Have you ever felt that you’re missing out? Or that the world and everyone around you seems to be moving forward and you feel like you’re either stuck or have fallen behind? As parents and moms, this feeling can be present at times, especially when you’ve devoted a large part of your schedule to taking care of others. Whether you’re a working mom, stay-at-home mom or work-from-home mom, chances are you’re looking for ways to increase your productivity, energy and time, without compromising the time you spend with your loved ones.
There might have been instances where you’ve felt that your goals and ambitions have been on the back burner for far too long. You might think you’ll never know when you’ll get to them, because it seems as if something always comes up. You find it hard to make the time, between meal prep, not to mention the laundry, the multiple appointments you have scheduled and other errands you have to run or work you have to do.
There might even be times where you might feel that once you’ve embraced parenthood, everyone else seems to forget what you’ve done, studied or accomplished before then, that somehow you are defined by a single role and that your ambitions stop there. You love your loved ones yet in your heart you know there is more that you want to do, yet it’s become harder for others to acknowledge it and perhaps even support you in your future plans. Or perhaps you have support, but lack the time to get things you want to, done.
You might be wondering how you’ll ever be able to get to do what is you want to, questioning if it’s even possible. The fact of the matter is, with the proper planning, support and mindset, it is possible. There are a few fundamental things you need to consider, that are shared below.
Productivity tips and mindset shifts to consider:
- 1) Acknowledge where you’re at – Notice what it is that’s going on in your life right now. Are you taking care of an infant and exhausted from being up all night, every night? Is your child having difficulty in school and do they need your extra support and guidance? Did your whole family get the flu and does it seem the cycle of sniffles and fevers is never ending? The fact of the matter is stuff is always bound to come up and there will be periods where other things become the priority, whether it’s caring for your child, family or yourself. Things come and go in phases and if you’re able to acknowledge where you’re at, it will be easier to take the time you need to get through these times, knowing they don’t always last.
- 2) Avoid comparison – Does it seem like everyone around you is getting somewhere or doing things that you wish you had the time for? You wonder why there are other moms with 3-5 kids who seem they are running up the corporate ladder, traveling all they want and going to events when you’re stuck at home going through your newsfeed wondering how they do it…or perhaps you’ve seen the TV shows where parents have everything spotless and completely organized and no matter how much you vacuum or clean, your home often looks like a tornado came through it within minutes of your last clean-up. You can see how comparison doesn’t help! Each person has a different reality and often times those who’ve done a lot while also having a family, also have had quite a lot of support, whether it’s from a parent, partner, nanny, housekeeper, etc. Instead of comparing yourself and your situation to that of others, see how you can get more support to move your projects forward, which brings me to the next point…
3) Ask for help – Once you’ve acknowledged where you’re at and have managed to find some time for yourself, whether your little ones have started school or you’ve decided to schedule your evenings or part of your day/weekends to focus on your tasks, ask for help. Whether it’s from a partner, parent, babysitter or friend, schedule a few time slots each week where you can work uninterrupted on the tasks you need to.
4) Get inspired and collaborate – Is there another mom or friend that seems to be working towards things and has a scheduled all figured out. That’s great, get inspired and get in touch. Invite her out to lunch or send off an email and see if she’d be open to helping you, or open to some of your ideas for collaborating. If not, don’t get discouraged, try getting in touch with a few people until you meet those who you can collaborate with and who help bring you and each other up.
5) Know that it takes time – make the time schedule it out – Whatever, you are working towards, whether it’s a degree, community project or a profession, know that it takes time. More so if you have kids and a family. That’s okay though, acknowledge it and take your journey one step at a time, enjoying life along the way, and also pushing past the obstacles that come up.
6) Write out a list of near future goals and things/time/support you’ll need to accomplish them – What is it you want to do? What difference do you want to make? Take a blank notebook and use it to create a list of goals as well as the support and time you’ll need to block out to focus on them. They can change or be flexible over time, but give yourself some tentative deadlines, allowing space for when things do come up, modifying it on the following pages, along the way.
7) Streamline and batch tasks and errands – Do you really need to go to the grocery store 3 times a week. Try to schedule one day where you get all you need. Scheduling appointments? Try to schedule them at at a time that works for you, that doesn’t interrupt your day, rather than the next available appointment (if it’s not crucial). Do you really need to do laundry several times a week? If you can try to set one day a week where you tend to it, instead of spending hours each week at multiple intervals doing it.
8) Prepare for and acknowledge set-backs – Get back up and move forward. Chances are, that once you’ve got things going, on schedule and on task, something else will come up…know that it’s okay and can happen. Take the time you need to move through it.
9) Stay present – Practicing presence and acceptance and trying to look at the positives in your life where you are at now can actually help in a mindset shift that helps you move forward too. Appreciate what you can each step of the way and know that difficult times don’t last.
While life can seem super busy at times and you might think it difficult to make time for the projects and tasks that matter to you, with the right, planning and mindset you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish. Taking the time to write out what it is you want to do, finding the right people to support you in what that is and also creating the right environment, can help propel you forward. As a mom you can leverage your organizational skills to help you make time for your loved ones and your goals. It just requires patience and planning. You’ve got this!
Also, in case you haven’t seen it yet, I’ve created a PDF that can help you get started on the right foot. It’s The Quick Time Saving Guide for Busy Moms
that you can download here.
In it you’ll find a couple pages offering tips on how to build the habits necessary, while also offering a worksheet you can use to block out time in your day to complete the tasks you need to bring your projects to life.
Are there any productivity tips that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!