Lets be honest with each other here, when you're running on fumes after several nights of little sleep, constantly interrupted sleep or NO sleep, all productivity goes out the window.
It becomes total survival mode. I understand why couples fight more in the first year of baby, why women struggle to lose the baby weight and why coffee and wine are in a constant battle of who is your best friend.
When I was pregnant I read a stat that said within the first year as a new mom you lose 400 hours of sleep. FOUR HUNDRED HOURS.....Think of it as missing out 7 hours of blissful uninterrupted sleep for 57 nights in just one year... WOW. That's just cruel.
So what do we do? We have to get stuff done, we have to keep the wheels from falling off, but sometimes it feels like 9pm hits and all you've done is wash bottles, wipe butts and keep your kid from killing himself with his death defying stunts.
After studying what the highest performing leaders in productivity and thought management do I have come up with my 5 steps to totally crushing yoru productivity as a mom!
5 STEPS TO BEING A MORE PRODUCTIVE MOM
STEP 1: Do the most creative things FIRST
The reality is we don't get to wake up have a few hours to ourselves, check things off the list, make coffee, eat breakfast and then have our little beauties wake up all happy and the day starts perfectly.
For most of us we jolt out of bed to the sound of crying, step on a toy or catch our pinkie toe on the corner of the door frame in the pitch black as we stumble to the crib. We might even try to bring them in bed for a bit just to get a few more zzzz's. So when I say do the most creative things FIRST, I mean when you have your first moment of alone time (i.e. nap, school, daycare, etc) do NOT look at your to do list.
We have a "cognitive fuel tank" that gets depleted a tiny bit with every decision we make. Thats why the pros make things simple. Same color suit, same breakfast, same everything so there is NO depleting of their decision making power or creative juices by the time they hit the office.
Bonus productivity tip: The more you minimize decision making first thing in the morning, the more productive you will be. Create an autopilot routine that you can cruise through in the morning and be ready to rock when you get your alone time!
If you have to do anything that requires thought, creativity or a little mom pizazz - do it FIRST! Putting it off til the end of the night will only make it worse, it will be done in a haze, you'll be half assing it and it won't turn out the way you want.
STEP 2: Fuel your body.
Grabbing coffee and a donut as your run out the door will only reck your energy level even more. In order to be more productive you actually have to fuel your cells. Our bodies are very smart and when cells get depleted things start to go into survival mode. They will start pulling nutrients from wherever they can get it so they can continue functioning. That leaves us drained, dehydrated and flat our sluggish.
By giving your body proper nutrition, you'll feel more alert, engaged and actually energized! You can have the coffee, I won't take that away from you, but get some solid nutrition into your system as early as you can to generate some good for you energy!
STEP 3: Drink up!
Yes I am all for wine ;) but this one is all about WATER! I know it sounds simple but we often forget to drink water. I used to drink 100oz of water a day no problem. Now chasing around a crawling toddler I am like "where the hell is my water bottle?!!?" It's hard and not the most convenient thing to do. But you must! Try to drink half your body weight in ounces every day. So if you're 150 pounds, you're drinking a MINIMUM of 75 ounces every day.
Our cells react the same way if they don't have water as they do with proper nutrition. Did you know your brain will pull water from all the cells in the body to stay hydrated. And when you finally get the signal that you're thirsty your brain is now dehydrated. Woah...
Just drinking water can revitalize, energize and give you that boost you need to get more done. If you choose water over coffee you'll have longer lasting energy and won't hit that crash! I know how busy you are, and if you're not hydrated to the point where you're going to the bathroom every hour, you gotta start drinking more momma!
STEP 4: Communicate and delegate.
I know you're supermom. You literally do it all. And I know it's often "easier" to just do it yourself. But I also know the flip side of that is the feeling of resentment, bitterness, frustration and not feeling like you're heard or understood.
Our spouses may be the most wonderful people but if they're not pitching in like you feel like they should, you must communicate that. And hopefully you can do that before cracking under pressure and calling them a few choice words (guilty).
If there are some simple things that they could do to help lighten your load, make you feel like they're engaged and aware of just how much you do...then ask them. Simple as having them put their dishes in the dishwasher so you don't have to or giving them the responsibility to always be in charge of taking out the recycling.
ANYTHING that can shorten your endless list and make you feel like they are supporting you. Whatever your hot button thing is, communicate that and delegate!
STEP 5: Block out your day.
Remember how I said to do your most creative thing first! Well I want you to do this LAST during your day! At the end of the day you have done so much it's hard to think of what you'll have to do tomorrow, BUT you remove one more decision making thing you have to do first thing in the morning if you get this done!
By blocking your day you look ahead and can map out what you are going to do and when. You can also spot some possible areas that might trip you up the next day. By doing this you can emotionally prepare and be ready for when that stressor strikes. Again we are removing the stress of figuring out what to do in the moment and jumping from one thing to the next to the next.
The way I would block your day is also very important. Have your schedule flow from the most creative, to the needle movers, then to the annoying tasks that have to get done.
So this might look like:
Creative: Preparing for a presentation, blogging, designing and creating content for your business, etc
Needle Movers: These usually fall under income producing or life progressing items. Things like following up with prospects, attending, leading, presenting in meetings, researching, etc.
Annoying Tasks: Laundry, grocery shopping, scheduling appts, cleaning...you get it!
So there you have it! My 5 Steps to get more done, have a happier day, remove unnecessary stress and feel more productive even when you're very very sleep deprived!
PS - Before I go, here's a little mantra to think about today:
I will run my day, my day will not run me.
And it is my choice on how I show up and use my energy!
PPS - I'd love to connect with you even more! Join my free community here!