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25 Amazing Productivity Tips From Successful Mompreneurs

25 Amazing Productivity Tips From Successful Mompreneurs

Becoming an entrepreneur is a lot of work. Just like being a mom. So why would any sane person do both and become a mompreneur? Don’t worry, you don’t have to be sane. But you do have to be productive. That’s why these 25 amazing and successful mompreneurs are sharing their favorite productivity tips with you. Here’s our countdown:

25. Let it go

CorpNet-NellieAkalp-2012-HighRes-1

    Nellie Akalp, mompreneur founder of CorpNet and mother of 4 children, a set of boy/girl twins ages 13, a boy age 10 and a girl age 3, says you have to be willing to let some things go.

    “Let it Go.” Yes, this is my youngest daughter’s favorite song from the hit movie Frozen, but it’s also a saying I tell myself about five times a day. Set your perfectionist self aside, and let it go. If you try to focus on all of the little things every day with kids, you won’t get anything done. I focus on the big picture and plan ahead to keep my business successful and my family happy and healthy.

    24. Pre-cook a week’s worth of meals

    Ksenija

      Ksenija Rostova, mompreneur CEO and co-founder of inSelly and mother of a 5-year-old, says you have to cook meals in advance.

      My ultimate productivity tip is to partially pre-cook dinners for the entire working week on Sundays. I plan a weekly menu and do all possible preparations: cook and freeze grains/beans/broth, prepare sauces, slice vegetables and pack them in portions, roast or boil meat, mix spices etc. It helps to save a lot of time on cooking after work.

      23. Be present

      rsz_osgood_192_dark_hair

        Heather Osgood, serial mompreneur and business coach at How to Quit Working, and mother of 3 kids, ages 18, 6 and 3, says you always have to be present.

        Be 100% Present. Your attention is a precious commodity. Whether you are with your kids or working in your business, be present with your full attention. Multi-tasking isn’t effective for success. If you aren’t focused on your kids they’ll know it and fight for your attention. Your business also deserves your full focus. Create a schedule and stick with it to ensure that no one gets the short end of the stick, or the short end of your attention.

        22. Put the kids to work

        Debra Cohen with Children

          Debra Cohen, mompreneur President of Home Remedies of NY, Inc., and mother of two kids, Emily (18) and Sophie (15), says you should put those kids to work.

          When my kids were little, I put them to work with simple jobs like stamping or stuffing envelopes to keep them occupied. I used a trip to the park, baking cookies or some other fun activity as an incentive. As they got older, they handled bigger jobs like data entry and filing and now that they’re teenagers, they are my social media gurus and I give them shopping and gas money. Soon, I’ll be working for them!

          21. Make your desk a learning station

          familybusinessdaphne_casualphoto

            Daphne Mallory, mompreneur family business expert and business owner and mother of 4 kids, ages 3, 5, 7, and 15, says you should convert your desk into a learning station.

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            When kids wake up early or if they’re with you during the day, they can learn on websites like starfalls.com while you get some of your desk work done. They’re close enough to keep an eye on them, and they have your attention—well sort of.

            20. Know who your real boss is

            stephanieadams

              Stephanie Adams-Nicolai, mompreneur Founder & CEO of GODDESSY, and mother of a 4-year-old son, says you have to know what your real motivation is.

              Remember the real reason you are in business is personal. Everything I do, any business I create, all the money I make, is inspired solely by my son and my desire to provide the very best for him. That said, he is my daily and lifetime motivation to be a success and never give up, as not only am I inspired by him, I am his inspiration to someday become the best he can be as well.

              19. Outsource meals

              nicoledavis

                Nicole Davis, mompreneur Certified Public Accountant and principle of Butler-Davis Accounting and mother of 4 kids, ages 1, 2, 14, and 16, says you should get someone else to prepare your meals.

                Outsource meal planning and do meal prep on Sunday. I love to cook but I find myself creating more recipes for success in my business than creating healthy recipes for my family. So, I signed up for 1-year meal plan with a company (Me and My Kitchen). The plans come with delicious recipes, a categorized grocery list, and cooking tips. And I consider Sunday a rest day if resting is such a thing with four kids. When I prep everything Sunday, we eat for another week which is always a benefit and I can focus on growing my business the rest of the week.

