Less Multi-Tasking, Better Productivity, More Love?
Women are renowned to be great multi-taskers. Work at home mums are undeniably one of the groups of mums who need this skill the most. I’ve written quite a few times about schedules and separating ‘work time’ and ‘mum time’. However, it is at times impossible to separate those roles, and while multi-tasting a lot I’ve recently realised that I hardly give myself fully to one task at any given time. If my body, behaviours and thoughts are busy doing something, my mind is often active about a few other things at the same time. With this realisation, I have come to the conclusion that the key revolved around one easy conscious effort I could make to have better focus and productivity to any task at hand: Awareness.
No allowance for work thoughts, checking emails…
As a work at home mum and full-time mum, my most important task is looking after my kids. However, with a growing home business requiring more thinking and planning, I found that I would often be sharing my focus between my kids and my work, at the same time. So I started this new exercise when starting an activity with my kids.
I said to myself: ‘I will devote my whole self to this activity and my kids’.
No allowance for work thoughts, checking emails, of even putting a load of washing on. From the very first time I tried this simple commitment statement, I realised how much more aware and fulfilled I was while spending quality time with my kids. It meant I fully took in the moment, noticed the little things that make a mum’s heart fill with joy and pride, gave more love and positive interaction to my kids, and fully indulged in the primary reason why I work from home – raising my kids. It also meant that I became more aware of all the mental disruptions coming through, so that I would purposefully shut them down and re-focus.
Don’t fully commit to a work task unless you know that you’re kids won’t need you
After applying this principle to my role as a mum, I did the same for my home business. Of course, for work at home mums, it is impossible to say ‘I will devote my whole self to this work activity’ when your kids are running around and under your care. It is indeed a lot easier to shut down your work for your kids than shut down your kids for your work! So don’t fully commit to a work task unless you know that you’re kids won’t need you; this will only lead to frustration if you are interrupted. I refined my commitment statement for work even further, in committing to one task at a time (e.g. ‘I will devote my whole self to writing an article’). This simple commitment increases my focus and therefore my productivity, and gives me the head space I need for problem-solving and creative thinking!
Adding a simple commitment statement before starting an activity with my kids or for my business has certainly made a massive difference in my productivity and focus. For work at home mums, it’s about focusing your awareness to the specific activity you have committed to. Less multi-tasking, physically and intellectually. Better productivity for my business and home duties? Yes. More love and inspiration for my kids and from my kids? Definitely! More rewards as a mum and business owner? Absolutely!