Monday… we meet again.
How was your weekend? Mine was great. Super busy, but always a good time when I am with my family.
Today’s #MeMonday post is a special guest post from Lisa from Me and My Mom Friends. Lisa is a 33-year-old, married, stay-at-home-mom to a crazy, wild, energetic 3-year-old boy. She lives in the Metro Detroit area. She has been writing since she could hold a pencil and has always loved it.
Lisa started Me and My Mom Friends blog this year. Her ultimate goal is to make life easier for moms who may not have a huge support system. Lisa says she wouldn’t have gotten this far without help. So she’s hoping she can pass on some of that help and support to all of her mom friends. Today, she is giving some of her best productivity tips to SAHM’s and WAHM’s. Take a look below.
Happy Me Monday!
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The Best Tips for Increasing Productivity as a SAH/WAH Mom
by Lisa, Me and My Mom Friends
Trying to be productive as a stay-at-home mom or work-at-home mom can be a huge challenge. There just never seems to be enough time in the day to get all the things done we need to do. There are several reasons for this. One is that moms just have too much to do. Another is that we put a ton of pressure on ourselves to do it all. We set unrealistic goals for ourselves too often. The other big reason is that we get easily overwhelmed and frustrated with the size of our to-to lists. I am going to give you some of my best tips for increasing your productivity as a SAH or WAH mom.
Make a List
Make yourself a list of the things that NEED to get done. Notice I say “need”. There are certain tasks that absolutely must get done each day to keep our lives running smoothly. Put these things at the top of your list.
Add the things you WANT to get done to your existing list. The “want” items are things that maybe need to be done, but will not send life to a screeching halt if they aren’t done immediately. It is important to know the difference.
Nobody is going to die if you don’t reorganize the messy Tupperware cabinet today. However, the kids can only go a couple of days without food, so grocery shopping may be a priority.
We all have a billion chores to do at any given moment. Clean out the fridge, reorganize the pantry, scrub all the bathrooms top to bottom, wash the leaning tower of dishes in the kitchen sink. We all must run all the errands, wash all the laundry, move all the furniture to vacuum. Every one of us has an unbelievable number of closets, drawers, and storage rooms to reorganize and declutter. That’s just mom life.
Be realistic with your goals. There is no way anyone can accomplish everything in one day. Especially not while keeping children alive, and trying to run a business from home. Even Martha Stewart on speed wouldn’t be able to get to it all. Why would you expect yourself to be able to? Utilize your list. Get through your “needs” and then start working on your “wants.”
Plan Your Day
Having a plan will also help increase your productivity. Start with your list and make a basic plan for tackling the things on it.
For example, I use my mornings for working on blog promotion. I know that task takes a good chunk of the morning, so I don’t plan 50 other things during that time. I find that I am more productive in the afternoon. My day will typically pick up speed at lunch time. I get the little monster angel fed, and down for a nap, and then its off to the races. This is when I do my best work getting things done.
Sometimes when you are a mom, plans change without your control. Maybe your child decides to make a huge mess. Maybe they fight nap time for an hour, and it throws a kink in your whole plan. That’s okay. Learn to roll with it. If you let it make you crazy, you will end up expending more energy on that and less on being productive.
Just Do It
When the time comes, be like Nike, and just do it. Force yourself to put the phone down, or turn the tv off, or rid yourself of any distractions, and get to work. It sounds simple. It’s not. For me, it is so tempting at nap time, when the house is finally quiet, to sit and flip on a show that isn’t animated (for once) and just enjoy. If I gave into these urges every time I had them, nothing would ever get done.
Give Yourself a Break
Along those lines, you need to give yourself a break on occasion. Call it a mental health break. Or a mental health day. You will end up being more productive if you allow yourself periods to rest. Scroll through Facebook, watch a bit of your favorite show. Sometimes you need a whole day to recharge and that is perfectly fine, momma. Take what you need to recharge and get your energy back, then resume tackling that list.
Find Your Mobile Distraction
For me, I find that I am more productive when I have something else to focus on other than the chore at hand. I learned this on accident. One day, I was sitting on my couch procrastinating cleaning up, and my phone rang. It was my cousin. I answered, though I usually hate talking on the phone, and she began telling me everything that was happening in her life. I found myself up and moving around the house as I listened. As she talked about her latest dating drama, I paced around the house and started picking up toys, or wiping down counters. By the time her saga wrapped up, I looked around, surprised to find my chores complete!
Sometimes, if I have nobody to talk with, I will listen to my favorite podcast or music while I work. I put it on my phone with the volume up and set the phone in the area I am working. If I’m moving around a lot, I throw on a robe or a sweater with pockets and keep my phone there so it goes with me while I move from room to room. I do this with favorite shows too. I have tv shows that I have watched over and over, so sometimes I just listen to them while I work. They just play on my screen without me actually watching them because I have seen them so many times.
Crank It Out Like Company is Coming Over
When all else fails, lie to yourself. Tell yourself someone may stop in at any moment and you’d hate for them to see the house like this. Or maybe you need to accomplish something for your business that you can’t while entertaining guests. Convince yourself you have a ticking clock.
Or invite someone over. Then bust your butt before they get here. Hey, whatever works, right?
Make Peace with Yourself
As moms, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. More often than not, this pressure in unnecessary. If your husband doesn’t notice that his dirty socks missed the hamper by 2 feet, he certainly won’t notice that your pots and pans aren’t perfectly organized today.
At the end of the day, look at your list. Focus on all you have accomplished and make peace with it. You did the best you could. Realize that there are a hundred or more hidden things you also did that aren’t on that list. You changed diapers, or made lunches, or gave baths, or whatever other minor tasks you do every day on autopilot. Regardless if you accomplished one thing, or ten, you did a great job. Tomorrow is another day, right?
Realize Tomorrow is Another Day
There is always tomorrow. Anything you didn’t get to today, will be waiting for you tomorrow. Keep chugging along and I promise eventually you will get to every item on your list. And if you don’t get to it tomorrow? Well, good news, because there is another tomorrow after that.
Check out some of the other Me Monday posts here.
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Until next time,