Trying to get everything done at once? Check out our top tips for staying productive as a working mum.
Working with kids at home is a tall order. Mums these days are supposed to have everything taken care of - the childcare, a boss babe career, a lemon meringue pie on hand at any given time for an impromptu visit from the in-laws. Quite frankly, being able to be both a mum and a career woman is wonderful, but it’s a lot. It’s a wonder we get it all done.
If you’re drowning in life admin, here’s some tips for staying on top of things as a working mum.
Focus on what actually needs to be done
List your fundamental tasks for the day. Keep it high-level, including things like ‘go to work’ and ‘school pick up’. Once you have your list, think of only ONE item you could add to it that day. Got it? Now ask yourself whether that extra one task should take priority over having some down-time or playing with your children. Sometimes it will, and Paw Patrol will have to have a day off - such a shame. Other times, that hour of relaxation will be the most necessary and valuable task of the day.
Do the hardest thing first
Whether that’s creating pivot tables or epilating your legs, get the most dreaded or most difficult task out of the way and enjoy a little peace of mind for the rest of the day. If you get nothing else done, you’ll have got a hefty task out of the way.
Use a chore chart at home
You do not need to be a domestic goddess. If you’re not a recreational hincher, don’t feel like you need to sprout wings and sprinkle Zoflora about the house every evening. Pop a chore chart on the fridge and get everyone in the house involved. If your little one can put their toys away after they’ve used them, that’s more time for you to get your sh*t done. Boss babes can’t be everything to everyone.
Where you can, lean on other parents or family members to support your efforts. It takes a village to craft your high-powered life, lady. If there are any carpools or school wrap-arounds you can get involved in, embrace those gifts. Equally, if you can take someone else’s brood for an evening in exchange for some well-earned time to yourself another night, give and take a little.
Keep your schedule simple
It’s so tempting to cram in the tasks from dawn ‘til dusk. Instead, try and focus on the now and only fit in what you can. There’s nothing like a jam packed schedule to stress a gal out. In case you hadn’t heard the hype, mindfulness is basically the elixir of life these days.
Turning up every day and giving a sterling effort is preferable to making one big effort infrequently. Consistency is key to keeping the ball rolling and staying ahead of the game. When we get things done on a daily basis, we form good habits. Habit formation is the key to long-term productivity. Check out the best selling audiobook Atomic Habits for more on this.
Let yourself be a mum
Sneak in those quality moments with your little ones every day. Whether that’s play time in full force, a chat over dinner or a bedtime story, the quality time will both top up your happy mum pot and clear your conscience. If you know you’ve spent some time with your children, you can wholeheartedly dedicate time to work when you need to, without worrying about neglecting your mum duties.
Pick a strategy and stick to it
As much as we hope all our advice is helpful, we know that a to-do list of coping mechanisms can feel a lot like extra chores. If all of these tips just seem like extra work, pick one strategy that resonates with you and build upon it.
Most importantly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be superwoman. We think you’re all warriors, but you don’t have to be perfect all of the time. Some days will feel less of an achievement, and more like treading water. That’s to be expected. Enjoy the journey, babes. Life is not an emergency, it’s just life.