For us moms, it can be all too easy to just go with the flow and reduce ourselves to simply reacting to what the day brings into our lives. I have noticed that when I have a plan for the day, I feel more in control of the outcome. It is really hard for me to do this though, so I have had to make a HUGE effort to be more intentional with my time and planning my week has helped me to be far more productive.
These six tips have helped me stay motivated and see more positive results and hopefully they will help you as well!
#1 – Create Monthly Goals
Having goals is very important.
They help you stay focused and motivated. You will go from feeling like you are wasting time to feeling like you are accomplishing things.
Make a list of things that you would like to achieve by month’s end. Start with 2-3 things that you know for sure you can do today. By getting them done and crossing them off, you create something called the endowed progress effect. Basically, you are tricking your brain into being more motivated to tackle the next things on the list by seeing that some have already been done. This is a psychological hack that is great to help you be productive!
These things can be personal goals like reading one book or going to the gym three times a week. Maybe you have some financial goals, things like paying your smallest debt or saving for your next vacation. It can be ANYTHING!
Be realistic with the amount of goals you come up with. Setting up monthly goals is not supposed to overwhelm you. It is supposed to be exciting. You are on your way to accomplishing something you really want (and need)!
#2 – Set Tasks For Each Goal
Tasks are like small, bite-size goals for each day of the week.
Thinking about a monthly goal without incremental steps to get there will make you feel stuck and demotivated. This can lead you to missing a day or two and then falling behind and then it snowballs and you are right back where you started.
Visualize your goal. Let’s say that you would like to read one book this month. Include in your tasks things like scheduling time to read and the amount of chapters you need to read each day.
If one of your goals for the month is to declutter your house, I did all the hard work for you already. In this post, you can find a monthly planner to declutter your house with all of the necessary daily tasks!
#3 – Make a List of Your Weekly Must-Do Activities
As moms, we have so much more to do than only our own personal goals for the month.
Making a list of the activities required of you every day will help you prioritize your time and not feel like you are slacking with everything else you need to get done.
Include in this list things like laundry time blocks (You can read about a great system for this here), house cleaning and grocery shopping.
#4 – Schedule Family and Leisure Time
It might sound bad when I say to schedule family and leisure time, but I know from experience that if I don’t schedule it, I will not be intentional about it and I will forget to do it.
Our weeks will get filled up with activities that take our attention away from what matters most, our families and our sanity.
Include in this list things like your quiet time, having a picnic at the park, girls’ night out and date night with your husband!
#5 – Write It Down On a Planner and Create a To Do List For Each Day
I might be old school, but I prefer paper planners over digital planners. It doesn’t matter the type of planner you prefer, what matters is that you write your plan down! Now is the time to make your plan visual. Design each day to include your goal’s tasks, daily activities and family/leisure time.
Write it down with details, if necessary. Make a to-do list by priority for each day. Here is an example of what your to-do list might look like:
1 – Do one load of laundry
2 – Clean the bathrooms
3 – Go to the gym
4 – Read two chapters
5 – Schedule a baby sitter for date night
#6 – Revise your list every day
It doesn’t mean that because you have a do to list you cannot be flexible. Life happens and you might not always get everything you wanted done. This is the beauty of having a plan. Since you already know what you wanted to accomplish the next day, you can change some things around to keep it going. Having a plan will help you feel more organized, productive and in control.
What are some things that have helped you to have a more productive day?