Productivity vs. Effectiveness and Tools for Success
Being that it’s the summer doesn’t stop the show! There are goals to be accomplished and tasks to be completed. To maintain maximum productivity, moms should stay consistent year-round. So take the vacation and get back in the swing of routines. I’ve been thinking a lot about productivity these days. I am entering into a busy season of life. Not only have I transitioned into a new leadership role at work, but I am also starting my doctoral degree program in the coming weeks. Taking all of this into account topped off with family responsibilities, I need to double down on what works for me to maintain maximum productivity.
How to achieve maximum productivity
According to Dictionary.com, productivity is the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services. To me, productivity is the ability to get things done. However, being productive is not limited to performance in the workplace or business. Think about it, we create in our daily lives. As moms generate ideas related to our kid’s needs and activities and we produce things in our homes such as meals.
Effectiveness vs. Productivity
Effective is defined as producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect, according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. One could measure effectiveness by their ability to get to the desired outcome, ie. reach a goal. Putting these two definitions together:
- Productivity is generating or creating
- Effectiveness is our ability to get to the end state
You can produce outcomes and be productive but if what you are producing does not yield desired results, then there is a lack of effectiveness. In my opinion, in order for moms to navigate their complex journey well, we must be both productive and effective.
How can we as working mothers achieve maximum productivity? The first step is to have clarity about our goals. Staying in lockstep with the desired effect during any given moment (or season as I like to call it) is critical. I’ve learned the importance of tuning into my family’s needs the hard way. Some seasons require more dedicated time to work, studies, and personal endeavors while some seasons require more intentional family time. Knowing the season and subsequent goals lead to productivity and effectiveness.
To maximize productivity as a working mom stay attuned to what is needed and your goals at the moment.
Tools that support productive lifestyles
There are several ways to support a productive lifestyle. What works for one mom may not work for another. We are all different and what we choose to leverage also differs. Finding a way to prioritize tasks leads to productivity and effectiveness.
Prioritizing activities helps to determine what needs to be done at the moment!
I use my planners and journal daily. One technique that I incorporate into my planning routine is brain dumping. This is a practice of writing down everything that needs to get done in a given period. From there, I sort through the list and create my to-do’s. I also use that time to delegate and defer activities.
My planners all have free writing space at the start of the month or the end of the monthly spread. These sections are where the magic happens. Things determined during the brain dump become a part of my daily tasks and are captured in my planner.
I enjoy paper planners. My favorite is the Simply Yours Day Planner from Planned and Proper. You can use this link to receive $10 off your first planner.
Planners are an essential part of my mommy toolkit. Additionally, planners are great tools to assist with organization, time management, productivity, and much more.
What’s new for me…
Here lately, I have been creating DIY trackers in excel. Although I don’t think that paper planners will ever go out of style, I am dabbling in more modern approaches to task and time management. Why Planners Will NEVER Go Out of Style – Career Mom Community
These trackers help me to stay on top of what needs to get done. Moreover, they ensure that I am maximizing productivity at any given time. I manage the files in Google Sheets which keeps them at my fingertips through my smartphone.
To Wrap it Up
Staying consistent with practices that maximize productivity is a sure win. Being a busy mom is not an excuse for low productivity and a lack of effectiveness. I always encourage moms to show themselves grace. However, it is equally important to create systems that enable us to accomplish our goals.