The opportunity to GROW bigger and stronger and finally do your very best work in every area of your life is here! In this 5 post series, we are going to dive into the core areas you need to focus on in order to grow. You want to juggle it all, I get it. But how? From laundry, groceries, dinner, homework, emails, clients, hugs, exercise, and date night… how do you become the woman you need to be in order to get it all done? You start right here, right now, and then you grow. What do you say, wanna do this together? Then let’s dive into day one of the Ready to Grow series, where we will walk you through six productivity tips for high achieving stay-at-home moms brought to you from two high achieving stay-at-home moms.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
This is a post I could not do without my business bestie Stefanie Gass. We’re literally going to hash out Stefanie’s top three productivity tips and my top three productivity tips. It’s so good and I can’t wait for you to dive in with us.
I hope you’re over inside of my Facebook group so we can connect with you and support you on this journey as we learn to grow together. Also, if you’re new to time-blocking, I urge you to check out my FREE time blocking workbook. It will really support what we are talking about here.
This information is for you to become a high achiever in your life and business, as an entrepreneur and work-from-home mom. This is a fun opportunity for you to see what it looks like to be a high-achieving work-from-home mom from two high-achieving work-from-home moms.
Honestly, let’s be real, we’re both doing all six of these but Stefanie really excels in certain things and so do I. We have a different spin on each thing so we are just going to jump in.
Stefanie Gass – First Productivity Tip For High Achieving Stay At Home Moms
The very first thing that I believe truly helps me be as productive as possible is intentional planning. Now I’ve been a planner for my whole life. I love having a plan. If I don’t have a plan I have immediate anxiety. Like how do you get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going?
As I’ve evolved in this entrepreneurship role, I’ve gone from a solopreneur to managing a team, and at this point, I have kids and schedules and all these things to manage. My planning has gotten better and better and better. With the help of Chelsi’s systems, I’ve been learning that planning needs to be more than a to-do list.
Planning needs to be a super intentional practice where you’re looking at your life as a whole. It’s breaking everything down into recurring tasks, scheduled events, and projects. You need to fit these things into the way you want your life to look and feel.
So what does this big picture intentional planning actually look like on a tactical basis? Well, it starts with a yearly planning process where we are super intentional. But it is then breaking it down quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily.
For me, I’m using a blend of Asana to manage the workflows, the actual recurring tasks, monthly tasks, projects, and a Horatio paper planner. With my paper planner, I look at my time blocks, what I am doing on a daily basis in my morning, in my work block and then what is happing with my kids and my family. Sunday night I am sitting down for an hour and being SO specific with what is happening every hour of my day.
Chelsi Jo Moore – Second Productivity Tip For High Achieving Stay At Home Moms
Time Allocation With Time Blocking
My first is very much the same thing and is time allocation. This is more how I am segmenting my time into time blocks. Stef is very hour by hour and her brain really goes that way. I am a person that gets really overwhelmed with too much to do very quickly. I’m so much more at peace and I’m able to produce so much more when I’ve chunked all this down into segments. That’s how I know which segments are my time blocks. I use time allocation with time blocks and workflow.
Stephanie doesn’t use the exact time blocking method that I use. Everybody has their own way to make it theirs. So take both our first tips as permission to make it your own. You can make your own beautiful blend of our two ways for what works best in your life.
Stefanie’s Time Blocking
My planner used to look a lot like a big to-do list. Being the high achiever personality type that I am, checking things off brings me extreme gratification. It feels great but the problem is because I love work so much, if I see something unchecked, life cannot go on. What that was creating for me was too much time in my business. So what I learned from Chelsi was how to keep all the checkmarks off of the planner and only pull in what has to be done this week and fits into the work blocks that I have scheduled.
I now have a stop and start time for my work. I feel a lot of freedom now when I only put into the planner projects that fit into my 30-hour work blocks in a given week. I still have a lot of to-do list items but they don’t have to live in my planner this week. I feel so great knowing that I can still put in my checks. Now I have created more time and space in my brain and I have permission to turn work off and that is definitely attributed to Chelsi’s time blocking.
Chelsi’s Thoughts on Time Blocking
This is an evolution for everyone. We want people to know we are still fine-tuning these things all of the time.
