Let’s be honest, working mom life is hard. It’s a ton of work. I recall having a conversation with a mentor, a senior leader with a wealth of experience, and sharing a snippet of my day. I shared some aspects of my day working remotely with 3 young children. I acknowledged the challenges, but also stressed how thankful I am to have systems to maintain a flow. It was a real and raw conversation. Their response was, “yeah, it’s a s*** load of work, but I’m glad you are finding ways to make it work”.
Side note, find mentors who can relate to your journey and will keep it real with you.
When you are managing work, life and other priorities productivity might be far from the focus. I’ve heard some moms say things like, “it’s about survival” or “I’m just doing the best that I can”. I commend them for their honesty.
This is one of the reasons why I love productivity coaching! It’s intricately linked to planning. Everyone knows how much I love planning. I have a whole YouTube Channel dedicated to my love for all things planning. I took a moment to google search “What is productivity”. The most relevant definition in the context of this conversation is, the quality or state of being productive, Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, Productivity | Definition of Productivity by Merriam-Webster.
There were four relevant definitions of productive:
- having the quality or power of producing especially in abundance
- effective in bringing about
- yielding results, benefits, or profits
- continuing to be used in the formation of new words or constructions
Source Credit – Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
If we merge these concepts together, to me, productivity simply means producing effective results. Would you agree?
So, how can we, as working moms, produce effective results amidst life’s challenges? Let’s explore these three productivity tips for working moms and mom entrepreneurs:
Set realistic goals
Make daily plans that factor in all of your time commitments
Go with the flow
Set Realistic Goals
By setting realistic goals we are able to consistently produce effective results!
I can’t stress this enough. I understand ambition, drive, and a “go above” mindset. The truth is, we have to keep it real with ourselves and our goals. Remember how I shared that my mentors keep it real with me…. I’m here to keep it real with you as well. Sis, if you know you don’t have the capacity to complete a task, please don’t commit to it. You will cause unnecessary stress for yourself and those around you if you do.
Make daily plans that factors in all of your time commitments and your capacity
Motherhood is work… Work is work… Entrepreneurship is work… Life requires work… When you wear multiple hats it requires balancing multiple commitments. Pro Tip: When you plan, don’t plan in isolation. Plan holistically while taking into consideration all aspects of your month, week and day. Check out this video for more planning tips.
Go with the flow
I wonder if other productivity coaches and planner gurus will cringe at this statement. Going with the flow is a viable productivity hack in my opinion. Multidimensional women who are balancing competing priorities, juggling goals, kids and career sometimes going with the flow is the best practice. Why? In some cases, your survival will depend on your adaptability, flexibility and pivoting skills.
I keep a “backlog” of tasks that I can pull for. My fellow women in tech who work in agile environments will appreciate this concept. This is basically a to do list for the day. If at any point I get pulled in a different direction and I need to pivot I can adjust what I pull from my to-do list to complete. This allows me to be more effective throughout the day.
Here is a specific example. You’re preparing for meeting X but you realize you have to run out to the store. On your to-do list you have tasks to call and make doctors appointments. Use the opportunity to call the doctor while you’re headed out the door.
Here’s another scenario just to get you all thinking outside the box. Picture this, your kids take a nap (oh happy day). I know you may be tempted to take a nap too. But if you have other tasks to work on while they are quietly sleeping, it may be best to leverage the opportunity to get some activities complete on your to-do list that require focus and attention. If you’re on the brink of burn out, listen to your body and take a nap. Your rest and well-being is equally important.
Let me know some of your productivity hacks in the comment below!