7 Life-Changing Habits of Highly Productive Moms

habits of highly productive moms- happy woman writing

These 7 life-changing habits of highly productive moms are great if you’re a stay at home mom, working mom, or work from home mom!

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It’s time to break the stereotype that you have to be doing all the things to be considered a good mom.

This topic is so important because I talk to a lot of moms who are juggling so many responsibilities, and they’re wondering how the heck they’re supposed to do it all. 

Then they feel bad because they feel like they’re not doing everything they should be doing. 

You don’t have to do everything every single day. You’re not a robot, you require rest. 

And that’s okay!

But before we dive into the juicy habits of highly productive moms, I have a quick disclaimer. 

Don’t think you have to do all of these habits to be productive.

If you want to you can incorporate these habits into your routine, but I don’t want you to feel like you have to do these things. 

So many of us fall into the trap of doing things just because we think we should be doing them. 

For instance, waking up at 5:00 AM. That’s not for everybody, and that’s okay! 

🚫 You don’t have to wake up at 5:00 AM to be productive. 

🚫 You don’t have to wake up before your kids wake up. 

✅ You can still get plenty done throughout the day. 

Of course, it may be a little more difficult to get it done, but if you’re awake at 5:00 AM and your brain isn’t even functioning properly because you’re exhausted, then there’s no point in waking up that early. 

So that was my disclaimer. These are just ideas of habits you can consider adding into your routine but don’t try to hold yourself to the standard of thinking these are things you should be doing to be a productive mom. 

Alright, let’s hop into the 7 habits of highly productive moms.

1. Highly productive moms have clear goals

It’s hard to get anywhere when you’re not clear about where you’re going!

So many of us are going through life without a clear vision of how we even want our lives to be. 

We don’t take the time to sit down and write out what we envisioned for ourselves. All we know is that we want some type of balance. 

We want to be able to juggle all of our responsibilities, but we don’t have a clear idea of what that even looks like. 

We’re going after this facade of what we see on TV and what we see on social media, thinking our lives are supposed to be similar to that. When in reality, we’re not even sure what we want our own lives to look like. 

Let’s figure out how to come up with your 90-day goal by working backward. 

Write down your dream life

Take the time to write down what your dream life would look like. That way you can work backward from that vision. 

If you’re stumped about your dream life, ask yourself these questions…

  • Are you married?
  • How many kids do you have? How far apart are they?
  • Do you have a house? How big or tiny? Suburbs or rural?
  • What’s your career? Did you graduate college? Do you work from home?

Let your imagination take over. Don’t hold yourself back because you’re afraid it may not come true.

Once you know what your priorities are (which is on that list of what you want your life to look like) choose the one that’s the highest priority. 

This could be…

  • Finishing college to get your dream career. 
  • Starting a side hustle so you can stay home with your kids.
  • Going on more dates so you can start a new relationship.

Your highest priority task will become your 90-day goal. 

Break down your 90-day goal

I like creating 90-day goals because a year is an insanely long time! So much can happen throughout the year. 

90 days is more like a sprint. (If you haven’t read the 12-week year yet I highly recommend it!)

Once you’ve decided on your goal you can break it down into…

  • A  monthly goal. 
  • A weekly goal
  • A daily goal. 

When you’re breaking down your goals into bite-sized tasks, you want these tasks to be very actionable to where it makes it hard not to accomplish your goal.

For example, if your 90-day goal is to go on more dates to find your dream partner…

  • Monthly goal: Go on 12 dates
  • Weekly goal: Go on 3 dates 
  • Daily goal: Message at least 1 date prospect 

If you’re messaging someone you’re interested in dating everyday for a month that’s over 25 messages a month.

Even if you don’t find the perfect person, you’ll learn a lot about what you’re looking for and your relationship deal-breakers. 

At the end of your 90 days, it would be very hard for you to have not succeeded with all of the action you’re taking.

Another example is if you want to create a daily cleaning routine habit. 

  • Monthly goal: Have one room deep cleaned.
  • Weekly goal: Clean at least 4 days a week.
  • Daily goal: Clean for 20 minutes.

At the end of 90 days you’ll have a better idea of…

  • Which type of cleaning routine would work for you.
  • Which areas of your house require more time for you to be cleaning. 
  • What cleaning supplies you like and dislike.

