In this post, we’re sharing 3 essential productivity practices for parent entrepreneurs.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
No. 1 — Match Energy
Match energy — most of the time.
First + foremost, take a moment every morning to inventory your own personal energy. How are you really feeling today?
Some days, you are simply not going to feel as energetic as others. That’s part of being human + even more so part of being a parent! It’s more than okay!
When you first check in with yourself to see what you are available for + what you’re not, then you know what you have available to apply for your own self-assignments + what you can offer others looking to you for leadership — like your partner + children (your family team members!) + your business team members.
Now, let’s get into some examples here…
If you have a team member who loves putting together creative events, a way you could match their energy is by getting excited about giving them more tasks to do toward that end.
If you have a child who has an abundance of physical energy in the morning, then a way you could match their energy could be to merge your workout into something you can do with them — expend that energy together.
When you meet the team members closest to you — both in family + in business — with positive energy that matches their positive energy, you are reinforcing empowerment + trust as a leader. You’re saying, “what’s important to you — what excites you — is important to me. It excites me, too.” That’s invaluable.
So in the times that you aren’t with your team members or kids, their recent interactions with you have been ones where they have felt poured into.
And therein lies the productivity: business team members + family team members typically ask for less of your time + energy overall + perform more successfully + independently when you’ve proactively met their needs + they feel “seen”.
So when the kids wake up + run into your room, put the phone + coffee down so that you can run just as much toward them! And then watch as your kids start to play more independently after that.
And when the team member plans an event that you’ve cheerleaded them on through + to, watch as they start to raise that business bottom line + start identifying more ways to make more impact.
Positive energy is profitable + purposeful.
Now, on the contrary, if someone on your team is unmotivated or distracted, free yourself up from the idea that it’s your job to be the “hype man” or “hype woman” trying to “make fetch happen.”
Constantly pulling people up to that positive, productive pace with you is not your job. That encouragement needs to come from within — intrinsically — + if your family or team seems to need help with this chronically, then it’s your job to recommend support (+ for your children, to get them the support they need).
As a parent CEO, you’ll witness an increasingly happier + healthier team culture over time — which makes your showing up to work even more fun + guilt-free (+ financially rewarding).
So, to recap: identify how much energy you have first, so that you can apply your remaining energy to your team members.
No. 2 — Assign Smaller Task Times
In our consulting business, one of the most popular challenges clients come to us with is feeling unproductive + like they have an ever-increasing to-do list.
What we’ve identified is that most parent CEOs are way more productive then they give themselves credit for because they are judging their credit based on completing large task assignments.
When you are running a family-centered business, you are interrupted A LOT by your family. And while allowing those interruptions is a choice, we don’t get to choose exactly when those interruptions come.
The kicker is that every time a focused human brain gets interrupted, it takes about 20 minutes to recalibrate that focus again.
This means that not only is multitasking one of the worst “productivity” efforts ever, but that completing larger tasks becomes seemingly impossible.
The workaround? Break apart your to-do list tasks into line items that can be accomplished in 5-20 minute work blocks instead of 30-minutes or an hour or a couple of hours.
Yes, this means your project management systems like Asana will have substantially more checkboxes at first, but you will check those boxes off faster when you allow yourself to stack small wins through shorter task times.
So, to recap: stack the small wins through the shorter task times in 5-20 minute increments.
Another fun bonus hack: You can download the free Pomodoro app timer to gamify working in 20 minute increments. There’s a little tomato that pops up on your screen + counts the 20-25 minute work sessions for you, then encourages a 5-minute break before you “pomodoro” again.
This hack is a great way to add a cadence to a full work day or those super powerful 1-hour kid naptime work sessions.
No. 3 — Set Your MITs Daily
To us, running a family-centered business means that at the drop of a hat, we will be available to our partner + our children + we know we’ve set up our business to still succeed without us there.
This means that when a child is having a hard day, or maybe isn’t feeling so well, or your partner needs more connection, or if YOU need more self-care time or a mental health break, that you can do the one most important task (MIT) that moves the needle forward if + when you have the bandwidth for it.
Depending on your season, we like to list 1-3 MITs either the night before or first thing in the morning.
We put these in our Asana project management system — that we use for running the business of family just as much as running the family business — so they all live in one organized little app. We love how this method brings so much clarity to our life!
But for you, do what works + feels the simplest for now: if that’s a post-it note on your nightstand, then go for it! But don’t skip setting up the most intentional next step for you in your next available 5-minutes (or maybe more!). Everything else can fall by the wayside.
And now, we would love to know: what are some of your most essential productivity practices as parent entrepreneurs?
What do you need more support with?
Join the conversation in the comments below + get inspiration from fellow parent entrepreneurs in our community!