One thing every mom wishes she had more of is time. We do not have control over how many hours are in the day but we do have control over how we use the hours we do have. Below I list my top 5 tips for increasing productivity during the day:
- Wake up and hour earlier than the kids – If possible, waking up one hour before the kids get up is a great way to start the day on a productive high. It provides you a little time to dedicate to yourself and prepare for your day. My kids usually wake up at 7am so I try to start my day at 6am. This gives me time to complete the basics (brush teeth, wash face, get dressed); start a pot of oatmeal and get a little work done before the craziness of playing mom starts. While I’m not always ready to wake up when my alarm goes off I find my days start much smoother when I do. Otherwise I am being woken up to my son running into my room or my daughter calling for me from her crib leaving me no time to prepare for the day. Having that one hour of quiet time in the morning sets the tone for a good day.
- Hide your phone from yourself – How easy is it to get sucked into social media, emails, and text conversations throughout the day. Often, before you know it you have lost a whole hour. This tip put into practice has significantly increased my productivity by freeing up “wasted time”. I now keep my phone face down on my desk or leave my phone in my bedroom while I work in the office. This removes the distraction of notifications popping up on my phone screen or the temptation to just check instagram and facebook quickly. Think in the 10 minutes you just spent scrolling through facebook you could have done one of my 10 minute workout videos! I set a designated time block during the day to check social media and respond to comments, emails, and text messages. Setting a designated time block for doing this reduces the need to do it consistently throughout the day and increases my time to achieve other goals.
- Set realistic weekly and daily goals – If you want to go to bed feeling accomplished set realistic goals you can actually accomplish that day. For example; at the start of each week I write out what I want to accomplish that week. Then I look at my calendar and make sure all of my required tasks are written out; such as doctor appointments, kid activities, work project deadlines, travel plans, ect. Then I turn my weekly goals into daily goal by placing them in the days I will actually have time to complete them. For example, my weekly goals may include things like workout 3 times this week, write 1 blog post, film one 10 minute video, plan our weekly dinner menu, go grocery shopping, facetime with family, ect. By analyzing my weekly schedule I am able to schedule my additional goals when I realistically will have time to accomplish them. I won’t plan the most labor intensive dinner for the day I have to be in the office all day and I know my husband will be gone on a job and I am left alone with two kids. Also this allows you to make appropriate adjustments. With the Superbowl this past Sunday we adjusted our grocery shopping day because we knew we had a party scheduled for Sunday and realistically wouldn’t have time to grocery store before then. Doing this type of planning allows you to end the day feeling accomplished because you did not plan things that were not feasible to complete.
- Eliminate or reduce tv time – This tips does not require much explanation. The time you spend watching tv can be used to workout or achieve goals from your task list.
- Go to bed early – It’s hard to be productive if you are tired. Lack of sleep impacts your brain’s ability to function. Cognitive throughput, the speed with which your brain processes information, slows down after just a single night of tossing and turning or a night of less than 6 hours of sleep. Too little sleep disrupts the neural pathways that allow information to travel smoothly from one area of your brain to another. Therefore if you are planning to get up early then plan to go to bed early. This will set you up for success and the opportunity to be your most productive self the next day.
While I do give into an hour of tv at night to unwind or I do not always have the opportunity to wake up before the kids because my son wants to start his day at 6am I consistently try to put these tips into practice. As, a result I find myself achieving more during my days with these time management tips. I would love to read your favorite tips for increasing productivity in the comments below.