There is no way around the fact that moms are busy writing lists.
Girls, do we have a ridiculous number of lists or what? Grocery lists, birthday party guest lists, bucket lists, laundry lists, you name it.
We’ve got the list checked off, crumpled up and sitting on the floor of our purses (next to a few pennies and a couple of raisins).
I have decided it’s time for us to blast these lists into high gear so we can settle down, level up and get more done!
These all-important little lists we moms create are quite simply the equivalent of our brains on paper. Without them, we find ourselves wandering aimlessly, knowing it’s someone’s birthday, that we are forgetting something – and feeling just plain anxious about whether or not we are doing what we should be in life.
I don’t know about you, but I lose sleep over this kind of stuff and although I just turned 25 again (for the fourth or tenth time) I need my beauty rest these days.
Add a business or two to this mix of lists and you have a recipe for some seriously unproductive days. Can you afford to have wasted hours, days, weeks or even months? Me neither.
Organization is the key to minimizing chaos and increasing order in your life, which means you get more done and you enjoy the ride.
Here are 7 Simple Tips to help you blast your lists into actionable steps (that you can take in slippers, stilettos or sneakers):
1. Use a yearly calendar to designate monthly productivity themes. This way, every month you can focus on strengthening one aspect of your business or life (ie: online marketing, customer service, team management, financial systems, joint ventures, etc). By the end of the year, you will have spent 12 months consciously building 12 areas of your biz.
2. Always schedule family time before business and honor this commitment. Mark down one-on-one time with each family member every week BEFORE you create your weekly biz agenda. This tactic makes your family and loved ones your top priority, while sending a message that they are more important than your work. This goes a long way when it comes to friends and family supporting your business.
3. Calendar out your weekly to-do list every Sunday night, choosing a maximum of two major tasks per day. There are only 24 hours in a day, and 8 of them you should be sleeping. You also need to make time to eat, exercise and relax every day, which realistically only leaves room for 2 major tasks (at most) in any given day. There is no sense beating yourself up about it; just accept what is humanly possible and plan accordingly! Two big tasks max per day.
4. Break down big projects into smaller tasks by setting time limits and deadlines you can commit to 100%. If a task requires more than two hours to complete, it probably needs to be broken down into smaller items. Be aware of this as you create your weekly to-do list and utilize a timer to stay on track.
5. Prioritize tasks into “Must Do ASAP”, “Must Do Today” and “If I Have Enough Time…” and follow their completion according to level of importance. Completing ASAP tasks first will relieve stress and keep you moving forward. Conversely, doing easy tasks first sucks the time right out of your precious schedule, keeping the big stuff looming over your head (can you say, “stress!”) and delaying you from accomplishing what REALLY needs to get done. So, do the hard stuff first for maximum productivity.
6. Block similar tasks into specific days of the week. For instance, only take phone calls on Mondays, in person meetings on Wednesdays, write on Tuesdays and Thursdays, etc. Many entrepreneurs take phone calls every day which can disrupt work flow and distract you from your schedule. Setting up specific days for designated activities will increase your productivity and keep you feeling on the ball.
7. Avoid the tendency to multi-task. Multi-tasking is actually another way of saying ADD. When your attention is split into several different areas, you cannot fully focus on anything and completing a task will take you longer. Stay focused on one thing at a time and you will achieve greater results.
Implement any one tip on this list and you will see a big difference in your productivity and output levels, but utilize all of these techniques and you will see a profound effect on every facet of your life.
The most successful entrepreneurs stay organized and motivated on the right path in life by beginning each day with the end in mind. Take 15 minutes every morning to practice visualizing your ultimate goal in every area of your life: relationships, career, health, family, spirit, community … and play an active role in how each day will bring you closer to your dreams.
Britt Michaelian, M.A. is an exhibiting artist, bestselling author, award-winning filmmaker and a mom entrepreneur. With a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy and as the Founder of Responsible Family Company and several other businesses, Britt has experienced firsthand the many ups and downs of starting and running a business while raising a family. Known as The Smart Start-Up Coach for Moms, Britt is now guiding moms through the start up phase of their entrepreneurial journeys. Sign up for free monthly Smart Biz Start-Up Q&A calls & the Work Smart Mompreneurs newsletter at brittmichaelian.com