So much to do, so little time.
As a mom, you probably know that phrase too well. Being productive both at work and at home is a major balancing act.
While we struggle to look for our 3-year-old’s matching sock, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Charles Duhigg breaks down the science behind the most productive people and how they prioritize, focus, make decisions and motivate.
He is famously quoted for saying, “The most successful people are the ones who don’t let themselves become purely reactive. We’re reactive non-stop, but they use these contemplation devices to make a decision.”
Here are 5 productivity tips Duhigg suggests you do to help manage your time at work and at home – smarter, faster and better:
- Productivity Defined Properly
Duhigg explains productivity as the ability to get things done that are important to you with less stress and struggle. Weed through the clutter and pinpoint your goal. In other words, choose what matters to you most and get them done. It could be sharing breakfast with your kids and tucking them to bed at night. Identify what is important to you and act on them.
- Ask a never-ending string of Whys
If you ever found yourself annoyed by your 5-year old asking you ‘Why’ in an endless, vicious cycle, it’s probably time to stop, listen and learn from them. Duhigg found out that “The 5 Whys” developed by Sakichi Toyoda is a crucial productivity hack and the gist is that, like a toddler, if you keep asking “why,” you’ll get to the root of the problem. This is called root-cause analysis and will help you narrow down to what needs to change and how it will affect the rest of your day.
- Make Chores Meaningful
Productive people make a chore into a choice. It’s a way to feel like you’re in control, and it’s much easier to motivate. Assign a goal to a chore so it’s easier to get started and to pull through.
- Do To-Do Lists The Right Way
To be more productive, write to-dos starting from the most important goals down to the least. For each goal, examine it against the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) and break down how to achieve that goal in more specific steps.
- Plan Your Day Before You Start
Duhigg suggests spending at least 10 minutes per day to visualize your day before it even starts. It sharpens your focus and tells your subconscious what to focus on and what to ignore.
Explore real-life examples on how to put these productivity tips to practice at this article by Working Mom.
What particular areas of productivity at work and home do you struggle with the most? Let us know in the comments below.