My Top 5 Productivity Tips

As a working mum, my time is extremely precious and I’m always looking for productivity tips to help me keep hold of my sanity. Well for most of the time anyway. There are a ton of productivity and efficiency gurus out there who are way better at this stuff than me, but I have found the following approach helps me to stay on track.

  1. Make Lists

When I have lots and lots of things going on, it can be difficult to keep track of what to do when. The result is that more often than not, nothing gets done at all and I feel super unproductive and overwhelmed. There are tons of productivity apps out there that come really highly recommended https://www.wunderlist.com being one of the most popular. However, I’m a pen and paper kind of gal and have therefore taken quite a liking to the Bullet Journalling approach. You can find out more about it here http://bulletjournal.com/

2. Save the best until last and do the worst first

Sometimes it’s not the array of tasks that suck up our time, it’s the extensive procrastination that we’re all guilty of at one time or another. When we put off something that we really don’t want to do, we dilly dally around (or as I like to call it, faff about) with really unimportant stuff, almost finding false reasons to delay doing the job we really need to do.

3. Don’t put things off

Similar to the previous point and we all do this one at one time or another. My favourite is the quarterly accounts in the office and my ironing at home. By the time I finally muster up the urge to do either (usually the threat of the taxman or having nothing to wear does the trick!) I have a huge backlog to get through that means other important tasks get left behind. And so the other backlogs build. And then the circle of not being able to plan your time effectively due to external pressures takes effect.

4. Work with your energy not against it 

I am not a morning person. Ever. It takes me a good 2 hours and several cups of coffee before I am all over getting things done. By 2pm, the post lunch snooze slump hits followed by the 8pm post dinner (and sometimes wine) energy boost. Some suggest that leaving complex tasks for when you have an energy low can revitalise you. That does NOT work for me. I’m all about getting things done when I feel I am fully functioning at my optimum. Just to re-iterate, never book a meeting with me at 2pm.

5. Tidy House/Desk = Tidy Mind

I know I know, such a cliché but so true. Although we live in a digital world, the nature of my business means that I am surrounded by paper constantly. And I can tell you, it’s sometimes a challenge to see over the top of it, never mind keep on top of it. However, when my workspace become smaller than a 15cm ruler squared, I know its time for a sort out. And it feels so good when my desk is clear again.

 What time saving and productivity tips help you keep on top of things? I’d love to hear from you! x

 

New Baby New You – But What About Your Old Job?

My latest series of blog posts are something of a reflection back to see how far I’ve moved forward. I’m currently 2.5 years into parenthood and although you don’t get the kudos of a 50 mtr swimming badge equivalent, I do think my arm bands (or water wings if you’re stateside!) have definitely come off. Well most days……..you know, not including the ones with the 3am wake up calls or when you find last months snack down the back of the sofa. I digress.

When I initially had my child, I was very keen to use my allotted 10 ‘keeping in touch days’ with my workplace. Then the thought of travelling my old commuter journey of 30 miles with a newborn kind of put me off a little bit for a month or two. Then another month. Then another. 6 months in and I found myself on a Maternity workshop for women like me returning to work. One lady was actually a good 6 weeks into her return to work. And frankly she was knackered. And emotional. And I’ll be honest, not a huge advocate for getting back into the fray. This was obviously when she was able to look up from her laptop and participate in the workshop. That’s not a criticism, she was doing exactly what I was doing pre-maternity leave. Battling the constant influx of emails, managing her ‘BAU’ (Business as Usual for those less familiar with the irritating acronym only corporate speak) along with working on managing projects to stretch her competencies and tick a few extra boxes at performance review time. Whilst this may all sound a little negative, back in the day working on adrenalin, coffee and a burning desire to succeed could be extremely satisfying. It’s just not as much fun on 3 hours sleep and with the knowledge that when you get home, your other job then starts.

I was advised by the workshop business coach who candidly told me that when I was at work I would feel guilty for not being with my baby. And when I was at home I would feel guilty for not being at work. Erm, hold on isn’t this supposed to be a supportive environment to smooth the way to our transition as working mums?

Whilst I appreciated the coach sharing her honest perspective, that session ended up being a huge factor as to why I decided to take the step to do something different and get off the corporate treadmill. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked for some great companies and people. I’ve travelled the world and had experiences that I couldn’t have imagined thanks to the jobs I’ve had. But that wasn’t necessarily what I now wanted at that particular stage of my life.

I mean, as if life wasn’t turned upside down enough by the arrival of an entirely new human being, why not shake it up a little more and take a completely different professional journey? I must have been mad!!

I like to think daring, inspired, motivated and determined are more accurate descriptions perhaps. And a little more generous perhaps. Everyone takes different routes after having a baby, my it certainly changes a persons perspective whether you want it to or not. So why am I telling you all this? Well because one of my big ideas is to share the resources, experiences, ideas and inspirations that have helped guide me on my journey so far in the hope that they may help you a little on your journey. You can do this x