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Not too long ago the whole world essentially made this huge shift to working from home – moms included. And while, for some of us, it felt like this amazing opportunity to work and still get time with our kids. Which it totally is, but we’re now faced with managing our home, kids, and maybe even our own business from home… and let’s just say it’s A LOT to handle. Sometimes, we just need a few work from home productivity tips to keep us going!
Honestly, the hardest part of working from home as a mom is staying productive. And not just during one day, but overall. Once the kids get loud, the house gets messy, and life gets busy, it. feels that much harder to stay productive in my business.
One of the many ways I’ve learned to keep up my productivity is to schedule a to-do list and a few of my routine tasks. Once I’m in the “work mode” from completing my tasks, I’m more likely to do MORE work because I feel inspired. It’s not a perfect method, but it works 9/10 times!
I’ll be the first to admit that not everything is going to work for everybody. Some work from home productivity tips are going to help you more than others – the purpose is to find what’s right for you!
Let’s look at some of my favorite work from home productivity tips for moms:
There are things we love to do in our business, and then there are things we hate. Some people hate bookkeeping, some hate marketing, and some hate daily planning – it is what it is. Unfortunately, in most cases, we’re not in a position to outsource everything we don’t like (at least, not yet). Therefore you still have to do the things you don’t like.
There are two ways to do this, plan it all for one day OR plan it out across the week. Personally, I prefer to write out all the tasks that I don’t like to do for the week and knock at least two out per day. It helps when I’m not feeling creative as most of my no-like tasks require little creativity or thinking.
If you have a home office or desk, it can be tempting to stay right there. What you may not realize, is that after a while of staying in one spot you can get a bit stifled.
When you’re feeling less productive, try working from your couch or kitchen table. Take your kids outside and work from your porch or in the grass (I’ve done it before!) while your kids play. Not feeling great? Work in bed! You’re at home, you set the rules!
To some, a productive day may mean that you got everything on your to-do list done. To others, it could just mean trying to get three things crossed off that list because they always find that it is impossible to get the whole list finished. If you start scheduling EVERYTHING, from when you are in meetings to when you are going to take a shower, it will help you stay on track and cross all of those things off your to-do list. Just make sure that you are giving yourself ample time to get it done!
Not everything in life needs to be done by you. Need help picking up the kids from school? Need help proofreading something on your website or blog? Delegate it! Ask for help, and don’t be afraid to do so!
So many of us try to do ALL the things when, in reality, it isn’t possible. I am so thankful to have an excellent assistant that is there when I need her to help take things off my plate when I need them gone. Yes, it’s not awesome to pay someone to do your work, but at the same time, it’s something you have to do to be successful ESPECIALLY if you are someone who is at home with the kids and still trying to work.
Every single thing that is on your mind should be written down before you start work. That is where journaling comes in. This allows you to clear your mind and be as productive as possible!
Airtable has changed my life and my business.
Like no joke at all. I can plan out everything on my schedule onto a color-coded forms so I can not only stay productive but spend less time figuring out what I have to do daily. It is the BEST thing since sliced bread, no joke. I highly recommend you check it out!
This time changes for my friend Hannah based on my mood. Typically anywhere between 7 am and 2 pm is where she is most productive. Sometimes though, she will get into the groove of working from 8 pm to 2 am. Figure out what time of the day you work the best and take advantage of it. If you work better at night, then try adjusting your sleeping schedule, so you don’t lack that. If you have kids, try having your significant other, parent, or friend help out for a bit to get in the groove of working at those times.
I NEVER work while I eat. Never, ever, ever. It’s a waste of time and overall I think it’s unfair to you to have to work while you eat. Take your time and take a break. Not only that, but get up and walk around every hour or so to keep your creativity flowing. I thankfully have a lovely little kitten who loves to visit me throughout the day periodically (just about every hour or so), so he can give me a small break I need.
Batching tasks is one of the BEST things that you can do! A big task to batch is writing blog posts, social media post creation, photoshoots, stuff like that. Get creative and figure out how you can batch tasks for the week to remove them from your to-do list for a decent period of time!
