One thing that I constantly struggle with as a new parent is finding a way to balance motherhood and working from home. Whether it’s my freelance makeup business or this blog, I somehow manage to always use the excuse that I have zero extra time. My typical day is mellow yet chaotic all at once. I’m either catching up on the week’s worth of laundry, cleaning something, or trying to scarf down a meal before we’re onto our next activity. I mix all of that in during the few minutes a day that my son is bored with me. Today, I’ve compiled a list of productivity tips that I have found are helpful to increase productivity online when you have kids. Of course these productivity tips can be helpful to those who don’t work from home, and just need to increase productivity around the house as well!
1. Work While Your Child is Napping or at Night. Take advantage of this time now! Soon, naps will be few and far between. Currently, my son naps twice a day–once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. It took us a few months to naturally get into a routine that he is comfortable with. I used to use both of those naps to be productive around the house, now I use one nap for housework and one nap for working online. You can encourage peaceful and restful naps by dimming the light in baby’s room and using a white noise machine to minimize and tune out any disruptive noise. (I use the myBaby SoundSpa Portable, which I purchased for under $30.00!) I also do a bit of work once he goes down for the night, but I like to do the majority of my big tasks during the day so that I’m not up late into the night.
2. Prioritize Important Tasks + Write Down a Schedule. I love writing things down. Not only does making lists relax me, but it’s a good way to plan everything out beforehand. A game plan never hurt anyone. Start by figuring out what needs to be done first, what takes priority, and place those at the top of your list. When you sit down to work, pull out the list and go from there. You can also use that list to jot down any thoughts and ideas you have. If I am planning out some blog posts, I will normally jot down ideas and thoughts about each post in the margin.That way, when I am sitting down to do it, I don’t lose any of my thoughts and can pick up that thought process where I left off!
3. Minimize Distractions + Interruptions to Increase Productivity. This is one that I am still struggling with. When I’m working I try to do 500 things at once. I will have several tabs open. Most times, I have some sort of YouTube video playing. I also constantly take breaks to check my social media. This is a no-no! Put your phone on silent. Only have tabs open that you NEED. I work best when it’s quiet and I have minimal to no distractions. The only thing that I leave on at this point is the baby monitor, so that I can promptly stop once nap time is over. This will help you leaps and bounds.
While our minds are programmed to be able to do and process several things at once, it’s not the ideal work environment.
4. Manage Distractions + Interruptions. Of course minimizing interruptions is ideal, but it isn’t going to guard them from happening. They’re inevitable, they’re going to happen. This is parenthood. There will be days where that sweet, peaceful nap isn’t going to last as long as it did yesterday. I still find the disruptions a bit jarring. I’ve learned to take a second or two to collect myself and jot down my thoughts and ideas from that moment before I lose them. By doing that, I can quickly come back to them when I am able.
(Side note, I oddly enough was interrupted while writing this specific tip. Nap time ended earlier than I had anticipated, so I went and got my son, fed him and made sure that he was content, and then came back to finish up this tip before stopping for a few hours). It’s all about balance here.
5. Have Realistic Expectations. Be realistic about your goals and what you expect to achieve during this time of productivity. Until you’re comfortable set small goals and see them through to fruition. As you become able to get more and more done, tack on larger goals. Trying to do it all at once will just end up leaving you feeling burned out.
I hope that one, if not all, of these tips are able to help you be more productive while home with a little one in the house! They have certainly worked for me, and I don’t think that I would have been able to get this blog launched, had I not figured out some ways to help me make the most of my free time.
Did you find any of these productivity tips helpful? Do you have any other productivity tips to that you utilize while caring for a young child?
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