We moms, we do it all. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, your job is never done and it’s completely safe to say that our job is a 24/7 one!
For mommies who would like to carve out some extra time to hang out with the kids, enjoy self-care time, or even cook with a glass of wine in your hand rather than a milk bottle and a baby on your hip, these productivity tips will help you not only work better and get more things done, but also live the mantra of the day – work hard and play even harder.
Learn to say “no”
I find this incredibly difficult and feel like if I’m not doing a thousand and one things than I’m not being the modern woman of today, who can exude and demonstrate almighty physical and mental capabilities to do it all and then some. This one is at the top of the list because that’s exactly where it belongs. It should be a priority for busy moms and dads. Your family comes first.
Saying no applies to a number of situations. This month alone, I have been invited out at least twice a week to socialize and several other times to join my husband on account of his own personal invitations. Social obligations, invitations, to extra time-consuming, and on occasion, soul-sucking projects calls for you to set clear boundaries. The husband or partner needs your attention, along with the kids, work, friends, family, and then usually your needs get left at the bottom of the pile.
Don’t feel obligated to say yes – say no and carve out some time and space for yourself. You’ll be surprised how much time you’ll free up.
Give your 100 percent focus
Moms (and dads) are painfully familiar with the need to multitask when you have a family. However, in order to get the most out of the time you spend on the plethora of items on your to-do list, learn to give 100 percent focus to whatever task you’re completing. This means that the likelihood of you having to return to unfinished tasks decreases, the quality of your commitment means that you churn out awesome results, and if dedicating time to kid and partner-focused activities, your family will feel that you are both mentally and physically present.
Do the hardest thing first
Don’t procrastinate. I used to be the champion of procrastination. Over the course of the past few years I’ve really been working on this and realize that the idea of addressing an incomplete task is a lot more overwhelming than the actual process of just doing it. Once you get started you’ll be amazed how easily and quickly you will be able to tick off items on your get-done list, especially when you apply the 100 percent rule above. Do the hardest thing on your list first and be amazed by how easy it can be and enjoy no longer having to face it.
Use countdown timers
This is one of my favorite hacks for being more productive, although admittedly I have failed to remain consistent with it (something else to add to my own personal productivity list), but much like we encourage kids to complete tasks by turning them into a game, we can do the same and speed up the process of getting things done! Boost your everyday productivity by keep track of your time, when cleaning the house, returning emails, writing that draft, or prepping that meal.
Speaking of prepping meals, feeding the family with delicious and wholesome meals can take time. Prepping and pre-cooking meals for the entire week will help save at least half of that time. First thing to tackle is a weekly meal plan. I sat down with hubby and selected five of our favorite meals that are easy to shop ingredients for, and easy to prep. Make your weekly plan fun by incorporating weekly themes, such as Taco Tuesdays, Fajita Fridays, or Three-bean Thursdays. Prepare as much as possible and rope in the Ayi if you happen to have one. Cooking and freezing broths and grains, slicing and portioning veggies, searing meats, etc., can all help with productivity during the week and involves simply dishing out, heating up, and enjoying.
Finally. Let it go
No, I’m not quoting Disney’s Frozen– but the soundtrack instantly came to mind. Learn to let go. Allow me to draw upon the mantra given to when me when I was growing up: accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Stress less over the little details and think about the bigger picture – this is particularly a necessity for expats living in China who are acclimatizing to a new culture and way of life. There’s no such thing as perfection. Be imperfectly perfect and be you.
Photos: courtesy of Pixabay