Are you struggling with productivity? You’re definitely not alone. I don’t even think it’s just lockdowns and protests that are causing it. Now it’s summer, and that means we want to be outside with our kids. You’re just not as productive as a mom as you’d like to be.
Not being productive means that one little thing takes way longer than it should. It means you’re spending more time working than you are with your kids. Or maybe you’re doing more cleaning than you feel like you should.
So, you need to change something. You need to become more productive as a mom. Here are my top seven tips to manage it.
1. Start planning out your day
The first thing I do is plan out my day. Actually, I play out my day the night before.
I used to plan out the whole week. That’s been a little harder in 2020 with children around and things out of my control. I got too stressed trying to play out the week, so I made the decision to plan out the day instead. I do this at the end of each day, so I know what I’m doing as soon as I start work the next day.
And it’s not just about working. I do this to be more productive as a mom. I make a list of all the chores that need doing and any plans for the day with the children. This helps to keep track of appointments, school and club needs, and more.
The children also have things on a wall calendar, which matches what’s in my diary. It helps the children get used to a routine.
2. Find the best time to work and the best time to parent
As a WAHM, it’s important to work out a schedule. This isn’t just for you to be more productive as a mom. It’s about being more productive in work and helping your children get used to your routine.
You’ll want to find the best times of the day to work. This could be first thing on a morning before everyone gets up. It could also be when everyone else has gone to bed.
If you’re more creative during the day, you’ll want to look at a way to use that time to work. Then you’ll need to find the times when you’re just parenting or when you’re getting on with the chores.
Parenting and chores can work together, by the way. My kids help out with the laundry all the time. They also help with the cleaning. It all becomes a bonding experience.
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3. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Not every day is going to work out as it should. Even with a great plan in place, you can still find it hard to stick to that plan. Your kids can end up having a day from hell, testing your patience every five minutes.
Avoid being too hard on yourself and on your children. Take a breath and step back from the situation. You could also have time for yourself by buying a Little Tikes playground because it will keep them busy playing all day.
This is a learning experience for all. What’s worked on that day? What’s not worked? What could you do better the following day? This can help make sure your schedule and your plans are as effective as possible.
You can also work better with your children. And some days, they don’t want you to even have a plan. They just want you to have one of those lazy days. There’s nothing wrong with that now and then.
4. Find a system that works for you
Not all systems are going to work for everyone else. But you need some sort of system in place. Some people will tell you to plan with a wall calendar. Others will recommend that you use digital planners. Then there are others who highly recommend Trello for their day-to-day activities with their families.
There’s no wrong or right answer here. Not everything is going to work for you.
Spend time figuring out a system that works for you and your family. Trial something that looks like it could work. I trial new systems for about two or three weeks. It takes six weeks to form a habit but it takes me about three weeks to see if it’s the lack of habit or the system/planner.
5. Manage the distractions
One of the big problems in not being productive as a mom is the distractions around you. The best thing you can do is figuring out what those distractions are to manage them.
I’m not saying completely cut them out. That’s impossible. What I want you to do is figure out what the distractions are and when they’re more likely to cause a problem.
I know if I’m in a bad mood, I don’t write well. My distractions become comment sections on a blog or social media. If I’m not in the mood to write, I manage that and my distractions by choosing this time to do the social media scheduling or searching for topics to write at a later date.
Another distraction is the ping of an email. If I don’t know emails or social media notifications are coming in, I can ignore them. So, I make sure my phone is flipped upside down and on silent and then make sure my computer doesn’t have push notifications.
You can do this in all areas of your life as a mom. Limit the distractions and you’ll get far more done throughout the day.
6. Focus on one thing at a time
You know you need to do the laundry, make sure everything for dinner is in the house, and get your work done. You want to bake cookies and make nice jewelry with the kids just like this new pinky ring for men. There are so many things to do that it can feel like your only option is to do it all at once.
This is not going to help you be more productive as a mom. In fact, it’s halting your productivity.
You need to focus on one thing at a time. I know! I used to be an avid multi-tasker. I loved it. But since focusing on one task at a time, I’ve admittedly found that it’s much better for my productivity. I get through one task quicker and can move onto the next. I also do that task better.
7. Find out how others are being more productive as a mom
You’re not alone. There are so many other moms out there struggling with productivity. Not all of them are WAHMs, but they still struggle with productivity and feeling like they can do everything.
It’s time to find your tribe. You need to figure out who your group is and who can help each other.
Talk to others. Find out their tips and even share some of your own. Sometimes, just having that support is all you need.
Are you struggling to be productive as a mom? Don’t struggle in silence! Let me know and we can work through it together.