Productivity is a little different for moms because of the many roles we take on. We think that we have to do more to become better and that the more we check off our to-do list, the better woman, wife, and mom we are.
You are already an amazing mom, and you don’t have to do anything else to become better. When you stop thinking that producing more makes you better and decide that you are good enough exactly as you are, everything will change for you.
In this episode, I’m teaching you a new, insightful way to view productivity and showing you how to get clear from the inside out to create a better result for yourself. Hear the two main problems I see come up with moms who want to be more productive and the solutions to them, and the importance of striking a balance between producing and resting.
Hi there. Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. My name is Natalie Bacon, and I’m an advanced certified mindfulness life coach as well as a wife and mom. If you’re here to do the inner work and grow, I can help. Let’s get started.
What’s happening, my friend? Welcome to the podcast. So happy to be here with you today and talk with you about productivity for moms. This is something that I’m so passionate about, and also something that I truly believe can change your life. I’m going to teach it in a new, different, and hopefully insightful way for you today.
It centers around two main problems that I see come up with moms who want to be more productive. Problem number one is equating productivity to self-worth. Problem number two is the indecision, busy, exhausted cycle. I’m going to walk you through each of these problems and the solutions to both of them. So hopefully, you can find yourself getting more done in less time.
That is actually what I am teaching you this month inside Grow You, how to get more done in less time. So if you like today’s episode, join me over at nataliebacon.com/coaching so that I can coach you on your specific challenges that come up this month in terms of productivity or time management, anything related to that. We are going all in in the month of August.
When you join by the end of July, so within the next few days, not only do you get the how to get more done in less time class, but you also get the class on how to unwind and rest. It’s sort of like the yin and yang. You need both. They will serve you so well so that you are not over producing and over scheduling. Instead you have this nice balance of resting more and really understanding what that is as well as producing more and how you can have both.
I think on default our minds go to one or the other. Either rusting too much and kind of being lazy and not being productive, or I’m doing too much and scheduling too much. What I teach is you can actually rest a lot and have lots of white space and room for flow and fun and whatever else you want as well as producing so much more. So I would love to see you inside Grow You. You’ll get lots more stuff, including mindset tools and other coaching calls and courses on demand. It’s the place to be if you want to become a more mindful mom.
So with that, let’s start off with the first problem with productivity, particularly if you are a mom, and that is equating productivity to your self-worth. Meaning we think that we have to do more to become better. We think that the more we check off on our to-do list, the better woman we are, the better wife we are, the better mom we are. We think that by taking more action, our self-worth increases. We think that the mom who “does it all” is the best mom.
It’s like if you have a perfectly clean, big but not too big house where you cook home cooked meals six to seven days per week, are always caught up on laundry, and devote your free time to the community while simultaneously balancing giving your perfectly behaved kids individual attention, playing with them, and making sure they’re in activities that put them ahead of their peers.
All while also making sure that you are somehow independently fulfilled, whether that’s through a passion project or working part time then you are doing it right. Don’t forget that if anyone asks for your help, you are supposed to say yes because that’s an unwritten rule that you need to do everything for everyone always.
Sound familiar, right? It’s impossible. It is such a lie. I think when I say it like this, hopefully it is obvious that it’s a lie. Maybe it’s bringing up some ways that you live that you haven’t brought awareness to, that you haven’t become more mindful of.
So whenever we are thinking that we have to do things or things should be a certain way, ask yourself why. So why do we have to be the mom who does it all? Why is it so important that our house is perfectly clean, and we’re caught up on laundry and we cook six to seven days a week? Why?
This doesn’t mean that you want to go to the other extreme. Instead, it just means that you want to decide more purposefully. You want to decide how much you want to do and why you want to do it not because it makes you better. When you’re trying to take more action to increase your self-worth, you end up exhausted because it’s impossible. You are 100% worthy and amazing. Regardless of how much you do.
This means that you are half mess. It means that you make mistakes. It means that you’re failing, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. I always laugh when people say, “Oh, this person I know needs personal development.” I’m like what do you mean? We all have brains. If you are a healthy human being, particularly for the clients who I serve, your life on the outside looks pretty amazing. But on the inside, you know that there is more. You want to work on yourself and develop yourself. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.
In fact, I teach personal development and growth from a place of wholeness. You are perfectly imperfect. You are half mess, and half amazing, and there’s nothing we need to fix. Instead, we can grow and improve and expand from a place of good enough. So we’re not trying to do more. We’re not trying to produce more in order to say, “Okay, now I’m finally a good enough mom. I can finally get my whole to-do list done. So I now can approve of me.”
Instead, it’s I approve of me. I am amazing, and I’m half a mess, and I make mistakes. I love all of me, and now I want to learn some productivity tools so that I can get more done because that’s fun. Because I want to see what’s possible. Because I want to have this great balance that is out there and available to me of rest and productivity. Do you see the difference?
