Hey babes!! Oh man, I’m so excited about this post. It’s been a long time comin’. I get asked all the time — HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?! How do you get so much done?! What are your secrets?! When I told you that I have someone folding my laundry I think I broke the internet haha there were so many of you who wanted to know more. Truth is guys, I don’t do it all by myself. I just don’t! I don’t think one person can! I obviously do a lot and I wear many hats but Brian’s job is incredibly flexible and I have a lot of help with the house. So don’t ever feel bad about your situation or feel like you’re not doing enough because I can promise you — you are. You’re enough just the way you are!
I definitely move at a fast pace, that’s just my personality. I love working hard and getting things done but that’s also my Achilles heel because it’s really hard for me to slow down and enjoy the moment sometimes. But we’re all working through our crap, everybody has it haha but over the years I’ve learned a lot about productivity and I’ve just figured out what works for me in terms of managing and staying on top of my family, house hold responsibilities and work. And I might break this up into a few different posts but let’s just start with my top 6 tips on being productive, and these are in no particular order.
1. Brain dump — every night. Just do it. A brain dump is basically where you put anything and everything that comes into your head on a piece of paper. It’s not an organized list or mapped out plan of attack, it’s a messy piece of paper or note on your phone where you just write everything that’s in your head. Maybe it’s something you keep meaning to do like schedule haircuts, or maybe it’s an impression to call a friend. Chores you need to do, errands you need run, food you keep forgetting at the grocery store. Just dump EVERYTHING in your head so that it’s all in one place. I’ll explain what we do with that brain dump next…
2. Spend a few minutes before you go to bed, and make a game plan for the next day. I’m just a list person, the satisfaction of checking something off my list literally makes me happy!! I’ll put stupid things on there too like eat breakfast… or work out… things I’m gonna do anyway but man checking them off my list makes me feel so fulfilled!!! And if you’re a mom, and you literally get zero things done during the day, sometimes checking off “EAT” can be a small success! I’ve tried so many apps that I really really love, I’ll list a few at the end, but at the end of the day I just love paper. I love the way a pen and paper feel and the act of writing is semi-therapeutic! Like weeding. No? You hate weeding? To each their own hahaha!!! Anyway, I have a little notebook from Target and with my massive brain dump in front of me, I make a game plan. I start piecing together that brain dump and try to figure out what I can actually accomplish tomorrow. I also write down appointments or anything the kids have going on after school. This list helps me so much!!! It doesn’t make me super excited or anything to wake up in the morning, is anyone excited to wake up in the morning?! But it does make me super motivated, gives me purpose and keeps me on track. That way when I want to take a nap or I have a few minutes where the kids are happily playing, I can pull it out and start working on some of my goals.
3. Set small, short term goals. I need little wins — they just keep me motivated and moving forward. For example, a short term goal for me would be to read a book I’ve been recommended. Or to not raise my voice with the kids. Or to be better at following through with disciplining them. So this week with the kids we are working on setting expectations and then following through. Just little self improvement goals that keep you moving forward and progressing as a good human! What’s one of your short term goals?
4. Hire a babysitter. If you can’t afford a babysitter, trade with a friend. And during that hour, or the hours you have, get all your errands done. Going to the bank, getting your hair done, dropping stuff off at the dry cleaners, grabbing stuff at Walmart, buying new gear for the kids — whatever it is — do it by yourself! It’s so important that you get out of the house WITHOUT YOUR KIDS every now and then! And get dressed, put on jeans, feel like a normal person and run normal errands without little people screaming at you that they need to go to the bathroom again or that they’re hungry even though you just tried to feed them! It’ll boost your attitude so much and you’ll come home super happy and feeling like you’ve accomplished so much!!! And maybe you don’t need it once a week, maybe every couple weeks or once a month, but make sure to fit yourself into your schedule because you matter and you can’t run on an empty tank.
5. Workout and eat healthy. Guys — I can’t stress this enough! There was a long period of time where I didn’t prioritize my health. Or my families health, really. But we were fiiiiiiine. We were happy. I didn’t need to exercise and eating out all the time just became our thing. But then I decided to get back in shape and with that came healthier eating and eating more dinners together as a family and then I was like WHOAA howwww did I live without this for so long?! Being healthy and living a healthy life and caring about the things you’re putting in your body and how you’re treating it, reflect who you are and what you care about. It proves discipline, it gives you that satisfaction that you can do hard things!! And that you care about yourself! And you do, I know it. I wake up at 6:00am every morning and workout before the kids go to school. It’s so hard and honestly I’m surprised that I’ve been able to do it for so long because I am NOT a morning person. But I’ve found that those quiet moments in the car on my way to the gym are important for me! It’s when I talk to God and receive revelation for my family. And I get home feeling good and ready to conquer the world! And then I wanna eat healthy and it’s just this cycle that’s improved my life so much. If this is something you struggle with, take it one day at a time! Go on a walk a couple times a week. Ask a friend or sister to share a recipe they love with you! Hopefully you’ll find that those moments your alone with your thoughts, or focused on providing healthier food options for you or your family will give you a lot more than the minutes they take.
6. Give yourself grace. You’re not gonna get it all done — that’s just a fact. You’re gonna re-write the same things over and over and over because that’s just life! And growing and learning and doing new things is challenging, especially when you have little kids. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find a neighbor girl who will come over and help you fold your laundry after school gets out! Things are gonna come at you and when they do, if you’re organized in your space and you have a good system down, you’re gonna be fine! You’ll be able to roll with the punches and sure, maybe you’ll repeat some of your lists day after day until you can finally get through something. But that’s okay. The point is that we’re always trying to better ourselves. To educate ourselves, to learn more and grow from those around us and the things that we’re experiencing. Life is hard. And it’s messy and complicated and everyone is going through something that challenges them. So stop comparing, start loving yourself and just be so happy with the amazing life that you’re living!!
I hope that none of this comes across like I’m on my high horse of fabulousness because YOU GUYYYYS I’m a freaking hot mess of a human. But I love myself and I love my family and I’m working hard to improve and that’s it! That’s all ya need. So hopefully this little round up of thoughts helps inspire you or gives you an extra little tool to help you be a little more successful in what you’re already crushing!
I said I’d list a few apps that I really love so here are a couple that are worth the download:
Utiful Photos: This app is awesome for getting pictures off your phone in an organized way. It’ll let you air drop folders of pictures onto your computer instead of the mass import where all your hearted favorite pictures are forgotten.
Wunderlist: I used to use this app all the time to stay organized but in the end I just love paper. You can share lists though and categorize things. So for example I have a Fitness folder and inside that folder I have several to-do’s that can be checked off. And if you click on one of your to-do’s you can write notes and reminders and dates and put files in there, it’s pretty cool!!
Trello: This app is pretty rad and works well if you run a business too. It’s kind of like Pinterest and you create different boards for different things in your life. So I have a YouTube board, an Instagram board etc… and then you can add lists of things inside the boards, known as cards. Those cards can hold a ton of info and be moved around and re categorized.
Lose it!: I use this app almost every day. I like to plan out what I’m eating the night before, it doesn’t mean I’ll always follow it haha but that way when I’m super hungry I already know what we have in the fridge and what I can make super fast. You can also repeat days and I’m a creature of habit so that’s awesome for me! Just makes me conscious of what I’m eating and still need in my diet.
Alright, that’s it guys. If you liked that little list of apps maybe I’ll share some more and in more detail with how I use them? Let me know if that’d be helpful for you!!
KAYYY LOVE YOUUUUU, hope you have a fabulous day and we’ll chat soon! @twistmepretty