I recently did a poll on The Working Homeschool Moms Support Group on Facebook, and most of the moms said that they had issues with time management. And one particular thing that stood out was that they were wasting time on things that didn’t serve them. Time is our most valuable resource, and that’s why we have to become masters at making the most of it! In this post, I hope that these 5 productivity tips for moms like us, will help you to feel more in control of time!
Contents of the Post
1. Start with Your Priorities and Goals!
I speak about priorities and goals a lot. I know I sound like a broken record, but they are so important when it comes to time management! Because you will always find time for what’s important to you!
I suggest doing this exercise before you embark on any changes in your life. Because it will help you to make the right decisions. And will give you a clear path forward.
I have a worksheet in my Time Management Course, but you can also figure out your priorities and goals with a pad and pen. Spend some time to quieten your mind, so that you can see what’s in your heart. And then write down your values and goals.
Once you’ve identified them, you need to make sure that they’re always top of mind. Read them every week. And use them as metrics when you need to make decisions. Let me give you a simple example:
- Your value is fostering loving relationships, trust and connection in your family.
- Your goal is to have a family movie night every week.
- You’ve scheduled 2 hours in on Sundays.
- A family member asks you to do something for them on Sunday.
- You decline because it’s your sacred family movie night.
- Making the decision was easy because you know what your values and goals are.
So how does this relate to productivity? Well, you can get rid of things in your schedule that don’t serve you. You’ll be able to set boundaries around what matters to you! And you’ll definitely be much more motivated and therefore productive, when it comes to doing tasks. Because they’ll be important to you!
2. Increase Simplicity to Increase Productivity
Simplicity is a wonderful thing. And it really works! That’s why there are so many decluttering shows and life hack posts around the internet. Because they do save you time and stress.
So what are some ways that you can simplify your life? And how does it relate to productivity tips for moms who are juggling work and homeschooling?
There are lots and lots of ways you can simplify your life. I wrote a detailed post with some ideas you can use to make your life easier. But I’ll give you some ideas to get you started:
- First of all, you need mindfulness to identify what needs to be simplified. It’s hard to identify problem areas when you’re rushing around like a headless chicken. Schedule in some time to be still and present, and you’ll then be able to see where you’re getting stuck.
- Once you’ve figured out what needs to change, now you can start thinking about ways to make it happen. For the best chance at a sustainable change, be sure to break your big goal into smaller, more manageable steps.
- Let me give you a simple example once again. We all know that decluttering is a great way to simplify. But decluttering your whole house and life can feel really overwhelming! So let’s break it down into smaller steps…
- Identify all the areas you need to declutter. You can break it down into rooms or areas of your life.
- Then break these into specific things within each area or room.
- Schedule in some time every day to declutter. Unless you have lots of time available, try and keep it to a manageable amount of time like 20 minutes.
It may take some time to get through everything, but if you consistently spend time every day, you’ll get though the list without even breaking a sweat. And you may find that you can increase the time as you get used to decluttering.
Once again you may ask why I would include simplification in my productivity tips for moms who are working and homeschool. When your life is simplified, it means that you can use your time more effectively.
- With a decluttered house, cleaning and finding things becomes much easier. And you save time!
- When you have simple but tested routines, systems and processes, you also save time.
- By simplifying how you dress and what you eat, you save time. You take away the stress that’s associated with choosing outfits or meals.
You get the idea. Find those places that are draining your time because they’re difficult and messy…and simplify them.
3. Do One Thing at a Time!
Multitasking is bad for you! Science says so! And it definitely doesn’t help with productivity either! But doing one thing at a time does!
Your productivity is going to soar when you give all your attention to one single task. When you eliminate distractions, and I know this is easier said than done, you use your whole, big, beautiful brain on the task at hand. Productivity central!
There are lots of things you can do to increase concentration. Firstly, it does take practice. But after a few difficult and maybe even uncomfortable sessions, you’ll get better at it for sure. Any new activity or habit is hard until it isn’t.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique to make the most of your time. This means working for 25 minutes, then taking a 5 minute break. You can do this for 4 sessions and then take a longer break.
- Put your phone in another room or switch it to do not disturb. This will help you to minimize being distracted.
- Do tough jobs when you feel the most energized. This will help you to concentrate and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate. I need to clean or work out in the morning. This is my high energy time. I can write and create content much easier when I’ve warmed up, which is usually by the afternoon.
4. Do All the Same Things Together
Much like doing one thing at a time, doing the same kinds of things together, also helps with productivity. Batching and blocking are great tools for getting more done in the day.
When you batch all the same things together, it means you save all the time needed to transition from one activity to another, This may not sound like a huge time saver, but it’s been proven that it takes our brains a while to get into gear for something new.
You save both the time it takes to move from one area or task to another, plus the mental load it takes to start concentering again. Asana has some great ideas for how to batch tasks. You’ll see it’s really simple. And by doing it, you’ll soon discover how effective it is!
Block scheduling is another way to up your productivity. And it works really well with batching. Basically, you allocate blocks of time to certain tasks in the day. You could create blocks for working out or cooking. And then within that time, you have a structured flexibility to do what you can within the allocated time.
Be sure to take into account Parkinson’s Law with block scheduling.
Parkinson’s law is an axiom that states: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”Very Well Mind
A potential pitfall with block scheduling is that you’ll take all the time you have available to do just one thing. It’s very important to know how long something takes to complete. If you’ve done my time audit, you’ll have a better idea of this.
You could also use a timer to see how long something takes. This information is really going to help you to manage your time in the best way possible.
5. Get Organized
Getting organized also has to be in the top 5 productivity tips for moms who work and homeschool. Because I can guarantee you that chaos can never be your friend!
There are lots and lots of things you can do to get organized. This will depend on where you’re getting stuck and what’s draining your productivity.
Some ideas are…
- Batch cook so you can save time, stress and the mental load that comes from thinking about what to feed your family. Be sure to listen to this great podcast episode about winning in the kitchen.
- Clean up your computer so that everything is in folders and you can find what you’re looking for.
- Strip down your homeschool supplies and organize them in a way that means they’re easy to use and won’t cause mess.
- Do laundry every day so that it never piles up to amounts that are depressing and overwhelming.
These are just a few ideas. There are loads of ways you can be more organized. It’s really worth it to find all the ways you can. Because an organized life is definitely a productive one.
Final Thoughts on Productivity Tips for Moms who Work and Homeschool
The productivity tips for moms I mentioned above, are pretty general. Productivity is going to look different to you because your values, goals and reality are different.
But at the end of the day, it’s worth it to try out some of these ideas and methods. Because just imagine what you’ll be able to achieve with more hours in the day!