                18. Flip your days

                  Naomi Hattaway, mompreneur Owner of 8th & Home Real Estate & Relocation, and mother of 3 “kiddos,” ages 19, 11, and 8, says you should flip your days around.

                  Go to bed 45 minutes earlier than normal and wake up 45 minutes earlier in the morning. Chances are, even if you think you function best at night, you will get MORE done in the morning. Can’t fathom an alarm clock waking you 45 minutes earlier? Gradually increase your flip… start with 15 minutes, and then power through your least liked task in those 15 minutes. It’s like a gift from the productivity gods!

                  17. Don’t be a “shero”

                  ShaylaandChildren

                    Shayla Boyd-Gill, mompreneur CEO and Founder of LABOR Business Coaching and mother of 6 kids, ages 8 months, 4, 7, 11, 14, and 17, says you don’t have to be a hero.

                    Decide not to be a super independent “shero”—ask for help. Pay people to do tasks that are not in your zone of genius. Let your children reap the rewards by hiring them to do work in the business and home

                    16. Make it fun for the kids

                    ericaZidel

                      Erica Zidel, mompreneur CEO of SittingAround and mom to 8-year-old son Gavin, says you should keep things interesting for the kids.

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                      I often find myself working from my home office on days where Gavin is home, too (e.g. school holidays, etc.). Taking phone calls with lots of noise in the background is not ideal, so I invented a lip-reading and charades game. When I am on a call and he needs something, he has to find a way to communicate to me as silently as possible. He can mouth it, act it out (no sound), or write in on a piece of paper. It entertains him and allows me to parent during business calls without interruptions—usually!

                      15. Focus on A+ business problems

                        Irina Jordan, mompreneur Founder and Owner of ARTISURN and mother of 3 kids, ages 2, 6, and 9, says you should focus on the most important things first.

                        Tackle one A+ business problem before you get to anything else, the one that makes a critical difference in the success of your business. Resist temptation to start on easier “B” and “C” ones—stay with the “mother of all problems” and experience a great sense of accomplishment. Plus you get to tell your kids you’re getting A+s at your work.

                        14. Get results

                        DavisFamilyNovemer2013

                          Kathy Catlin Davis, mompreneur owner of Inspired Abundance and mother of two boys, ages 2 and 5, says you should focus on the things that are going to get you the results you need.

                          Focus on money making and network-building tasks first—so for me, fiddling around with where a graphic goes on my website is last, after finishing projects for clients and doing networking activities.

                          13. Bribe yourself

                          allafeldman

                            Alla Feldman, mompreneur Co-Founder of Live Like You’re Traveling and mother of 2 kids, ages 1 and 3, says you should bribe yourself, just like you do your kids.

                            I bribe my ‘inner child’ with a reward for staying productive for a 2 hour work stretch. I then give myself 15 minutes “playtime” like having a coffee break or going for a brisk walk outside. I learned this from my kids, if they have something to look forward to like a playdate or going to the pool, they are much more likely to be perfect angels that day! It works for their mom too.

                            12. Lock the door

                            satsuma designs about

                              Jennifer Porter, mompreneur president of Satsuma Designs and mother of two kids, ages 5 and 8, says you need to get away from your kids and focus sometimes.

                              “Lock the door” sounds a little draconian, but as a practical tip and a philosophy, it has helped me find the work/life balance to achieve my business goals since my kids were toddlers. As a business owner and parent, you have to let yourself commit to business success. And doing that means to stop multi-tasking and get the work done without the distractions of others’ immediate needs (diapers, food, snot, and soccer pickups). Of course, as a mom you will always come to the rescue, but remember you can rescue yourself, too! And that’s a powerful feeling, Mom.

                              11. Know your “why”

                              jillfarmer

                                Jill Farmer, mompreneur author of There’s Not Enough Time…and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves and mother of two kids, ages 14 and 18, says you should focus on what you do want instead of what you don’t want.

