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As mom bosses, we split our days taking care of our two babies – our family and our business – and our list of to-dos is never ending. Figuring out how to use our time wisely and get all the things done have been two of the biggest challenges for many of us even when things were “normal”…never mind now that social distancing, homeschooling and quarantine have become the three buzzwords synonymous with Spring 2020. 

The one thing I always say to myself when I feel overwhelmed is that we all have 24-hours in a day. The answer to the question “How can I be more productive?” is not getting more and more hours but managing our habits. 

Everybody is different – different tasks, environments, routines, etc. Regardless of these differences, here are some powerful habits which will improve your productivity during the coronavirus outbreak, and when all this will pass. 

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Habits to Improve Your Productivity While Working From Home

3 personal habits that will help: 

Dress for the job

Put away those yoga pant and decades-old collegiate sweatshirts.

Add a little glow to your face, do your hair, and wear things that make you feel confident and ready to conquer your day, and your next Zoom meeting.

The dress code doesn’t have to be anything formal…more a “meet someone for coffee” look.

Don’t get me wrong, I love workout clothes, but taking a little extra care with your outfit in the morning can help boost your mood and productivity throughout the day, by making you feel more put together.

Bribe Yourself

As parents, we know the trick (bribery) “Tidy your room, finish your homework, do the laundry…and I will get you an ice cream”. The more the effort to complete the task, such as scoring good grades, the better the reward is.

Does this sound familiar?

You can use the same drill with yourself to achieve a specific goal.

Your favorite TV show, a glass of wine, a piece of chocolate…having something to look forward will make it easier to complete a task when you’re feeling a lack of motivation. 

Connect with others

Networking and allocating time to creating positive and mutually beneficial relationships is not only a skill, it is a habit.

As mom bosses we can join other groups to get motivated, share experiences and learn from others, as well as to let other people know what we do, and to have fun.  

2 habits about your workday planning:

Start the day the night before

Planning is the key to success in everything you do. Before you go to sleep, take a few minutes to think about what’s on for the next day and create your To Do List.

The fewer low-level decisions you can leave for the day after, the more mental resources you will have for what’s really important in your workday. 

Simplify to do lists with the 1-3-5 Rule 

If you are anything like me, you tend to write your to do lists with all the things you could do if you had laser focus for eight hours straight, meaning no kids, emails, calls or lunch break.

Clearly, reality and myth have very different meanings.

We are human. Fact. We can accomplish an endless number of things each day. Fiction.

Make your to do lists more effective with the 1-3-5 rule.

Pick one big task, three medium tasks, and five small things that you will accomplish on any given day. Get those done as best you can.

2 habits about your work-life balance: 

Set office hours’ boundaries 

Being a mom boss can be both a blessing and a curse. It is very easy for the boundaries of your mom life and your work life to start to blur. 

Designate working and personal hours on your calendar to mark a start and an end of your work day.

During your business hours, allow yourself to “lock the door” – stop multi-tasking and get the work done without the distractions of others’ immediate needs (diapers, food, snot, and soccer pickups).

At the end of your workday, keep your computer turned off, your  phone on silent or in your workspace. 

Designate a workspace

Now, we all know that the first step to ensure productivity is limiting distractions.

Carve yourself out a workspace and clean out unnecessary clutter. It may not be an official closed-door office space yet. It could be a corner in your living room, a kitchen office or a guest closet.

I recently saw one of my Instagram friends turning her closet into an office, or “cloffice” – she is a wardrobe consultant and that space is just perfect for her.

And if this is still not possible, once the quarantine is over, head to your favorite neighborhood coffee shop, a de facto workspace that combines much-needed caffeination with reliable Wi-Fi, and in some cases even private meeting rooms.

Final Thoughts

Now more than ever, I think that it’s true that successful mompreneurs figure out how to make lemonade when life gives them lemons.

As mom bosses, we’re used to living whirlwind lives and juggling multiple balls.

Productivity is of key importance to successfully keep all the balls in the air, make things as joyful as possible, and have a healthy balance in order to live our life well.

About the Guest Author

Francesca is a brand strategist, publicity expert and a mom boss. As the Founder and Chief Dots Connector of Polkadots Connect (http://www.polkadotsconnect.com),  she is dedicated to helping solopreneurs, small and medium business owners create brands people know, trust and love. She is also the creator of
Polkadots Box (http://www.polkadotsbox.com), the first subscription box for mom bosses to help them balance motherhood and entrepreneurship. You can contact Francesca at francesca@polkadotsandco.com.

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