Back away from that washing pile……6 tips to supercharge your productivity when you NEED to get stuff done!
Hey mama – I see you there, juggling school lunches, nappy changes and running a business with your free left pinkie finger. There’s an endless list of things that have to happen NOW for your biz, but babies, children and family life don't like to wait in line!
Ever struggle to prioritise your business with all the other things going on in your life? Then read on! Here's some key things I've learnt that have transformed my ability to focus while the crazy storm of family life rages around me.
Plan Plan Plan
Have. A. Plan. It doesn’t need to be a 72 page strategic plan complete with mission statement and values. But – before you jump into the nuts and bolts of your work, what is your goal for today, this week and this month? Is what you're doing helping you reach that goal?
You may feel so busy that you don't have time to stop and plan. BIG MISTAKE. Trust me, I've made it. Even 5 minutes scribbling a list will put you miles ahead of were you were. It will help you decide how to prioritise your time. It will start to show you how to work ON your biz and not just IN.
Plan, plan, plan. That is all.
(Some of my favourite planning resources right now are PLAN IT OUT, from Mums With Hustle, my huge yearly wall calendar from The Makers Collective, and my huge A4 page a day diary planner from Typo. It's covered in pink glitter. Winning)
Write It Down
A perfect segue to my next tip – write it down! Whether you're a pen and paper girl, into powerful apps or fancy journals – whatever works for you – writing it down is POWERFUL. It helps birth new ideas, stops you procrastinating and gets you working out concrete steps for how you will get where you want to go.
I keep a notebook around all the time to scribble in, when ideas come up – before they get lost in that mountainous wasteland that is my mum brain.
I no longer lie to myself that ‘Oh, I'll, remember that!’. Aha. Yeah nup. You won't. Too many things competing for your attention. Record it. And move on.
Back away from the washing pile. Drop those dirty dishes. Close the blinds on the un-mown lawn. Yes – all these jobs are important and need to be done. But doesn't your business deserve your focussed attention too? If you want something to succeed, you have to make time for it. Don't fold washing with one hand and answer emails with the other.
Now I admit, I took a long time to take this one on board (and yes, this is another one I learnt from Tracy at www.mumswithhustle.com). I LOVE multitasking. And I could do it for a long time. I work well on the fly and under pressure.
But now with three kids, minimal sleep, a busy family and a business, things just fall out of my head. Overwhelm constantly threatens and if I follow my tendency to try to do everything at once I don't achieve ANY of my goals.
Now I list it out, allocate time and decide what can wait and what needs to happen today. The washing can wait. (Except of course for the night before school pictures when you realise you need clean school uniforms. But that's a story for another day. Ha)
Remember – multitasking is just inefficiency – don't do 3 things badly! Do one thing with focus and squash that procrastination!!
Time Blocking and Laser Focus
Moving straight on from procrastination, learn to block out time and use it with focus.
Once I have a list and know the time available, I decide how much time I will allocate to each task. I like to work in 20 or 25 minute blocks. (Apparently this is an actual thing called the Pomodoro technique – who knew?) It's amazing what you can achieve in that time. If you haven't tried this one, do it!
Be like a Jedi and get your laser focus on. You may not have the force but you can do some pretty incredible stuff if you set your mind to it.
Turn off your notifications.Close your apps. Have all the resources you need ready to go. Ignore the kids screams from the backyard unless they are accompanied by blood and concussion. Only half joking.
Limit Social Media
This is something so many Mums struggle with…often because social media is where we find our audience, and advertise our business.
Allocate TIME to social media. But limit that time! Oh I know. I've been sucked down that rabbit hole too. You look up from a quick check and 3 hours have passed.
Apart from my specific work time, responding to comments, posting and scheduling, I allocate time to just explore social media. Set the timer for 20 minutes and have a scroll. This helps me prioritise what I actually really wanna follow up, finding new influencers, accounts I love, checking out hashtags. Just enjoy. And then the timer goes off and I stop.
If it has its own time, you don't need to feel guilt about it and you can focus fully on that. Then when the time is up, wrap it up and close it down. It'll be there tomorrow.
Aha I know, you're saying, yeah right. But I know now that giving no time to myself, my health and wellbeing, leads to burnout, bad health and frustration.
There will be times when self care feels impossible, but I'm learning whenever possible, to choose. To stop work and exercise at my scheduled time, even though it feels like I have an avalanche of work to do. Giving time to my health really helps me keep work and life in perspective.
I have time every morning and night to pray and reflect on the day. Then I give the next hour to family. I don't check any messages or apps until after this time. This helps me stay on track.
I allocate time to exercise and I put it at a time that works for me and my family schedule. There's often a temptation to cancel just to get this one thing done, but I've been down that road and it's a slippery slope.
So, what do you think? Here's a quick summary again of my 6 big tips:
1. Plan Plan Plan
2. Write it Down
3. Stop Mutitaksing
4. Time blocking and Laser Focus
5. Limit Social Media
6. Self Care
Are you ready to supercharge your productivity? Know a Biz Mum who’d love these tips too? Why not share it to help them out. I'd LOVE to hear if you try just one of these things and how it’s helped you in your business journey!
Lover of colour, words, puns, pattern clash and donuts. Definitely not a perfectionist. Keneena Fanning is the sole creator, maker and doer at Kablooie Store, her micro fashion label full of big bold happy pieces. Kablooie Store's vision? To create fun fashion pieces for you and your child that look fabulous, and make you feel deep-down happy!
A wife and mum of three, Keneena has worked previously in economics, strategic financing, and project management, and holds a business degree in economics and resources management. True story.
Now, in between dreaming up new colour clashes, sewing and packing orders, and snapping flatlays, Keneena finds joy in the happy chaos of family and church life, loves to exercise and dreams of one day doing one handed pushups. Followed by a pepperoni pizza.
As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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