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                                We say things like, “I’m doing this project so I don’t get in trouble with my boss,” or “I’m trying to sell more so I don’t miss my goals.”  It’s extremely powerful to turn your why’s around into something you DO want. “I want to finish this project so I can help the organization move to the next level and increase my chances for upward growth.” Or, “I would like to increase my sales to grow our family’s income and opportunities for travel.” You get the drift. Getting really clear on your why (and having it connect to your values) is rocket fuel to get moving on doing your best work.

                                10. Raise entrepreneurial kids

                                tanja

                                  Tanja Diamond, mompreneur Founder of Learning Tantra and mother of one 9-year-old, says your kids will understand better if they are also entrepreneurs.

                                  Raise an entrepreneur. Engage your kids in what you do. Write a book together. Build a website. Help them start their own brand. You will find they are more understanding of the time you need to take to succeed and you will inspire them and their friends to go out and follow their passions.

                                  9. Get really creative

                                  kathrynhawkins

                                    Kathryn Hawkins, mompreneur founder of Eucalypt Media, and mother of 2 kids, a 5-year-old girl and 10-month-old boy, says you can get very creative with how you get work done.

                                    Neither of my kids started going to daycare until after they were 6 months old. While they were at home, the best strategy for getting work done was to sit in a comfy chair with a nursing pillow and baby on top in front of my laptop at the kitchen table; nurse the baby to sleep; and then work on my laptop during the hour or two that the baby slept there. Bathroom breaks were a challenge, however…

                                    8. Sleep in—sometimes

                                    shannonbattle

                                      Shannon Battle, mompreneur President/Owner of Family Services of America and mother of five children, ages 19, 16, 11, 10, and 7, says sometimes you should sleep in.

                                      Start early and reward yourself with sleeping in on your off days. Get up early enough to get yourself together before everyone else. Never say yes unless you can plug it into your calendar.

                                      7. Keep your chin up, girl

                                      graninekelly

                                        Grainne Kelly, mompreneur founder of BubbleBum and mother of two kids, ages 14 and 11, says you must always have a positive attitude.

                                        Maintain a positive attitude, because that is essential for success. Energy is the fuel that feeds our attitude and it needs to be replenished on a daily basis. Having a positive attitude is a conscious choice, so when negative thoughts creep in, stop them in their tracks and replace them with positive self-talk. Repeat words or phrases that focus on affirming truths about you. Surround yourself with like-minded women who are an inspiration and who will provide encouragement. Positivity allows you to see the potential that lies within you and gives you the faith to step outside of the box to achieve your dreams.

                                        6. Drop the guilt

                                        Joanna & Jared Strober (1)

                                          Joanna Strober, mopreneur CEO and Co-Founder of Kurbo Health and mom to three children, daughter 15, and sons 13 and 7, says you don’t have to feel guilty.

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                                          As working mothers, we can be really hard on ourselves. We may have conflicting feelings, including guilt, anger, fear and helplessness that we can’t do it all. And guess what, no one can do it all—not even Superwoman.

                                          5. Bring back date night

                                            Dorothee Fisher, mompreneur Co-Founder & CMO of nousDECOR and mom of a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old, says you deserve a night of fun for yourself.

                                            When you’re working as many as 80 hours per week, you need time to recharge. Being a mom and entrepreneur can often feel like having three full-time jobs. And finding a last-minute babysitter is not a task you want at the end of a hard week. It’s no wonder date nights are a thing of the past. You need to take a load off. I recently tapped into UrbanSitter.com, rebuilt my network of sitters, and feel like I’ve been liberated. It’s like a mini-vacation at the end of every week.

                                            4. Use countdown timers

                                            SherlynLuedtkeandKids

                                              Sherlyn Pang Luedtke, mompreneur founder of Present Parent Training and mother of two kids, ages 5 and 10, says you should use countdown timers.

                                              When I use countdown timers, my pace speeds up because I want to beat the clock. The timer also brings me back from being immersed in creative flow in between client sessions. My kids and I use timers to play at work. For example, how fast do you think you can put all your toys away? It also keeps play in check and us on track, as in, “Would you like to set the timer to play for 3 or 5 more minutes before your bath?”

                                              3. Muti-tasking is a must

                                              Deborah Sweeney, mompreneur CEO of MyCorporation.com and mother of two sons, ages 8 and 10, says you have to do more than one thing at a time.

