One of my main adages is that productivity isn't the point- and I still believe that to be true. But being a mom-preneur means that there is a lot of stuff on your to-do list. When we need to get stuff done, it has to get done. So how do you make that happen without going insane? My first step is to cull your to do list using the 4 D's of productivity.
I've adapted this tool from a few different sources, including David Allen's quintessential book on productivity Getting Things Done. At it's core, this practice involves prioritizing all the tasks that accumulate in our lives, and categorizing them so that you can choose what needs to take precedence.
First things first- in order to get a high level overview of everything that's going on in your life, I recommend writing it ALL down. Trying to do this for just one part of your life means that it's inevitable something will get missed. When that happens, things will bleed from one area to another- that leads to feeling like a failure, and I know when I feel that way I tend to want to give up... so let's take this first step to avoid all that, ok? Awesome. (Click here to grab a great printable I use to do just this)
The first D stands for Do. If you can get it done in 10 or 15 minutes, do it. This is a tricky one though, because we can end up "doing" little inconsequential tasks all day long. I recommend picking 3-4 tiny tasks to get done in one day. 2 hours, max. What do you do with the bigger tasks then? Well, you have to break them down into more manageable chunks. Then those get scheduled into your day. (See my guest post over on Becky Mollenkamp's blog on Task Batching and Block Scheduling for more on this).
Go through your task list and see how many things can wait. Are they time critical? Or can you get them off your plate for right now by planning on doing them at a later date? Be wary of doing this repeatedly with certain tasks. If a certain task keeps falling into the delay/defer pile, it is worth looking at why. Is it something you really don't want to do? Or is it something that actually doesn't need to happen?
This one is tough to do - but if something lingers, or doesn't really belong to you, delete it. Cross it off, and let it go. A rule of thumb I like to use, if it's been on your list for more than 3 weeks, and you keep deferring it- look at it honestly. Are you going to do it? Stagnant to-dos have this icky heavy energy about them. They make you feel bad about yourself- really. Cut 'em loose!
Oh delegation- this may be my favorite D out of all of them, although it wasn't always. Yes, it's true, no one can do exactly what you do BUT! People can do what you do, and get it done and out of your brain space. When you're busy building a life, a family and a business, done is better than perfect. One of my favorite things to delegate is house cleaning. While I learned cleaning from the best (thanks mom!), I just don't have the time or energy to do it. And I decided that I was going to stop defining the quality of my wife- and motherhood by whether or not I clean my own house. Delegation to the rescue.
Try this out- let me know how it works for you. These 4 D's have helped me better prioritize all the stuff I need to get done to grow my business and attend to my family. What do you think? Would this help you?
If you want a deeper dive into this check out my upcoming workshop: Start Where You Are