When there are just too many items on your to do list, don’t you wish sometimes that there were two or maybe even three of you? Such a wonder would definitely give you time to finish all your tasks with more than enough time to spend with your kids and your hubby. But while cloning is not an option, there are a good number of moves to help you make full use of your time and resources to be more productive.
At Mommy Mundo’s most recent Mompreneur Meet Up, Jane Kingsu Cheng shared some of the tips and tricks that she’s developed over the years to accomplish all of her everyday tasks and more. A fashion forward mom of three, Jane is the editor in chief of Working Mom magazine, a brand and image consultant, and an aspiring mompreneur.
A typical week for Jane includes helping her kids with their school projects, having a date with her husband, attending numerous events, doing Pilates, meeting up with her extended family, and of course, putting together a magazine. This modern day Wonder Woman definitely knows more than a thing or two about getting more done at a limited amount of time. Here are some of her secrets:
Power Move #1: Sleep well.
Sleep is uber important as it gives your body and mind to refresh and rejuvenate itself. “Getting eight hours of sleep is the goal. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be cranky the next day,” says Jane.
TIP: As you get ready for bed, turn off your mobile phone. It’s easy enough to waste hours away scrolling down your social media accounts. But Jane insists that you need to get to sleep more than you need to check up on what everybody else is doing. Everything can wait till the morning, including messages from friends and colleagues. You need to get your beauty sleep.
Power Move #2: Plan your day.
Some of us just charge into our days without a carefully thought-out battle plan. However, keep in mind that failing to plan is planning to fail. Create a tasks list so that you know exactly what needs to be done every single day. Considering the state of traffic in the metro, Jane says it would be good to plan your route as well. Make full use of the time you are out – attend meetings, go to events, drop by the bank, run errands, etc – so that you need not have to stay too long away from home often.
TIP: Wake up 30 minutes before everybody else. This will give you a nice space for some me time before the inevitable chaos of the day begins.
Power Move #3: Know your priorities.
As Jane says, “You really cannot do everything so you have to choose what’s important to you.”
Jane knows what she speaks of. Though she snagged a high-paying job in the fashion industry, she was not able to spend as much time with her family, which is her priority. So she bid goodbye to the fashion industry and went into publishing.
When you know your priorities, you will be able to set specific goals within workable timelines.
Jane says, “Set goals no matter how small. I also give myself deadlines for the things I need to do.”
On your daily to do list, always place an item which would help you accomplish a long-term goal. This is so a big dream doesn’t get forgotten because you were too busy with the small stuff.
TIP: When faced with tasks or requests, always go back to your priorities and goals. If those tasks or requests are not aligned with your goals and priorities, then it would be easy enough to let them go.
Power Move #4: Stay focused.
“You will be done faster if your mind and body are focused on doing one single task,” says Jane. Much has been said about a mother’s ability to multitask. Yes, we are able multitaskers but if we want to get our jobs done faster and more efficiently, let’s focus on one task at a time.
Find your optimal groove time and schedule the tasks which require most of your mental prowess during those hours. Jane adds, “Stick to a schedule. Stay on track.”
TIP: Turn off your email and social media notifications when you’re in the middle of an important task. This simple move will help you get the task done faster. If you regularly check your email or your social media account in the midst of accomplishing task, you’ll only slow yourself down.
Power Move #5: Ask for help.
Make full use of the resources available to you: ask those around you for their assistance. For instance, get your kids to help. Jane says, “Lazy parenting is when you keep doing things for your children instead of teaching them. Let them join you in chores and errands so they learn how to be independent and responsible.”
At the same time, train your household help on how you want things done at home. She says, “I have a list printed and taped on the wall to serve as a regular reminder for them. I also brief them about the rules at home.”
She adds, “Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help or advice when you need it.”
TIP: As difficult as it is to ask for help, moms also find it hard to say no. But Jane says, “Know when you cannot do it. Know when it will not be beneficial to you, your family, or your company.”
Power Move #6: Forgive yourself.
When things go awry, moms have the tendency to blame themselves endlessly. Jane says, “Forgive yourself. Let go of the things you weren’t able to do or failed to do. There’s always the next day. Don’t be too hard on yourself… Let it go. Allow yourself to feel bad but move on. Think of a solution, don’t add to the problem.”
TIP: While it’s so easy to get mad, Jane has this to say: “I hardly get mad. I give myself five to 10 minutes, then I’m done. Getting mad is not productive.”
Power Move #7: Take care of yourself.
Moms take care of everybody else but they should never forget to take care of themselves first. All too often moms forget about basic self-care moves like drinking lots of water or exercising, and they shouldn’t! It’s okay to eat alone at times so that you can compose yourself. It’s okay to buy yourself a treat or two to reward yourself for a job well done. It’s okay to spend time at the salon and dress nicely when you step out of the house. Jane says, “Remember that you are doing this for yourself and your family. Your children will see the value in taking care of one’s self when they see you doing so.”
TIP: Be grateful always. Jane says, Don’t overcomplicate things. Know your strengths. Simplify and appreciate.”