In today's episode I talk about the 10 best tips I've found that have helped me get organized and feel more productive when pursuing my big dream of becoming an artist while taking care of my kids.
Listen to the Episode Here:
TIP #1: SET REALISTIC GOALS
Do not put too much on your plate. The more ambitious we get when setting goals without taking into consideration what is realistic for us, the more disappointed we will feel about ourselves when we are not physically capable of reaching those goals.
To me the key here is to set your goals according to you your kids' age. Obviously, the younger they are, the more challenging it will be to accomplish too many things, so just be mindful of their age and how much realistically you can try to attain. The older they get, the easier it will be get more on your plate.
TIP #2: PLAN YOUR WEEK AHEAD OF TIME AND REVIEW WHAT YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR THE DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE
First of all, get a big Post-It calendar (See photo below). Decide what your goals for that week and decide what actions you need to take for each goal. Once you have the list of actionable items, choose which days you will plan to work on them and write them down on the planner.
Every night before going to bed, review your calendar for the next day. This will help you get clear and organized plan of what needs to be done the next day.
TIP #3 CREATE A WEEKLY MENU AND A GROCERY LIST FOR THAT MENU
Preparing meals for your family is very time consuming, from figuring out what to cook, to buying groceries and actually cooking.
Getting organized can certainly help you manage your time to get more done when it comes to working from home, doing research or creating a plan to pursue your big dream.
I find that the most effective and practical way to do this is to sit down on Sundays and write down what meals to cook for each day for the week ahead. Once you have that, write a list of ingredients need for those meals and add it to your groceries list.
If you have the time that same Sunday to go to the grocery store, great! If not, Monday morning works too.
Add "Cooking Dinner" to your Post-It calendar.
TIP #4 WAKE UP ONE HOUR EARLIER EVERY DAY
When my little one was about 3 years old, she started waking up between 5:30 and 6:00 screaming "mommaaaa!!", talk about waking up with a heart attack!
It didn't take me long to decide to start waking up one hour earlier for my own sanity, lol. That extra hour turned out to be a valuable quiet time for me to do the things that I never had time for, like journaling, reading, or walking. But more importantly, my day started on my own terms and by the time my daughter was up, I was already ahead of the game, feeling great and greeting her with a big smile, instead of a state of panic.
TIP #5 GET DRESSED EVERY DAY
I am not talking about getting dressed up, I am saying get out of your pajamas. I don't know about you, but if I stay in my PJ's all day long I end up doing nothing! My biggest trick to being productive during the day is to get dressed as soon as I wake up. I don't care what you wear, even if it is just work out clothes or yoga pants and a t-shirt, just get out of those pajamas! You will feel ready for your day.
TIP #6 CREATE A DAILY ROUTINE TO CREATE STRUCTURE
This is a follow up to TIP #2. Creating a routine for your day that includes the goals for the week and everything related to your kids and home, like doctor's appointments, play dates, groceries, laundry, etc., gives you a tentative game plan one spot and a feeling of being in control. Structure also gives children a sense of security.
I know that life gets in the way, especially when your kids are little. It will be hard to stick to the schedule, but having a guideline will help you stay on track.
NOTE: It is OK if you don't get to do everything you have on your schedule!
TIP #7 LIMIT SOCIAL MEDIA TIME
I know it is hard, but it is CRUCIAL. If you want to follow your heart and pursue your big dream, as a stay at home mom time is a commodity so it is very important to know how to manage it and capitalize on what you have at your disposal. DO NOT WASTE IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
To me, Social Media is like a black hole that sucks all of your time and productivity. If you absolutely have to be on it for business purposes or just to take a break, set a timer of 20 minutes maximum at a time. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that when we get on it we lose track of time and before we know it, we have wasted a whole hour on it.
TIP #8 USE NAP/SLEEP TIME
I know you already use this time to take care of the house chores, but maybe you can also use it for yourself. This is a good time to do some research, answer e-mails, make some phone calls, or just clean up your paint brushes.
TIP #9 SET TIME APART TO GIVE YOUR KIDS YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION
This is the time when you will dedicate your whole attention to your kids, and it has to be on a consistent daily basis. If you can do it at the same time every day, the better.
No phones, no e-mail, no computers. Just you and your kids. When we make a conscious effort to set time for that, our kids don't crave attention as much because they feel secure of our love and learn to be more independent. This is not only good for your ability to do the things you need to do to pursue your dreams but also for the long haul. Your kids will grow up to be happier adults.
TIP #10 BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR BOUNDARIES AROUND WORK
Being a stay at home mom and having your work space and time can become very blurry. If you want to be more effective and productive working at home while caring for your kids, it is advised to set boundaries. Even if your kids are still too little to understand, it is important that you teach them about your work area and time. The more consistent (and persistent) you are the sooner they will learn to understand that when "mommy is working" means giving you the space and time you need to make a phone call or write that e-mail, even if it is for 10-15 minutes at a time.
I hope these tips help you and you can at least incorporate some of them into your life.
Thanks for listening/reading!
Talk to you soon!
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