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Back to school time and life is hectic. I get it. There is so much to be done. Getting back into your routines and on schedule can be challenging. Let’s face it as a mom life is ever-evolving and ever-changing so you constantly have to adapt and adjust.
Productivity in life requires flexibility
The thing is many of us find ourselves adapting and adjusting, but going with the flow of life. Yes, it’s good to go with the flow of life, however if you just keep wandering around aimlessly then you wind up feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, miserable, and probably filling your life with a bunch of busyness.
Life is not about being busy all of the time. There is not badge of honor for always being busy. In this society, we have subscribed to the busy culture for too long and now it’s time to make a change. As a mom, being busy is the fastest way to being unfilled. If you want to pursue your dreams and goals while managing mom life then you have to get a handle on your productivity.
Productivity tips for when you feel overwhelmed
Here are a 5 tips to help you be more productive when you feel overwhelmed and unmotivated.
Do a lifestyle inventory
You have to get a handle on all the things you have going on in your life. If you don’t know what you’re doing and where you’re going, you are going to constantly run in circles. By doing a lifestyle inventory, you get a clear picture of where and how you spend your time. Once you know this information, then you can start to evaluate all you have going on.
Do you have to be on every committee? Do your kids have to be involved in every activity? Is it necessary to be doing all the things by yourself? When you start to ask yourself these questions, you start to reframe your thinking around time and energy and you also open the door for you to fill your plate with more of the things you love and enjoy.
One of my favorite ways to do a lifestyle inventory is to get a paper plate (this can also be done as a brain dump using a piece of paper) and on this plate write down everything you have going on in all areas of your life. From there you can start to evaluate things and make adjustments. Ask yourself: “Do I need to do this?” “Does this need to be done by me?” “Does this need to be done right now?” “Is this something someone else can do?” “Is this something I can take off of my plate?”
Of course there are many non-negotiable things in life but I can almost guarantee your life is full of a lot of fluff. Cut the fluff and free your time. By cutting the fluff you find that you start to create more time for you and your goals in your life.
Set healthy boundaries
Once you have an idea of all you have going on in your life and the things filling your plate, you can start to create boundaries around your time, energy, and life. Boundaries not only teach people how to treat you, but it also teaches you how to value yourself and your time. When you have boundaries in place they act as a guide for your life.
You learn how to operate within your boundaries and watch out for any things that may cross your boundaries. These boundaries can be physical, mental, spiritual or emotional. As well as time, finances, and non-negotiable boundaries. Examples of healthy boundaries nclude: prioritizing self-care, saying no without excuse or explanation, respect of time, no phones during mealtime, no work past a certain time or on the weekends, etc.
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There are so many ways you can set boundaries in your life and the great thing is no one can tell you whether your boundaries are right or wrong because they are personal. Along that same like with setting boundaries, you have to be okay enforcing and honoring them. Boundary crossers are everywhere and if you let them, they will cross over the line. Watch out for boundary crossers.
Establish daily priorities
Next you have to establish daily priorities. Let go of the idea of multitasking. It is not a thing. Multitasking will drive you crazy and leave you with a lot of open tabs on your computer and unfinished projects. When you set daily priorities, you allow yourself the ability to start knocking things off of you endless to-do lists. To-do lists can be overwhelming, but when you pull out 3 priorities each day from that list, suddenly it doesn’t seem too daunting. The idea is to get 3 things you can work on each day and then ocmmitt to working on them. One way to do this is through time-blocking.
Time blocking is when you pick a task and work to a timer to get it done. Once time is up, then you either finish it or bring it as close to a finish as possible and move on to the next task. When you time-block it helps you not to get bogged down for too long in one task and allows you to be more productive each day.,
Automate, Delegate, Eliminate
This goes along the same lines as knowing what’s on your plate and cutting the fluff from your life. However, this takes it one step further. When you start to implement systems and routines in your life, you find that life becomes a little less cluttered and overwhelming. In business and in life you need to find a way to automate, delegate and eliminate. Cut back on some of the systems you use in business. Cut back on unnecessary expenses at home.
Automate tasks in your business and life. One thing you can easily automate in business is communications and social media. It takes time to set up these processes but once they are set up, they save you time and energy in business. My favorite tools for automation of communications, proposals, contracts, and other important documents and processes are Dubsado and AirTable. Both of these systems allow you to set up your business operations so that they flow smoothly and make things easier for you.
As for social media planning, scheduling, and posting, my favorite tool is Metricool. Metricool automatically posts to all the social media platforms for you including YouTube shorts. Metricool also goes beyond scheduling content and gives you detailed analytics, suggested times to post, smartlinks for tracking content, and more. These tools combined make me feel like I have my own personal virtual assistant.
Delegate duties and responsibilities to others, especially in your household. You may not be in a position to hire help in business but in your house, you can get all of your household members to contribute. Even the smallest toddler can pick up their toys and put them back where they belong. You do not have to operate as a team of one.
Take care of yourself
This is the most important tip of them all. Without YOU, the business, brand, life is nothing. If you aren’t able to show up and be your personal best then none of this means anything. The only way for you to show up for you is to rest, reset, and replenish your energy. You can’t constantly give, give, give without getting anything in return. It is up to you to preserve your energy and protect your peace. When you take care of yourself, you are able to approach things with a clear mind and really slay your dreams and goals. Likewise, self-care doesn’t have to be hard complicated or cost a lot of money. Sitting in your car before you go in the house or between errands, indulging on your favorite beverage or treat, going for a walk alone and even resting, are all ways to practice self-care.Make self-care part of your daily routine and you will be amazed at how much more productive you feel.
These are all ways you can start to minimize overwhelm and trade in busyness for productive. Taking steps each day will help you show up as your best in all areas of life. It is easy to be overwhelmed at the the thought of changing things so you can be more productive, that is why you must take it step by step and day by day. Implement one change at a time. Start doing one new thing at a time, and before you know it you will have a routine that included maximizing your productivity.