If you want to master productivity for work-at-home moms (WAHMs), this is the #1 habit that you should ditch. Read on to find out what that habit is and the reasons why it should be avoided at all costs.
Productivity for Work-At-Home Moms
For work-at-home moms that have multiple balls in the air at any given moment, it’s key to have your productivity on point if you want to juggle everything successfully.
You might be surprised to find out that the BIGGEST productivity killer for work-at-home moms is not having little ones at home. It’s not needing to plan and make dinner. It’s not trying to juggle multiple clients. It’s not focusing on scaling your business. And it’s not even taming the ever-present Mt. Laundry.
So, what is the top killer of productivity for work-at-home moms?
Yes, you read that correctly. That need that so many of us moms have to keep everything (house, kids, spouse, business, etc.) running perfectly can also hold us back from being as productive as possible.
While striving for perfection can help you achieve great results, it can also prevent you from being your best and can foster a lack of productivity.
Here are a few of the ways that being a perfectionist can quickly kill your productivity as a work-at-home mom (WAHM).
Perfectionism Makes You Less Efficient
When you strive for perfection in the tasks that you do, even when you’ve completed the task, you will linger on that task in order to find new ways that you can improve. This applies across all areas of WAHM life – from household organization to the kids’ schedules to your work-at-home business.
This lingering process might start off as a quick ten-minute process but can quickly escalate until you find yourself spending an hour or more looking for things to improve. This causes you to spend way too much time on a task that required and puts you behind schedule.
If you get caught in the trap of perfectly planning your productivity, you’ll spend more time planning then you will being productive. Don’t fall into that trap! You have more important things to do, mama. After all, you are raising a family AND a business!
You Become Less Effective
As a perfectionist, you probably do little things because they seem like a good addition. As a WAHM, you probably do those same little things because you hope they’ll make the management of your home and business easier.
But that’s not always the case. Those little things add up and take time that you might not otherwise have accounted. You fail to consciously think whether those additions are necessary. Sometimes, those additions not only fail to add value but might even ruin things.
Let me tell you a personal story of when this happened to me. I love meal planning and meal prepping. I decided once that a “perfect” meal prep session would involve packaging up the main course and side dishes in the same container for the freezer. So, I bought several very large, party-sized foil pans and proceeded to prep everything. I failed to account for different cooling times though and ended up creating so much extra work for myself. I even ended up ruining one entire meal because I accidentally left the meat cooling on the counter overnight.
You Tend to Procrastinate
Oh, I have battled this one for years! I used to be the queen of procrastinating while waiting for perfection. This reared its head the most when it came to organizing the kids’ bedrooms (if I didn’t have ALL of the perfect organization tools, I believed I had to wait until I did and the disorganization would just snowball in the process) and to replying to client emails (if I couldn’t send a perfectly crafted email, I’d hold off until I had the time to sit down and do so, even if that meant my reply was sent outside of the acceptable norms for an email reply).
I also see this happen again and again with fellow work-at-home moms in the early stages of starting their WAHM careers/businesses. The instance I encounter most frequently is when it comes to logo creation. I can’t tell you how many women I’ve seen iterate on their logo for weeks – weeks where they could have just launched the damn thing and actually started earning money. (I’ve ranted about this topic on Facebook previously.)
When you have perfectionist tendencies, you often wait for the perfect moment, which tends to overcomplicate a project.
A simple task might get blown out of proportion to the extent that it then becomes subconsciously intimidating, as in the logo scenario above. This causes you to procrastinate on working on it because you are waiting for the nonexistent “perfect” moment before you begin. Unfortunately, this perfect moment never happens until it’s too late.
You Stress Over Unfounded Problems
Most perfectionists tend to anticipate problems before they crop up and develop solutions to address the issues. Although future planning is an important part of overall productivity for work-at-home moms, unfounded fears will just set you WAY back.
Having too strong of a focus on pre-empting potential problems can easily become a productivity-killing obsession. The honest truth is, most of the problems that you envisioned never surface or they don’t really matter as much as you thought they would.
While striving to aim for higher standards isn’t a bad thing, when the quest for perfection turns into an obsession, it will quickly kill your productivity. The answer isn’t to stop striving for perfection, but rather to be conscious of your perfectionist tendencies and manage them accordingly.
Personally, I’ve adopted Facebook’s motto and I encourage you to do the same – “DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT.”
Want to know the key to productivity for work-at-home moms? Just do the damn thing!