Motivation hacks for working mums
Finding motivation as a working mum isn't easy. Some days you just want to crawl back under the blankets and pretend the to-do lists aren't growing by the minute. You're constantly pulled between competing priorities at home and at work. I've learned that women CAN do anything, but they CAN'T do everything. In any given week, I have to choose what I'm going to be good at and what I'm going to let fall. I have chosen to wear "all the hats", but I can't wear them all in one day. Sometimes not even in one week.
And that's okay. I'm learning to let that go.
But, I still have goals I want to achieve and this small business start-up journey I'm on waits for no woman or baby sleep regressions. So productivity is essential for my sanity. After my stop-start beginning to Carte Home, I've done a lot of soul searching on how to keep moving forward. I'm an ideas person; I love big sky thinking and dynamic action-taking. So when it comes to achieving my goals, I'm working every day to be more productive in order to reach them.
One way I'm improving is by turning up every day with a plan. Some days my plan goes out the window. But at least I know what I was meant to get done and what the plan is for tomorrow instead. Without a plan, you spend the first hour sifting through emails and working aimlessly. When I'm fitting in writing between naps and mealtimes, I need to be producing work efficiently. Knowing what I need to be writing about before I sit at my computer ensures my working hours aren't wasted.
Forbes released a great article here on how to hit your business goals and it's helped my commitment to every day. The top tips from this article include:
- Think long term – to help with the struggle and hustle of short term.
- Commit to daily growth – learning focus in all aspects of your life helps your business mindset. Sometimes you need your spirit to get through, sometimes you need your mind.
- Create a road map. Be prepared for it to fail, but have one so you know how you’re tracking and when you need to reset.
- Get into a routine. How good does it feel to start your day with purpose? And when we do so, often the rest of the day continues that way. Routine helps create purpose every day
This list has helped me to prioritise my working day and actually move forward in my business. I am such a routine driven person; if my routine is out the window I know I'm not a happy camper.
Similarly, all work and no play; or worse, trying to do more than one thing at once leads to one burnt out mama. Checking emails while I'm playing with my son - big no-no! Replying to Instagram messages during dinner with my husband - uh-uh! I was spreading myself to thin and my stress levels were at peak capacity. Being in the moment is crucial to avoiding burn out.
Another favourite website of mine, Entrepreneur, goes further with this advice in their article here. Some key points from this article include:
- Take plenty of ‘you’ time.
- Build connections into each week.
- Have your sources of instant inspiration.
- Have a mission bigger than just a business.
I took from this article three important lessons - check yourself before you wreck yourself; separate yourself from your business or job; and disconnect from that bloody phone!
It is so important to connect, share, and celebrate with other people too. Often, starting out in small business is a solo venture. Make sure you are linking in with people, both digitally and in real life, who are doing something similar so you can share your experiences.
Other keys are to motivation are more physical. Start a mood board, watch a TED talk, listen to your favourite podcast, or read an inspiring online magazine. Keep access to the inspiring messages from people you look up to so you can tap into inspiration instantly. I love to play podcasts when I’m in the car, so when I jump out I’m ready to hit the ground running on whatever I just learned.
Motivation comes from routine, the routine comes from habits. As you start to form good habits every day, you'll start to see big changes in your life.
Hit me with your favourite motivational cues like podcasts or playlists. I'd love to know what keeps you on course
Loving this blog? Make sure you sign up for the Carte Home Journal.