How to Become More Productive
Pre-kids I racked my brain trying to figure out how to become more productive. I could not get with it no matter how hard I tried. It took me giving birth to get my stuff together, and realize I didn’t have much of a choice if I wanted to be a highly functioning human being and mother. So I kicked it in gear and started doing some trial and error to see what I could do to improve.
I always envied people who managed to multitask through their day as if they were waltzing through life. After researching and implementing new routines, I realized, it takes a lot of work and discipline to be productive! It may come natural to some folks, I on the other hand, am not one of them. I work very hard to try and improve each day. Through the years I’ve managed to continuously strive to push further, to try and accomplish more than the day before. Let me just say, there’s always ALWAYS room for growth. Here are some things I have learned that have helped me become more productive.
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Get Enough Sleep
When I made the decision to tweak my life to accomplish more, one of the first things I tackled was a set sleep time. Now this was very difficult with having kids, but the more I attempted to stay on track, the faster I was able to skyrocket my production the following days. At first, I wanted to stay up and binge watch Netflix after the boys went to sleep so I could have some alone time with my husband (If I’m being honest, I still do this but only once in a blue moon). Although, I quickly realized this wasn’t sustainable because of my boys sporadic sleep schedules.
If I don’t get enough sleep, I am MISERABLE. So I made a promise to myself that I would attempt to, at least most of the time, go to sleep at a reasonable time after putting the boys to bed. It’s made a huge difference in my mood and production, and I highly recommend that if your going to start anywhere, start with this.
Wake Up Early
There’s a saying, the early bird gets the worm. Well it’s true. If you ask my husband, he will be the first to tell you, I am not a morning person. It’s taken me years to get on the early train but it’s so worth it. And after seeing how much more productive I could be after just getting my ass in gear, I am never going back to loungy laid back mornings (not that my boys give me much of a choice). I will say that (although a rare occasion) I really REALLY enjoy a few minutes of silence while sipping on a cup of joe but after that I’m generally ready for the race. I promise that if you get in a routine and give it an honest shot, you will not regret adding this time onto your day.
Another thing that I’ve found to be super helpful is working out. I know, I know, it’s super difficult with little ones. But if you can adjust accordingly and get at least a ten minute workout in you will feel refreshed and more energetic. Obviously running on the treadmill or using a ton of equipment is not practical with your minis around, but if you do a ten minute workout video or even just some jumping jacks and pushups to get the blood flowing you’ll feel amazing and be ready to tackle the days list of priorities.
Get yourself a notepad or planner and write down the things you would like to accomplish. Whether you do this the night before or in the morning while enjoying that big ol’ cup of coffee, it will give you a visual confirmation of all your goals for the day. Even though you may not check off everything on the list, you will be a whole lot closer than you were when you started. Plus it’s exciting to see how much you actually can achieve when you put your mind to it.
After writing down your list of goals, try and prioritize which are the most important. Then decide based on time what order to do them in. By doing this you give yourself accountability and a timeline, making it a little easier to manage. Let’s be real, it may not always work out the way you plan, because kids just don’t always go with the flow. But it’s at least worth a shot and will move you in the right direction.
Use Your Resources
Use those cute planners you see on Amazon or at Home Goods. Or utilize google calendar to keep track of all your lists. My husband and I share Google calendar to keep track of special events and work schedules, and it is by far one of the most useful tool I’ve used to manage my time. I also LOVE me some cute notepads and planners, because well, for whatever reason, owning and writing in a pretty planner makes me feel like a boss. Don’t know why, but it is what it is.
Set Time Limits
You know how you made that list and prioritized your tasks. Make sure you stick to that! Set time limits so you don’t go crazy on one thing, and then let that be the only thing you accomplish that day. Chipping away at each task is much more productive than one giant chunk. Then being left feeling like a failure because you didn’t achieve what you set out to. Unless of course it’s a big project that you intended to be your only daily accomplishment.
Know When You're Most Productive
I know that I’m absolutely the most productive around 9am to 2pm. I’m like a whirlwind during this period and can literally get anything done during this time of day. Before this, I have to push myself, and after I start to get burnt out. Monitor yourself and see when you feel the most energetic and play off of it.
It’s a lot to keep chugging along each day, but it’s so incredibly rewarding. If you stay disciplined and keep trying each day there is no limit to what you can accomplish. You know those stories you hear of people who can achieve the unimaginable, it’s because they remained disciplined. They’re not any different from you or me, they’re just better disciplined. It’s no easy feat to stick with it day after day but whatever your end goals are, small or large, staying disciplined will get you closer to achieving them.
Know That It’s Ok to Try Again Tomorrow
Sometimes, I’m not able to check off every box on my list. For me, my goals usually include, keeping the house reasonably clean, writing out a blog post or two, making sure we have clean laundry and making sure my kids are fed and happy. And sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. While my kids ALWAYS make sure to remind me to feed them and keep them entertained (obviously my main priority) the other stuff doesn’t always make it to the finish line. Sometimes I get mom exhaustion and that’s ok, because there’s always tomorrow. I’m always sure that the dishes and laundry will be there waiting for me the next day (although sometimes I wish they weren’t!). So don’t be too hard on yourself and cut yourself some slack.
These are the things that have helped me become more productive. It can be difficult to juggle everything but keep chugging along and it will become easier. So onward mama, and start writing down your goals, whatever they may be! Your only limited by what you believe you can achieve.
- Get Enough Sleep
- Wake Up Early
- Get Physical
- Write Lists
- Use Your Resources
- Set Time Limits
- Know When You’re Most Productive
- Stay Disciplined
- Know It’s Ok To Try Again Tomorrow
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