Sometimes productivity can be a real struggle when you are home with children all day. As a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) and more recently a WAHM (work-at-home mom) it can be really easy for entire days or even weeks to slip away from me. There is so much to get done and there never seems to be enough time in the days. Here are some productivity tips that have helped me.
Make a Plan
I find that it helps me immensely to have a plan in place. If I plan for all the things that I need to do, i tend to get more done. This makes me less likely to forget tasks as well. I swear the “mom-brain” cliche is real. My memory is shot since having a child.
When making your plan, make sure to differentiate tasks by importance. There will inevitably be things that NEED to get done, and other things that you’d like to get done. Its important to decide which is which so you can get tasks out of the way that need to be accomplished first.
Prepare the Night Before
This is something that I am traditionally terrible at, but I have been getting better recently. It will make a huge difference in how your productivity if you do a little preparation beforehand.
For example, if you need to be out the door early in the morning, you can lay out clothing the night before, or pack your diaper bag with what you will need, or load the car with any items that will be taken with you. My son has skating lessons early on Saturday mornings. Since I started packing his bag, and laying out his clothes and mine the night before, we have been much better about getting out the door on time.
If you work from home, you can set up things for any tasks ahead of time. As an example, I will pick out my writing topics, or design my graphics, find photos, or anything else I can to get ready to create my blog post. That way, the following day, all i have to worry about is sitting down to write.
Make a Schedule, but Be Flexible
I have to have a schedule in order to keep up my productivity. It doesn’t have to be set in stone. With a 3 year old, life needs to be flexible in my house. You never know what each day will bring with a toddler.
An example of my schedule is as follows. In the morning, I will spend time promoting my blog and my writing. This can be time consuming, so I typically keep the whole morning open for that. I will also spend time playing with my son.
In the afternoon, my son naps, so that is working time for me. I will sit down and write for about 2 hours while he sleeps. When nap time is over, I will clean the house or do laundry or run my errands. I get done all the household stuff between nap time and dinner.
In the evening, I spend time with my husband and son, until my son goes to sleep. Then, I generally will work 1-2 more hours, including preparing for the next day.
Some days, I accomplish more than others, but everything always eventually gets done.
This one is huge as far as I am concerned. If you want to keep up your productivity, you need to give yourself time to rest. Take breaks. Find what will work best for you and your schedule. Some people prefer to take 10-15 minutes here and there to scroll through Facebook, or chat with a friend on the phone. Some prefer less frequent breaks that last longer.
For my schedule, mornings are typically my “break” time. I do some promoting, but I hang out with my son, sit on my butt and watch cartoons with him. For me, productivity comes easier in the afternoon. Some may be the opposite. Again, find what will work best for you.
Work When You Can
One of the biggest things to remember is that even though you are Super Mom, you still can’t do everything at once. None of us can. For the most productivity, you will need to work when you can.
I can’t focus on writing while my 3 year old is running around playing Fire Fighter and making siren sounds at the top of his lungs. Those moments I choose to focus on thinks that don’t take as much concentration. I will spend time with my phone in my hand promoting. When he is playing nicely on his own, I will work on household tasks. Nap and bed times are the only time I can focus enough to write, so that’s what I do. Find your own rhythm and your productivity will increase.