Moms wear many hats. We’re the ultimate multi-taskers, sometimes to a fault where we get so far in over our heads that we feel that we are often times treading water to stay afloat. The past couple months have been such a crazy blur between my husband starting a new job, a baby that thinks sleep is optional sometimes, a toddler testing every limit as he gains more independence, house renovations (which are FINALLY done and I can’t wait to share with you), and blogging deadlines like crazy. With so much going on, I feel like we have become the ultimate masters of managing our time, becoming organized for efficiency and maximizing productivity to bust butt to have everything completed in time, while still enjoying life with our little family.
Below are a few of my favorite ways to be more productive and squeeze as much out of my day as possible.
Make a Plan
I’m a list person. I like being able to see it all down on paper and even more so being to cross things off my to do list. I find that I try to prioritize a few items that have to be done and tackle them ASAP and then work on the rest. Seeing everything that I have planned for my day, week, month makes me feel so much better and definitely alleviates any anxiety I have about what needs to be done.
Be specific in your plans too! Instead of putting down, “write blog post”, be specific. Write down specifics of your tasks. For me, I find that pitching and post promotion takes up a good portion of time, so I try to do it in batches. I love using Hootsuite for social media posts and take some time each weekend loading up my queue for the week. Instagram’s new draft mode is perfect for prepping a few posts at a time. I’ve heard great things about Tailwind for Pinterest and plan to utilize that very soon.
I also love having a routine for kiddos too. I’m not a stickler for a set schedule, but I feel like my kids are so much easier to wrangle when they have a routine. With a routine there are no surprises and they have a general idea of what to expect for the day. The glorious thing about a routine, is that it allows both mom and kiddos to have a little control of how the day will be broken up. My kiddos know that there is quiet time in the afternoon (baby girl naps and my toddler reads or gets to watch his favorite show for a bit and I get to catch up on work). It’s a designated period each day where I can count on a little time to hammer out tasks that must be done ASAP.
Clutter drives me crazy. I literally cannot concentrate when things are in disarray no matter how hard I try. I absolutely love Staples ZigZag Organizing products! They’re stylish and made from a durable metal material so you don’t have to worry about cracking. I use the all-in-one zigzag desk organizer on my computer desk which provides me organization for all my blogging needs. I can organize by project, hold my planner, notebook, pens and more all at my fingertips. It’s so much better than sifting through piles of paperwork and the messy drawers I had before.
I’ve fallen in love with this line for organizing our home and kids activity workspace too. My toddler has been so much better with putting things back where they belong since every thing has it’s own designated place now. Definitely a time saver and prevents me from having to search all over the house for important paperwork and items.
Nix the Social Media
Log out, put your cell phone away, do whatever it takes to avoid getting pulled into the time suck of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. I know it’s hard because so much of blogging involved being immersed in social media, but set aside certain time blocks to work on social media aspects of your work once everything else is done. I’m totally guilty of checking Facebook “real quick” and then am still there 20 minutes later. This is probably one of the hardest things for me.
I used to be obsessed with using planners back in college to stay organized and somehow strayed from that once graduated. Having my planner with all my deadlines easily visible prevents anything for popping up and surprising me. I love using alerts on my phone to remind me a few days before deadlines that I have a project or blog post that I need to work on. Since I need to be in “writing mode” to get things done, having a few days wiggle room is a must. Also, sync your calendar with your significant other to avoid conflicts! I love being able to see what days my husband has meetings/plans so I can take that into consideration.
As comfy as yoga pants are I’m so much more productive once I put on some “real clothes” and some mascara. Getting ready pushes my body into “get crap done” mode and I’m able to get motivated on on task quicker. Throw on a pair of jeans (or at least get out of sweatpants) and dress as if you’re ready to work.
I’m lucky enough that my husband works from home and he supports my blog completely. Since he works from home, he can wiggle his hours a bit and work in the evening/weekends, if needed. I try to be transparent when I might need a half hour here or there to hash out some work and have him keep an eye on the kids. Many weekends, he’ll watch the kids for a morning so I can get a few hours of work in with no distractions which is so great.
Find your Prime Time
I find that mornings are the absolute best time for me to work and be the most productive. I love eating, sitting down at the computer and sipping on my coffee and writing posts. My creative juices flow best then and I don’t have the fatigue that comes later in the day and hinders my writing. I usually do social posts in the evening because I find they are the more tedious of work and don’t require much brain power. Find what works for you and the time of day that you are most productive. For some it’ll be early morning, midday or nighttime…it just depends on your personal preferences and schedule.
A fav blogger guru of mine, Bre from The Sentimental Mama, shared this amazing tip and it’s saved me so much time. Utilize the text keyboard shortcuts feature on your iPhone and iPad! It’s especially amazing for social media URL’s and hashtags on Instagram. Instead of typing everything out entirely, create shortcuts for those things that you find yourself consistently typing (blog url, name, email, hashtags, etc.). More info here on how to set it up.
Get Out of the House
I don’t do this often, but wish I could. Sometimes getting out of the house is just what you need to get inspired, creative and motivated. A new space makes me feel refreshed and energized and I find I can do my best work when feeling this way.
What are some of your favorite tips and tools for utilizing your time and productivity?
Thanks to Staples for sponsoring this post.