My next one is another that helps me be super productive and get a lot more done without making me feel like I’m doing too much.
Chelsi Jo Moore – Third Productivity Tip For High Achieving Stay At Home Moms
The most beautiful thing for me is to take all of the things that I have to do and crunch them into only three things to do. All of those little things are still there but are inside of a routine. My brain just knows that I’m going to do the before-school routine and then that’s it. My brain is not thinking about, “I have to pack lunches, I have to help the kids to get dressed, I have to make sure that all of the things are in the car.” I don’t think about any of that. All I know that I have to do is the before-school routine. Done.
When we create that space in our brains, we’re able to actually execute because we’re not running around in circles thinking about all the things that we have to do.
I’ve created these routine stacks in my business and that has just been such a game-changer. I know what I need to do every single Friday in my business so all my finances are taken care of, all of my metrics are being met, all of my goals are situated and my week for next week is set up so that I don’t have to do it over the weekend.
Now I get to show up to my work block and not feel like I have to do all these things. A lot of people have those feelings in their homes and in their motherhood. I have three or four things that I do each day in my business and that’s it. It has taken some time to get there but it feels really great.
Stefanie’s Thoughts on Routine Stacking
The exercise of building the routine stacks was so pivotal for me. You think you know, and you think it’s a routine, but until you write it out you don’t know. At first, it’s kind of a to-do list while you’re training your brain and then it becomes a routine, and that’s where the freedom comes in. So onto my second productivity tip.
Stefanie Gass – Fourth Productivity Tip For High Achieving Stay At Home Moms
The Black Hole – Focus Mode
This is like my favorite, so just please enjoy this as I take you on a little journey into the universe and have you take a deep dive into something called the black hole. The black hole is focus mode. This means I am going into work as seriously and as intentionally as possible. I want to get five hours worth of work done in one.
This is not a drill. I have places to be and people to see and the only way to do it is to get it flipping done. I’m not going to sit down and waste time. So what I created is this thing I call the black hole.
Time Is Money
More than anything else in your business time is money. So I can sit here and I can be distracted and I can fart around and wonder what I should be doing. I can click on all the click-ety clacks and check the tabs. No, we’re not doing any of that. It is all about eliminating distraction 100%. Anything that is going to trigger distraction for you is trying to kill your productivity. Tabs are shut down and my phone is out of reach. Come to the table with one intention, one routine stack, and get rid of distractions because they will kill your productivity.
The reality is your brain will distract you with something else to do and you’re always going to end a task in the middle. So, immediately at that moment, decide where to park the task so you can close it and move on with your life. I do believe that if you don’t put your task somewhere it will be forgotten.
For me in Asana, I have a board called ‘Urgent’ so that’s where I’ve been parking things. You could also have an ‘In-Progress’ board. My ‘Urgent’ board never goes above 10 things.
What you really need to know is when you go into some crazy distraction, it pulls you away from income-producing activity for your business. That’s the harder stuff to focus on. We are naturally going to go to these superficial high-level tasks because they’re the easiest thing to get off the plate, even though they are not scheduled in. Distraction is a stealer of everything that you’re setting out to create.
Chelsi’s Focus Mode
It’s 100% avoidance. I never actually let my to-do list get above five because I have 20 minutes scheduled to knock them off. I should have four quick five-minute tasks to fill that time.
The biggest thing in my personality is ‘touch it once’. If you’re going to open an email just to see what it says, you better have time to respond to that email right now. Only open the tabs that you need to execute the job that you’re supposed to do. Now my last productivity tip.
Chelsi Jo Moore – Fifth Productivity Tip For High Achieving Stay At Home Moms
Improvise, Adapt and Overcome
This is actually a military term and it needs to be a motherhood term. I’ve just become really really skilled at improvising. I’m not afraid to break ties with my plans. I’ve gotten really good at being super positive when kids are sick and things come up. I used to get really frustrated with the fact that I was constantly in motion and there was no rigidity. I thought I needed that structure and then I realized I didn’t, I just need to change my perspective.
I’ve worked really hard at improvising and adapting what I thought was going to be, into seeing it can actually turn into something so much better.
