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How to be a wildly productive Mom Blogger without ignoring your kids!

I’m kind of a productivity nut, I like to read everything I can about increasing productivity because honestly…I need all the help I can get. Over the weekend, I noticed that one of my favorite bloggers posted a new blog post about how she stays productive…I couldn’t wait to read it! I hopped over to her blog…and was met with utter shock and disappointment.

Her blog post starts off by giving us a “day in the life” perspective. I thought to myself, “Oh good I can’t wait to read this!” And then I read her first bullet point……”I wake up everyday at 9:00am” I’m sorry, what? 9:00 am? You mean to tell me you didn’t have to wake up at 6:00am just to have 10 minutes to yourself before having to get 3 kids ready for school, pack 2 lunches, sign 25 permission slips and wipe snot off the kitchen table? Mmm, okay. 9:00am? I could also be wildly productive if I was allowed 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep and a wake-up routine at 9:00am.

I hope I don’t sound bitter, but the truth is..I cannot relate to productivity tips from someone who doesn’t have children, or a husband, or a mortgage, or carpooling, gymnastics practices and the occasional lice outbreak.  I’m a mom…I’m a mom blogger, I need to know how other moms do it! Ok..phew..I feel better now.

So…if you are like me and you want to know how to run a successful blog, remain productive all while handling the responsibilities of real life…this post is for you. Below I’m going to share with you the slight productivity hacks that I’ve implemented in my life that have made all of the difference.

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Wake up before everyone else

If you do nothing else that I list in this blog post..do THIS one. Waking up early has literally been life changing for me. Believe me, at first, I was not psyched about waking up at 5:30am. It’s dark, it’s cold and your bed will literally beg you to stay put. But it’s a productivity trap! Get out of bed, make yourself a cup of coffee and read a book or write a blog post. This time is VERY important because it gives you time to mentally prepare for the day, uninterrupted. I also noticed that I was far MORE patient with the children once they did get up in the morning. Because I had already prepared for my day, I had more patience and willingness to remind them to brush their teeth for the 10th time 😉

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Do not check your email or Facebook until you are ready to start work

Once again, this is a tough one. Before I implemented my morning routine, I would wake up and scroll through Facebook and check my email for wayyyy longer than I’d like to admit. But here’s the trouble with email and Facebook…it can be depressing. Ever get on Facebook and see a horrible news story or check your email and get a nasty comment from someone? It’s NOT the tone you want to set for the day. You want to start the day on a happy note, you want to control how your day starts off. Avoid email & Facebook until you absolutely MUST look at it, once you have already started your day off on a good foot.

(I implemented this rule after watching a Ted talk on happiness, which quoted a research study that said people who were confronted with a sad or scary news story early in the morning were more likely to report having a bad day later in the day.)

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Make a to-do list

Once you are ready to start work, once the kids are off to school or down for a nap and hubby is off to work, make a to-do list. Write down exactly what you need to accomplish in the day. Make a list for personal/home & for work. I will be the first to admit that I am easily distracted, the ONLY thing that keeps me on track and remember what I have to do is my to-do lists. There are days that I don’t do a to-do list and I find myself spending hours on Facebook just scrolling instead of being productive. Make a to-do list & stick to it. It’s a great way to organize and prioritize your thoughts.

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Create a content calendar

This is along the same lines as a to-do list. Do yourself a favor and take an hour at the beginning of each month to create a blogging mindmap & content calendar for your blog. Whether you blog 3x a week or once a week,  print out a monthly calendar and fill in the topics you will write about. Having a content calendar is sooo good for productivity because as soon as you sit down to work, you know exactly what you are writing about because it’s on the content calendar. If you had to go and search for ideas, you might end up wasting lots of time scrolling through your Facebook feed looking for inspiration.

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Live & die by the menu plan

Ever look at the clock and it’s 4:30 and you realize you didn’t take any meat out of the freezer for dinner? Yeah, me neither 😉 Who am I joking..that used to happen ALL the time! Creating a weekly dinner menu has literally changed my life..I mean we eat frozen pizza WAY less now, and it’s a no-brainer. I wake up in the morning, see what’s for dinner. Take meat out of the freezer and boom, I don’t have to think about it again until it’s time to cook dinner, and if I’ve done everything correctly..I should be done my work with enough time to cook dinner and enjoy it!

