Are you drowning in the sea of chaos that comes with being a busy parent? Trust me, I get it. Between the never-ending to-do lists, the overwhelming schedules, and the constant kid demands, it's enough to make anyone feel like they're losing their marbles. I have some down-to-earth, straight-talking tips that will actually help you supercharge your productivity. I know what you're thinking. All those so-called "productivity gurus" out there seem to live in a different universe, where they have hours to meditate in the morning and "manifest" their dream lives.
Unless I’m doing this parenting thing wrong, that’s just not gonna fly in the real world where mini humans invade your shower time. That's why I've created tips and tricks that actually work in the midst of snot noses, school assemblies, and the never-ending chaos that comes with being a parent. We're talking about practical stuff, like how to create efficient batch to-do lists and using visual planners to keep us on track.
So, my fellow overwhelmed parents, buckle up and get ready to take control of your day-to-day tasks like never before. It's time to reclaim your time, kick chaos to the curb, and become the productivity rockstar you were destined to be.
Batch to-do’s for maximum efficiency
Do you know how Maccas has one person on the grill, one on the till and so on? It’s not just because they don’t want to cross-train: grouping like-minded tasks increases productivity. It’s easier to find your flow and you’ll minimise the chance of procrastination and mistakes. Guess what, you can streamline your workflow and significantly increase your efficiency as a parent by adopting the same system!
Batching is simply grouping similar tasks together and doing them all at once. For example, you could batch your washing on one day, groceries on another and life admin on another.
If you're a busy parent, batching is a great way to save time, improve focus, and reduce stress. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Choose a time of day when you're most productive to batch your tasks.
- Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks.
- Set a timer for each task and stick to it.
- Take breaks when you need them, but don't let yourself get sidetracked.
- Reward yourself for completing a batch of tasks.
When you batch tasks, you don't have to worry about forgetting something or not having enough time to get everything done. You can just focus on one task at a time and know that you'll get it done. Which reduces stress and turbocharges productivity. BOOM!
Consistent routines for a well-organised week
You know when you’re too tired to think AKA every single day! Well, removing the mental gymnastics involved with running the day as a busy parent is one way to simplify your life. One way to do that is to create a master weekly list and repeat it every week. Yes, it sounds a bit on the boring side but when you’re in the thick of surviving the day, it’s a game changer.
To create consistent routines, start by thinking about how your days play out and how you can condense the brain power involved. It might be a weekly repeating menu, set days for cleaning, homework and so on.
Following a rinse-and-repeat routine will help you stay on track and make the most of your time. It will also help you avoid feeling overwhelmed because you'll know exactly what you need to do and when.
The kids will appreciate the structure too, trust me!
Tackle the hardest task first
Procrastination is a parent's best friend. The to-do list that never ends (yes, it goes on and on my friend…) can leave you feeling drained and like you're never getting anything done. And as soon as you do, there’s a backlog waiting for you, ugh!
One thing I’ve learned is eating the worm straight up eliminates the dread vibe and lets you get on with your day sans the failure feels. Set yourself up for success by writing it down before you go to sleep so you are ready to meet the day (and the annoying task) with gusto.
Embrace mindful minutes for increased focus
To be super productive as a busy parent, you gotta think bigger than just crossing things off your to-do list. It's about making progress towards your goals and feeling accomplished. One way to do that is to embrace mindful minutes because who has time for hour-long meditation sessions when you’re elbow-deep in parent life?!
Just 5 minutes in the AM and 5 in the PM will make a difference.Start each day by writing down 3 things you're grateful for and set your intention for the day. This can include powerful changes like “show up authentically” or little bits like “update Centrelink bank details”. At the end of the day, reflect on what went well. Write it down before bed, track your progress and celebrate your growth.
When you can, take a few deep breaths and focus on the present moment. It will help you stay calm and focused throughout your day. With a clear mind and a sense of purpose, you'll be ready to tackle your to-do’s and make the most of your valuable time as a busy parent.
Utilise visual planners to stay on track
Get ready for the hottest of tips! In fact, I think it's the most important tool in your arsenal: using visual planners. Visual planners can be an invaluable tool to help you stay on track and be more productive. As a busy parent with a lot of responsibilities, having a visual representation of your tasks and appointments can help you stay organised.
If you’re going to do it properly you’re going to want the gold standard calendar: The Family Command Centre. With room for weekly schedules, monthly plans, to-do’s, reminders for the fam, shopping lists and menu planning you’ll be on top of everything at a glance.
Physically writing things down can help you remember them better and serve as a visual reminder of what needs to be done. Plus, having a physical planner makes it easy to see your schedule at a glance and make adjustments as needed.
Take a few minutes each day to assess your progress, make any necessary adjustments, and plan for the next day or week ahead. You can even add your intentions and reflections to enhance your mindful minutes.
Reward yourself for a job well done
As a busy parent, you're like a superhero. You juggle multiple responsibilities, always putting others before yourself. But even superheroes need a break sometimes. So go ahead and treat yourself to something special. You deserve it!
Add small treats to your schedule weekly to boost your everyday motivation. It might be a coffee date with a friend, an online shopping flutter, or a few hours with a book - it’s up to you!
Keep your momentum going and mark the big ticket wins with a coveted reward. Like a weekend away every 3 months. It’s possible - you just gotta make it happen and give yourself permission to celebrate your accomplishments.