Eliminate distractions and get massive amounts of stuff done as a mom. Find focus and get seriously great work done today! Free printables for a headstart included. –
Reading time: 10 min. –
How do you get more done as a blogging mom who has a busy schedule and more than one project going on in any given time? Learn how to get more done by eliminating distractions and do some deep work.
In my dream life, I sit down at my desk, get done what is on my to-do list for that day, get up to prepare food, feeling great and accomplished.
In my real life, I often don’t know what the heck I have been doing all day when I finally hit the pillow thinking about all the things I wanted to get done but didn’t.
What the … ? Can you relate?
Do you spend hours at the desk? Did you not have the best and most elaborate to-do list ever? Don’t you use a nice planner to map everything out?
Then, where did we go wrong?
Warning: This is a long post. But you will find a helpful little summary at the bottom of this post!
Early on in my life as a mom, I did the time-tracking experiment. If you are totally clueless about how you spend the 24 hours you have in your day, do it! It seems like a fabulously annoying thing. But trust me. It will become an eye-opener.
I was horrified by the two things time-tracking told me about my mom life:
- I truly only had very little time margin to fill with whatever I wanted because I don’t have a lot of support.
- I DO have some margin to fill with whatever I want. And I filled it with a lot of trash.
Ok. Be honest with yourself. What exactly do you do when you find yourself with a little chunk of uninterrupted time?
Do you take out your list of tasks that will bring you closer to your goals? Do you jump on the next big thing you wanted to accomplish?
Or do you check your emails or social media to see what your peeps are up to? Do you call your mom to ask about the brunch on Sunday next week for the fourth time? Or (my favorite) check the candy supply and munch on a sweet snack while you are there?
And then, there are these Work-At-Home mom dreams you have.
Being a WAHM is the best thing ever. Without the internet and my laptop, I’d probably wouldn’t work at all right now. So, I want to pursue this dream with all I got.
After my little girl started attending playschool I was super positive that my productivity will skyrocket.
Little did I know that she would stay home sick so often! Every time she did I got sick as well.
I soon learned that I need to leverage the uninterrupted, sickness-free hours I have at my desk.
But I didn’t.
At my desk, I try to get back to something someone shared in a Facebook group and find myself scrolling through the feed, checking out what others have been up to, or sending a message!
I run off to the door because there’s a delivery coming for one of the neighbors who work outside the house.
There are some things that even the best planner filled out carefully in my planning sessions cannot compensate.
They are called distractions and they are kryptonite. They are the ultimate weakness to your working efforts.
Why distractions are so poisonous
First, they eat up your precious time. That is bad enough. Because time is the one resource you can’t make, buy, or rebuild. It’s running up whatever you do or don’t do.
So, every kind of time sink is bad, bad, bad.
Then, distractions take your mind off of your task on hand to something completely different. You lose your focus.
The average person needs several minutes to refocus when she got distracted. Yikes! Time sink alert #2!
This is why you need to cut all distractions when it comes to getting things done as a busy mom!
Before you can effectively eliminate distractions you need to face the enemy in its devilish ways.
Action item: Find out where you spend your time.
Use RescueTime to find out what you are doing all the time on your computer, laptop, tablet or phone. The app runs in the background and gives you a detailed report on your activities. Learn how you really spend your time in the digital world. Don’t worry, they have a free plan and this is all you will need.
Recommended Read: How To Find Margin For Your Dreams With Time-Tracking
But prepare yourself for some ugly truths to reveal!
A friend of mine learned that she gave her phone to her five-year-old son way too often and way too long averaging 14 hours a week! Hello mom guilt!
Action item: Find timer killers!
Reviewing your time online you need to look out for your typical time killers. Then, you can use apps to block those websites completely during your working hours. If you are using the Chrome browser or an Android phone you can use BlockSite which is free.
The ever-active Facebook feed is a notorious time sucker. Sometimes you need to get to a message with important information and you end up looking at all the updates your friends posted. Been there.
There is a handy tool for this, too. The free News Feed Eradicator for Chrome. It will turn off the newsfeed as well as notifications and will show you an inspirational quote instead.
Find your magical recipe for productivity
Look at your most productive days or hours and ask yourself what made the difference. What is it that makes you ultra-productive? What causes you to run around like a headless chicken? When do you excel? When are you failing?
Look out for patterns or typical pitfalls. Find out your weak points and leverage your strong sides.
For me, having a plan is crucial. I need clear actionable tasks on my to-do list. Not too many, not too few. So I can sit down at the desk and plug away without second-guessing and without thinking about checking social media.
Clearly mark the most important tasks of the day. Those, that really need to get done! Knock them out first.
Not having an action plan is almost as if you are scheduling distractions.
Find the times in your week when there is not a lot going on in your home. Make sure you are able to do something important when these times come around. Get other work out of the way.
Create some simple recipes to be ready for action and fill tiny pockets of time with meaningful work.
Action item: Make Braindumping A Habit
You don’t have to do this every morning. But have a piece of paper or digital notebook ready to dump everything there that pops up in your head. Get it out there and on paper. Then, go back to what you were doing.
You can also do a major braindump to let it all out: things you wish for, how your dream life looks like, places you want to go, how your blog and business will be in 5 years, etc.
Let it out without judging. Just do it and ease your pondering.
When you do this, you might even find a pattern and gain new insights about yourself.
Action item: Prepare your working space.
