Better organisation? Improved efficiency? Increased productivity? With your work load and family schedule, you’re probably thinking, “I need an assistant and a nanny.” Since most of us aren’t afforded these luxuries, here are three actual solutions for getting more done.
Paper & Pen
No matter how digitised our lives become, no smartphone app or Google calendar can replace pen and paper. If you’re an agenda book type of girl, you can update your day planning with the bullet journal. The bullet journal is designed for “the list-makers, the note-takers, the Post-It note pilots, the track-keepers, and the dabbling doodlers,” according to its website. It’s an “analog system” and “rapid logging” method for people who prefer to use a blank page while managing their data-overloaded lives.
Even as a working mum whose daily family responsibilities and business goals seem to always overlap, bullet journaling provides insights and identifies what’s important from what’s not. Your bullet journal’s tracking system will live in a Moleskin Squared Notebook that has grid pages perfect for indexing, migrating and collecting, as well as creating monthly and daily calendars. Check out BulletJournal.com for a step-by-step guide on how to replace being busy with being productive.
Personal Work Space
Mum’s office is typically the combination of a kitchen counter top corner and half of the dining room table. You speak with clients while loading the dishwasher and forgot your work tablet on the changing table in the nursery. It’s time to rein it in. Create a designated space used exclusively for work purposes. Make it a sacred zone that outlaws any object or conversation not related to a work task or project. Your at-home office should also reflect your personality and hobbies.
- Add zen to your workspace with a potted plant or fresh flowers.
- Install a chalkboard/cork board to use inspirational vision boards.
- Place a scented candle on your desk corner to arouse the senses.
- Paint a vintage wood desk to give your office space character.
- Sit near a window or patio door so you can use natural sunlight.
Visit Anthropologie’s Pinterest page for pictures of stylish desks to mimic, and then head over to Wayfair for furniture, decor and lighting ideas to choose from for your personal home office.
Apps & Tools
Thousands of apps exist for information gathering and project planning designed to simplify the world we live in. Um, we practically need an app to manage all of our apps. If you’re trying to digitally downsize the chaos in your life with an app or two, take a cue on shortcuts and productivity tips from a Lifehacker pro.
New York City-based Lifehacker writer Melanie Pinola’s app collection includes feedly, Pocket with Evernote, OneNote and Trello. Profiled for Lifehacker’s 2014 “How We Work” series, Pinola shares how these four apps make up her workflow. She refers to Pocket with Evernote as her “work articles dumping ground,” where she sends saved articles from feedly using an IFTT recipe and clips content. From there, Pinola brainstorms on original article ideas using OneNote and plans projects using a Trello board. In Trello, posts for lists of each day and month are easily movable. You can also add labels and reminders. After Pinola writes a new article, she returns to Pocket and OneNote to archive it. Even if you don’t write for a living, this app collection can optimize how you aggregate content, brainstorm, note take and plan projects. Learn more tricks from Internet personalities and experts by visiting Lifehacker’s “How We Work” series online.
By Jennifer Robinson
Stay-at-home-mum, entrepreneur, PR consultant