This way you’re not using a cleaning routine that you find online that may not work for you. Instead, you’re able to customize your routine to your energy levels and what your house requires.

So get clear on your 90-day goal and break it down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals keeping in mind you want to make it measurable.

Try to incorporate numbers in some way so it’s easier to know if you’re making progress.

Once you have your 90-day goal broken down, another strategy to help you implement those goals is to have accountability.

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Don’t be afraid to tell people your goal. Often we don’t want to mention a goal because we’re afraid of failing. 

Let’s go back to the cleaning routine example above. 

If you create your cleaning routine in 180 days instead of 90 days, who cares?! 

You’ve accomplished it just a little bit later, but you still get the reward of accomplishing that goal and creating your cleaning routine. 

Staying persistent is what matters most. 

So don’t be afraid to tell people your goals because that accountability has been shown to help you increase your chances of accomplishing the goal. 

The American society of training and development did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. 

And if you have a specific accountability partner, like a personal trainer or coach, you increase your chances of success by up to 95%. 

So accountability is huge!

Don’t be afraid to tell people your goals, and don’t be afraid to get some type of accountability buddy or a coach that can hold you accountable, so you can stay clear on your vision.

They can hold the vision for you whenever you’re feeling discouraged. They’ll remind you of what you’re working towards and what you’re trying to accomplish so you can get it done. 

And when you’re setting your goals, don’t be afraid to make stretch goals. 

Keeping your goal super simple to ensure you’ll accomplish it won’t challenge you to be better. 

If you have a goal you’re confident you’re going to accomplish, make it a little more difficult. 

Don’t be afraid to fail. 

Failure isn’t a reflection of you as a person. Failure is giving you information on what you can do differently the next time so you can succeed at your goal. 

So don’t make failure mean anything about you. 

Related Posts…

2. Highly productive moms have systems 

Highly productive moms have systems and processes for getting things accomplished. They aren’t saying, “whatever happens, happens” and hoping for the best. 

They know the system for how they want things to happen.

Honestly, you probably already have a lot of systems for how you do things you just don’t call them systems.

But let’s rewind and talk about what a system is. 

Systems are a series of steps you take to get something done. 

For instance, whenever you clean the kitchen, your system could be…

  • Put the dishes in the dishwasher
  • Clean out the sink 
  • Wipe off the countertops 
  • Sweep the floor
  • Mop the floor 

This process is your system. It’s your series of action steps that you do pretty much every time you clean the kitchen. 

The benefits of systems

Highly productive moms love systems and treat them like a priority because they can simplify your life so much.

Here are 3 benefits you’ll notice when you start creating systems.

Easier to accomplish goals 

Systems will help you implement your goals even easier because you can create a series of action steps for getting that goal accomplished.

Your goal is the ‘what’ you’re trying to accomplish and the system is ‘how’ you’re going to accomplish it. 

And that’s by listing out your series of action steps that’ll help you get closer to this goal and make it easier for you to implement.

Evolve over time

Your systems will change over time and that’s expected because you’re perfecting it as you go along. 

The first time you start a new system it may not be perfect and that’s fine. 

The more you do it, the easier it’ll get. And then you’ll find even more ways to simplify that system so it continues to get easier and easier for you.

Less overwhelm

When you have systems there’s nothing to debate or question. 

We typically waste a lot of time whenever we don’t know what we should be doing or what to focus on first. 

That’s when we start feeling overwhelmed because we’re thinking about all of these things that need to be done. 

With systems, you have a set of actionable steps so you can get tasks done faster and easier.

Meal planning system

So if your 90-day goal is to be consistent with your meal planning routine, then create your meal planning system. 

That system could be… 

  • Friday: Find all of your recipes and plan out your meals.
  • Saturday: Go grocery shopping for those items. 
  • Sunday: Prep whatever you can in advance.

This system is effective because it’s a repeatable process and you’ll save time throughout the week because you’re prepping the meals in advance. 

And by prepping I mean cutting any veggies or dumping ingredients into a freezer bag so you’re not spending a lot of time throughout the week preparing meals, you’ll already have a bulk of it completed. 

You can increase your chances of success with your meal planning routine because you have this effective system in place that takes the guesswork out of what to do. 

Planning helps you simplify the routine because you’ve already done most of the heavy lifting. 

