There is big money in productivity. It seems that everyone has a solution to help you be better, faster and more productive at whatever it is that you do. But what if what it is that you do is motherhood? Whether you are a stay at home mum or a working mum, motherhood brings it’s own unique challenges to the table. So how you can be a mum and productive?
The Pomodoro Technique?
In the Pomodoro Technique, you set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the timer goes off, at which point you take a five minute break. It gives you the chance to recharge to maintain your focus for a long day. I actually use this technique when I am working and the kids aren’t around. BUT when you add kids to the mix it is like working with a timer that is still dealing with the effects of the Y2K bug. Just as you get started on something, up they pop wanting to do something completely different altogether, even if it was they who suggested the initial activity in the first place.
Don’t break the chain?
This method, made famous by Mr Jerry Seinfeld himself, says that you should pick a goal and mark off on a calendar each day that you achieve that goal. The idea is that you can use the “chain” of marked off days as a motivator to keep going. That is until the kids manage to find your texta and turn your chain into a work of art that Picaso would be proud of.
Now this one I like. The Anti-todo list says that rather than creating a “to do” list each day, you should instead create a list of all the things you achieve in a day. Add to the list as you go and look back at the end of the day with pride at all you have achieved. But what if all you do in a day is prepare meals that the kids won’t even eat and tidy the same room 15 times? It’s survival mama, and some days that’s what it’s all about.
Biological prime time?
When I found this technique I laughed and laughed. This is like the ultimate anti-motherhood productivity technique. The idea is to chart your energy over a few days to determine your best hours for getting things done. Ideally you should cut out caffeine and alcohol while charting your energy levels and also wake up naturally without an alarm to get the most accurate levels. Hilarious isn’t it?!
Eat the frog?
If you haven’t heard of the “eat the frog” technique, it is really simple. Each day, start by eating the frog, i.e. the biggest/scariest task in front of you. If only kids worked that way! Why is it that they always present the frogs when you least expect it? Like vomiting in the car on the way to somewhere important? Or a dreaded newborn poosplosion just after you have changed them into a beautifully clean white outfit?
But the truth is that us mums are some of the most productive people around. Every day you are are keeping your little people alive and teaching them the skills they need to grow up to be awesome humans. You are feeding, playing, cleaning, working, setting boundaries, chasing, laughing, crying, cooking, listening, talking, teaching and often all at the same time. There really is no productivity technique like motherhood.
Image: Elise Garner, lecoco.com.au
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