When creating a morning productivity routine, mothers are told to wake up early, exercise, meditate, read a book, moisturize, have a healthy breakfast, practice gratitude, plan their day, and get ready before the kids take over the house.
This advice is great for someone who either has a lot of help or no children at all. But if this morning routine lasts at least two hours each day when you’re already trying to figure out how to wrap everything up for what it is, this advice may make you feel like there is no point trying at all.
To be honest, I find this advice negligible and cruel because it sends the message to mothers that no matter how hard they try, they are failing.
Fortunately there is another way.
Structure your day as a divorced mom
The key to getting the most out of your day is knowing how to hack your productivity according to your specific needs and situation. For example, exercising first thing in the morning, five days a week may not be right for you. However, you may be able to exercise three times a week during your lunch break or right after your work day.
As you look at your day, you need to know how your energy works at each section of your day. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you get an afternoon break after lunch? When do you feel best
Here’s where to find out when it’s best to work on projects that require your focus and agile mind (when you’re the most energetic by nature), when it’s best to exercise (ideally during times when you’re getting tired or need an extra boost of energy). when you can multitask (like listening to a podcast while you do the dishes) and when it is best to do your contemplative work (like logging for five minutes or meditating before you go three nights passed out during the week).
Whatever activities you choose, fit them into your life where they fit most easily. Once you’ve made these activities an exercise, you can add more or do the activities that you enjoy most.
There is no such thing as failure
There is no single approach to success or productivity. Just because someone else’s system or process didn’t work for you doesn’t mean you failed. It just means you haven’t found what works for you yet. So if you are struggling to stick to a routine, or you are doing well for a while only to get off track, remember that you can find a way to make more profits in your day. It’s not about finding a reason to be disappointed in yourself.
Focus on what feels right to you and remember that if you get off track, tomorrow is a new day. The sooner you get back to doing the things that make you feel good, the sooner your days will feel more productive.
If you are having trouble getting things right, see if you can ask someone for help. Is there another divorced mother you can take turns babysitting for to help each other out? Can your kids meet with the virtual babysitter for 45 minutes after dinner before bed (yes, that’s an actual thing)? How can your day be designed to be more effective? Whenever it doesn’t work, you have an opportunity to find a new way to make your day work for you and fit into the things that make you feel like a productive, successful woman.