What this post is about: my tips on staying organized through tough mommy days, being more productive and efficient, and getting smarter at power-packed hustling.
I am not a conventional working mommy, but ‘this‘ right here is work to me. I set deadlines for myself with my work, with raising my child in a certain way, with home chores, and with learning new skills. I plan, organize and schedule everything I do. That’s who I am – the crazy list lady. So, today I’m sharing with you, what I’m infamously known for – my need to have everything organized all the time. This is what works best for me.
Settling into a routine
Creating a routine for yourself, your child and your family is über important to help you plan your time better. You know what to expect at what time of the day, and that means you are not shooting in the dark. So create a routine, follow it and sacrifice for it – which means that sometimes you ought to prioritize your routine over someone else’s convenience.
You won’t always be motivated, you have to learn to be disciplined.
Planning your day in advance
I always make a plan (even if it’s making mental notes) for the next day before I go to bed. This gives me direction and drive in the mornings. I hate waking up feeling clueless about the day ahead. Whether it involves laying my clothes out, packing my gym bag, making notes or compiling a meal plan – setting expectations from yourself is the key to having a less chaotic morning.
Goal setting also helps you understand if what you expect from yourself is realistic. With practice, it results in better time management and better planning.
Starting the day with positivity
A common feature in all my posts – start with 5 minutes of positive journaling in the mornings. Write down what you are grateful for, what would make today better and feel inspired to make today count. I highly recommend the 5-minute journal (app or hard copy journal). Remember, positivity is a choice we make everyday.
Getting exercise out-of-the-way
Starting the day with exercise (in whatever form) helps clear the head. It gives you time for self-reflection, self-awareness and wakes up your body. There’s no greater feeling than having a hot shower after a sweaty workout in the morning. It also brings a sense of achievement at the beginning of the day and sets the pattern for productivity.
On your phone, in a notebook or on the calendar at your work desk – making notes means having the pleasure to tick chores off your list, and honestly, can anything be more satisfying?
‘Organizing’ is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it isn’t all mixed up.
Completing home chores by mid-day
Mornings should be the time when you efficiently finish all your home chores. This means that you have the rest of the day to do something else. Delaying or wasting time in the mornings is the perfect recipe for a lazy, unproductive day watching TV and eating chips – unless it’s cheat-day Sunday and today, your plan is to go rogue.
This may sound lame but showering, getting dressed, and wearing fresh, laundered linen definitely helps refresh and rejuvenate the mind and body. Don’t take it for granted – looking and feeling good is a great way to train your mind towards positive thinking.
So get up, clear your desk, shower, tie your hair and just start.
An obvious one – if you can afford it, appoint help for the chores that don’t necessarily need your love and care. And once you find help, control the urge to micromanage. Delegate, trust and adjust. This is the toughest one for me, but I’m getting better at it very very slowly.
Tidy desk, tidy mind
An organized kitchen counter, an organized handbag, an organized makeup/stationary storage, or an organized toy bin – keeping your surroundings free of clutter is a great place to begin thinking clearly and working more efficiently. Maybe, the life you have always wanted is buried under everything you own! If it takes less than five minutes, then do it now and see how it affects your productivity and efficiency.
Hangry (n.) A state of anger caused by a lack of food
Eating on time and eating tasty, homemade, soul-satisfying, wholesome food that makes the heart happy, is the only way to stop fantasizing about food when you should be working. If you feel peckish, keep some healthy snacks at arm’s length – but don’t stay hungry. Stay hungry, stay foolish right?
Coffee – fave co-worker
Do you have that bizarre connection between your hands, your taste buds and your brain where holding some sort of beverage and sipping it, improves productivity? Works for me every single time. When I feel creatively crippled, I make some coffee (or hot choco with mallows, and very rarely green tea. Shameful, I know).
Break and breathe
Taking five minutes off every hour helps to regroup, collect your thoughts and relax your muscles. Looking at something far away, ideally some greenery, is great for relaxing your eye muscles. Getting out of your chair, stretching and taking a few deep breaths, and sipping some water slowly from a glass, helps relieve stress and improve concentration (I never actually drink from a glass – always gulping straight from the bottle – guilty as charged. Work in progress).
‘The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities’ – Stephen Covey. Sums it up.
Nobody is indispensable
This one is crucial if you are working from home, like me – if you are your own boss lady, if you pay yourself (in treats and hugs), and if you set your own deadlines. Everybody is going to believe that your ‘work‘ can wait five minutes, so you can show them where to find something, how to do something, make something or help in someway. NO. Make arrangements for someone else to handle the home, baby, chores etc – shut the door, switch off (from the outside world), and get your game face on. People will figure out what to do when you are not available. The show will go on.
Distraction means having to start at ground zero all over again. The distance between dreaming and reality is self-discipline and it starts at home.
Going to bed with no regrets
End the day with positive journaling just as you began your day with it. Relive happy moments from the day, be grateful for how well you did today and tell yourself what you expect from you tomorrow. Hug someone (or a furry friend) and reinforce the circle of love around you. Switch off electronic devices and reward your body with at least 6-7 hours of solid sleep.
Quality of life – the work you do on your mind and body – is not something you do for one day; it is a habit, a nanoscopic change that you make daily.
Tell me what you do to be more productive when you lack motivation? Comment down below.
For my older posts from the ‘A day in the life‘ series, see below.
Until next time, XOXO.