cubicle land it was a welcome change. After a few months, though, it got TOO quiet. I started wasting time at the grocery store and the bank (Target run anyone?) just to SEE people. I would go out for lunch every day which wasn’t good for the pocketbook either. It wasn’t until I joined a local networking group where I started to feel like a professional again. I chose to stay at home for freedom to be with my family, but I still wanted a career. Finding a group of professionals to trade ideas with and talk business really helped close the gap. (and feel less lonely!)
How to Be More Productive
6) Make a Schedule
Thy planner is thy friend! I still use a good old fashioned paper planner when things get busy. It helps to have a tangible list of appointments in front of me. It’s a nice way to lay out the day and have an idea of how busy it will be or if I will have time for other things. Check out this post about how you can use a planner to boost your productivity.
7) Check Your Social Media Habits
Do you ever find yourself sitting at your laptop supposedly working on something, like a blog post, only to have clicked over to Facebook scrolling through the feed mindlessly? I have! It happened today, in fact. When I literally only had 2 hours open I could spend at the library writing. There are 2 ways social media can affect your productivity: Spending long chunks of time on social, or constantly checking it. Which one are you? The best way to handle this is to keep Facebook or other CLOSED on your laptop while working, and keep your phone in your purchase away from your desk. I will do that and keep the sound on so I can hear a phone call (from school or other) just in case.
8) Create Lists
This can be helpful and dangerous at the same time. While lists work, they DON’T work when you have 10 of them laying around. Designate a notebook or a list on your phone as your master list and work only from it. Or, create an accessible spreadsheet of sorts to separate work and home duties. Whatever you do, make sure there is only ONE version of it.
9) Plan your schedule a week in advance
I LOVE it when my week is laid out a week in advance. I can pull up the calendar on my phone and get a quick look of how busy I’m going to be. If I have a light week, I’ll sign up for some volunteer shifts at school. If it’s busy with meetings, then I won’t do anything extra. And I won’t feel guilty about it! It’s all about balance.
10) BAN THE GUILT!
Speaking of feeling guilty, let’s get rid of that right now! As moms, we can’t help but feel the burden of every member of our family on our shoulders. “Part of [your] plan, and being more productive personally, will be saying no to some business-related things so you can show up for your kids. You also can’t beat yourself up, like we moms do. It all boils down to choices and making better ones based on where you need to be and what you need to focus on right now, at work and at home.” says superwoman business owner Stacia Pierce. As I mentioned above, if you balance your load, you can make time for everything. Your kids will see you working hard toward a goal and contributing to society at large. That’s a good thing! Most importantly, nobody’s perfect, so stop trying to be.
There you have it! These are my top 10 tips to stay productive as an extremely busy mom and business owner. What are some of your favorite time management hacks?