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10 Things Killing Your Mom Productivity and What to Do Instead

As a mom of two energetic and creative girls aged 4 and 6, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to maintain productivity. Juggling the needs of my children, home, and work has given me insight into the pitfalls that can kill productivity. To help other moms, I’ve compiled a list of 10 things to avoid, along with helpful tips on what to do instead.

1. Multitasking

Multitasking may feel like a valuable skill, especially for busy moms, but research indicates that it can negatively impact productivity. When we multitask, our brain is constantly switching between tasks, which not only reduces efficiency but also increases the likelihood of making mistakes.

Tip: To improve productivity, try using the Pomodoro Technique. This time management method involves breaking your work into 20-minute intervals, called “pomodoros,” with short breaks in between. By focusing on one task at a time and giving it your undivided attention, you’ll complete tasks more efficiently and with fewer errors.

Prioritizing tasks

Before diving into your tasks, take a moment to prioritize them based on importance and deadlines. This will help you allocate your time and energy more effectively. 

Eliminating distractions

Create a designated workspace free of distractions. Close unnecessary tabs and apps on your devices, and let your family know when you need uninterrupted time.

2. Procrastination

Procrastination is a productivity killer that can result in increased stress and missed deadlines. We often procrastinate when tasks seem overwhelming or when we fear failure.

Tip: To overcome procrastination, break tasks into smaller, more manageable parts. This makes them less intimidating and easier to tackle. Additionally, celebrate small victories to stay motivated and maintain momentum.

Identifying triggers

Recognize the reasons behind your procrastination and address them. For example, if you’re procrastinating because you’re unsure how to start a task, seek guidance or resources to help you.

Setting mini-deadlines

Create mini-deadlines for smaller tasks to hold yourself accountable and maintain progress.

3. Lack of Routine

Without a structured routine, it can be difficult to manage your time and stay productive. Routines create consistency, which is essential for both you and your children.

Tip: Establish a daily routine that includes time for work, chores, family, and self-care. Consistent routines create a sense of stability and make it easier to plan and prioritize tasks.

Morning routines

Start your day with a solid morning routine that sets the tone for the rest of the day. This could include exercise, meditation, or journaling.

Evening routines

Wind down with an evening routine that helps you relax and prepare for the next day. This might include reading, taking a bath, or preparing lunches for the following day.

4. Not Asking for Help

Trying to do everything yourself can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. It’s important to remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

Tip: Reach out to friends, family, or babysitters for support when needed. Delegating tasks can help you focus on your priorities and maintain productivity.

Knowing your limits

Recognize when you’re overwhelmed and need assistance. It’s okay to admit that you can’t do everything.

Building a support network

Cultivate a network of trusted individuals who can help when needed. This might include neighbors, friends, family members, or professional childcare providers.

5. Ineffective Time Management

Poor time management can lead to missed deadlines, increased stress, and diminished productivity. Effective time management allows you to allocate time to important tasks, maintain focus, and achieve your goals.

Tip: Utilize a planner or calendar app to schedule your day, week, and month. Allocate specific times for work, chores, and family time to create a well-balanced schedule.

Time blocking

Divide your day into blocks of time dedicated to specific tasks or categories, such as work, housework, or family time. This helps prevent tasks from spilling over into other areas of your life and ensures you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Setting SMART goals

When planning your tasks, make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This will help you stay focused and motivated.

6. Too Much Screen Time

Excessive screen time can hinder productivity and interfere with family bonding. Spending too much time on devices can lead to decreased focus and increased feelings of isolation.

Tip: Set boundaries for screen time, both for yourself and your children. Designate “screen-free” family activities to foster connections and create lasting memories.

Establishing screen time rules

Create guidelines for when and how long devices can be used each day. This can include specific hours during which screens are off-limits or designating certain areas of the house as screen-free zones.

Encouraging alternative activities

Introduce alternative activities, such as board games, crafts, or outdoor play, to encourage family bonding and reduce reliance on screens.

7. Overcommitting

Saying “yes” to every opportunity can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stretched thin. Overcommitment can lead to decreased productivity and burnout.

Tip: Learn to say “no” to requests that don’t align with your priorities. Focus on quality over quantity, and ensure you have time to dedicate to your most important tasks and relationships.

Evaluating opportunities

Before agreeing to take on a new commitment, assess its importance and impact on your current priorities. Consider whether it will add value to your life or merely create additional stress.

Communicating your boundaries

Be honest with others about your limitations and priorities. Open communication can help prevent misunderstandings and foster healthier relationships.

8. Perfectionism

Perfectionism is an unrealistic expectation that can hinder progress and damage self-esteem. Striving for perfection can lead to procrastination, self-doubt, and decreased productivity.

Tip: Set realistic expectations for yourself and embrace the fact that you’re doing your best. Recognize that perfection is unattainable, and focus on growth and progress instead.

Embracing imperfection

Accept that mistakes are a natural part of life and learning. Use them as opportunities for growth and self-improvement.

Celebrating progress

Acknowledge your achievements, no matter how small, and take pride in your accomplishments. This will help build confidence and maintain motivation.

9. Lack of Self-Care

Neglecting your own well-being can have a negative impact on your productivity and overall happiness. It’s essential to prioritize self-care to stay healthy, both mentally and physically.

Tip: Schedule regular self-care activities such as exercise, hobbies, or downtime. Remember, a happy and healthy mom is a productive mom.

Physical self-care

Engage in regular exercise, maintain a balanced diet, and ensure you get enough sleep. These habits contribute to overall health and well-being.

Mental self-care

Incorporate activities that nourish your mind and spirit, such as meditation, journaling, or pursuing hobbies that bring you joy.

10. Not Setting Boundaries

Failing to set boundaries can leave you constantly interrupted and distracted, which negatively impacts productivity. Boundaries help you maintain a healthy work-life balance and ensure you have time for self-care.

Tip: Establish clear boundaries for work and personal time. Communicate these boundaries to family and friends to ensure they respect your needs.

Creating a designated workspace

Designate a specific area in your home for work, separate from your living and relaxation spaces. This will help you mentally separate work from your personal life.

Asserting your boundaries

Be firm yet polite when asserting your boundaries. Explain the importance of your work and personal time to others and ask for their understanding and support. Remember, setting boundaries is essential for maintaining your well-being and productivity.

Pursue Mom Productivity Today

In conclusion, by addressing these 10 productivity killers and implementing the suggested tips, you’ll be on your way to a more productive and balanced life as a mom. The key is to find what works best for you and your family, and remember that it’s okay to make adjustments as you go. Be kind to yourself and recognize that you’re doing your best in this journey called motherhood.

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I know firsthand how challenging it can be to maintain productivity. To help other moms, I've compiled a list of 10 helpful tips on what to do instead.

I know firsthand how challenging it can be to maintain productivity. To help other moms, I've compiled a list of 10 helpful tips on what to do instead.

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