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Time management system 

A weekly planning system is a game-changer for your productivity. 

Let’s walk through the time management system that I use every week.

Think about the previous week

To get started with your weekly planning system, think about how you spent your time the previous week.

This will let you know what your time wasters are.

Time wasters don’t have to be a bad thing. 

They’re only bad when you don’t realize that you’re doing them and how much time you’re actually wasting. 

A few examples of time wasters are…

  • Netflix 
  • Social media 
  • TV
  • Email 

It’s good to schedule in those time wasters so you’re more conscious of them since you’re still going to do those tasks. 

If that’s how you spend your downtime, be conscious of that so you can plan it into your day. 

Review what worked 

I think about my week and I realize what I spent a lot of time doing. And then I make note of what went well. 

This way I can do more of that. 

So basically you’re doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t work. A good way to know what’s working and what’s not working is to assess your time.

Assess your time

Using something like Google calendar, keep track of how you’re spending your time and how much time you’re spending on different tasks. 

If you clean the kitchen… 

  • Start a timer
  • Whenever you’re done cleaning stop the timer 
  • Open Google Calendar and put in that timeframe that you spent cleaning the kitchen. 

This will help you see how long it takes you to accomplish certain tasks.

And when you move on to the next task, start your timer for that and repeat the process the entire day.

Don’t forget to keep track of your sleeping hours as well because it’s hard to function without enough sleep.

Try to track your time for an entire week so you can get a good idea of how you’re spending your time.

Brain dump

Once you know how you spend your time, what worked and what didn’t work, it’s time to do a brain dump.

This is where you spend 10 minutes writing down everything you want to get done for the upcoming week. 

So any appointments, anything you’ve been wanting to get done but haven’t got to it yet. 

Get all of those little tornadoes out of your head and onto paper.

Once you’ve gotten them all written down, then you can prioritize them.

Prioritize your brain dump

I like to prioritize my tasks based on four different categories. 

Those categories are the…

  • Must do tasks (A)- the highest priority tasks
  • Should do tasks (B)- important but not a high priority 
  • Want to do tasks (C)- things you want to do if everything else is done 
  • Delegate tasks (D)- someone else is responsible for getting this done 

You can put A, B, C, or D next to each task on your brain dump. 

Most important weekly goal

Once you’ve got your list prioritized, then you’ll move on to deciding your most important goal for the week. 

This is something that if you only got this one thing done you’ll be a step closer to your 90-day goal. 

So decide the most important goal for your entire week which will most likely be one of your A tasks.

Create your time blocks

Now that you have your tasks for the week prioritized, you can make your time blocks

I like to do my time blocks in 2-3 hour chunks. 

So I’ll have…

  • A work block (6am-9am)
  • A morning routine block (9am-12pm)
  • A nap time block (12pm-3pm)
  • An activities block (3pm-5pm)
  • A dinner block (5pm-7pm)
  • A power tidy + relax block (7pm-9pm)
  • A bedtime routine block (9pm-11pm)
  • A sleep block (11pm-6am)

These time blocks provide more structure throughout the day and even if we don’t follow the blocks exactly I’ll still have an idea of what’s coming up.

So they’re all in 2-3 hour chunks of time and that way, instead of trying to figure out how to arrange my time for the entire day, I can just work on optimizing each chunk of time to fit my energy levels and what’s going on around the house during that day.

So if I realize that I’d like to clean the kitchen at nap time, but my daughter decides to not take a nap, l can change the nap time block for her to not have a nap and move cleaning the kitchen to some other time throughout the day. 

Play around with your time blocks until you figure out a method that works for you.

Systems overview 

Figure out what systems you can implement to help you accomplish your goal. 

Break that goal down into a set of simple, actionable steps that you could write down as if you were telling someone else to do them.

That way you’re super specific and there’s no room for debate.

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3. Highly productive moms plan their day

Highly productive moms know how to plan their day effectively. 

They plan their day the night before so they’re able to prepare in advance.

If they want to go to the gym they…

  • Set out their gym clothes where they can see them
  • Put their keys where they can find them
  • Have childcare in place 

They do all of this stuff the night before.

When I was in school, I would have to set out all of my school clothes the night before so in the morning I wasn’t rushing to figure out what I wanted to wear or trying to find a shirt that was in the dirty clothes basket.

