A Lesson In Productivity

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For me, balancing my role as a mom and my commitments as a business owner have been the toughest part of becoming a #mompreneur.

It took me almost 2 years to figure out a routine that gets my house cleaned, my work done, and my kid happy. To this day I am STILL tweaking, changing, and updating that routine.

I will admit, my laundry sometimes goes undone, and emails occasional go out late. But I’m happier than I ever have been, and I know I’m improving the balance every single day.

This week, I want to bring you guys another perspective. If you’re starting your own business, or even if you’ve been an entrepreneur for years, I’m sure you know the feeling of losing your mind trying to keep up with a mountain of a to-do list.

Laura, the incredible force behind The Badass Business Mum, has an article written just for us about her version of productivity.

I already stole a few of her tricks, so I know you’re going to find something that works for you too. Check out her routine, let us know how you manage your day, then pop over to her blog (thebadassbusinessmum.com) to read some more of her mompreneurial wisdom.

The Number 1 Thing to remember about Being Productive

Once upon a time there was a blogger and business owner called Laura. She had millions of ideas, had read all the advice. She knew what had to be done to grow her blog and make money from it. And she knew she could write good content, could create an attractive website, could communicate with people online. But there was a problem. She allowed the lethal combination of perfectionism and procrastination to interfere with her productivity.

I can give you all the productivity tips and systems in the World, recommend wonderful organisational apps, but the key to being productive is simple. You have to Show Up! You have to sit down and work. Even when you can’t be arsed. And that is the hard bit. Because there isn’t an app for that. There’s no clever strategy that suddenly kicks you into productivity mode at 9pm when the kids are finally sleeping, when you’ve had a shit day and all you want to do is drink a whole bottle of wine and watch repeats of NCIS on Sky! When your to-do list is as long as your arm and you know that even though you’re going to be up until 1am you’re not going to get it all finished.

So remember this – you started this for a reason. You might have started your own business to avoid having to go back to ‘work’, so you can stay at home with your kids. Maybe you’re working a side hustle as well as your 9-5. Whatever your reasons – you have a WHY.

I want you to write out your WHY (or type seeing as we’re in the 21st Century!) and stick it on your wall. Remind yourself WHY you’re doing this side hustle / Work at home Mom thing and in a year’s time when you’re seeing some success, how will your life have improved? And when you’ve done that, I want you to write / type this quote and stick it up next to it:

“If you do what you did today, every day for the next year, what will you get done?”

I can’t remember where I saw that quote but I saw it at a particularly unproductive period in my blog. It really hit me – my answer to that question was “not an awful lot”!

So I started Showing Up. I got my laptop out as soon as my twins were asleep, I joined a load of new Facebook Groups, I replied to collaboration threads (which is why I’m here!), I started scheduling my social media and I set myself a goal to triple my blog traffic in April! And while I may not reach that goal, I have already (as of 14th April) passed March’s traffic. So my point is this – if you want to get stuff done, you have to make the effort and do it!

Don’t worry, I do have proper practical tips too…

My top 5 Productivity Tips

1. Use lists, or a planner, or a diary

(or whatever works to keep you organised) so you know what needs to be done whenever you have any free time. My twins no longer nap so any work I do during the day is fitted in when they’re otherwise occupied. Which isn’t normally for any sensible length of time but because I have a list I know what needs to be done. 10 minutes here and there does add up over the course of the day!

2. Accept your situation.

There is no point stressing over what you haven’t done or can’t get done. You will end up resentful which isn’t healthy for you or your kids. It might take you all day to write a blog post a sentence at a time when you’ve got 5 minutes but you’ve done it so be pleased with yourself and move onto the next thing! This post has more tips on how to overcome the top productivity killers for work at home Moms.

And ditch the guilt. The guilt about not being ‘there’ every minute of the day. The guilt about asking Hubby or Granny to babysit (in fact, I recommend doing this – you will get so much done, even if you only get an hour without any interruptions). The guilt about your evenings being about work and not snuggling on the sofa with hubby. Running your own business is something to be proud of. Making a success of it is something to be even more proud of.

You have to find a balance that works for you and your family. But don’t expect a consistent balance. More like a ‘lurching from one end of the see-saw to the other to keep it level’ sort of balance. Some days you will be Super-Mom. Other days you’ll be Zombie-Mom!

3. Invest in things to make your life easier

(I pay for Boardbooster to schedule my pins and Buffer for Twitter and my Facebook group and I chose to build my site on Squarespace to reduce my time spent doing site maintenance). Weigh up the trade off between spending time or spending money.

4. Write down the step by step processes for the things you do everyday!

This may seem totally pointless but creating a simple checklist (like my blog post creation and promo checklist) will make sure you don’t forget anything and your process will become automatic. It will also stop you getting distracted because you’ll have your list of tasks in front of you.

5. Focus on what is really important.

Take time tracking which promotional methods work for you, which blog posts your audience likes, which products sell well. And concentrate on doing more of those things. Ignore all the ‘you must do’s’ and do what works for you!

my-profile-pic-1Bio: Laura is the tea drinking, chocolate loving, worksheet creating twin Mum blogging over at The Badass BusinessMum. The Badass BusinessMum is for soon-to-be and new Mompreneurs looking for in-depth, actionable advice on starting, growing and succeeding at making money from blogging and online business.

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