Go from …
Juggling chainsaws while riding a unicycle
… to …
Mommy's brain? Never heard of her.
Being a parent is tough enough, but being a parent while also trying to grow or run our small business is extremely challenging.
But never fear, my fellow parent-repreneurs.
(I hate myself for even typing that too)
Here are 3 productivity hacks I’ve found to get way more done in way less time. So you can spend more time with your little ones/significant other and less time staring at your forever-long to-do list.
We all have a lot of things swirling around in our heads, and it can be hard to focus on the task at hand when we’re worried about all the other things we need to do.
Like clean food off the kitchen wall 🤦♀️
One of the best ways to get all of those worries out of your head and onto paper is to do a brain dump.
- Sit down in a quiet place (easier said than done)
- Set a timer for 15-20 minutes
- Write down everything that’s on your mind.
Once it’s all out of your head and onto paper, you’ll be amazed at how much more focused you can be.
Prioritize the tasks and projects that truly move the needle in your business or family. And plan and carve out the time to chip away at each.
You can do this! I promise.
Once I have a list I can take action on it. My wife and I have shared notes together for this reason — so we can each help chip away at this list.
Eat the frog
Mark Twain once said…
“If the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that’s probably the worst thing that’s going to happen to you all day long.”
The same philosophy applies to ice baths or cold showers. ¯(ツ)/¯
Each morning when all through the house not a creature is stirring (not even a mouse), tackle your most important and most difficult tasks.
You’re fresh and energized. Plus, you don’t have any obstacles (read: screaming children) to getting that work done.
I’ve started getting up 90 minutes before my wife and daughter to be able to focus on getting some deep work done. This helps me stay focused, and also I feel much more accomplished by the time they wake up and morning chaos begins.
Work in sprints
Familiar with the Pomodoro Technique – where you work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat the cycle?
I like to call the longer version sprints, where you deep work for a set period of time (I do 50 minutes) with hyperfocus then take a longer break (10 mins).
What productivity gurus won’t tell you about sprints is they require a few things to truly get work done:
- Intense concentration – Eliminate distractions. Put your phone in the other room (or lock it away in this thing). This focused sprint is time for a single task for a period.
- Time isolation – Set aside dedicated time for deep work. And like I said earlier, remove any interruptions or distractions (kids) during that time. It may also help to isolate your time of the day or day of the week repeatedly, so you train your brain to focus during that period in your circadian rhythm (foreshadowing…).
- Ritualization – Create a routine or set of habits that make it easy to enter deep focus. Maybe you require a quick breathing exercise to get in peak flow, put on some focus music (like Brain.fm)
I find I get the most done before anyone in my family wakes up. Unfortunately, that means 5 am 🤣 Return to a specific environment and take regular breaks to refresh your mind.
This will help you stay focused. And you’ll have a chance to take breaks to play with your kids.
Being a parent and an entrepreneur can be tough. But it’s not impossible.
By doing a brain dump, eating the frog, and working in sprints, you’ll be able to get way more done in way less time and still have time for your loved ones.
Then there are weeks in Austin where there’s an Ice storm and you get nothing done… but that’s ok. This is not for those times 😅