I'm just going to say it. Working from home and starting a business and a blog as a mom of four kids has been a lot of work. And it's taken a lot of internal motivation and pushing to keep myself moving forward and hustling. Every day is different and things morph and change, but I've found a few ways to make the most of my limited time to hustle. Hustling doesn't mean you need to be starting a business or a blog, but rather that you want to get more done and become more. Maybe you want to learn something new or you want to spend more time organizing or get more home projects done. Today I thought I'd share five ways that I find time and ways to be productive, even though things are busy.
1. Brain dump. I find this is a necessity every week or so. After a shower or after I've had some caffeine in the morning and no one else is around, I will just dump everything I've had on my mind onto a to-do list. Usually it's multiple lists—one for home stuff, one for work, one for blogging, one for family and kids. I just write and write and write. Things that I need to think more about, action items that I can check off, projects that are in the works. You name it, it's on the list. I'll also add to the list as I walk around that day and more things come to mind.
2. Grab low-hanging fruit. I'm all about crossing things off my list, so I'm not above doing the easy stuff first. Sometimes I do the big stuff first, but getting moving on the easy, quick stuff can be really motivating. It feels great to cross multiple things off the list, so don't feel bad about starting there!
3. Pay attention to your hours of productivity. I've learned that these can change, but currently I'm not very productive at night. I'm too tired by the end of the day, and all of the kids go to bed too late for me to get much done. I'm done with life once the kids are in bed. However, before Baker was born, I got TONS of stuff done at night. This whole blog was built on late-night hours. Right now my hours of productivity are in the morning and maybe a bit in the afternoon. So those are what I run with. I try to crank out things on the list during those times because I know that come 9 p.m., I won't be doing any of them.
4. Do one thing that can't get undone. I've shared this concept before, but it's so important to feeling like you are making progress. Every day get at least one thing done that can't be undone. Not doing the laundry, doing the dishes, clearing out your inbox, watering the grass, or feeding the kids. Do something like write a blog post, hang a picture, or order those family pictures that have been sitting online for months. Get something moving on a project that will still be done tomorrow.
5. Work in chunks and grab those chunks when they show up. Okay so chunks is a gross word, but you get the gist. If all the littles are occupied or napping and you have the choice between cleaning up lunch or making progress on a hobby, a blog post, or a craft, choose the hobby. Take that chunk of time and hustle! As a mom I can't always plan for when my chunks of time will show up, so when they do, I have to just run with it. I'm writing this post in one of those chunks of time. It's late at night, but everyone is asleep and I decided to plunk out a few posts that have been bouncing around in my head. I'll regret it a bit tomorrow when I'm super tired, but guess what? The posts I write won't be undone tomorrow. They will be progress toward next week. And that feels good.
What are your tips for being productive? I'd love to hear them!