This is the same concept.

Having your time blocks will help you realize what you can actually get done in a day so you no longer feel like you’re trying to do it all. 

This will cut out all of those unnecessary tasks because you’ve narrowed down what you’re trying to accomplish. 

And whenever you’re doing things, you want to focus on the outcome of that task so you’ll know exactly why you’re doing it. 

That means whenever you cook dinner when you leave the kitchen you’re going to have a meal prepared.

A lot of us do things without considering the outcome. Like scrolling through Facebook, there’s usually no tangible outcome for that. (Unless you’re hanging out in the Smart Productive Mom Facebook Group! 😉)

And that’s why we go to bed feeling depleted and drained because we did a bunch of random things but we didn’t get anything done. 

We didn’t focus on the outcome of the task. 

So before you do anything, make sure you know why you’re doing it and what the result will be from you doing that task. 

4. Highly productive moms practice mindfulness 

Practicing mindfulness means being aware of yourself, being aware of what you’re feeling, and being aware of what you’re doing. 

You’re not reacting to things. 

You’re thinking things through. You’re getting a sense of everything around you. 

Here are a few benefits of practicing mindfulness. 

Improved self-control 

As a mom, mindfulness is important because our kids know how to get under our skin. They know exactly what to do to irritate us. And if we let that irritation consume us, then we yell at them and feel bad for yelling at them. 

So it’s important to have some type of mindfulness practice where you can ground yourself and get control over your actions. 

By practicing mindfulness you’re not exploding and then feeling guilty about it later. 

Less comparison 

Another way to practice mindfulness is by having gratitude for what you have and not comparing yourself to anyone else.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that all of this social media stuff is just a facade. It’s not the bar you’re trying to reach. It’s all for show. 

When you stop comparing yourself…

  • You won’t feel like you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses. 
  • You won’t feel like your life is inferior. 
  • You won’t feel like you have to do what this person is doing because they’re getting so much done and you’re not getting nearly as much done. 

When you compare yourself it typically ends with you feeling like crap even if you’re doing a great job. You’re your own worst critic.

When you practice mindfulness, you’ll be in a state of awareness and feel like you’re doing what you’re meant to do. 

Positive energy 

You have to be mindful of the company you keep. If you’re surrounded by people who are bringing you down, making you angry or kicking you while you’re down, that’s not the type of company you want to keep. 

That’ll continue to make you feel stuck and keep you from reaching your full potential.

You want to surround yourself with other like-minded individuals who are trying to get to where you’re going. 

Whenever you surround yourself with other like-minded individuals, you may realize that your mindset needs some work. This will encourage you to develop a growth mindset where you see everything as an exciting challenge to tackle. 

You’re not afraid of failing or coming up short because failure doesn’t reflect anything about you. It means that it’s an opportunity for you to grow and learn and do better as a person. 

When you grow and learn, you may realize some behaviors you have that you didn’t even realize you have such as a victim mentality.

When you have a victim mentality you may blame others for your shortcomings or blame your circumstances for why you haven’t seen success with certain things. 

When in reality, you’re in control of what’s going on. Therefore, you can change your circumstances. You can change who you’re around. 

It’s not anyone else’s fault because you are in control of your environment. 

To maximize your results, you have to maximize your environment. 

That means holding yourself accountable for your actions and realizing that there’s always room for improvement and room for growth. 

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5. Highly productive moms wake up early

Highly productive moms wake up before their kids or stay up later than their kids so they can get more done.

This depends on if you’re a morning person or a night person.

Believe it or not, everyone doesn’t want to wake up at 5:00 AM. Everyone isn’t a morning person who thrives on being up super early in the morning. 

If you’re not a morning person that’s okay, but having some time alone to get things done or relax is very important.

Resting is also a great way to help your productivity. 

Since you’re not a robot, your body does require rest so you can build up energy to get more things done. 

So don’t try to force yourself to wake up at 5:00 AM or 4:00 AM just because that’s what the productivity gurus are saying you should do. 

Focus on your energy levels and listen to your body. 

If you try to wake up super early and realize it’s not working for you, then don’t do it. 

This is crucial depending on what season of life you’re in. 

My toddler still wakes up a couple of times throughout the night so I don’t wake up at 5:00 AM anymore. My brain was in such a fog when I would get up that I wasn’t even getting things done. 