As much as I LOVE to watch TV while I work, darn does it decrease my productivity. Sometimes I just do it anyway to change the pace, and I am okay with the decrease, but when I need to get things done, I shut it off, close all the unnecessary tabs on my computer, and remove my phone from my site. This helps me get SO much work done; it’s incredible!
If you are anything like me, then you start with a to-do list, and by the end of the day, it’s just as long as when you started because you continuously add things to it. Some of these things, in the moment, seem super important like I HAVE to do them, but they don’t need to be done at all.
When you feel like you are constantly switching back and forth trying to get your to-do list finished, but it’s not moving at all, take a step back and reevaluate everything that is on the list. Do you really need to do it? Does it ACTUALLY need to be done today? Also, try to prevent yourself from adding things or straying away from the to-do list you created. Obviously, some things will pop up here and there but try your best to prevent it.
Sometimes when you start working from home, you get sucked into a routine that is unhealthy for you and involves you just jumping right into work. (Trust me, I’ve been there) Instead, wake up, shower, eat, cook, whatever you want to do that creates a morning routine for YOU and then stick to it. Habits are hard to create, but once you put the work in, you will be so much happier.
To avoid burnout, take a break when you aren’t feeling work. Don’t push yourself to get something done because that will end up causing HUGE issues in the end. Burnout is real, burnout does suck, and burnout is HARD to get over. So, work when you are happy and motivated, whether that be at noon or midnight. Take a step back when you aren’t feeling happy or motivated to prevent burnout!
Goals can HURT your productivity as much as they can increase it. When you put too many goals on your plate, you are pulling yourself in too many different directions, which is going to hurt you in the end. Context switching is a real thing, and when you try to do too many things at once or focus on too many things, you end up ruining your productivity and throwing it all into the black hole that is context switching.
I mentioned earlier that standing while working increases productivity. So if you have an area in your house that is perfect to set your laptop or work on, go there to increase productivity.
If you are wanting to be fancier, you can grab a standing desk and implement that into your workday!
Having a system when writing ANYTHING is really smart and helps prevent writer’s block. The process I go through when writing blog posts and stuff, in general, is always:
I outline on Day 1. Sometimes also write on Day 1. Then I edit on Day 2. Sometimes I outline on Day 1, write on Day 2, and edit on Day 3. This keeps you organized, productive, and easily able to get your work done!
Ohhhhh, this is a big one for my bloggers out there! We love to batch content, but what we forget about is the fact that batching takes a lot of work, and not only can you miss mistakes, but you are stuck typing one way that you will eventually want to change later.
To prevent this, I NEVER write and edit a blog post on the same day. Write all your blog posts, walk away, come back the next day, and then edit and post them. I promise you, in the long run, it will be 10000% better for you!
Decision-making has to be the LEAST productive thing you can do in a day like even less productive than watching Netflix. Decision-making involves not only using brainpower but also takes up a lot of time, so do your best to limit decision-making during the workday. If you can’t, and it’s inevitable, then I am so sorry, and I hope there is something you can do to limit at least a small part of it!
This is a tip that I am STILL so bad at. I especially love to go above and beyond for my clients, and that being said, I always either volunteer or say yes to things that aren’t included in the contract just to help out where I can, and like I said, go above and beyond.
“Under Promise and Over Deliver” is what I was taught when I was getting into my business, and that is what I still stick by, but the over-deliver part gets me in trouble more times than not.
Don’t be afraid to say no to someone asking you to do something extra that you just don’t have time for. At the end of the day, it will leave you stressed out, overworked, and unhappy!
You saw before that I said to schedule everything, and I still stand by that, but sometimes scheduling everything can be a huge task to do at the same time as planning. So instead of just scheduling everything and planning at the same time, do it in two separate sessions.
Plan your overall week on a week-to-week basis and then go through on a day-to-day basis to schedule what you are going to do each day. I can tell you from experience that when I did it versus not doing it, I always got more done. Yes, it’s extra work. But at the end of the day, you get more done than you could have if you didn’t!
Being productive looks differently for everyone. For some moms, being productive will look like completing one or two tasks per day. Other moms might feel more productive when they have a full day where they’ve completed the tasks they want done.
Both are just as fulfilling. I would love to hear what kind of productivity tips you have if I didn’t mention them here! What are you doing to stay productive?