Is your productivity at an all-time low? Here’s 15 of my tried and true productivity tips for moms.
Moms. We have the hardest jobs and work the longest hours. Somehow it never ceases to amaze me at how strong we are. We get all the things done, most times without thank you’s or acknowledgement. No matter how tired we are, we get it done.
But we know it’s not easy to complete those never-ending to-do lists. To us, it seems like no matter how much we try our productivity is never where we want it to be. When I first transitioned to working from home, it was rough. I didn’t have a set schedule for myself and I worked around the clock. Honestly, in this business sometimes that’s what it takes but my family suffered. We weren’t spending enough quality time together. I needed to find a way to increase my productivity without losing out on family time.
Through trial and error, I’ve been able to find my top productivity tips for moms.
15 Productivity Tips For Moms
1. Get an early start.
Starting your day earlier than your kids is the best thing that I could’ve ever done. Something as simple as waking up 1 hour earlier than them can give you a good head start. You can use this time to get yourself together, clarify your goals for the day, or just sit in silence before the madness ensues. I typically use this time to get ready for the day, eat my breakfast before T wakes up, and do any housework that I have to get done.
2. Set your schedule.
Having a set schedule is golden. Of course as a mom you have to realize that your set schedule may change. You have to also be willing to accept those changes. Life as a mom can be hectic and come with curveballs. Set a schedule but also allow yourself to have some flexibility if things come up. For example, weekends are my days off. That doesn’t change unless I have a deadline to meet or absolutely need to shoot content for the blog with my family. On Wednesday’s, I have a way more flexible schedule because it’s early release day for Tatiana. I have 1 less hour to complete my to-do lists so I give myself less tasks. Over time, Wednesday’s became my “shoot day”. It just made sense to set aside one day that I could photograph everything that I needed and focus on writing other days.Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.Click To Tweet
3. Create a to-do list.
Before I start my week, I spend time creating a to-do list. I have a long list and a short list. On my short list, I write down 3-5 tasks that I absolutely must complete. These are my top priorities for the week. If I get nothing else done, I’m okay with that as long as those tasks are done. My short list has shorter tasks that take less time to complete. It’s okay if these tasks roll over into the next week. However, I don’t let a task roll over more than once.
4. Prioritize healthy habits.
This has always been a struggle for me but once my health started to deteriorate, I started getting better at these things. I realized that my health played a big part of my success. If I took the time out of my day to tend to myself, I would be able to be more productive. When making your schedule, plan time for exercise, meals, and snacks. If you’ve already got the time scheduled into your day, it’s hard to skip.
5. Focus on your top 3 priorities.
Remember that to-do list you made? Every day you should choose 3 things from that list as your priorities for the day. Focus on those 3 tasks. Once you’ve got those done, you can move on to other things on your list.
6. Start small.
One of my biggest productivity tips for moms is to start small. I’m a big thinker. I always have been. It took me a very long time to realize that a bunch of small tasks add up to a big accomplishment. Don’t overwhelm yourself with tasks that you can’t accomplish. Start small and work your way up. This works especially well with decluttering or cleaning.
7. Get enough sleep.
I know you’re probably thinking that you haven’t gotten enough sleep since before your kids were born, right? Getting enough sleep is essential to having a successful day. I can’t tell you how many days I’ve crashed and burned especially when I was nursing and exclusively pumping. Your body needs rest to keep pushing and you need rest to stay sane. If you feel like you haven’t gotten enough sleep, don’t be afraid to take a 30-minute power nap during the day.
8. Stop multi-tasking.
Multi-tasking is a double edge sword. If you’re doing too many things at once then you’re not focusing on your priorities. When I stopped multi-tasking, my productivity increased. I was able to focus on one thing at a time and knock my to-do list out quicker. I still do multi-task somewhat but not as much as before. For example, I’ll load the dishwasher or washing machine and start it while I begin my to-do list for the day. Those are two tasks that I can do while working and not take my attention away from my top prioritized tasks.
9. Hire help.
You can’t do it alone.
Let me write it again for the people in the back. YOU CAN’T DO IT ALONE!
You’re a mom, not Wonder Woman or Supergirl. You are not meant to do everything on your own. Hire a maid if it’s in the budget. There is no shame at all in realizing that you can’t do everything on your own. You’ll burn out, quickly. If you let it go long enough, you’ll lead yourself to a breakdown. Trust me, no one wants to see you snap because you’re tired of washing the dishes 20 times a week. Allow someone else to help you. Consider bringing on a virtual assistant to help you with your blogging tasks.
10. Batch process.
If you’re a blogger or business owner like me, learn to batch process. Batch processing is when you work on similar tasks at the same time. Instead of bouncing around from task to task, work on one group at a time. There’s something so glorious about it. It’s a major time saver. Here’s a list of some things you can batch process:
- taking photos
- editing photos
- responding to emails
- writing blog posts
- replying to blog comments
- scheduling social media posts
- pitching new clients
- creating Pinterest graphics
11. Shift your mindset.
Are you constantly thinking or saying that you don’t have enough time? Stop it now. That’s not going to work at all.
The key to being productive is believing that you’ve got the time to get it done. If you’re constantly thinking about how you don’t have enough time, how anxious your to-do list makes you, or how stressed you are – you’re going to manifest all of those things in your life.
You have to start small and pace yourself while working. Focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t. Remain positive. If you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed, here’s a few tips for how to deal with it.
12. Involve your family.
Don’t be afraid to get your family involved. After all, some of the tasks you’re completing benefit them too, right? Let your kids help with housework. Find chores that are appropriate for their age and assign them. Let your husband help with select tasks around the house.
13. Have self-awareness.
Self-awareness is important for anyone. Know your limits and know how you like to work. What works for others may not be what works best for you. Are you a procrastinator or someone who likes to meet deadlines in advance? Do you need to schedule everything on a calendar or is a to-do list enough? Anyone can tell you what works for them but the key is finding out what works best for you.
14. Learn to unplug.
Unplugging is necessary. Honestly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone down the Instagram rabbit hole. Before I knew it, hours passed by. I try to unplug while I’m working so that doesn’t happen. Forget about social media for a little while in order to power through that to-do list.
15. Practice gratitude.
My last productivity for moms is to practice gratitude. Remember to be thankful for all of the tasks you’re able to complete. Don’t stress about what you’re not able to get done. Enjoy your downtime with your family or do something that you love. You can even start your day with a simple gratitude exercise.
Do you have any productivity tips for moms? I’d love to hear how you tackle all your to-dos.
Photos by Emma Shourds Photography