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.
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 😉
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.)
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.
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.
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!