Successful working moms know, your space has a great influence on you, your energy and how your day goes.
When you’re balancing between taking care of your children, homeschooling, working, family and running a household, you need all systems to support your success. This includes having an inspiring environment from which to work.
It’s amazing how making a few changes, being more organized and what seems like little things can make for big differences in your productivity. Here’s a few of the things I’ve done to set myself up for success.
My desk sits in my bedroom so it’s very important to me that I have everything in order for when I sit, I can focus on my work. This means the bed is made, neat and clean with comfy pillows. Don’t worry, it’s not inviting me back to bed because while I love laying in my bed, I like to work and be active more. The sheer act of making it deters me from getting back in.
With the windows and french doors, there is plenty of lighting in addition to a bright lamp and room lighting. Bright lighting is important and this makes for a great plant area. Now in the city, I find myself really looking for the green after having lived in the forest and research shows that exposure to the color green makes you more productive.
I have five children under roof right now so it makes for a busy household and at times, noisy. Getting my focus on and not letting myself get caught up in the noise, I wear earbuds and play my “working music.” This is a selection of music that’s only used for focused work time. I also have music specifically for writing. That means no listening to it other than when I’m working or writing. I’ve programmed my brain and body when I hear this music, it’s time to work or write. Most distractions are eliminated. Since my children are older they’ve been instructed to take care of each other and only get me if absolutely necessary. If you have younger children, I highly recommend you only do this when another adult can care for your younger children.
If I’m really out of it and need to brighten up, I keep essential oils handy in my drawer. I’ll use peppermint or sweet orange as a natural stimulate for the brain. Just a drop or two on my wrist or forearms does the trick. You can also get fabulous diffusers from Young Living Oils.
For many years I worked in a small cluttered space. Stacks and stacks of books have always been taking up space but I find it makes for greater productivity when I have a clear desk and only what I’m working on. Besides the candles, flowers, lamp and collection of crystals, I keep current books near my desk easy to reach and reference while other books are shelved. All files are put away. Now I only need what I’m currently working on; my organizer and laptop. Once I’m done with work everything is put away. This makes for a clean space since it’s in my home and an easy start for the next work session.
Have you used the Pomodoro technique? There are all kinds of great apps with Pomodoro timers. I set my own by working 50 minutes with a 10-minute break to stretch, refresh on water, walk a bit, check on what’s happening with the children and when the timer goes off, back to work for another 50 minutes. I do 50 minutes because the shorter time frames seemed to stress me more. The most I do is two blocks of timed work, other times are more task oriented and in between homeschooling, meals and being with the children. There are some focus days I add time blocks to during the week or on the weekend. I encourage working moms to set themselves up for their needs and what works best with their family dynamic.
One last tip that I feel is very important and I try to do every day, is gazing into the distance. We are traveling people so part of our wiring is walking long distances out in the open where we can gaze far and wide. I do this by taking walks, looking out my windows on a regular basis and of course driving to other places. With a busy household, you don’t have to wait long until it’s time to leave the house again. While working I make it a practice to look out the windows and look to the sky. Research shows it only needs to be something that is 20 feet away. I also give myself the view of beautiful pictures, many of nature and vistas I would not normally see where I live by putting my television on a Google picture app. It cycles through many beautiful pictures and works of art.
Whether you’re in an office or working from home, it’s very important to set yourself up for productivity. There are more ways to improve your productivity from The Business Backer infographic below as well as referenced research. See the resources and comment below what’s your favorite-makes-all-the-difference hack.
Peace and love,