It All Comes Down To Attitude
So much of this really just comes back to my attitude. Attitude is everything, especially when you work alone and you’re isolated. You have to get really good at the art of improvising for when all of the little things in life take you off what you thought was going to be your plan for the week.
Attitude is everything, especially when you work alone and you’re isolated. You have to get really good at the art of improvising for when all of the little things in life take you off what you thought was going to be your plan for the week.
This is one that’s super hard for me. I’ll sit down with this plan and an intention of how I show up to a work block and then the school calls or my husband needs to talk to me. I’m triggered. One thing that has really helped me is praying in the moment. There’s always an answer and I think prayer has really helped me shift my perspective really quickly. I know I can only control so much about myself but the Lord always wants to help us navigate those hard spaces.
My last productivity tip is crucial for every mom out there that wants to be a high-achiever.
Stefanie Gass – Sixth Productivity Tip For High Achieving Stay At Home Moms
Morning Routine And Power Hour
To be more productive and be a high achiever you need a morning routine. Whether you have one or not, you need one. It is a learned skill. Lots and lots of changes had to happen for me over a year-and-a-half in order for me to start getting up for a morning routine. I had to steal back the time that I spent watching shows at night or scrolling my phone.
It began as a time for me to give my first fruits to the Lord. If I’m waking up and that’s my best time of the day, I have had a coffee and a half, that’s when the Lord deserves the best that I have to give.Alright, number four gets me real excited and it’s absolutely necessary if you are going to crush your goals.
Once I was done with that 45 minutes to an hour, my day started. I decided to scale that back even more because there was so much beauty in this solitude. So I then created a power-hour. That’s when I’m doing these to-do items. I’m getting up, emails are done inboxes are cleaned out, I know what I’m doing today and I spent time with the Lord. By the time 6:55 rolls around I’m so ready to slay.
Chelsi’s Morning Routine And Power Hour
To produce more you have to start your day before everyone is demanding something of you. I’m really flexible with my morning routine but there are certain parts of it that are non-negotiable.
It has to happen if you want to be productive. I used to do a power-hour of work every single morning and now I just don’t need to. I know what a morning routine looks like that I only have 30 minutes for verses two hours or anything in between. I like that Stefanie shoots for the same thing every day.
Stephanie and I are two people running businesses with young kids at home with full lives and totally making it happen. There’s no right way to do it. There are different habits and different approaches. You can see the similar threads through all it, we just spin it differently to fit our lives.
Stefanie’s Final Productivity Remarks
Find what works for you. Everybody has different personality types and different schedules. That may look different for you but for me, it’s been such a game-changer that it became a commitment.
Recap on the Top Six Productivity Tips
Chelsi’s Top Three Productivity Tips
- Time allocation
- Routine stacking
Stefanie’s Top Three Productivity Tips
- Intentional planning
- The black hole/focus mode
- Morning routine, including a power hour
We hope these bless you guys! If you enjoyed this you can check out the last episode we did together. Or, hop on over to the Facebook group where we can support you in implementing these productivity tips.
If you are eating all this up and want all my productivity tips, come find more details about my Systemize Your Life Academy.
Stefanie Gass is a Christian business coach and teaches women how to clarify their God-given calling to start an online business. Stefanie is also a top-ranked podcaster of The Stefanie Gass Show for female entrepreneurs and has created Podcast Pro University where she gives a step-by-step framework to create and promote your own successful podcast.
Ready for more growth!? Continue on to Ready to Grow Day 2.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I be more productive during the day and during the week to accomplish MORE in both my business and my household as a busy stay at home mom?
As a busy, stay at home mom, you can absolutely set be MORE productive and get MORE done during your day and your week. You CAN stay on top of all the things in your home, your marriage, your family and your business. Through sitting down on Sundays (or whichever day works best for you) and intentionally planning out your week using my 5 block time-blocking system, you can be sure to schedule everything you need in, plus more! Check out my completely FREE time blocking workbook to help you get started and become more productive TODAY! Additionally, our Systemize Your Life Facebook Group is an amazing accountability and support center with women just like you working to achieve their goals in both their home and business and we would love to support you along the way.