When we tie our worth in our to-do list and how much we produce, it’s actually coming from perfectionism. It’s thinking that there is this standard of perfect mom out there, and we are trying to get it. Of course, that never happens because this is all a construct that our brain has made up. So we want to bring awareness to the fact that we are 100% worthy.
I want to bring up a point here that can be pretty helpful, I think. Which is the difference between economic value and value you provide to the world versus human value. So I do believe that people can either provide more value or detract value into the world. So someone who commits crimes is detracting value from the community. Someone who does community service is adding value. That is value into our community or economy or however they are adding or detracting value.
That is separate from your worth. So whenever I am coaching and teaching on money, I make this distinction between economic value and human value. Where we get into trouble is when we say we want to get paid what we are worth because we think, mistakenly, that our human value is quantifiable, and of course it is not.
So there are things that we agree upon that have certain economic value. We can add more or detract more to society, and give more or takeaway more. That is separate from what I’m talking about here, which is your human value. So I think, on default, we mix these up. It’s important here for productivity. Because if we think that by doing more and giving more, we are better, we are mixing these two up.
So I want you to think about people. Instead of them being vertically aligned, think of people in the world being horizontally aligned. Meaning there are just different types of people, but we all have 100% value. Someone who participates in the community more and adds economic value or any other type of value is not higher up on some sort of vertical ladder, and someone who detracts from the community is not lower in terms of human value, human worth.
So your self-worth, how amazing you are, is set at 100%. So if you think about people horizontally, you can think about them as just having different experiences. This is really important.
Circling back to the point here is that when you see that someone else who is living totally differently than you, or someone who is similar to you, but you think is “doing a better job”, you can take a step back and look at what’s really happening. You can see that oh, they might be doing things differently, but that doesn’t make them better than me. We are all equally value in our human-ness. From this place of acceptance and not trying to earn your worth, which is impossible, then you can focus on being more productive.
So what we want to do is get to a place of acceptance, where we are not making how much we do equal our worth. Instead say I am worthy. I’m half mess. I’m half amazing. That’s how I’m supposed to be. Now let’s produce more.
That brings me to the second problem that I want to talk with you about. When we solve for that, you’ll be able to produce more. The second problem is the indecision, busy, exhausted cycle. I call this the unproductive cycle. Okay.
How it works is that instead of making decisions, producing, and then resting, we get in indecision in our minds. We busy, and I’m using busy as a verb here. Meaning we take lots of action, but we’re not actually producing anything. It feels productive, but at the end of the day, we haven’t actually produced a result. This is really exhausting because we continue in this cycle.
Think back to any time you’re trying to decide between a few things. The longer you wait to decide, the more exhausting it is because you’re in indecision. What I noticed happening is then there’s this tendency to blame circumstances on why we don’t have enough time.
So we’re in all this indecision. We’re busying. We feel exhausted. Then we say oh, it’s because I have kids at home for the summer, and I’m entertaining them all day. So we blame our circumstances on how we feel. All we have to do is separate out what’s happening here, and get out of the confusion. Your brain prefers confusion because it’s a little bit scary for it to produce things and to decide. So it almost feels safer to be exhausted and feel a little bit spread too thin.
I was coaching someone who just had her fourth baby. She also had a passion project. She was balancing the many hats that we all have of wife and mom and house manager as I call it as well as some things that she was doing on the side between hobbies and work. She felt really guilty about all of it.
She was really involved with her kids and their activities, but she felt overwhelmed along with guilty. She didn’t think that she was doing a good enough job. She felt like she was doing too much, but at the same time not doing enough. This was a classic situation of indecision, busy, exhausted.
This is a classic, unproductive cycle where she was not making some decisions that she needed to make. So she was busying between these many roles without even noticing that she was juggling so many roles. Then she was feeling exhausted about it and not really knowing what to do.
To get out of it, what she needed to do was get into the productive cycle, which is where you’re going to want to make decisions, produce, and then rest. So again, instead of being in indecision then going to busying and then going to being exhausted, we do the opposite where we make decisions, we produce at a really high rate, and then we rest.
So in this example with this client, we noticed that she wasn’t actually doing too much, but her brain was going back and forth in all of this indecision because she hadn’t decided how much time she wanted to devote to her passion project and to her work. She also hadn’t decided on childcare. She wasn’t in awareness of the many roles that she had and creating space for each at different times of day. Then she was making it mean something bad about her, which put her into that mom guilt, and also the mom shame.
So this lack of indecision really kept her busying, and it felt exhausting for her. Anytime we’re in indecision, our brain is going back and forth. It feels exhausting.
