Are you a business owner managing a full household and business at the same time? I know first hand how difficult it is to manage all of the duties and responsibilities of a working mom. In this podcast episode of Brands that Book with Davey Jones, we share 5 tips for creating a repeatable productive schedule that gives you time and margin to get your checklist completed as well as make time for your hobbies and self-care! Give it a listen!
5 Productivity Tips to Thrive as a work from home mom
Are you juggling the demands of home and work, feeling like a failure, and constantly overwhelmed? While I can’t promise you that I don’t have days where life feels overwhelming, I believe repeatable, consistent schedules are the key to maintaining the sanity!
In the last three years of my life, we have been planning for a move, moving, planning for another move, and moving again (#academicwifelife) In fact, while we have arrived in our permanent location, we are still searching for our next home to purchase.
Life hasn’t been consistent or easy, but my income, in the last three years has tripled. It helps that my laptop life can move wherever we go, but I haven’t had a lot of control over my time and details.
5 Tips for Preventing Overwhelm and Staying Productive
Tip 1: Create a list of all the things you need to do in a week
This exercise is simple, but messy! Grab a piece of paper and write own ALL the things you need to do in a week. Lists all of your work activities that need to be done weekly, laundry, gym time, community activities, food and meal prep, childcare and kids activities, and don’t forget, time for rest.
TIP 2: CREATE A LIST OF ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED TO DO IN A Month and Quarter
These are activities that you don’t have to do every week, but you still need to schedule in. Some examples of this are bookkeeping for both your business and personal expenses, home and maintenance, content creation, and client reporting.
Bonus: See if you can list how long each activity, on average, takes you!
Tip 3: Determine your optimal energy times
This is one of my favorite tips! It is super important to be honest with yourself and take an audit of your energy. I am most productive between the hours of 7:30 to 1:00pm. I notice that around 2:00pm, I feel sluggish and have difficulty focusing. This is not the time to begin a big client project or do reporting.
Looking back on your weekly activities, assign and sort your activities into High Mental Tasks and Low Mental Tasks.
For example, some low mental tasks for me might be:
- loading and folding laundry
- light manual pinning
- picking up my groceries
- easy meal prep
I reserve my high mental tasks for the hours between 7:30 and 1:00. I never do laundry during those hours (tossing a load in the dryer isn’t an issue if it’s a quick stretch break). I devote this productivity time to client reports and work, education, homeschooling (yes I do that!), and more. I protect this time fiercely and treat it like a real job (because it is!).
Bonus: Are you a mama stuck at home with the kids? Read about how to keep kids independently busy here!
Tip 4: Group Similar Items together and Create a Batch Schedule
This is the fun part! Create a Monday through Friday schedule (and feel free to omit days you don’t work!) to create a weekly planner and routine. Block out your most productive time with your High Mental Tasks (HMT), by day!
Group similar tasks together, like marketing (blogging, social media scheduling, marketing graphics), finances (bookkeeping and product planning), meetings and appointments, etc.
Don’t forget to schedule in weekly recurring tasks for your client, too. I have clients who produce content all throughout the week, but since it is a high mental task for me to schedule their Pinterest content, I have a slot on each day to check their website and blogs.
Fill in a trello board or Google spreadsheet for each day of what you always do on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc.
Weekly, grab your paper or digital planner (#teampaper here!) and write all all your tasks for the week! You can adjust throughout the week if client’s needs come up, but ultimately, you’ll be able to stay on top of your must-do responsilities.
Tip 5: Outsource, delete, and repeat
After you have done this for a few weeks, or even a quarter, do you see any patterns?
Are there any tasks that you could hire an assistant to do and repeat weekly? Are you protecting your high mental tasks and most productive time by hiring childcare and refraining from distractions?
Are there some tasks that are just unnecessary?
Are you so skilled at one task that it is no longer a High Mental Task and can be moved to a Low Mental Tasks time slot?
Regularly refresh your workflow!
Review, Audit, and Refresh your Planner and Goals
Productivity isn’t always easy—it’s a practice! But, when you make space for the things you love in your life (taking your kids to the park, saying yes to a lunch date with friends), you’ll realize how important it is to assign a time to every job, so that you have margin for the things you and your family need! It’s a win!
HERE FOR THE PINTEREST TIPS?
Are you new to Pinterest and want more tips to get started? See my introductory post Getting Started on Pinterest and don’t forget to sign up for my email newsletter. You’ll receive my FREE Pinterest Start-up Guide for your creative small business where I give easy actionable steps to getting started on Pinterest!