Being a mom in the 21st century and being "busy" are inseparable. From the moment we wake up in the morning right down to the minute we fall asleep, most women carry in their heads an endless to-do list of things which they need to get done. If you are like most women, then you also struggle to make it through your day with some days being worse than others. Days where everything seems to pile up - work projects, logistics to be managed at school and at work, housework and other chores.
Does this sound familiar to you?
As a health coach, I work primarily with women with chronic health conditions where work together to implement lifestyle and dietary interventions in order to reach their health goals. However, what I find to be a common obstacle in preventing many of my clients (and friends) from doing so is often a "lack of time". Since regaining health and/or sustaining good health takes BOTH time and effort, not having enough time to take care of themselves is a major constraint for most women.
I am quite familiar with this myself and have struggled with this in the past as I juggle home and work responsibilities. I often have days where work piles and nothing seems to get done or becomes overwhelming. Over time with focus and practice, I have become better at managing my time especially since I now juggle three roles- being a mom, health coach cum entrepreneur. This means that I have had to become very intentional about how I spend my time. This is necessary not only to prevent burn out in the long run but also to ensure that my time with my family is not compromised.
I have learned to use technology to a large extent to my advantage in this respect (being a tech geek helps as well!) to increase my productivity in the time that I get during the day to work on different aspects of my life. In this post, I am sharing with you 6 productivity resources that you can use in your daily life (both tech and non tech) to help you manage your day (and time) better. There are of course countless such options available, these are just some of the options that I use every day and have proven to be quite useful for me.
When I was making this list, I almost left this one out since it seemed quite an obvious choice to use for storing to-do lists, checklists, reminders and such. However, I remembered that a few years back even I was not aware of the simplicity and usefulness of this app and it may be the same for some of you. You can download and use this app (for both Android and Apple/ Mac) on your smartphone AND your laptop so that they are synchronised at all times.
Some features that find really useful
- You can pin the most important notes at the top so that you see them FIRST
- Reminders can be added to any post so that you will be notified when it is due
- Each note can be shared with any person via various platforms including WhatsApp
- Pictures and links can be saved easily
- You can use different colours to differentiate and accentuate important notes
2.Technology apps like Freedom and Offtime
While I love using technology to enhance my productivity (as you would have realised by now) there at times when it can be a major hindrance in getting quality work done. Since writing is a big part of my profession, avoiding distraction is key to my productivity.
Distractions due to incoming texts, social media, emails can really derail our thinking process and increase the time that we take to do deep work. Apps like Freedom (phones and laptops) and Offtime (phone only) offer us a way to block out these distractions while we are working. Try them for free and first, you can always pay for them to get added benefits. I have tried a few other similar apps but have found these to be quite effective.
Some key features include
- being able to block websites as well as apps and customise these as per your requirements
- being able to block the internet completely if you need to
- ability to schedule sessions free from distraction as recurring events at specific time of the day(I use this feature a lot)
- Sync these blocks of time across all your devices (for the Freedom app)
This is one resource which is more old school and less tech-driven than the others. You can find and use various templates for a variety of purposes like weekly meal planning, weekly scheduling, to do and chore lists, to help with parenting, housework and countless more.
These templates can be found in many different places (both free and paid) but I find it easier to look for them on Pinterest. Since the search results are visual on Pinterest, it becomes easy to find what will suit your requirements. By saving them and printing them out, you can use these templates as an interesting and useful way of increasing your productivity.
Trello is essentially a project management app. You can use the basic features for free by creating multiple boards for different projects that you may be working on for both work and home. You can create as many as you want for e.g. separate boards for each child's school project work. These are saved in each board as a “card” which are tasks and/or ideas which can be edited, moved around and shared with others. These cards can in turn form different “lists” in each board to differentiate between various stages of progress.
You can sign up for Trello HERE.
This is one app/resource that I have been using for many years now and I am sure many of you will be familiar with this one. I chose to add this since this is so useful for streamlining information that we would like to save and access when needed. Evernote allows you to save websites/articles/pictures from the web using their web clipper in notebook formats making it really easy to save information. More importantly, it has searchable options across the notes (and pdf in paid version) while keeping it synced across multiple devices.
I use this to save research articles, websites, blog posts, information and most importantly for me, recipes in a very useable format. Check it out if you have never done so HERE.
This last one is by far my favourite. It allows me to be creative and productive at the same time. There are endless possibilities in terms of making invites, flyers, brochures, newsletters, social media banners, posters, ecards and more. There are beautiful editable design templates as well as photographs available, giving you many options which you can then customise to suit your requirements.
I use this quite often for both work and home related projects and I highly recommend that you check it out HERE.
There you have it! 6 productivity resources which can help modern day moms like you get work done and stay on top without getting overwhelmed. The key, of course, is to use them as per requirements and as often as you need to without feeling pressurised to become a master at all these at the same time. Being patient with yourself and not giving up while trying something new is necessary to avoid both overwhelm and throwing in the towel. The key is to simply get started, no matter where you are.
As Mark Twain said it so well
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started"
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