So what’s important to note here is that it wasn’t her circumstances that we’re creating the feeling of exhausted. So often our peers, our friends, our family, they validate our feelings, which is amazing, but through the lens of blaming our circumstances. Oh, of course, you’re exhausted. You’re juggling so many things. You just had a fourth baby. Like just wait until the next season. It will get easier.
So what we’re doing there is blaming our circumstances on the feeling of exhaustion. So we think that in order to feel not exhausted, in order to feel rested, we have to wait until our circumstances change. But that’s not what was happening. It was her mindset that was creating the feeling of being exhausted. It was because she was in indecision and like busying all over the place without any clarity, boundaries, childcare, schedule, any purposefulness to her productivity.
So what we did was, we got really clear about what she wanted to try next. We didn’t decide what she was going to try for the rest of her life. We decided given this season, what do you want to try next? Then let’s make some decisions around that. Meaning let’s get some childcare and decide on the timeframe with which we want there to be childcare.
Let’s create a schedule where you have your work hat on, where you have your house manager hat on, where you have your mom hat on, where you have your wife hat on. It’s not going to be perfect, but at least it gives you some boundaries where you are not going back and forth all day busying, feeling like you’re producing but having nothing to show for it at the end of the day.
So we created this schedule. Then we followed the rest of the process that I’m teaching this month inside Grow You. It’s seven steps. But they’re simple easy steps of how to get more done in less time. So then she could evaluate periodically to overcome any challenges.
So there’s no such thing as a perfect productivity schedule, but you can get out of indecision, busy and exhaustion, which is the unproductive cycle, and you can get into the productive cycle where you’re in decision making mode, production mode, and rest mode. From there, you can overcome challenges by making choices from an empowered mindset. So you’re focusing on solutions to the challenges that arise.
For this client, she ended up getting so much more done in less time because she was clear minded, because she had space for herself to rest. She was producing so much more. So nothing in her circumstances had to change. She got clear from the inside out. That created a better result for her. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But now she has the tools to tweak it as she goes. It feels so much better than kind of being in that indecision, busy, exhaustion cycle.
I think that productivity for moms is different because of the many different roles that we take on, and that we want to take on. We want to be in the role and identity of mom, where we are quite literally responsible for other humans. But we also want to have the role of house manager and wife and woman where we take care of ourselves and friend and all these other identities.
So you have to get clear about the roles that you want to take up space in your time. You have to get clear about what you want to produce and when. That means going from indecision to decision making. It can feel scary for your brain because, again, your brain would rather stay in indecision because it feels safer. We don’t have to take risks. We don’t have to try anything new. We don’t have to get outside of our comfort zone. We can just kind of feel exhausted and blame it on our circumstances.
So what I want to offer to you is a different way of doing it that will really feel so much more rewarding for you. It’s not about doing more so that you can be a better mom. It’s just about making decisions from your highest self so that you can live into your future. You’re already an amazing mom. You don’t have to do anything else to improve or fix yourself or become better.
So you want to stop thinking that producing more makes you better. Instead, you want to decide you are good enough, even when you feel like you’re not. It’s just a thought that you’re having that’s making you feel that way. From there, allowing yourself to be human and make mistakes and saying I want to produce in a very mindful, intentional, purposeful way. Then creating a more empowered feeling to drive you.
So instead of feeling rushed and busy and urgent, you can feel confident and competent and decisive, and take action from there and produce a result. Even if it’s not the result that you want, and that’s the process that I teach you inside Grow You to overcome the obstacles and to overcome when “life happens” and when you don’t follow through, all of those instances. If you come from a place of self-acceptance and loving yourself, and you understand how to overcome these challenges, there is nothing that can stand in your way.
Then the magic happens, you end up producing more. You don’t think that you have to earn your rest. So you have this lovely like a yin and yang where you’re balancing producing at a high rate while also resting. It’s sort of like magic. I really have cracked this code in the last couple of years. I used to be someone who produced at such a high rate that I really overscheduled and busied, and it was a little exhausting. Now I have such an amazing balance of producing as well as resting.
That’s what I want for you. I want you to produce twice as much as you’re producing now and have twice as much time to rest. That does not happen by continuing to do what you’ve always done. Right? It’s like you’re on a hamster wheel right now, and you have to get off that hamster wheel and you have to get in a car that can drive a lot faster. So you’ll get to the destination faster. You’ll have lots more time.
This is productivity on purpose from the inside out. It will not leave you overwhelmed. I want to encourage you to join me this month inside Grow You to get the seven step process to get more done in less time, and so that I can coach you live to help you overcome any challenge that you are facing with time management and productivity. I will see you there my friend. Take care.
If you loved this podcast I invite you to check out Grow You my mindfulness community for moms where we do the inner work together. Head on over to nataliebacon.com/coaching to learn more.