As a work-from-home mom with a toddler and a baby at home, it is very easy for me to feel overwhelmed with my to-do list each day. I was constantly getting into a cycle of having too much to do, getting overwhelmed, crying about it, making a list, powering through it all in a day, feeling exhausted, and then going back to… not actually doing what I need to do on a regular basis. Until I learned of a single mindset change that has helped me go from feeling overwhelmed with things to do to writing this post when my kids were napping and thinking “Hm, I have the next hour free – let’s see what I can work on next!”
The mindset change? It’s not about getting more done – it’s about choosing to spend your time on the right tasks. Let me share how this simple yet powerful mindset shift revolutionized my approach to business, motherhood, and productivity.
A little backstory about me – back in 2019 (before I had kids!), I made the leap from a full-time office job to a full-time work-from-home job… while still doing freelance work on the side. Once I was no longer in an office with built-in accountability, I started to really struggle with my productivity and work output. I had thoughts of ADHD on and off in the past, but it wasn’t until these struggles that I started to really think it may be holding me back.
I did the best that I could in the meantime, but once I went full-time in my own business while having my son at home with me, I KNEW that I needed some outside help with my ADHD to be the best version of myself I could (for both my family and my business). I was deep in the trap of busy-ness that we as mothers tend to fall into. I was feeling the need to juggle countless tasks, from household chores to childcare, leaving little time for myself or pursuing my passions. The constant pursuit of ‘getting more done’ was leading to burnout, stress, and feeling like I was a failure on all fronts – being a wife, mother, and business owner.
In March of 2022, I was diagnosed with ADHD – after months of waitlists, virtual appointments, and finally crying over the phone as a psychotherapist finally told me – yes, you have ADHD. He suggested I attend therapy, cue more waiting, waiting, waiting… then finally in October of 2022, I was able to start a six-week counseling program that I went into saying “I am looking for strategies to help me get more done because I am constantly feeling overwhelmed with my to-do list and feel like I don’t make any progress with it”.
The ADHD Diagnosis That Transformed My Productivity as a Work-from-Home Mom
I got way more than I bargained for. Instead of learning how I can squeeze more tasks into less time, I learned more about what was stopping me from actually getting my work done, practicing mindfulness, prioritizing self-care, why over-stuffing my days weren’t helping, and even a little bit about sleep hygiene. It helped me to create the organization system I’m still using in my life + business to keep me on track, as well as recognize when I needed to take a break. Instead of focusing on how much I should be getting done each day, I began to prioritize tasks based on what I actually needed to accomplish in a day and not choosing from a never-ending list of tasks that would leave me feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes, what I really needed in a day was a period of rest, and by prioritizing that over any outstanding client work… I was able to be much more productive the following day (rest IS productive, y’all!!)
It took some trial and error to find the right balance of what needed to be done vs. what I wanted to get done, but I’ve found out some interesting things about myself in the process! For example, I now know that I am my most creative on Sunday Mornings (don’t ask why,I couldn’t tell you!) and if I take time to get to do something creative – painting, creating products for my print shop, crafting with my kids – I am much more energized for the upcoming week and feel more “on my game” for the rest of the week.
You can’t just sit there and say “It’s not about getting more done – it’s about choosing to spend your time on the right tasks” though – this is a mindset you have to work towards every day and keep working at it over time.
Some things that I do to help continually work towards this mindset are:
To make this mindset work, your really need to be intentional about what is important for you and your family and what truly needs to be a priority. What is important for you to get done in any given day is going to be different than what is important for me to get done everyday. If having a clean house is something that helps you feel calm, you’ll need to make cleaning a priority. Having a lot of cleaning tasks on my to-do list is something that overwhelms me, so I am working on a different system for that (don’t ask what it is – I really don’t have one yet, but I want to! Progress!).
As mothers, we often feel pressure to ‘do it all.’ This mindset shift taught me to embrace balance and let go of unrealistic expectations. By allowing myself grace and acknowledging that I can’t do everything, I found space for self-care and personal growth. I have also noticed a huge difference in my mood during busier times when I’m not as good at pritotizing self care or feel I don’t have time for it – which is why it’s something I need to be proactive about and build into my everyday life as a priority. Jessica Massey of Hustle Sanely teaches that as part of her Five Keys to Hustling Sanely – doing one kind thing for yourself everyday.
Shifting my focus from ‘getting more done’ to ‘choosing the right tasks’ has been a game-changer in my journey as a mother and entrepreneur. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and seeking a more fulfilling approach to motherhood and productivity, I invite you to embrace this powerful mindset shift and watch it transform your life too.
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