How to be a wildly productive Mom Blogger without ignoring your kids! http://bit.ly/1mqBG9v Click To Tweet

You may notice there is nothing in my productivity hacks about keeping your house clean. Hi, I totally fail at this one…my only saving grace is that my husband loves to clean. If you’ve got productivity hacks around keeping a clean home and empty laundry baskets, I would love to hear about it, please let me a comment! :)

Want more? Check out this blog post where 25 Mommy Bloggers Reveal their Work/Life Balance Tricks!

PRODUCTIVE

Chrystie is a mom of 3 kids and wife to one. She's sold 4 blogs in the last 10 years and now helps other women start their blogging empire. Her love for really bad reality TV is only trumped by her love for margaritas without salt. Her other addictions include spray painting everything gold and embarrassing her kids at the bus stop. #thatmom

This article has 35 comments

  1. Jessica

    Ok, I’m taking that “leave social media and emails alone!” tip!!! I do that EVERY morning.. I lay in bed and ‘wake up’ by looking at FB and IG… and sometimes waste 30 mins doing so!!! I could do way better things in that time because I do get up before the kids. Now I just need to use that time better!!!

  2. Amy

    Oh my gosh LOVE this! In fact love everything you post xxx

  3. Emma {Emma's Little Kitchen}

    Haha! I do all of these…except for checking Facebook and my email. MUST BE STRONGER!!!

  4. Vivianna

    Giving myself a little pat on the back cause I do a lot of these already or recently implemented some! Do you use any specific tool for a content calendar or just good old fashioned pen & paper?

    • Chrystie

      Yeahhh! Yes you do deserve a pat on the back :) As far as the content calendar, I have the Wonderlass Blog Planner and I just write down my content ideas in that.

  5. Lucy

    Great post. Thank you for this. As a mom myself, I struggle with productivity and finding a balance between work, motherhood and blogging. It’s draining at times! But love the tip on creating a content calendar. I tend to do things on the spot which doesn’t always work in my favor lol. For cleaning though, my husband and I straighten up the house and put away the toys after our daughter has gone off to bed. When it comes to laundry, it’s easy for us to choose one or two days dedicated to doing laundry at the exact same time and it’s because routine that we don’t think about it anymore, we just do it :) Hope that helps!

  6. Alicia

    This is so helpful! I am also a mom of three, and I just started blogging. It is SO hard to find the time to balance it all! I only have one napper left, so it really limits my options there as well. I get up at 5am also! I completely agree with you, it is my one saving grace if I can manage to drag myself out of bed before the boys wake up. It makes me feel much more prepared to take on the day, and much more patient with them when they do finally wake up.

  7. Maya

    The only way I get through sometimes is with a meal plan! Great advice… not sure I will be able to get up before everyone…little munchkin is an EARLY riser… but maybe one day!

  8. lauren

    Yes all of this! Waking up early is the most important thing I can do!

  9. Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife

    Great list! I am with you: I have a hard time taking productivity advice from people who are not mothers or have mortgages :) For the past 11 years, I’ve been running two businesses (blog being one of them) with two kids at home, with an outside office, then back all at home again, so my productivity priorities always shift with how my work changes and as the kids get older. I live and die by my editorial calendar, for sure! Thanks for sharing what works for you!

  10. Logan

    I am so so bad about not going by my meal plan. At all. There are some nights that I will look at what I’m supposed to cook and I just say no. haha These are great tips.

  11. Just Plain Marie

    I absolutely love the tips, except for one thing. For 19 years, I have tried to get up before the children. But it seems that the *least* noise – including mom getting up to go pee – means that I have all of them up. How do you manage to get up and do things without the children hearing you?

  12. Ashley

    Yes, yes, and YES! I have implemented all of these things and it makes a world of difference! Especially getting up earlier than anyone else.

  13. Eloise

    Great post! Now I feel like I’m not alone feeling this way! I’ve been blogging for a few months now and I’m trying to make it successful while balancing home life with two kids… I never new how time consuming blogging is until I started this… I love it and it’s good for me, but have struggled a little with the balance of time. I will try out your suggestions, thank you!

  14. Megan

    A-men. To all of it. I’m a huge proponent of the morning routine! But you did remind me that I need to get my FB and email checking habit under control. It’s a time-suck, and especially if I allow myself to get sucked in early in the day, I tend to be less productive overall during the day.

  15. Claire

    I saw the title and had to read this. Great tips – I def need to start waking up before everyone else but that’s so hard!