                                              Combining two things at the same time is a great way for mom entrepreneurs to get things done. If I didn’t find a way to work while I exercise, I’m afraid I would not exercise. When I exercise on the weekends, I always make sure one of my sons is with me. We ride bikes, I run while they ride their scooters and we try to get about town with less car use and more leg use. It’s a great way to get fresh air, to talk and catch up and to incorporate a healthy activity.

                                              2. Eliminate distractions at all costs

                                              jessicawyman

                                                Jessica Wyman, mompreneur Certified Nutrition Coach and Yoga Teacher at Wildly Vibrant Living and mother of 2 kids, ages 12 and 13, says distraction must go.

                                                You must know your pockets of productive time and be absolutely committed to no distractions even if it means locking yourself in the laundry room to get it done. The only distractions allowed are trips to the E.R. because someone swallowed a dozen quarters (or similar). The family must know that this is work time and then in return be fully committed to quality family time when it isn’t your work time.

                                                1. Put your health first

                                                michellelaver

                                                  Michelle Laver, mompreneur Co-Founder of Kate Farms and mother of four kids, ages 8, 17, 21 and 22, says your health is the most important thing.

                                                  I believe that good health is at the root of productivity, both in the workplace and in life. Good health starts with food, and since kids can be picky eaters, if their meals are healthy and taste great, it is a win/win for moms and their kids. Everyone feels better and is healthier! With healthy eating habits, I am able to go to work with a high level of energy and can tackle everything that needs to get done, and am safe in the knowledge that my kids are healthy and happy.

                                                  Featured photo credit: Reconciliation of family and work life: Attractive blond woman in business attire proudly carrying a small boy in her arm in office environment via shutterstock.com

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                                                  Last Updated on March 21, 2019

                                                  11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                                                  11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                                                  Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

                                                  You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

                                                  But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

                                                  To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

                                                  It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

                                                  “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

                                                  The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

                                                  In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

                                                  Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

                                                  1. Start Small

                                                  The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

                                                  Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

                                                  Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

                                                  Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

                                                  Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

                                                  Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

                                                  It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

                                                  Do less today to do more in a year.

                                                  2. Stay Small

                                                  There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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                                                  But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

                                                  If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

                                                  When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

                                                  I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

                                                  Why?

                                                  Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

                                                  The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

                                                  Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

                                                  3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

                                                  No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

                                                  There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

                                                  What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

                                                  Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

                                                  This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

                                                  This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

                                                  4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

                                                  When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

                                                  There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

                                                  Peter Drucker said,

                                                  “What you track is what you do.”

                                                  So track it to do it — it really helps.

                                                  But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

                                                  5. Measure Once, Do Twice

                                                  Peter Drucker also said,

                                                  “What you measure is what you improve.”

                                                  So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

                                                  For reading, it’s 20 pages.
                                                  For writing, it’s 500 words.
                                                  For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
                                                  For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

                                                  Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

                                                  6. All Days Make a Difference

                                                  Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

                                                  Will two? They won’t.

                                                  Will three? They won’t.

                                                  Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

                                                  What happened? Which one made you fit?

                                                  The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

                                                  No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

                                                  7. They Are Never Fully Automated

                                                  Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

                                                  But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

                                                  What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

                                                  It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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                                                  The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

                                                  It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

                                                  It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

                                                  8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

                                                  Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

                                                  Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

                                                  When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

                                                  The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

                                                  Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

                                                  9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

                                                  The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

                                                  Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

                                                  You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

                                                  But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

                                                  So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

                                                  If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

                                                  This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

                                                  The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

                                                  Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

                                                  10. Punish Yourself

                                                  Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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                                                  I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

                                                  It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

                                                  You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

                                                  No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

                                                  The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

                                                  But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

                                                  11. Reward Yourself

                                                  When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

                                                  Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

                                                  The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

                                                  After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

                                                  If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

                                                  Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

                                                  If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

                                                  In the End, It Matters

                                                  What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

                                                  When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

                                                  And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

                                                  “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

                                                  Keep going.

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                                                  More Resources to Help You Build Habits

                                                  Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

                                                  Reference

                                                  [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
                                                  [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
                                                  [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
                                                  [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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