Being a Work-at-Home Mom with 3 daughters (2 under 3, all under 6) and married to an EMT/Fireman, my life can be quite hectic. As I’ve transitioned and settled into this role, I often found times I was overwhelmed and lacked the ability to get everything done without burning out or just lacking productivity because I was pulling myself in so many directions.
Although these are new waters I’m wading, I’ve found a handful of tips for productivity for those of us who work at home, especially with littles. Some of these practices I’ve been doing for years in my career, others are newer, all are tried and true. I’ve put them all into practice and found relief almost instantly. The key to it all is balance and setting a foundation for success with preparation.
Here are my tips for increasing productivity.
1. Make Your Bed : This simple yet mindless task is so HUGE! This sets the tone for the day. Tidy space makes for less of a distraction or temptation to slack. It’s time to get to work. It sends a visual message to your brain that it’s time to work and keeps you disciplined.
2. Get Dressed : Another super simple, but total game changer. I admit, when I first started working from home, I would rock pjs as long as I could, shower and repeat. Once I started putting on actual clothes, even if it was leggings and a top, it sent a message that I was ready to work and be productive for the day. Showering and getting ready for the day rather than wearing your pajamas is like making your bed, it sets the tone for the day. You’re ready to be productive and focus on tasks at hand.
3. Set a Timer for 15 minutes : Take breaks and set 15 minute timers to do other small chores or tasks around the house like dishes or vacuuming. This allows you to keep your space tidy and clutter from building up. Keeping you calm throughout the day rather than anxious to complete work or distracted by the daunting pile of mess building.
4. Create and Plan a To-Do List Night Before : Being prepared is key. While you’re already laying in bed thinking about the next day, go ahead and jot down your to do list and prioritize. Clear out your emails and organize them for the morning so you can dive right in. It allows you to sleep at peace knowing you can tackle the day ahead and increases productivity for the following day.
5. Create a Work Space : Distinguishing where you will work at home plays a large role in your productivity. While you want to be comfortable, you want to ensure your mindset has shifted from home lounging, to work. This will make it less likely for you to watch TV, browse social media, etc. Aim for a hybrid of your comfy home and an office space so it’s unique to you and your need.
6. Make a Schedule and Stick to It : Allow for flexibility. If you get a creative spike, honor it but try not to go too far, set a timer and a limit. Use an alarm, get up on time and get to work. Yes, some days will call for a later snooze, but try to maintain a disciplined schedule. Holding yourself accountable is important when working at home, especially with littles.
With the new year approaching, start putting these tips into practice so your 2020 can be filled with productivity!