As a mompreneur, you have to juggle a lot of responsibilities – from taking care of your family, managing school or homeschool schedules, to running your business. It can be overwhelming to manage everything, and it's easy to get distracted by the endless to-do lists and laundry.
How can you manage it all, and manage it well, without burnout?
As a blogger, digital creator, homeschooler and CEO of our casa, I had to learn how to adapt my productivity habits from my years in office management and administrative positions to work at my desk in the corner of our living room.
These unique productivity tips are my own system for moving my business forward from the corner of my living room!
Let's chat about how to optimize your time, boost efficiency, and achieve more while balancing the demands of motherhood and entrepreneurship.
Unlock the secrets to maximizing productivity and finding your unique rhythm for success.
productivity tips for mompreneurs
1. plan your day
For over 20 years, I used Franklin Covey paper planners to define my roles and values, make my goals, and keep my to-dos in order. The key part of the system that worked for me was the ability to put specific to-dos on specific days, so that I didn't have to remember. My planner was my paper brain.
Over the past 2 years I've tested out a variety of online tools to try and replicate the ease and simplicity of a paper planner.
As a Mac user, I've settled on the combination of:
- Mac calendar
- The Things app for to-dos and projects
- Toby to organize my online workflows (free version)
- Toggl to track my time
I review the week ahead every Sunday evening, do my homeschool planning, and check the days for appointments or projects that are due.
Then, every morning, I open Things and that days' appointments and to-dos are waiting for me. What I adore about Things is that with simple keyboard shortcuts, I can create a to-do from anywhere I'm working (control + space), so I don't lose a thought. I can also shoot a to-do from my email inbox straight into Things with a link to the email needed (ctrl + option + space).
So simple. And there's nothing like good sleep that happens when you don't have to remember everything (and worry about forgetting).
Use whatever combination of planner + schedule you need, but get those tasks out of your head and into your system!
2. simplify the fire hose of information
In Building a Second Brain, Tiago Forte says:
We have to be intentional about what information we let into our lives, or we'll find our time taken up processing streams of information that aren't serving us and are instead just wasting time!
Here are some information streams you can simplify:
- Regularly unsubscribe from promotional/sale emails and mailing lists that are just sales and not delivering value. Don't fall into FOMO – you're not missing out on anything. If you need a coupon code for your fave store, you can always re-subscribe.
- Choose one or two balanced, non-inflammatory outlets to get news from. I find this chart and explanation from AllSides helpful.
- Clean out your Facebook profile and unfriend people who are one-time acquaintances and people who raise your blood pressure. Be brave. They can always call or email you. Having a smaller FB circle means your feed can be simpler and happier.
- Leave Facebook groups and unlike pages that no longer align with your interests.
- Unsubscribe from streaming services you barely use, magazines you don't have time to read, and ask to be taken off snail mail lists from organizations seeking donations.
3. Take Breaks
This year I invested in a standing desk and a cute little Pomodoro-style desk timer. Both of these things (along with my Apple watch that reminds me I've been sitting too long) help me take breaks from being in front of the computer screen and get my body moving a little.
I also always disconnect and take a break at lunch and sit at my dining room table with a book or magazine while I eat.
It's easy as mompreneurs to try and maximize the time we have to work by doubling down and focusing and trying to be super productive without breaks. But our bodies don't work that way, and not taking breaks is counterproductive for your energy, long-term habits, and creativity.
Breaks don't have to be super long, either. Sometimes I walk to the mailbox, put in a load of laundry, or lay on the floor to stretch my back.
Brainstorm a short list of 5 minute breaks you can use to recharge during your day!
4. outsource where you can, before you think you need to
One of the best decisions I ever made was to start hiring a housecleaner to come twice per month.
It started 13 years ago. I had just had my daughter. We had family coming to visit, we were sleep deprived and the house was a mess. I hired a housecleaner as a one-off job (which isn't cheap) and she said to me, “I love your home and the love in your house. I will come clean it every two weeks for $85.”
Mind you, this was 2009 and I don't pay $85 anymore for cleaning. (I've also never found housecleaners as lovely as those wonderful women; they were Portuguese and would walk around our house singing and laughing as they made our house literally sparkle.) I happily cancelled cable to pay them.
It was the first time in my adult life that I realized the immense value of outsourcing. They were a small, family business that were blessed by our business. We were a small, sleep-deprived family that were doubly blessed by their skills and professionalism.
Maybe your budget doesn't have room for a housecleaner yet, but you could:
- Use grocery pickup to gain a couple hours per week you used to spend shopping
- Hire a homeschooling teen to hang out with the kids for two hours every other week in your home so you can work
- Trade services with local friends
- Lower the bar on laundry and have your kids do their own (have a clean basket and a dirty basket – who cares if it gets folded)?
- Trade kidsitting with a friend to have a couple more work hours during the week
5. Take Advantage of waiting times
If you've ever found yourself bored to tears and scrolling social media while waiting for an appointment, or to pick up your kid from a lesson or event, or waiting in the school pickup line, why not use those 10-15 minute chunks of time to pour into yourself instead of mindlessly scroll?
