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Routines are essential for mompreneurs. They help you get in the habit of doing things, so you don’t have to stop and think about each next step.
Since mornings set the tone for your whole day it makes sense to create a morning routine. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, or even take much time. It just is a set of tasks that you do each morning to help build the foundation for the rest of the day.
Here are five of the things I do every morning that directly impact my productivity. Keep in mind, this isn’t my entire morning routine. (I go over more of that in this post.)
1. Get Dressed
I really love staying in my pajamas all day. But, when I do, I don’t get nearly as much done. I think the jammies send a signal to my brain that it’s time to relax and slow down.
That’s not the tone I want to set for my day!
So I get dressed. It helps my mind get out of the sleep mode and into a higher gear.
I don’t usually wear anything fancy. If we aren’t going anywhere, there’s no need to wear out my nicer clothes.
So I have a bunch of comfy skirts and tops that are perfect for working from home in. It doesn’t matter so much what you’re wearing, as it does that you take the time to get dressed.
2. Review My Meal Plan
My annual meal plan makes life so much simpler! But, it doesn’t eliminate all the work for me. I still need to pull meat out of the freezer to defrost, pick the sides, and make sure the kids know their meal prep tasks for the day.
I used to just try and wing it from my meal plan. Since I already knew what we were eating, I figured I was good.
Except, I wasn’t. And there were days where my mornings would get crazy and I’d forget to pull out the meat. Or start something marinating.
Some days I even forgot we were eating a crockpot dish and never bothered to start it. Oops!
These problems are eliminated when you take time to review your meal plan each morning. I check what we’re eating for each meal of the day, and for our afternoon snack.
Then if there’s something I need to do right away, I do it before the day’s activities get started.
This also helps the plan to be fresh in my mind to share with the kids during our morning meeting. Then I can share who needs to do what to help with meals for the day.
3. Do One Thing to Market My Blog
Marketing has always been the most challenging part of running a business for me. I love creating content. I don’t love marketing.
But, if I don’t market I don’t get viewers. And if I don’t get viewers, I don’t actually make any money.
So, marketing is essential!
I now take a couple of minutes each morning to purposefully market my blog. Here are some of the tasks I do:
- Participate in a repin thread in a Facebook Group
- Schedule a couple of older posts to share to Twitter using Buffer
- Create a new pin and add it to Pinterest
- Participate in a blog post comment thread in a Facebook Group
- Add an image to Instagram
- Pin a pin to some group boards
None of these take a lot of time. But, by getting some marketing done in the morning, I know I’ve at least done SOMETHING. Otherwise my day might get crazy and before I know it midnight will be rolling around and I never even managed to do anything to promote my content.
4. Write Down My Top 3 Priorities
Days go by so quickly, especially when you’re trying to balance homeschooling, raising a family, and growing a business. I can never get everything done.
So, I make a list of my top three priorities for the day.
Sometimes they’re all related to my business. Other times they have to do with housework. Or the kids. Or appointments.
But typically, I pick different areas. For instance, today’s big three were:
- Edit and submit an assignment that’s due
- Take child to a doctor appointment
- Knock out some accounting work for a client
Of course, I will get more done than this. We will do our normal chores, homeschooling tasks, and all of that. But, when I have spare time throughout the day, I’ll work on the first and third thing on my priority list.
The doctor appointment will happen when it’s supposed to happen. Since it takes out a huge chunk of our day (an hour drive in, an hour drive out, plus the actual time there), it has to be one of my big three. Otherwise I’d try to fit too much in and I’d just end up frustrated.
There are some days when I’m done with all three of my priorities by noon. When that happens, I quickly jot down two more.
Typically, I get all three done even if it means staying up a little later. That’s because these tasks make the backbone of my week and I have them planned according to which days I can accomplish what.
But, it doesn’t always happen.
When life comes up and one of my three can’t get done, I have to really prioritize. For instance, the doctor appointment has to be a top priority because I don’t want to deal with rescheduling and waiting to get back in. I already have child care arranged for some of the kids so I’m not overwhelming the doctor by dragging in seven extra bodies. So this has to happen.
My assignment that’s due gets the next priority slot, because well…money. I don’t like missing deadlines, and I do whatever I can to make sure I get my work turned in on time and completed well. Your reputation is so important as a freelancer, so make sure it’s a good one.
So that means today I’d push off the accounting work. That one is a bit more flexible, and can be done more on my schedule, as long as it gets done when it’s needed.
See how that works?
Other days, I’d drop something else. It just depends on what came up and what’s on my list.
But, having those three things figured out helps make sure I do something productive and make progress toward my goals. Three isn’t such a big number that it’s overwhelming, but it’s still enough to make a dent in my to-do list.
5. Work with the Kids to Make a Plan of the Day
If you’re working with kids in the house, you’ve got to get them on board with what your day is going to look like. They need to know what they’ll be responsible for, and what you expect.
They should have some input into how they spend their time. This really increases the buy-in to the plan as a whole and helps ensure my kids don’t mutiny (they really do outnumber me you know…:D)
So every morning at breakfast we have a morning meeting. Here we talk about what’s on the agenda. We go over the flow of the day. I share the meal plan for the rest of the day and any tasks my kids need to do. I talk about my top three priorities.
And I ask my kids for their opinions. If I know we’ll have extra time, I’ll ask everyone to pick one thing they’d love to do that day. Then, I try to squeeze in as many as we can.
Sometimes these activities become a whole family thing. Other times, they’re something I can encourage the kids to do during free time or quiet time.
Planned Fun Helps with Motivation
No matter when we do them, those little fun things help keep the kids motivated. They know they have to get the stuff that comes before them done or they won’t be able to do what they want.
As we talk through the order of our day, I typically jot it down. That way we’re all on the same page and everyone can see it if they want. My memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be, so this helps me remember what’s going on too!
Then, we get to work. By this time, we’re all ready to face the day and be as productive as we can be. We have a plan to keep us on track, and I don’t have to play task master since everyone knows what’s expected.
If you’d like more information about our Morning Meetings and Plan of the Day, check out my course Balancing Diapers and Deadlines. I walk you through how to create your own, and tackle several other areas to help you find more time to grow your business.
What Do You Do in the Mornings to Boost Your Productivity?
What do you do to boost your productivity in the mornings? I’d love to hear the tasks you’ve included in your routine to help the whole day get off to a good start.
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