Have a working space that supports you! Do you love a clean and organized desk with only a few items on? Try to make room in your home for your work, even if it’s tiny.
A friend of mine uses noise-canceling headphones and swears she works much better using them. I assume you quickly get used to wearing them. They help you focus and concentrate on what needs to get done.
You could even use an ambient sound if you work better with some background noise (for example via the free service Noisli. I like the coffee shop noise). Those headphones are great if you don’t have a quiet working space to yourself. You could get some work done while the kiddos are watching a TV show next to you.
Eliminate digital distractions
You can’t end all distractions but try to create focus.
You can’t mute your phone in case playschool calls. But you can prepare your phone to be less tempting. Push as many buttons as you can to the second screen so you don’t see them when you unlock the phone screen.
Set every app you can to “mute” and switch off notifications of all kinds, especially noisy ones.
People can call you in urgent cases. Every other message has to wait until you have finished what is on your list.
Some of these might come in handy: Best Free Apps for Bloggers to Get the Writing done faster and better
I know this is something some people need to get used to first. Last year I was attending a meeting where they asked us the put our phones to silence. Some people obviously felt uncomfortable doing so and looked at each other somewhat irritated. I went ahead and silenced my phone because I’m such a super put together person. I don’t need to be glued to my phone. no, no… hehe…
And OF COURSE, playschool called in the middle of the discussion! Blushing, I needed to answer my vibrating phone and slink off to the corridor where I learned that my daughter had a rash in her face. Pride will have a fall.
You could even put your phone on airplane mode if you have a landline for emergencies.
Schedule in Downtime
Sounds weird, right? How can you be more productive by scheduling something unproductive? Well, first of all, you need downtime and moments of self-care so you don’t burn out.
Once you are down on your energy you can’t get anything seriously good done any longer. You don’t want this.
Then, you can work with more focus when you know you earn a little me-time, too. You are not a workhorse. Your physical health is an asset. You can’t thrive when you are constantly sick! So take good care of yourself.
Downtime is important and you can’t be your best and do your best work if you neglect it. This is why you need to schedule in regular breaks and self-care.
You could use the Pomodoro technique and take a 5-minute break after working 25 minutes. Or create a schedule that works for you. Just don’t leave out the breaks. You might think you can get more done in solid blocks of work. But you are not.
When I neglect taking breaks when working at the desk I will have tension headaches. And those are not known as productivity boosters. Check out the 10-minute yoga sequence to ease headaches in this post:
Feel fabulous again: Best Free 10-Minute Yoga Routines to Queeze into A Busy Mom Day
Make sure you don’t eat a lot of crap! Get moving and have healthy snacks throughout the day.
Claim Your Time and Get Everybody On The Same Page
Talk to your family and make them understand how important it is for you to find focus and work on your projects. Just because you don’t leave your home doesn’t mean your work is leisurely fun. You are on to something. Let them know.
Set boundaries. Small children need you a lot, but once they are older you can explain to them that you need uninterrupted time for yourself. Explain what you are doing and why.
Set an alarm clock and propose to them that you are playing a fun game once the alarm goes off. But only if they let mommy do her thing first!
Avoid negative people in your life who drain your energy or act like drama queens. Declutter your contacts and try to surround yourself with supportive people. Get in touch with other moms who are trying to master similar things in life or have already accomplished them. Take their advice, exchange experiences.
Have a plan, use time-blocking and batch tasks
You know you need a plan of attack to make the most of your precious hours. Make sure your to-do list is actionable so you can sit down and start working right away without second-guessing or “researching” first. (We know how this is going to end…)
Batch tasks together that are similar. For example, block some time to write or create graphics or brainstorming. Make sure you do the work! Work on your to-do list and nothing else.
Give yourself grace and practice
Now, you may have big plans. But becoming a disciplined worker may take some practice. Don’t beat yourself up. Instead, focus on the next step. And then the next. They will add up.
If you fail, don’t worry. Get up on your feet again and give it another try. You will get better with time! Have patience.
You will soon have a lot fewer distractions and get massive amounts of stuff done.
Now, here is at a glance what you can do to find more focus and cut distractions so you can get things done.
Go back to the body of this post to find out more about each point:
12 Ways to Eliminate Distractions, Find Focus and Get Massive Amounts of Stuff Done As A SAHM
- Understand your why and that distractions need to be eliminated if you want to be more productive
- Find out how you really spend your time! Track your time and assess how you use it, in all honesty
- Find typical killers of your time
- Find your magical recipe for productivity by looking at your most and least productive times
- HAVE A PLAN!!! Have a to-do list with actionable items and mark the most important tasks of the day. Get them done!
- Make brain-dumping a habit to stop pondering. Have a brain dump sheet ready.
- Prepare your physical working space so it is ready when you are!
- Get rid of digital distractions. Turn off notifications, shut down your phone, close your inbox tab, etc.
- Schedule in breaks and self-care
- Talk to your loved ones and explain to them what you are doing and why
- Use time-blocking and batch similar tasks together
- Give yourself grace, practice self-discipline and don’t skip loving self-care
More Resources for Members of Mom Can Do This that you can download from the free library for subscribers:
- 12 Week Planning Worksheets
- Evernote Guide for Moms
- Time-Tracking Worksheet
- Blog Planner Sheets
- Goal Focus Workbook
- Batch Tasking Workbook
- Money Management Workbook
- Monthly Planner
I hope you found this post helpful! If so I would love for you to share it with your mom squad!