Being a mom is a full-time job. Being a mom with a full-time job… don’t even get us started. Moms juggle work, clients, kids, school, extracurriculars, taxi driving, and home management tasks daily so finding productivity tips for working moms is not a nice to have but a must-have.
Since we’re in this boat together, we wanted to give you the inside scoop into a few productivity tips for working moms that we’ve actually found useful.
Brain dump all your tasks
List out what isn’t working in life + work. Do it now…we’ll wait. Consider every task you complete – no task is too small
List out your desires and wishes for life + work. This is the fun part. Daydream for a second about what your ideal life would look like if you had 3 free genie wishes.
Optimize your tasks. Simply ask yourself, “Does this positively impact my work or family?”, “Do I, specifically, need to do this or can I ask for help/hire someone?”, “Does this need to get done immediately or can we push this down on the priority list?” Once you begin to approach your day-to-day tasks from this frame of reference it will allow you to be more productive, as well as, have more peace.
I know as a mom you are a multitasking queen, but study after study shows that multitasking kills your productivity. Since this is a blog specifically related to productivity tips for working moms we had to make it a point. Now believe us, we are well aware that many times you are watching little ones while trying to work on your business.
So NOT multitasking may not be an option. But at the very least, stop hopping back and forth between various projects and work tasks. When you start a task, stay on that one until it is done. That means don’t start a blog post and then hop over to your email or Facebook for five minutes. We all know five minutes turns into much more.
We love the concept of time blocking too. The Time Block Planner by Cal Newport is a great resource to get started!
Set REALISTIC Goals
Annual goals are awesome, but let’s be realistic, as a working mother, you likely don’t have big chunks of time to give that much advance thought. Instead, think about 12-week goals, or even smaller bite sizes if you need them. What’s important to you, your family, this summer? This fall? Make only 2-3 goals that are a top priority and actually doable!
This helps you to not overwhelm yourself on a daily basis about this 10 months in advance while also still allowing yourself and your family to make progress in your day-to-day life.
Ditch the guilt
Research that Kathleen McGinn, a Harvard economist, conducted in 2015 found that the daughters of mothers who work outside the home grew up to be higher achieving and that their sons were more likely to share in household chores.
Last year, McGinn built on those results, determining that those children end up just as happy as they would have been had their moms been home with them.
Sounds like you’re doing a great job to us… don’t you think?
Set up mandatory time away from work
Unless you’re a neurosurgeon and there’s a 911 call from the hospital, chances are you can turn off your work computer and phone without catastrophic consequences.
You can use boundaries to get your work done.
Consider designating days or times on your calendar, so that you have time to get work done each day AND time for your family. For example, you meet at 9 am-1 pm every day but Fridays that time is blocked to prep for the next week, pick your little ones up from daycare/school, or even to just catch up on work that has slipped through the cracks from the never-ending work meetings.
Do what works best for your schedule. It’s easier said than done, but if your job is demanding every hour of every day… it is time to look elsewhere. You have a responsibility to your family to be present and whole – you can’t do that with a draining job.
BONUS: Treat ‘yo self for hacking the productivity tips for working moms checklist
Android phones, iPods, tablets, and readers have even made it possible for you to instantly tap into relaxation. There are so many stress management apps available. If you’ve always wanted to try meditation, try apps like Calm and Headspace.