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Note from Lisa:
Hello again! My guest post series is continuing here on the blog this week. Today, another large family mama is joining us to share two mindset shifts to help you break through that overwhelming feeling and get more done.
Share away Stefanie!
If you’re a mom, you know what it means to be busy. Whether you have one kid or five, maximizing your productivity matters. When you add a freelance business to the mix, you basically need to become a “productivity ninja.”
Most of us don’t start out productivity masters! (I know I’m still working on it!)
- We learn as we go
- We begin to recognize that “busyness” and productivity are not the same thing
- We find new time-saving hacks
- We test what works and what doesn’t
- We hopefully learn from other’s experiences and save ourselves the headaches that come with learning the hard way
Getting the right things done, faster and better, is the recipe for success as a freelancing mom (or for anyone really).
The struggle is real (and it’s not going anywhere soon)
When you have kids, you never really know what’s coming next…..
- A surprise trip to the ER because someone decided to be the monkey jumping on the bed?
- A 4 AM piercing cry because of a sudden earache?
- A science project due tomorrow that mysteriously came out of nowhere?
We could all share some great stories, but the point is, to build a freelancing business, we need some strategies to maintain productivity under challenging conditions.
Productivity and Overwhelm
In the beginning, it was a struggle to get started with my business. Maybe you can relate.
- write a to-do list longer than my arm, fully expecting to get the whole thing done by the end of the day
- start out strong, checking off box after box, only to get progressively frustrated and overwhelmed by the inevitable interruptions that come with having kids
The second overwhelm set in, productivity halted.
Instead of letting the frustration continue to snowball, and the business fizzle out, I made some simple but important changes to my thinking.
I still struggle with overwhelm at times (Who wouldn’t with six kids in the house!?)
But it’s less often. New habits are becoming the norm; daily action is creating momentum, and business is moving forward.
My two productivity “game-changing” mindset shifts
Changing my mindset in the following two ways made a huge difference in my productivity. If you have a similar struggle, hopefully these will help you too.
#1 Accept that the to-do list will never be done. Ever.
This is oh-so-hard to do for any perfectionist-type, but you need to recognize that your to-do list will really never end. As one item gets crossed off, two more get added on.
Even if you miraculously get through today’s to-do list, which let’s face, rarely (if ever) happens, your list is going to evolve and grow.
I would argue this is even a good thing. It means life is full and business is growing.
Think of your to-do list as a guide; it’s a starting point for prioritization.
It’s the daily progress toward targeted goals that counts, not a fully crossed off to-do list.
#2 Think in terms of wins, not to-dos when you prioritize
Thinking in terms of wins reframes the entire prioritization and “getting things done” process:
- It makes it easy to identify what needs to go at the top of your freelancing to-do list for the day.
- Instead of feeling frustrated by all the things that didn’t get done, you’re celebrating the things that did get done.
What would be your biggest WIN for the day?
Make that your target. Write it in huge bold letters on a white board.
It will likely be the item with the highest ROI. Once it’s done, you can move onto other tasks if no unforeseen interruptions come your way.
(Extra tip: Don’t be surprised if it’s also the thing you’re avoiding by adding 23 other small tasks to your list. You may uncover some other mindset “issues” you need to address-I know I have.)
If you’re focusing on the BIG WIN of the day and breaking it down into smaller pieces when you have limited amounts of time, it may take you a longer to reach your goals, but you will get there!
Make building your productivity skills a priority
Building up your productivity skills pays off. As a freelancer, the more efficient you are with your time, the more money you can make, in less hours.
You’ll be able to get more done in those small bits of time you find here and there. And you’ll be more likely to take your daily “interruptions” in stride.
Here are a few resources to get you started:
Interested in diving into a course tailored to freelancing moms?
- Check out Balancing Diapers and Deadlines
Let’s also learn from each other! What productivity tips make life and business easier for you? It would be awesome if you’d share your favorite resource or an experience in the comments below.