I am a planner, if you look up the definition of planning in the dictionary my name is there. I have planning sheets in Excel, to-do lists in Wunderlist, my digital calendar and next to that a good old paper journal to plan my day-to-day. I might take the planning sometimes a bit too far (C would probably say to leave out the “bit” here), but that´s what I do. So I am already planning in a spreadsheet our moving to a new house of which the buying process hasn´t even been confirmed yet, yep call me freaky but hey if the move is happening I bet some people will be happy with my sheet full of to-do´s, to buy´s, to paint, to sell etc.
Use the mornings
I love planning, I love productivity hacks and I love efficiency. Before we had the bichin I had my plan and I had a little morning routine to kickstart the day and make sure I could make the most out of it and be as productive as possible. I love a book called The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
by Hal Elrod because it focuses exactly on that and ensures a super productive and focused start of the day. But, then you have a baby and your miracle morning turns more into a chaos morning (and midday and afternoon and night, basically a chaos life). But, if you´re looking to get more efficient and start your day productive you should check out this book or Hal´s website, it´s awesome! That is if your kids are old enough or you can make sure you always wake up before them… something I have not mastered yet with the crazy waking times of the bichin. Some day I might be back…
Planning the day as a working mom
Well, this gets a bit more complicated. Baby´s don´t really do plans, so the first months I really had to go cold turkey without any planning because I would seriously get nothing done or nothing would go according to plan. I really struggled with that and my control freak self had to get used to just letting the days flutter by that first period without a plan. I felt there was always this never-ending list of to-do´s and I just didn´t get to it. Now that I am ten months in the motherhood gig and also back to work for a while already I have somehow mastered a sort of a plan to get things done. It´s definitely still chaos (if you´re working from home some days and part of the day the bichin and his dad are also home, things can get chaotic) and although I am nowhere near a productivity hacking (morning) routine I have 3 golden rules I live by to make sure I am efficient.
1. Make a full day plan
Every morning before starting to work I aim to sit down for just 10minutes and plan my day. (Yep, “aim”, if it´s really chaos at home I sometimes don´t manage..) It´s real ly simple but it does magic. I use an old school paper journal and just write out my to-do´s and my planning for that day. The planning does not just include the meetings I have but definitely also blockers for stuff I need to get done, gym time etc. I really find that by blocking my own calendar for certain tasks (finishing a presentation, writing a new post) I have less interferences and it just get´s done.
2. Combine brainless tasks with calls
I often noticed that if I take conference calls behind my laptop it´s quite tempting to go surfing the internet, update my Facebook or do some online shopping. Not great for concentration obviously. So I decided I needed to step away from the laptop in order to remain focused and get out of the calls what I need to get out of them. But, then I realized there are also a lot of household tasks that don´t require any thinking. I know I know, multitasking is said to be not so great for efficiency, but there are some tasks that you just don´t need to think about at all, zero thinking, just automatic pilot. (Filling the washing machine, hanging the laundry, folding clothes, whatever it is for you) Those automatic pilot tasks are great for during long group conference calls! You step away from the laptop and can concentrate and at the same time get some annoying to-do´s from the household done. I do always take my good old journal with me to those brainless tasks so I can take notes during the call whenever that´s required.
3. Use sleeping time wisely
On days that I am not working for my corporate job I do still like to get some work done for cvandgo or my blog, apart from the obvious never-ending pile of stuff to do at home. So those days I categorize my to-do´s between things that can be done when the bichin is awake and those that require some more focus. I heard from a lot of friends that they use napping time to finally take a shower, do the laundry, unload the dishwasher etc. But I found that for me it works way better to use naptime for things that can´t really get done when the bichin is awake, and showering / doing the laundry / unloading the dishwasher definitely can get done with him there! So naptime is usually for some work related stuff (or a much needed catch-up on Grey´s Anatomy!), and the rest of the tasks I get done with him in his bouncing chair next to me (Seriously the bouncing chair from Baby Bjorn we got as a gift saved my life!) We usually make some sort of a game out of hanging the laundry or me showering and he loves it!
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