Ugh, I hate posts like this. Right? It’s just another version of “New Year-New You”. What the heck is wrong with the “old me”? Ugh. However, to be very honest with you, I’m constantly on the hunt for new ways to make my life easier, more productive to find a few more minutes to squeeze in some bonus me time! Now “me time”, that’s something I can get behind. Who’s with me?
This week we’ve and teamed up with some of our online besties to bring you some of the top productivity tips on the interwebs AND the opportunity to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card! (read below for more details)
Ok, let’s jump in and tackle five tips for Productive Parenting! Ready? Set? Go!
1. Stop trying to be everything to everyone.
We have a saying here at Twiniversity (that we totally stole from Parks and Rec) which goes “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing” said the legendary Ron Swanson. Julie, our Twiniversity Wizard bought me this card years ago, and it’s sitting right next to me, even as I type these words. What it means, is that I can’t be 100% mom, 100% worker, 100% friend, 100% wife, 100% sister, 100% daughter, I have to pick and be one at a time. Sure, we can wear different hats, but if you actually try, I said TRY, to be one at a time, we can actually be a more productive version of what we are aiming for. To be a better mom, leave your work at the door whenever possible, to be a better wife, block out some time with your partner, to be a better employee, leave your family at the house and try to focus on whole-assing one thing (is that a word?) at a time.
2. Aim Small
This sounds so defeatist, no? Aim small? Whoever said that growing up? Um, no one! We were always told, “we can be anything, we can do anything, we just have to aim big.” Well, all those “aiming big” moments can really lead to a lack of actual production. Aiming for small items, one at a time will to more things getting done and will overwhelm you less. This actually will give you a more productive parenting experience. Take potty training for example. If you say to yourself “The kids will be out of diapers in two weeks!”, that can lead to possible disappointment if they aren’t. Instead, try saying “We are going to focus on peeing in the potty this week.” Aim small so it won’t be so overwhelming and you can conquer your first goal early and use the win to gain momentum.
3. Plan it out!
I was a go-with-the-flow kinda chick in my early 20’s. I’d tell my friends “Let’s meet at this street at this time and see where the night takes us.”. The thought of that now, as a twin mom and business owner, on top of daily life gives anxiety. But, if I plan out my day in the morning, even the night before, I can go into my day full steam ahead. Apply this to your world by sitting down on a weekend night, preferably with your better half (who made up that saying anyway?), and plan out your week. Discuss the things that have to get done, who is going to do them, the things you’d like to get done, and who is going to do them, and the bonus items that perhaps you can get to if you had extra time. (Can anyone tell me what extra time is? I read about it once, but still haven’t figured it out.) Use rule #1 here. Can you section it out that you have work time, parenting time, partner time, etc?
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3. Get into a groove/routine
Some tasks have to get done daily or weekly. If you create some structure around it, it will lead to more productive parenting. One of the plusses of routine is that you get to improve it each time. If you have to help the kids with their homework every day, and each day you have to stop what you are doing to answer the phone, grab supplies, let the dog out, you can create a routine that will make your homework experience more productive. You’d start turning your phone to mute, and maybe leaving it in a different room so you’re not tempted to look at it. Let the dog out and have a bin of supplies on hand you could need at any moment. Learn from a routine and change it as needed to be more productive. Some folks balk at the thought of a routine, but if you really think about it, it helps everyone in the house, even the dog. Everyone will know what the expectation will be, and you’ll get the job done quicker.
4. Productive Parenting isn’t a YOU problem, it’s an US problem.
If I had a nickel for every time my son said “That sounds like a you problem” I would have had enough money to invest in Apple stock and retire. He usually says this when I’m telling him I need something done like empty the dishwasher, do his homework, or walk the dog. These are totally not ME problems, they really are HIM problems but he just likes being funny. Why I’m including this tip in productive parenting, is because the sooner you can delegate tasks the better it is for everyone. Productivity isn’t just a parent issue, it’s a family issue. The sooner you can get everyone to pull their weight, the better. This can start as early as a few months old. “WHAT? Did Nat just say my kids can help out when they are just a few months old?”. Um, yes, I totally did. The sooner they can hold a bottle or feed themself, the sooner they are pulling their weight. Ok, grab your pitchforks and torches, I’ll hold. Whenever I try to explain to new parents that the sooner your kids can do things the better the whole family will be, they roll their eyes. BUT, once they are done with their eye rolling and the time is near to actually have the kids pitch in, they are thankful that they trusted the kids to help themself. Kids can help as early as a few months old as I said, but we have a whole list of kids chores sorted by age for you to check out. We’ve even made a quick chore chart that you can print at home (and not use a ton of ink!) and add your own chores to it as well.
5. The most productive parenting tip you never want to hear about.
I’m cringing telling you this one, but truthfully, this is the biggie. Get up early. AGH! I said it. I just ripped the bandaid off. OUCH! Throughout history, some of the most productive people have been known to get up before the crack of dawn. Tim Cook (Apple), Oprah, Michelle Obama are just a few folks who are up before the roosters’ crow. Some do it to get a jump on tasks, others do it to have a moment of peace and thought collection before they start their day. I hate this tip more than you can imagine. To me, sleep is a commodity that I just don’t have enough of, but early to bed, early to rise makes a person healthy, wealthy, and wise. You’ve probably been hearing that since you were young from your parents or grandparents. It’s true though. If you set your clock before the kids get up, even before your partner gets up, you’ll have a moment to do something for you. Have a quiet cup of tea, workout, pet your dog, cat, or potbelly pig. Take a moment to gather your thoughts for the day before you conquer the sunrise. Listen, no one likes to hear it, but it really does work. Hitting that snooze button just delays the day and causes you to rush. Rushing causes mistakes, blah blah blah. You’ve heard it all before. Try it. Set your alarm tomorrow for 5:30 am. See how it goes. Often just making the decision to put your feet on the floor that early and doing something that makes you feel more productive, will actually cause you to be a more productive parent. No joke.
As promised, now you’ll have a chance to check out some other great productive parenting articles AND get a chance to win a $100 amazon gift card so you can spend it on anything your heart desires! Enter today, the opportunity to win will end on March 12th, 2021.
Audrey of Mom Generations brought us: Productivity Tips for Bloggers To Help Stay on Track
Risa of Mommalew brought us: 4 Small Ways to Be More Productive Throughout the Day!
Natalie Diaz is the Pied Piper of twin families around the globe. Founding Twiniversity — the world’s leading support network for multiple birth families — in 2009, she’s become the global influencer for this small niche community. Natalie is a true connector, bringing parents from all walks of life together, breaking past cultural differences, to share in the highs and lows of parenting twins. Natalie’s book, “What To Do When You’re Having Two” is a global bestseller in Twins & Multiples Parenting.