Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Five Essentials for Everyday Productivity {and just staying alive}



Being a mom of two crazy little ladies, and a part time work from home mama, annnnnd a two night a month job at the gym down the street, I need all of the help I can get on any given day. Oh, yeah and I have an amazing husband that I also don't give as much attention to as I should. So I've locked down the 5 most important things for me that I need to make it through the day.

1. Coffee
Let's be real here. Nothing gets done before coffee. In fact, this is my "warm up" of sorts every morning. I wake up with the girls, get them dressed, changed, brushed and then we go downstairs. The girls either play with their toys or watch a show while I get their breakfast ready. Sippies of milk, breakfast and they are good for at least 30 minutes of quiet. I make my coffee, sit on the couch and go through my usually Instagram, Facebook routine. It's the kind of mindless time I need in order to get ready for whatever we have planned that day. And then comes the afternoon cup of coffee, which I'll get to in a later point.

2. Planner
I could not live without a planner. An actual pen and paper planner. For some reason, its just easier on my eyes when I have everything laid out in front of me. I still use the calendar on my iPhone, but my planner goes with me everywhere. I have been using the Martha Stewart Discbound binders from Staples, and it's worked great for me this year.  But I think for 2015 I am going to cave and get an Erin Condren planner. Because PRETTY.

3. iPhone
I do put all my important calendar events in my phone. Just because sometimes its easier to pull out my phone than my planner. But I also have a ton of apps I use to make everyday living easier. The top ones I use are Cozi and Mint. I use Cozi as my grocery list, which is amazing because it lets you put your lists into categories. So I have different lists for Groceries, Target, Costco, Babies R Us, etc. Mint is just amazing because we have recently started to secure down a budget because we found we've been insane about eating out and spending way too much, so this has been working out great for us so far.

4. Nap/Quiet Time
I know Quinn is too old for naps (although she does take 1 every few weeks), but Harper goes down everyday at 2:00 and I always put Quinn down for "quiet time" around 2:30 or 3:00 because I do enjoy having some alone time with her and this is the only time I get it. So we usually play a game, or do some kind of learning before I take her upstairs. She will spend a little time in bed and then wander to the playroom next door and entertain herself for a good hour. This is the time I do anything extra I need to do... whether it's spray painting something downstairs, taking a shower or simply just sitting my butt in bed and catching up on some DVR. But one thing is always included and that is another cup of coffee. It's like my "recharge" moment of the day where I don't have to go grab anyone'a sippy cups, wipe butts or anything like that. This one hour it totally important to me and really does help me get a little more organized.

5. Post It Notes
I use a million Post It notes. On everything. In my planner mostly, but I use them around the house. I think I am one of the few people left in the world who likes to mail my payments, so I use Post Its to keep track of the day it needs to go out in the mail. Sometimes I will use them when I run out of things, etc and those little Post It's then make it to a larger list that goes in my phone. So it's a nice in between organizational trick for me.

These are by far what I need everyday to get through my day and keep my head above water. Obviously, there are days when things don't go as planned, naps don't happen and my phone dies before lunch. But such is life, and thank goodness we are definitely "go with the flow" type people.

My husband and I have a bucket list item of starting a business of our own someday so I like to prepare myself to be as organized as I can, because my life will fall to shambles if I don't! And if there are any entrepreneurs out there, just starting out, check out Kabbage! They provide small business loans and help entrepreneurs and small business owners with the tools needed to stay productive.

Hopefully this will help anyone looking to get a little more productivity out of their day! Or just make it until Daddy gets home. Because that is my reality everyday :) And there ain't no shame in that.

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