Ever wonder how some moms just seem to effortlessly do it all? We all know at least one who seems to defy the laws of physics by accomplishing more in a day than some would in a week. And while it may seem like secret sorcery, there are common habits that these parents share. With a little motivation and mindful intention, you too can boost your productivity.
1. Approach your to-do list differently
Instead of scribbling down notes to remember for later, like "Birthday party stuff", start off notes with actions, such as "Buy party streamers" and "Call bakery about cake design". This cuts down the time it takes to remember what exactly you meant hours or days before, which means you'll be more likely to take immediate action. Other small tweaks like labeling priority of tasks, or dividing tasks into time blocks, will render much more effective results.
2. Don't let small tasks pile up
How many times in a day have you said, "I'll get to it later"? If the task that you approach only takes one minute, why set it aside for later? Entrepreneur and blogger Melyssa Griffin is a strong proponent of the one-minute rule as a tool to de-clutter your life. In one of her posts, she says, "It's amazing how quickly those small, insignificant responsibilities accumulate into an hour of extra work."
The most effective, productive moms will take on tasks right away if it can be accomplished in one minute or less. Instead of dealing with a long list of minor tasks at the end of the day, you'll now have time for the real important things... like Netflix and wine with your friends.
3. Remove "multi-tasking" from your vocabulary
Many people think that multitasking is a key to productivity, but many studies have shown that multitasking decreases productivity by 40%. Your brain just isn't working at it's greatest potential when you try to pull double-duty. In reality, only about 2% of the population have the genetic gift of multitasking, and most who think they are the best at it would actually benefit from training the brain to focus entirely on one task.
To help strengthen your focus to get tasks done more efficiently, try muting your phone or setting it on airplane mode so incoming notifications don't interrupt you. If you're in a crunch for time, this is helpful for just about anything. You'll notice a huge difference in the time it takes to fold up laundry when you turn off all distractions (television, music, phone, etc.) and let your mind focus entirely on one task.
4. Know when to say "no" and when to ask for help
This tends to be a problem for selfless moms who give so much of themselves, and while it's extremely kindhearted, it's important to prioritize what is fulfilling for you. If someone asks something of you, think realistically if you'll really be able to make a significant contribution if you accept. If not, then don't feel bad politely turning down the request. On the flip side, don't feel guilty about asking for help. Everyone needs help at some point in their lives. Life coach and entrepreneur, Sabrina Maldonado, explains, "Right after I had my second son, I experienced a lot of fatigue and insomnia. I was nursing and at the beginning it was very difficult on my body." She reached out for help from her 15 year old son and husband. She says it was essential to be, "honest about my feelings and emotions, and not embarrassed or afraid."
5. Keep a clean, clutter-free space
We've told you this before: a clean home is an efficient home. And while it's not always possible to maintain a perfectly pristine livingroom, it helps maintain the flow of your day-to-day to-dos. Think back to how many times you rummaged through the house looking for your house keys, your wallet, the kids' homework... you get the picture. According to a study conducted by a Boston marketing firm, the average person wastses 55 minutes a day looking for things. And isn't that 55 extra minutes you could use every day? Take care of your home and it will take care of you and your family!
6. Make time for self-care
This is one of the most important aspects in being a productive mother. Many disregard self-care because it may seem like a time waster, but in reality, self-care is essential if you want to stay a productive mom for the long haul. Life Coach Sabrina Maldonado explained the importance of this and says, "The very first thing that I do every morning after my moments of grattitude, is I put myself at the top of my list for priorities. I take care of myself in order for me to not be depleted. That way I can provide more to my family and show up as the greatest version of myself."
The minor changes can do wonders in re-energizing yourself. Try to reserve small daily pockets of time to wind down and detach from the organized chaos of day-to-day responsibilities. Make longer weekly appointments with yourself that embrace you. It can be anything from a special yoga class, to a DIY spa day, or a craft project just for fun. Whatever it is, take that time to celebrate yourself and the amazing things you have accomplished after trying out these tips.
Ready to tackle organizing your kids' rooms? In this video, Martha offers her quick tips: