As a working mom, chances are that you have a lot on your plate. Not only do you need to manage work and family life, but there is also the added pressure of feeling like the world’s most inadequate mother because of the many things pulling for your time and attention.
Productivity can be difficult when so many things demand your attention at one time. With work, home maintenance and trying to spend intentional time with those you love, fitting it all in can feel like the most impossible task. But don’t worry! Productivity doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive – it can actually be as simple as these 12 productivity tips for working moms for better efficiency!
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How can a working mom be more productive
If you are a working mom then you already know the problem with productivity. There always seem to be more tasks than hours of the day! In order to be more productive as a working mom there are three basic things that you want to focus on and manage well! They are
- Make life easier by decreasing the things around you
- Manage your schedule with better time management and boundaries
- Improve your efficiency with a stepwise approach to task delegation and organization
Bonus: Create a system. EVERYTHING is better with a system, but especially productivity!
Productivity tips for better efficiency
The first thing that you can do to be more productive as a working mom is to understand that productivity and busyness are not the same. So many times we keep ourselves busy with several tasks that never get us closer to our ultimate goals. You have to understand this first. It is hard to be efficient when all the work you are doing is busy work.
Productivity and efficiency go hand in hand. When we think of being more productive, we are often thinking that we want to get the things we have to do done so that we can do the things we want to do. Here are a few tips for better efficiency in your home and work life.
1. Delegate, Outsource, Automate
Productivity does not mean that you have to do everything on your own in fact, one thing I have learned is the most productive moms are often the ones who delegate the best. This could be with chores, responsibilities at work or even tasks for your family.
Outsource and automate what you can so that busy tasks don’t take up hours of your day to complete a task that can be done by someone else!
2. Create a schedule by time blocking
Time blocking is a method of organizing your schedule where you decide how many hours of the day you want to work on certain tasks. For example, if you wanted to spend one hour answering emails each weekday then that is what your schedule would tell you to do!
This blocks out time for other things in your life as well. It allows you to be specific about where you are spending your time.
3. Stop Multitasking
One of the biggest myths in many of our productivity ideology is the thought that multitasking is beneficial. The truth is, multitasking is nearly impossible to do. When I think of multitasking, I often imagine my computer screen. At any given moment I have a million things I am working on up as different windows. However, I am never actually working on all of those things at the same time.
I am just shifting from one window to another, always having to readjust my thinking to the new tab and slowing down my system. Multitasking is so similar its scary. You are never really working on two things at once. Instead of multitasking, consider focusing on a single project and work that to an acceptable breaking point. Then move on to the next.
4. Set a definitive stop point
The last productivity tip for working moms is to set a definitive stopping point for your day as a whole. So often we as moms work until we essentially pass out. Trying to clean, cook, take care of the to do list. Remember, these tasks are essentially non stop, and there is always something extra that can get added to the list.
Rest is essential to productivity, but if you work non stop you never get the opportunity to recover. Set a point in the day, everyday where the list stops and the self-care/rest begins!
Time management productivity tips
Another big hitter in overall productivity tips for working moms is time management tips. We have already pointed out the fact that there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that you as a mom want to get done.
These productivity hacks center around managing your time more wisely.
1. Do not overbook your time
So many of us are guilty of overcommitting. We say yes to so many things from kids activities and events, work projects as well as social gatherings. We fall victim to the idea that if there is nothing on the schedule then we have time to do something else.
But remember this. Doing nothing is doing something! Scheduling meetings back to back, or filling every evening is unsustainable.
2. Allot time for breaks
Another thing that we often don’t do in creating a productive routine is to allot time for breaks. We make our to do list and like mentioned earlier, overbook our schedule to the brim, without realizing we will need time for living. Productivity is improved when we take plan the time we will need to stop, reconnect, relieve ourselves, rest, and eat!
Scheduling in these breaks makes sure that the time you set aside to work is more productive.
3. Save the energy sucking tasks for last
We all have those tasks that we know will throw our schedule off. Perhaps its reading emails from work. Maybe its doing laundry. Perhaps, its going to the mailbox and the hours long conversation you have with your neighbor. Whatever it is, we all have those things that take much more time than we anticipate and end up throwing our plans out the window.
Many people like to think about allotting the most amount of time for these tasks, and that does work. But I recommend that you save these tasks for last in your day. Get the things that can be done quickly to give you the endorphin boost you’ll need to finish quickly. Only then should you complete the time suck tasks.
4. Be Realistic with your schedule
Another thing that many of us are guilty of is not being realistic with our schedules. being productive assumes you are honest with yourself about the time it takes to complete tasks. When you aren’t honest and you overbook its easy to get behind and then discouraged because it looks like you are unproductive, when actually you were just unrealistic in the expectations you set.
5. Tracking Time
This is one I really struggle with but tracking time actually helps me manage my schedule better than anything else. When I know how much time I spend on a task I can better decide what tasks need to be done and when.
Organization tips to make life easier
Did you know that your productivity is influenced by the clutter around you? Its true in fact productivity increases when your environment is more organized and calm- not hectic. This last set of working mom productivity tips are those that help you get more organized in your home, office, and schedule.
1. Declutter your office space
Having a cluttered environment is not only overwhelming and distracting but it can also lead to more stress. When you are sitting at your desk, surrounded by piles of papers, stacks of books that you don’t know what they contain or a desktop full with icons that all look the same – it’s easy to see how this could be discouraging and decrease your productivity!
2. Declutter your home space
The next productivity tip is to make sure you have a decluttered home. An organized home means easier cleaning. Simplified cleaning means that task on your to do list takes much less time and thus leaves space for more fulfilling tasks.
3. Simplify meal plans
Productivity for working moms means simplifying all the things on your seemingly growing list of to do’s each day. One of the things that is often a huge time suck for moms is dinner planning. Many of us want to offer healthy nutritious meals to our families, but many times we get overwhelmed with large ingredient lists or trying to be too creative!
Consider simplifying your weekday meals with simple few ingredient options you can put in rotation. you can also:
- plan meals for the whole week on Sunday
- create a weekly meal plan to organize your dinners
- make one-pot meals that only require clean up after dinner
- have family members help with the cooking
- keep snack foods and appetizers available for busy days when you don’t have time or energy to cook.
Declutter your mind with a weekly planner
The last productivity tip that can help you make life easier is to clear the endless to do list from your mind and use a weekly planner or to do list. One of the biggest mistakes many working moms make when using their to do list is to not write the list down. This not only wastes precious memory cells but also may cause you to spend so much extra time trying to organize the most efficient next steps.
Love these tips on being more productive as a working mom? Want to learn even more? I recommend checking out our free weekly newsletter that offers tips and tricks on time management, productivity hacks, and the occasional giveaway!
We hope you’ll find some of these strategies useful in your day-to-day routine. If there’s anything else you’d like to know about being better at managing tasks and staying organized – from planning family vacations to creating a cleaning routine for the entire family, don’t hesitate to reach out!