Much of what I share comes from things I have learned in different seasons of life and motherhood. When I graduated from college I was 21 years old, managing 15 college students and working from home. No clocking in or out, just knowing I had a job and goal to meet and needing to manage my time wisely in order to reach them. This forced me to figure out productivity tips and time management that worked well for me and my personality.
I stayed in that position for 10 years, which brought about many different seasons of life. Single, Married, Mom of 1, Mom of 1 with a side hustle and mom of 2 with a side hustle. Each season has required me to tweak and work on our daily routine but practice simply makes you better.
Today I want to share 5 tips that have helped ME become more productive. Not because I have it all together or because it’s any sort of competition, but to hopefully give you some ideas that you can adapt into your life.
1. Work while your kids are sleeping or napping, not when they are awake.
Obviously things happen and some days you may have tasks that have to get done while the kids are up, but if you CAN try not to work when they are awake. I have personally found that when I work while my kids are up it takes me about 5x as long as if I just woke up early and knocked it out or worked while they were napping. I always try to do the things that I can’t do while they are awake when they are napping/sleeping so they don’t bleed into my time with them. You will feel much more present and happy when spending time with them if you take the time to do your work before they are up or during nap time.
2. Do a weekly and daily brain dump and categorize + assign it to a day.
One thing that has helped me a ton is weekly and daily “brain dumps.” A brain dump is literally dumping everything (like a bucket) out of your brain and getting it on paper. Nothing fancy- just getting it all out of your head. I do one every Sunday night and ask Brian what all he has in his brain that needs to be done too. From there I categorize them (home, work, etc) and assign them to days throughout the week. Every morning I review my “to do” for the day and add anything in my brain to my to do for the week. If it’s not pressing it goes down for the next week.
3. Work from a list.
When you know what you are doing, you are way more likely to get it done. Every morning I review my “to do” for the day and add anything in my brain to my to do for the week. If it’s not pressing it goes down for the next week.
“One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not to be done at all.” ― Brian Tracy
4. Batch work.
Batch working is basically working on similar task all at once instead of doing a little every day. For instance, I schedule all of my fit community content in one day instead of going in daily or weekly. I do this with social media planning, meal planning, workout plans, marketing plans, etc. Instead of planning social media every day I sit down and plan a whole week or even month at once. This actually makes your content better and you will work more efficiently because your brain is already thinking about that task.
5. Set a timer.
Set a timer! Use your phone to keep yourself on track. Once the timer goes off, finish what you’re doing and move on to the next project. You will be SO SURPRISED at how much more productive you will be when you work against the clock. It is a KNOWN FACT that we FILL UP whatever time we give ourselves to complete a task. So, if you give yourself 40 minutes – you will likely take 40 minutes. If you give yourself 25 minutes – you will likely take 25 minutes. Your brain will figure it out.
Let me know if you’re using any of these tips or give any of them a try this week! I love hearing how things I am sharing are truly helping you.