Smart Tips for Productivity from a Fellow Working Mom

in TASTEMAKERS

By Bethany Johnson

Hey, working mom. You may feel like the only one juggling too many things at once, but you’re not alone. I know how it goes, and I’ve got great news.

First, it won’t always be this crazy. Kids grow up, and when they do, you’ll remember these days with fondness. So take heart.

And you may have more power than you realize. I have some working mom tips for productivity that can encourage you. If these ideas work as well for you as they do for me, then I’ll have done my good deed for the day.

Here are my tips for anyone trying to juggle carpool, sports gear, music lessons, dinner plans—oh, and a job—all at once.

Start with You

Making time for yourself tops this list. Specifically, I recommend a weekly aerial yoga class (surprisingly easy to find on LivingSocial) or a Zumba session. Whatever you choose, ensure it stimulates more than just your muscles. The treadmill is great, but there’s something uplifting about shaking it to the beat or hanging from anti-gravity silk.

Wake Up Earlier

Stop snoozing your alarm. It’s easier than you’d think with my brilliant wake-up hack: Simply buy an outlet timer for your bedroom’s light, like Newegg’s 24-Hour Plug-in Mechanical Timer Switch, Timer Outlet. Then, program the lamp to turn on at the same time as your (loud) alarm clock each morning. This way, it’s much harder to ignore that annoying beep. The few minutes you gain from this trick may not give you much more time, but you’ll feel more in control of your morning, and that can affect your productivity all day long.

Use Your Tech

Ditch the pen and paper. Using the apps loaded on my smartphone empowered me to explore more programs that streamline everything from grocery shopping to carpool coordination. Here are my faves:

  • Wunderlist for those fleeting ideas. I’m not sure why, but the best ideas always try to interrupt my productive flow. When I need to push through and finish a task, I use the Wunderlist app to capture every brilliant idea (or grocery item) that pops in my head.
  • Trello for ongoing projects. The drag-and-drop feature lets me delegate tasks to my virtual assistant, tag her, and even take them back if she gets delayed.
  • Masterpass for purchases. From furnishing my entire house through Wayfair‘s mobile site all the way to my morning cup of joe at Dunkin’ Donuts and even last-minute gift ideas, learning to use my digital wallet has made all the difference.
  • Eventbrite for event planning. There’s that person’s going away party. And that graduation. Her baby shower and his retirement thing. For some reason, I end up spearheading them all, but I don’t mind, as long as I have a tool like this one.
  • Zoom for on-the-go collaboration with up to 100 business colleagues. When you know your project’s team already had your full attention during your mid-morning meeting, it’s much easier to concentrate on your kid’s amazing performance at first base this afternoon. The Zoom app helps make that happen.
  • Social media groups. I fight the temptation to mindlessly scroll my news feed. One exception to this rule is private groups within each social app. These features are perfect for staying abreast of PTO updates, sports team gatherings, and neighborhood watch groups.

Subscribe and Save Time

You’ve seen subscription services everywhere, and now it’s time to try a few. Among my tips for productivity, I recommend Fresh Direct and Dollar Shave Club. And if clothes shopping is a time-suck for you, try out StitchFix or Gwynnie Bee.

Well, I’ve done my good deed for the day. Now that you know my secret tips for productivity, use them. And as always, pay it forward. Share this list of working mom tips with another harried woman who can use a little time management wizardry.

Being a working mom can be overwhelming. How did I finally take control? Productivity hacks (like subscription services including Fresh Direct)! Here's how you can, too.

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