Finding enough time in the day to do everything you feel/ know you have to do can seem quite impossible. I want to share the step-by-step framework that I created, and you can use to make the best out of the time you do have and achieve work life balance, on your terms. The goal is for you to leave here with a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be productive.
If you want to learn more about some time management tools, check this post out.
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The Productive Mom 7-Step Framework
The productive mom 7-step framework will help you go from struggling to making the best use of your time as a working mom. You will actually be checking everything off your list and feeling good about it at the end.
Once you establish a pattern and add this into your daily structure, life will feel and be much more productive.
Step #1: Self-Analysis
Okay, so this step is all about understanding where you are and why productivity is so hard for you. As with anything I talk about, question asking is KEY. You need to ask the real questions to get to the root cause. Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself:
- Why do you struggle with completing your to-do list?
- What time of day do you schedule home chores?
- Do you work well with kids around?
- Are you a morning or an evening kind of girl?
- Do you like or dislike seeing a messy space?
- Do you read what you write on the fridge door?
- Are you on your phone often?
Step #2: Exploration
This following step truly goes hand by hand with self analysis. After you ask the questions to learn more about your character traits and how YOU work best, you need to do some exploration.
I want you to now explore the different ways to keep organized and on top of what needs to get done. If you like doing things electronically you will want to look at google calendar, trello and other apps that may be more useful for you.
Whereas if you work best with a planner, you can think of where you are placing the planner and the kind of planner. If you like planners you may be someone who buys a million of them but you don’t use it. So ask yourself, what type of planner will help you feel less overwhelmed and more committed to doing the things you say you will do. Explore!
Here is a FREE productive working mom planner that I created and could be useful.
Step #3: Plan and Routines
Now comes the fun – it is time to put it into action. Based on your self-analysis and exploration of what works best for you, you will need to create and schedule your plan.
First, create time blocks for you to work on different responsibilities and add it into your schedule. Then you should create a routine for the morning and evening (at the bare minimum). Now hear me out, I know some of you may not like the word routine or just feel like it is not for you. But all I say is don’t knock it until you try it. And you have to try it for at least 3 weeks.
Also, if you are already disorganized and struggle with getting things done, routine setting is a great first step for you to see where the problem really lies.
Organization is one of those keys (not the only) step to achieve work life balance in a way that makes you feel more at ease.
Step #4: Delayed Gratification
Earn the time to sit down and relax. Instead of watching tv or scrolling on your phone, first, tell yourself that if you do 15 minutes of x thing then you can take 30 minutes to do something of choice.
This is what I call holding still and getting delayed gratification instead of immediate. You can write this on the white board on your refrigerator to set a reminder for yourself. Or, if you really struggle with this, create an alarm clock for the time you get home that tells you what you need to do in order to earn whatever you decide.
Step #5: Accountability
Oftentimes, we get things done when held accountable by others. You can have your partner, best friend, mom (whoever), make sure you are doing what you say you are going to do.
Heck, you can even invite them over so they can help motivate you. And if they live faraway, facetime or zoom are great alternatives. But don’t make any excuses for yourself.
Step #6: Consistency = Habit Formation
You need to stay consistent! When you do something consistently, even on the toughest of days, you still get it done because the end goal is that much more powerful.
With consistency, comes habit building. Think of when you are starting a workout. If you haven’t done it before or in a while, it’s easy to do it one day and stop the other. That is why you hold consistent through the beginning so it can become part of your habit system.
You want to do the same with your productivity needs and strategies. Be consistent!
Step #7: Flexibility (sprinkled in)
As with anything in motherhood, and what may seem like the contrary of step #6, I want you to be flexible, when it makes sense.
At the end of the day, meetings run long, kids get sick, so on and so forth. If that is the case, then yes on occasion you will have to be flexible and instead of completing all 3 items, you may only get to 1 and have to create a plan to tackle 2 and 3 tomorrow.
This should NOT be the norm but you need to understand that it is possible.
Productivity for working moms is not as scary as it seems.
When you nail down these different tips and tricks to kick starting productivity in a positive way, you will see results quickly. The whole point is not to overwhelm yourself and the only way to do that is by creating systems that get you to do things but not hate or feel discouraged in the process.
Once you implement this in a way that makes you feel good, you will start to achieve work life balance or simply be one step closer to feeling in harmony.
These 2 posts will be a great next step:
This all takes time if you are not used to it. That is okay! I encourage baby steps vs. doing nothing at all.
>> where in the latter do you struggle with most?! Let me know in the comments!