Happens to the best of us. At night we set ambitious intentions for the following day and almost from the moment we wake the day unravels loaded with distractions primed to throw us off-course and wreak havoc on the best of plans. Between the morning juggle and drop-off, it’s 9:30 and you’re yet to tick anything off of your to-do list, setting in motion a day with less-than-desirable productivity. Yup, we’ve all been there.
Arguably we all want to be our best selves, across the board as a mom, in our relationships and of course in our careers, but sometimes we struggle to meet our daily goals. Therefore, incorporating these 13 daily hacks into your routine will instantly make you more productive – everything from starting the day off with a solid routine to choosing the right foods plus taking a few minutes to for yourself to breathe.
1.Get enough sleep, it all starts here. – if you’re properly energized your ability to focus increases by tenfold and focus leads to heightened productivity (see what I did there?). Seven to eight hours per night is ideal.
2.Use your spare time wisely – this one’s obvious. Wake up an hour or two before you have to be out the door you have more time to prepare for your day (without feeling rushed) before the kiddos are up and at em. And if take an Uber or the train to work, then take advantage of your commute, for example, answer emails or write down your thoughts for the day while in transit.
3. Create a to-do list and agenda for the day first thing in the AM, with your most difficult tasks first – map out your to-do list every morning categorized by urgent or not with scheduled time slated for each task as though it was a meeting. This allows you to head into the day knowing what’s on your plate and what it will take to get it done. By positioning the more difficult tasks first you can tackle these when you’re likely more creative and productive, knock the tough stuff out first thing.
4. Keep track of what you’re waiting on – You likely already have a to-do list to help keep your mind from spinning with all you have to get done, but it’s just as mentally taxing to keep track of everything you’re waiting for. By organizing these items too, you can be sure that nothing slips through the cracks while freeing up valuable mental space.
5. The two-minute rule – It’squite simple, the moment you realize you have to do something and if it’ll take less than two minutes, then DO IT! The thinking here is that by the time you schedule or even write down the “two-minute task” you might as well have just done it as it’s very easy to lose a ton of time scheduling tasks, organizing your emails, and so on. Whereas when you just do something, you eliminate all the stress of having to do it in the first place.
6.Create a morning routine – that includes drinking warm water with lemon plus first thing in the AM asit will kickstart your metabolism. Plus take three minutes to do stretch or do yoga – even if it’s just a few poses – mobilizing your spine is super important for productivity and focus.
7.Be conscious about what you eat throughout the day, think clean greens and protein – this means go heavy on the veggies, protein, plus healthy fat and light on the sugar. And always, always practice portion control ladies!
8.Take more breaks, skip the elevator, stand up or go for a walk – while it might sound counterintuitive, this will provide a burst of energy and help you focus. Either skip the elevator and take the stairs, or go for a walk around the block, just get your heart pumping and your energy will increase causing you to feel refreshed and re-motivated. Your body and mind will thank you.
9.Designate a time to answer emails – turn off the notifications as every time a new alert comes in, you look at it (just in case it happens to be important), and then you have to re-orient yourself to what you were trying to focus on before. Looking at and answering emails them as they come in makes productivity difficult.
10. Say “no” to three things – each week say no to pointless commitments that take your time. This as a mom is really easy to fall prey to, be it a PTA thing or poor planning with the nanny. Make sure that all your efforts serve you and your kids.
11. Make a list of 3 outcomes you want for today – this is not another ‘to-do’ list but rather an outcomes list. Define three outcomes/results you want to make happen today and ask yourself, if it’s the end of the day, what efforts would make me feel accomplished?
12. Schedule one activity or meeting that gives you energy – while seemingly obvious, no one takes the time to do this. If there are certain people that provide you a ton of energy and motivation after you talk to them, then schedule a lunch with them STAT! Or certain things you do that give you a ton of energy, like hitting the gym before work, meditating, or spending time with your kids – make sure to schedule time for that too.
13. Download Rescue Time – an app that tracks exactly how you spend time on your computer. While likely unnerving, this service will send you an email at the end of the week saying exactly how productive you were and precisely where your time went.
With these tips, you’re bound to work smarter and more effectively—trust us! And always smile. It’s good for your mood, which is good for your focus.