Let’s talk productivity guilt trips (er… tips!): We see them every day.
You know the ones I’m talking about. Spend 30 seconds on Pinterest and you’ll be bombarded with headlines like:
“112 Ways to Be More Productive!”
“The Top 20 Productivity Apps Used By Millionaire Entrepreneurs!”
“10 Ways the Mom Next Door is More Productive Than You!”
And let’s not forget the latest guru telling you to wake up earlier and make your bed because you know, it will help you be more productive!
Productivity and success seem to go together “like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong.” (Sorry. I can’t resist a Grease reference!)
But, here’s the thing: you and I are not average business owners. We are business owners and moms. We aren’t chasing after an average, run of the mill version of success. Our version of success goes way beyond the bottom line of a bank account. We want:
more freedom and flexibility to be with our families.
to give our kids the world, and have the time to see and explore it with them.
being a mom and a business owner to add to our experience of life, instead of feeling like we are just trudging through each day checking things off our lists and getting our “jobs” done.
Being both a mom and a business owner (i.e. mompreneur) is at the core of who we are, and it’s nearly impossible to keep these two identities completely separate. But the reality is, both roles can require a lot from us. As passionate as we are fulfilling both roles, it can be really easy for us to get caught up in “productivity daydreaming.”
The dangers of productivity daydreaming
While it might be fun to daydream about an alternate universe where we wake up at 5am to squeeze in a workout, get our email inbox to zero and get a load of laundry in all before the kids are up — the fact of the matter is that, far too often we need that extra hour of sleep because we were up with a little one just a few short hours before!
(And, am I the only one who wakes up the whole house when I try do jumping jacks in the wee hours of the morning?!)
Here’s the thing: If we constantly focus all of our energy, success and self-worth on being productive, we risk missing out on all the joy to be found in the unproductive moments.
And, when we inevitably fail at living up to the standards the productivity superstar mom business owner of our imaginations has set, we open ourselves up for a nasty case of “comparisonitis” and the “not-good-enough blues.”
Success is more of this, less of that
What if success wasn’t about squeezing it all in, scheduling out tasks down to the minute, and being the most productive versions of ourselves possible?
What if instead we started focusing on becoming the best versions of ourselves, by living with intention in mind instead of only productivity?
Sometimes the most productive thing you can do for your business is take a midday walk, listen to a podcast and let your mind drift. I say, if you:
had a tough night and want to snuggle in bed with your babe while watching Daniel Tiger all morning — do it!
need to nap while your little one naps so you can actually feel like a functioning human being — do it!
need to say no to something right now in order to say yes to the things that really matter most — do it!
I say, let’s start making a shift away from pursuing productivity in favor of pursuing intentionality. Let’s start making time to get clear and confident in what we want, both in business and in life, and spending our days intentionally going after those things (and enjoying it!).
A word of warning – sometimes living intentionally may look messy. Often when I’m hitting my stride with my business, having fun playing Barbies and cooking with my daughter – the clean laundry goes unfolded for a few days and the playroom becomes a hazard zone. But that’s okay!
At the end of the day, getting all the mundane, ultimately unimportant items checked off my list isn’t what leaves me feeling fulfilled. Spending my precious moments doing the things I love with the people I love are what really make me feel fulfilled.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Jaclyn Mellone is the founder of Chasing Dreams and Littles Incubator and Co-host on the All Up in Your Lady Business Podcast. Her motto is, the juggle is real! Through her Facebook group, podcast, and tight-knit Incubator, she’s here to help, share, inspire, laugh, cry, and shake up your approach to juggling family, home and business. When she’s not working with amazing mamas or geeking out over online marketing, you can find Jaclyn rocking out to Taylor Swift with her 3 year old daughter, podcasting while wearing her newborn son, or pretending to understand Fantasy Football while chatting with her hubs. Connect with Jaclyn on Facebook and Instagram.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.