Being a mom is a full-time job, and staying on top of everything is a challenge, even for the most organized and motivated among us! However, if being productive feels like a goal that’s always out of reach, help is at hand.
You don’t need to make drastic changes or upend your life in order to get more done. Instead, small, subtle, and sustainable changes are the way to make meaningful changes to your day-to-day routine. When you make slight modifications to your lifestyle, you’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish. To get started, take a look at these seven ways to be a more productive mama now:
Clear Your Mind
Every parent knows how debilitating brain fog can be, but few know how to handle it effectively. Whether you’re struggling to concentrate because of a lack of sleep or you’re trying to juggle too many things at once, an over-crowded mind will prevent you from focusing on what’s important. In addition to this, being preoccupied makes it hard to relax, which means you won’t be able to fully enjoy downtime with your kids or recharge your batteries when you get the chance.
If brain fog is having a negative impact on your productivity, you’ll want to check out these tips for improving mental clarity. When you make mental clarity a priority, everything else falls into place, which makes it easier to get things done while feeling in control.
Pinpoint Your Priorities
When you have kids, your priorities in life change. While your career and your friendships may still remain an important aspect of your life, caring for your family suddenly becomes the biggest priority. Despite this, many people don’t adjust their daily routine to reflect this. Instead, they simply add new priorities to an ever-increasing list of the things they need to do.
However, recognizing that there are only so many hours in the day will help you to identify your current priorities. Whether it’s spending time with your kids, meeting work deadlines, or booking overdue appointments, being able to classify things as ‘must do’, ‘should do’, or ‘nice to do’, is a simple way to ensure that the most important things always get done.
We often waste time trying to figure out what to do next but when you have a priority assigned to every task, you’ll know exactly what to get started on. This increases your efficiency and enables you to reach new heights as a productive mama.
Get the Help You Need
As the old saying goes, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ so never feel bad about asking for help as a mama when you need it. From sharing babysitting duties with family and friends so that everyone gets a break to requesting more support at work, it’s important to be vocal about your needs and limitations.
Being under too much pressure can actually make you less productive and harm your well-being in the long term. When you can alleviate some of this pressure via a support network, however, you’ll have the opportunity to re-energize and recommit to your schedule so that you’re on the top of your game.
Use a Family Organizer
If you’re a new parent, you might be surprised to find that your baby has a busier social life than you! From health checks to meeting extended family, there will be an endless list of things your baby (and you) needs to do.
For parents with more than one child, juggling everyone’s events, activities and commitments can be a full-time job in itself. Whether it’s play dates and after-school clubs or dental appointments and extra tutoring, it’s vital to be organized if you want to make sure everyone is where they’re meant to be.
Trying to remember everything that’s going on is a significant mental load, so take the hassle out of your family itinerary by using an organizer. A simple wall chart can be an easy way to keep track of what’s happening but a dedicated app or shared online calendar can be even more efficient. When parents and caregivers can all add or adjust entries, you can keep up to date in real-time and share the running of your family.
Figure Out When You’re Most Productive
Everyone has different productivity habits and figuring out what yours are can transform your life. If you’re a night owl, you might find that you’re most productive when your kids are in bed and the house is quiet. Alternatively, early risers can accomplish more in the first couple of hours of their day than many people do before bedtime!
Working with your natural tendencies, rather than against them, helps you to make the most of the time that you’re most productive. While there may be times that childcare duties intersect with your most productive times, you can take steps to mitigate this.
If you’re most productive in the mornings, for example, arrange for your partner to tend to the baby during this time so that you can get on with other tasks. If you’re a single mom, working out a shared schedule for babysitting with family members or friends can free up your most productive hours and enable you to get more done.
Planning your day and having a routine can be a great way to function when you have kids. Babies often respond well to routines and toddlers and young children will respond well to a regular daily itinerary. However, things don’t always go according to plan!
There is any number of things that can interfere with your carefully curated schedule, from teething to sick days and over-excited tots and unexpected visitors. If your schedule gets upended, try not to panic. There are times when you simply won’t be able to do things as you envisaged – and that’s ok.
Being adaptable will allow you to accommodate unexpected changes to your routine and adjust your schedule accordingly. With a clear list of priorities already in place, you can simply identify the things that are still essential and let go of some of the ‘should dos’ and ‘nice to dos’. As a result, you’ll still get the most important things completed and remain as productive as you need to be.
Give Yourself a Break!
When you’ve got a lot of stuff to do, powering through seems like the most effective way forward. However, working continuously can actually make you far less productive. Without regular breaks, you’ll feel frazzled and struggle to concentrate, which means your mind won’t be functioning optimally. Similarly, you’ll tire more easily and find it hard to summon the energy you need to stay on task.
By incorporating regular breaks into your day, you can give yourself the opportunity to recharge and reenergize. Even if it’s sitting in the garden with a coffee in between tasks, a five- or 10-minute break can make all the difference to how you feel and how efficiently you operate.
Boosting Your Productivity as a Parent
There’s no doubt that being a parent affects how productive you feel but recognizing that productivity comes in more than one form is critical to success. When you can get through the ‘must do’ tasks on your list of priorities and keep your kids happy and healthy, you’re already succeeding! While it’s easy to put excess pressure on yourself as a mom, knowing when to take a break is just as important if you want to maximize your productivity.