A strong work ethic speaks volumes. Whether you want a raise at work, want to impress your boss, or look for profits within your own business, your work ethic is the most accurate predictor of success. If you are a stay at home mom, the same holds true. At the end of the day, you want some tangible evidence that your presence mattered. Something accomplished. As both a small business owner and a sort of stay at home mom, I understand.
While we all have days…or months…when we find ourselves hard pressed to list any fruitful accomplishment, you can increase the efficacy of your labors with just a few tweaks to your daily routine. That’s right. I’m not talking about becoming the next Steve Jobs…just a few simple actions make a big difference.
My number one tip: Make a list the night before. This is nothing new. Ever since Ivy Lee implemented this process in a Charles Schwaab company, it’s been the gold standard of increased productivity. I find it doesn’t really matter if I list 5 tasks, prioritize the tasks, or even fanatically pursue them when I bolt out of bed. Just making the list helps me focus. I automatically begin my day in a productive way.
Finish what you start. My second tip is still nothing new. But what a difference it makes. I remember going through a tub in the basement looking for a particular color of embroidery thread. To my horror, I found three projects I’d abandoned. Lost interest. Lost my focus. Abandoned. That changed me. I started forcing myself to finish what I started, be it large or small, and was astonished at how much more I actually accomplished in all of life.
Put it away when you’re done. Nothing destroys my productivity like not being able to find the tool, the advertisement, the thing I’m looking for…and I hate it when I find it buried under other things. We all have a secret place where we stash trivia in a hurry. Sometimes it’s a kitchen drawer…or in my case, a room! Either way, it hinders me getting things done when I waste time LOOKING for what I need. Grrrrr! I hate that!! I’m learning to put things away.
Do it now! Whether you’re a Nike lover or not, I live by this! The Bible calls it being instant in season. If I realize I have something to do, I routinely do it NOW. At the end of the day, if I tally up things I did because it needed to be done, like folding laundry, and things I did NOW, because it crossed my mind, I find one list always surpasses the other. Can you guess which one?
Find a good role model. We had the privilege of sharing our home with a college student from Taiwan for two years. Her work ethic put me to shame. Driven to achieve her goals, I saw her refine her English, learn to drive, push for A’s in every subject, plan a double major…grow into a very accomplished young woman. When I think I might not be able to get something done, I imagine what Jazz would do. She’d get up earlier. She’d stay up later. She’d get it done.
In short, YOU decide what your day will look like. Yes, there will be distractions. Yes, a few divine appointments. Maybe a few train wrecks. There are still enough hours in the day to make it a winner. Just do it!