I wasn’t very effective. 

There was no point in getting up early if I had to redo what I did that morning later on in the day because my brain wasn’t functioning yet. 

So decide whether you want to wake up earlier or go to bed later. 

Or if you have childcare throughout the day that would be great as well because you wouldn’t have to worry about waking up earlier or going to bed later because you can do things throughout the day. 

As long as you know exactly what you need to get done while you have the childcare, then you can get a lot accomplished during that time. 

Related Posts…

6. Highly productive moms make time for themselves 

Highly productive moms don’t feel guilty for making time for themselves. They realize that being the glue for their family means they need to be functioning on all cylinders. 

They know the importance of taking time to rest and recharging their battery.

Being on your A-game is important to the scheme of how your family functions. 

A few things I do for myself that bring me joy and happiness are…

  • Working on my business and connecting with other moms 
  • Doing my nails or getting them done 
  • Shopping 

Find something that you enjoy doing that’ll help you make time for yourself and recharge your battery. 

And don’t feel guilty about it because when you aren’t on your A-game everything starts to crumble unless you have a strong support system that can pick everything up before it falls. 

When you’re burnt out…

  • Dinner may not get cooked
  • The house may not get cleaned. 
  • The kids are begging for your attention and you don’t have the energy to even function. 

You don’t feel like you’re a good mom. Then you feel guilty because you think you’re a crappy mom. 

It all crumbles. 

So making time for yourself is so important for the well-being of yourself and your family.

Self-care is non-negotiable. 

Figure out…

  • What makes you happy… 
  • What recharges your battery… 
  • What will make you a better wife, mom, and person…

so you can be less stressed and feel more complete and fulfilled with your life. 

7. Highly productive moms limit procrastination 

Highly productive moms are aware of how much time they spend procrastinating. You can’t limit procrastination if you don’t know how you procrastinate. 

We’ll discuss the 2 most common forms of procrastination that the moms in this community struggle with the most. 

Limit social media 

A lot of us are guessing about how much time we waste watching Netflix or scrolling through Facebook. In reality, we’re probably wasting much more time than we think. 

Figure out how you can limit your time wasters and decide what activities you’re going to replace them with. 

You don’t have to eliminate the time-wasters, just limit them and plan them into your day. 

One way to do this is by creating app limits on your phone. My app limit is set for an hour a day for all my social media apps. That’s Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok which are the main time wasting apps I use.

With the app limit, I have one hour per day for all 3 apps combined which means I have to be very aware of how much time I’m spending on each app.

Limit perfectionism 

Another common procrastination pitfall is perfectionism. 

It’s important to realize when you’re giving yourself grace vs when you are making excuses for yourself. 

Whenever you’re giving yourself grace, you know that you may not get things done perfectly, but you’re still going to get it done and you can perfect it over time. 

When you make excuses for yourself, you let perfectionism hold you back. 

This happens a lot when people say they want to lose weight but they’re not starting the diet until Monday. 

You don’t have to do things perfectly from day one. 

Go ahead and start whatever you’re putting off and perfect it over time. 

It’s important to realize when you’re making an excuse and letting perfectionism stop you from taking action

You can’t improve yourself until you realize what you’re doing unintentionally to hold yourself back. 

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Quick recap…

So those are the seven life-changing habits of highly productive moms. Let’s list them out so you can get a quick glimpse of each habit…

  1. They have clear goals 
  2. They have systems 
  3. They plan their day 
  4. They practice mindfulness 
  5. They wake up early 
  6. They make time for themselves 
  7. They limit procrastination 

These habits will help you improve your productivity in a way that’s sustainable for your lifestyle.

Do you remember my disclaimer from earlier? If you don’t, here it is…

Disclaimer: Don’t think you have to do all of these habits to be productive.

Only incorporate the habits you think will improve your life, but don’t feel like you have to do all of these things right now because that’s overwhelming.

So many of us fall into the trap of doing things because we think we should be doing them instead of thinking about if it’s a habit that’ll actually improve our productivity. 

Don’t fall into the trap.

If you’re ready to learn how to prioritize your time so you can plan your day effectively, check out the Time Blocking Blueprint.

You’ll learn the 5 step Buffer Method that’ll teach you how to maximize your time. 

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