This blog focuses on the secrets of a productive working mom, parenting hacks, and also on ways to improve work-life-balance. We have also collected invaluable tips from successful working mothers, from all over the globe. Applying these secret tips and hacks will surely make you more productive in your day-to-day life as a working mom!
Secret 1: Become a morning person
Mornings can be chaotic for a working mom. But an extra hour of this desperately needed time is always free of interruptions. While your coworkers haven’t started their day yet, you can use your morning hour to do the laundry, catch up on email or even hit the gym!
Quick Fact: When popular talk show host and actress, Oprah Winfrey expressed surprise over Michelle Obama's routine of waking up at 4:30 am to work out, Michelle, the wife of ex-US president Barack Obama responded:
If I had to wake up for work, I’d get up and go. If I had to get up to take care of my kids, I’d get up to do that. But when it comes to yourself, then it’s suddenly, ‘Oh, I can’t get up at 4:30!’
Indra Nooyi (the CEO of PepsiCo) wakes up by 4 am every morning. Working mom Nooyi, motivates herself daily by challenging herself to be as dynamic as ever. She says:
I’m still a bit of a rebel, always saying that we cannot sit still. Every morning you’ve got to wake up with a healthy fear that the world is changing, and a conviction that, to win, you have to change faster and be agiler than anyone else.
Secret 2: Make an actionable task list for the day
A working mother’s growing task list can be overwhelming. You might have to deal with an unfinished presentation, a near empty refrigerator, and an evening work-related call, which is conflicting with a weekly car pool to dance practice. All of them require immediate attention!
To avoid things from piling up at once, you have to be more proactive. Identify recurring tasks (like grocery shopping) and get them done in advance.
Quick fact: Shannon Miller won 7 Olympic medals as a member of the 1992 and 1996 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. At present, she is a busy entrepreneur and author. In a recent interview, this working mom revealed,
During training, I balanced family time, chores, schoolwork, Olympic training, appearances, and other obligations by outlining a very specific schedule. I was forced to prioritize…To this day, I keep a schedule that is almost minute by minute.
Leslie Hale, The CFO and Executive Vice President of RLJ Lodging Trust says:
At 8:15 am, I head to the office and listen to local news on the radio. At 8:30 am, I skim the newspaper (WSJ). At 8:45 am, I send at least two networking notes, a follow up note or a new connection note. At 9 am, I write down the priorities for the day. I have to get all the mental notes that have been piling up in my mind since I woke up on paper before I forget. By 9:30, I start working on that list.
Secret 3: Try not to schedule meetings before noon
Train yourself to avoid distractions in the first half at work. Avoid scheduling meetings before noon. Start by reading a book for 45 minutes in a day without interruptions, in your afternoon break or while traveling back home.
Quick fact: Maria Konnikova, author of NY Times best-selling books ‘Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘The Confidence Game’, blocks the internet when she works. On an ideal productive day, she does yoga early in the morning and gets seated at her computer by 8 or 8:30 am. She writes quietly until noon, with just an hour’s break. She says,
“I am always away from the screen, to help clear my head and keep the creativity flowing, then writing until 5 or 6pm, and then…happy me time! That said, there’s a wide gap between “ideal” and “well, so this happened…”
Secret 4: Turn off all notifications positively
Turn off your notifications, all of them! Get rid of social media beeps and apps that you rarely use. You can check incoming streams of information, especially email when YOU want to. This might sound hard but it will yield results soon.
Quick fact: Katia Beauchamp, the co-founder of Birchbox, a popular beauty-sample subscription service, told the Web site Lifehacker that one of her best time-saving tricks is to get coworkers to include deadlines for even simple questions.
"I insist people on the Birchbox team indicate when they need a response in all emails," she told the site. "It makes prioritization so much faster."
Secret 5: Follow the 5-minute rule per task
This is an incredibly simple, but potentially life-changing concept (and we totally recommend it). The idea is to finish tasks as and when they come up, especially if they will take just a minute or less.
Quick fact: Lara Dutta, a famous Bollywood actress, Miss Universe 2000 and a yoga enthusiast says,
“Try my tip for recharging at work in just under five minutes. Close your eyes and take in some deep breaths. Visualize a calming setting such as blue skies, and return refreshed. To get specific tasks done, I allocate uninterrupted blocks of time. Close the door, ignore your phone, and your productivity will increase."
Secret 6: Do some prep on the night before
You are probably exhausted at the end of each day. But try doing some quick preparations at night and save loads of time the next morning (especially on a working day)!
- Prepare your office bag and the kids’ backpacks. Keep them on a ‘ready to grab’ spot by the main door.
- Help your kids with their homework in the evening (right before dinner).
- Sign all school notes or slips the night before.
- Chop and prep vegetables, ready all the lunch boxes and other snacks the night before, while you make dinner.
- Include the kids and your spouse in a night-time cleanup routine on Sundays. Declutter the floor, put away toys, stack up books and crayons for a stress-free Monday morning.
Secret 7: Get some quality sleep
Lara Dutta, a Bollywood actress, Miss Universe 2000 and a yoga enthusiast
When I travel, I open my hotel room curtains and blinds during the day to catch some sunrays. Natural sunlight helps us produce melatonin to regulate our sleep-wake cycle. If you’re clocking enough hours of sleep on the road but still feeling tired, you may be not having enough deep sleep. I cut out sleep disruptions in an unfamiliar hotel room by wearing an eye mask and ear plugs.
We hope that you benefit from these time-saving secrets.
Happy Mommy-ing! 🙂