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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 May 22, 2019

                                                  The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

                                                  The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

                                                  If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

                                                  Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

                                                  Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

                                                  What is the Pomodoro Technique?

                                                  The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

                                                  The process is simple:

                                                  For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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                                                  You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

                                                  Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

                                                  After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

                                                  Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

                                                  How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

                                                  Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

                                                  “You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

                                                  If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

                                                  Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

                                                  The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

                                                  You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

                                                  Successful people who love it

                                                  Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

                                                  Before he started using the technique, he said,

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                                                  “Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

                                                  Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

                                                  “It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

                                                  Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

                                                  Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

                                                  “Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

                                                  Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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                                                  “Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

                                                  Conclusion

                                                  One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

                                                  The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

                                                  If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

                                                  Reference

                                                  [1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
                                                  [2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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