  16. Aida@TheCraftingFoodie

    I LOVE this post! It’s so realistic and doable. I also stopped looking at my FB feed and email first thing in the morning. It just sucked away my time. I recently started using a calendar to plan my blog, and it’s been so helpful. But the absolute most helpful change for me was getting up before my kids. Not only doe sit allow me to be prepared, but like you said, I find that I’m more patient and happy.

  17. Donna

    Oh I love this! I can never take advice on productivity from someone without kids either :) I REALLY need to start getting up before the kids, but we are still in the little stage (they are one and three), and not the best of sleepers, so I tend to try and stay in bed until they get up – need to change though!

  18. Star Traci

    I love this! I know what you mean about juggling a lot and feeling like a lot of the advice is not helpful. We have been FT traveling most of the last year so I homeschool plus go to school plus try to blog. These are actually helpful!
    :-)
    Traci

  19. Daisy Suman

    Thank you for these helpful tips! I still struggle with waking up earlier than the rest of my family, but I sure do know from experience that on the days that I wake up early, I feel much more energetic and get more accomplished by the end of the day.

  20. Emily @ MommysNotPerfect.com

    These are great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Nicole @ The Professional Mom Project

    Great tips! Thank you for this. I have so much trouble balancing everything especially with working full time. I’ve got to get into meal planning and being more consistent.

  22. Cj

    Hi, Chrystie! First of all nice to meet you! This is the first post of yours I’ve read and I’m now inspired to read them all! You were referred to me by a co-worker here at GoDaddy who mentioned your awesomeness. :)
    I love these tips and have to tell you I also love getting up before everyone else. I used to do a parenting blog and you’re so right. As a single mom of two, working full-time outside the home it’s a huge challenge getting everything done. Lists are gold, menus are crazy important.
    One thing I did do, and I realize this isn’t always possible for everyone, is that I budgeted and cut back on several things so that I could afford myself a monthly professional housecleaning. The kids and I can pick up after ourselves, and weirdly I enjoy doing dishes. I hate laundry, but we share all the responsibilities around here. Then, every 3 weeks a kind person comes out and cleans all.the.things! It’s been a huge relief for me. So, like I said, it’s not always possible, but if you can budget for that once-in-a-while help, it’s really worth it for that peace of mind.

  23. Alexandra

    I love this list. I’m extremely guilty of Facebook scrolling when I should be working. :)

    Like you said, it’s nice to hear productivity tips from people who get it/had a random hour awake at 3am because the baby said so.

  24. Mama Curtiss

    I love your introduction about the no-kids blogger telling us moms how to be productive. LMAO literally. As for keeping the house in order, I have a weekly cleaning schedule (http://www.mamacurtiss.com/index.php/2016/07/12/free-printable-weekly-cleaning-schedule/) that can be edited to fit your household and schedule. There are also tips for how to implement it and assign jobs to the kids and husband. (You are truly blessed for having a husband that enjoys cleaning!) I have found that this keeps me on track and maintain a mostly clean household, otherwise, I would put it off and the laundry room quickly becomes a hazard zone.

    I really enjoyed reading this post and look forward to reading more!

    • Chrystie

      Awesome!! Thank you for sharing that weekly cleaning schedule :)

  25. Ana

    Thank you for this post! As a working mama, my time with my daughter and for everything else seems to be limited. So this is perfect! I already do the whole wakjng up efore anyone else, its a must in order to get anything done. Sigh. Haha

  26. Rachel

    Hey! Thanks for the real tips from a moms perspective, I’ve read those “non mom” tips as well and rolling my eyes! As for the house, it’s nice your husband likes to clean! IT’s nice your husband likes to clean! If I go back to working full time I will have to get a cleaning service to help out!

  27. Alysha

    I absolutely love this post!! I just started blogging and feel like it’s a huge challenge to balance home life with blogging. I love your honesty especially about waking up at 9 am being impossible. Thanks so much for this!

  28. Niki

    I LOVE this post! I also fail at cleaning but I’m going to start waking up earlier. I normally wake up but don’t get up about 15 minutes before my daughter does. When I do get up before she does, it does seem to help my mood. Thanks for the tips!

  29. Misty Shaheen

    I am totally guilty of the email and Facebook thing.

    A clean house is something I am working on. I have implemented some routines to do dishes and laundry first thing or last thing before bed and I stay caught up and not distracted during the day.

  30. Leigh

    I get my kids involved with the housework. I have a 17, 15, 11, and 7 year old. They do a majority of the cleaning now. When they move out, they will have an idea on how to maintain a house, unlike my experience.

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