Here are some ways you can use small chunks of time:
- Carry a personal development book OR a book just for enjoyment
- Listen to a podcast
- Schedule a couple of social media posts
- Touch base with a friend – send an email, text, or voice message
6. Automate Repetitive Tasks
I'm a huge fan of using tools and creating templates and SOPs (standard operating procedures) to help automate repetitive tasks in my business! You can save so much time and frustration by automating. Here are three of my top automation tips:
7. Learn to Say No
It's easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to everything – especially if you don't work a full time job outside your home. There is some weird assumption that homeschool moms have all kinds of free time to sit around and eat bon bons while their cherubic children sit happily at the table doing worksheets. 🤣
Learning to say no is one of the best boundary-setting skills you can learn. Yes – I know it's hard, and it doesn't come easy to most of us. That's why I said it's a skill you can learn. And you can.
If you were to sit down and think about all of your outside commitments, volunteering, requests you regularly say yes to, and everything in your schedule – how much of it is truly how you want to spend your time? I know we all have things we must do – including things for our kids that sometimes we'd rather not.
But most of us have more power over our lives and our schedules than we believe. You can absolutely let go of commitments that no longer align with you, that cause stress or that are not the right fit for this season of your life. Yes, even if some people will be disappointed or you will get push back.
What can you let go of?
8. Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking can seem like a good idea – but in reality, it can actually decrease your productivity. Our brains are meant for focused work – deep diving into a state of flow. If you like to geek out over this stuff like I do, here's a great article about what happens to your brain when you multitask.
Instead of multitasking, use your planner of choice (online or paper) and create time blocks to put focused work into the most important tasks in your business. Honor your commitment to yourself and keep working even when it's tempting to click off into social media or check your email.
Those time blocks of focus will reward you with getting more done than you thought you would be able to in smaller chunks of time.
9. Embrace Imperfection: done is better than perfect
Perfectionism is a productivity killer.
Here's the reality: building a business means putting yourself out there. You need to be creating content and products. You need to be connecting with and serving your people. If you wait for things to be perfect, if you endlessly tweak and format your content or your printable or your Instagram reel, you're missing out on opportunities for people to find you. Perfectionism steals time and steals your impact.
Yes, of course we want to create and share with excellence. I'm not talking about being rushed, sloppy or not providing great value to people.
I am talking about the inner fear that stops us from hitting publish, that buys another course or reads another how-to post instead of just diving in and doing the thing. I'm talking about 40 blog post drafts that “need more editing.” I'm talking about not doing things because you think you can't do it perfectly.
Go – make your content. Show up, be you, and serve your people. Imperfectly.
10. Prioritize Self-Care
Somehow we have come to define self care as trips to the spa, getaway weekends with perfectly coordinated outfits, and other nonsensical (and expensive) big-ticket experiences.
If you can afford that? Awesome. Go do it and I'll cheer you on!
For the rest of us? Self care can be small, daily things that fill our cups and bring us joy. It can be walking the dog every afternoon and getting out in nature. It can be a super deep bubble bath on Saturday evenings.
Self care can be:
- A subscription box just for you. Stickers? Books? Woo?
- Planning your very favorite meals
- Taking a nap on the weekend and letting the laundry wait
- Setting a weekly call with your long-distance friend
- Planning small road trips or day adventures
- Taking the time to wander your favorite shops
11. Celebrate Small Wins
I'm a big fan of tracking your accomplishments.
We are incredibly good at remembering our mistakes and the negative experiences, and forgetting the good and the accomplishments. Right? How often have you played a tape in your head of a mistake you made or something bad that happened?
Let's start being intentional about celebrating our wins.
As you end your months, keep a journal page, a spreadsheet, or a note in your calendar with wins from that month, things you accomplished, what you created, and what you're proud of. At the end of the year, you'll have an amazing set of memories.
Focusing on wins keeps your mindset positive – which will boost your productivity!
PRODUCTIVITY FOR YOUR UNIQUE LIFE !
Are you tired of struggling to balance your business and motherhood responsibilities? Do you feel like there are not enough hours in a day to get everything done?
Learn how to make the most of your time by creating a system based on your unique workflows and schedule, so you can be more productive every time you sit down to work.
Rest is crucial for maintaining good mental and physical health, which in turn can improve productivity and creativity. When you're exhausted, it's impossible to do your best work!
As a mom, it's important to prioritize rest – even though it can be really hard when there's laundry piled up, work to-do lists a mile long, emails to respond to, and kids that need us.
Some seasons of our lives can include more rest than others (it gets better, moms with tiny littles – I promise you it does) – but I've learned over the years that I need to prioritize my own rest and be clear about what I need to my family. It's wonderful when others can anticipate our needs or offer exactly what we need at the right time, but we can't count on that happening.
I try very hard to disconnect from my online work on Sundays. I still connect with friends on FB and catch up with what's happening in their worlds, but I don't work on blog posts or printables or any my other work tasks. Sometimes I even manage to take a nap!
I also choose getting up early over burning the midnight oil, because that's how my energy patterns work. Work with your own energy ups and downs to figure out where rest and where work fit best.
i believe in you!
If I can wrangle a business from this crazy life, you can too, mama! You have gifts the world needs to know about.
If you are interested in getting some accountability for your business goals, learning to add printables to your business, or just getting started, join my Facebook group of awesome women building their businesses together!