Productivity tips for overwhelmed moms who want to succeed in college
Lots of student moms are overwhelmed from doing too much and not enough. These moms are looking for tips to help them become more productive so they can succeed in college.
Sadly, many student moms get so overwhelmed that they end up losing motivation in college. Now, that’s a shame especially when you consider how much time and money these moms have invested in their education.
The good news is that for moms who are willing to persist and learn new tricks, there are lots of proven ways to boost your productivity, manage your time, and balance motherhood with going to school.
So if you are a mom in college struggling to survive, rest assured that you are not alone, and there are tips to help you survive. Being a parent and going to college is hard, but that doesn’t mean you should quit or give up on your dream.
Here’s how you can boost your productivity and ensure you succeed at being a student and a mom.
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1. DO THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS FIRST
Productivity doesn’t mean getting every single thing done. It means making sure the most important things get done before anything else, and they get done all the time. Well, I don’t know about you, but that’s very freeing as a busy mom.
Knowing you don’t have to do every single thing on your to-do list should free you from trying to do unimportant tasks or tasks that won’t move you closer to your goals. This means you can actually boost your productivity just by ignoring or eliminating those extra tasks that take up your time and energy and add little or no benefit to your life.
See if you can identify with this scenario.
You spend most of your time during the day cleaning, tending to your kids, playing with your phone, cooking, and God knows what else. Come night time, you are too tired to study or complete an assignment because of all the busy work you did throughout the day. Fast forward to a few weeks, you are behind on your assignments, failed a couple of tests, and you are not doing well in school.
If this sounds like your current life, then you know you are doing something wrong and you need to make some much-needed changes. And, the best way to do it is to create a schedule that will help you prioritize your tasks and manage your time effectively.
Related: How to Create an Effective Student Mom Schedule
2. REVISIT YOUR OBJECTIVES
Revisiting your objectives is one of the most effective productivity tips for student moms who feel overwhelmed or are on the verge of losing motivation.
Why did you go back to school? Do you spend most of your time doing the things that will help you meet your objectives? For example, if one of your objectives is to graduate on time or within a certain time period, then your main focus will be studying, completing assignments on time, and staying on top of your schoolwork.
So, take some time to think about your objectives, and what you are doing to accomplish them. Think about what’s working and what isn’t working. If you identify some things that aren’t working, your next step is to come up with a plan to address or fix them.
It’s so easy to forget about your objectives when you are so busy trying to survive as a mother and student. But revisiting your objectives every now and again will ensure you don’t lose sight of what is truly important and will help to keep you on track.
3. HOW TO SUCCEED IN COLLEGE AS A PARENT: SPEND LESS TIME PLANNING
I am a big believer in planning. I strongly believe that the first step to achieving a goal is to create a plan. So, go ahead. Create a plan for your life but don’t stop there.
Don’t waste a lot of time thinking about the right way to do something or how to create the perfect schedule or routine. Sometimes all you can do is take action. Remember action is always better than perfection. The only way to know how good your plan or schedule is is to put it to work.
That’s how you find out what works and what doesn’t. If something doesn’t work, change direction and get on with it. You will be more productive if you spend less time planning and more time doing.
4. HOW TO BALANCE COLLEGE AND BEING A MOM: GIVE YOURSELF A TIME LIMIT
If you are in the habit of dithering or spending too much time on one task, one of the most effective ways to break that habit and boost your productivity is to give yourself a time limit.
Before you start any task, estimate how long you think it would take, then set a timer. When the timer goes off, you can either take a break, move on to something else, or continue with the task if it’s really important or you have some minutes to spare.
Using a timer is one of the best tips for student moms who often fall behind on their work due to poor time management.
5. TIPS FOR STUDENT MOMS WHO NEED BALANCE: ORGANIZE YOUR LIVING AND WORKING SPACE
Being a student and a mom is so time-consuming that your home can easily become one big mess. Between studying, working, and helping your kids with their homework, you hardly seem to have enough time to do the laundry or keep your home clean.
While this might be okay at first, after a while it could become a problem, create some distraction, and even friction in your home. So it’s always better to prevent that from happening.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you should spend all your time cleaning and organizing your home, but you can find a large chunk of time (preferably before the start of a new semester), to organize your living and working space.
If you take the time to do this, then it becomes easier to keep your home tidy. All you have to do is light pickups and the occasional deep cleaning and organizing. So carve out some time to clean and organize your home or pay someone to do it (if you can afford it).
Related: How to be an Organized Mom in College
6. WRITE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASKS IN A PLANNER OR ON A CALENDAR
One of the best pro tips for student moms is to adopt this simple rule: things that are written down get done first. This is a great way to get into the habit of writing down your most important tasks and to-dos.
The secret to good time management for college moms is knowing what you are supposed to be doing at any given time. So no more trying to guess if you should be studying at 5 pm on Mondays or doing something else.
Once you write your most important tasks in your planner, you will know how your day is structured and how and what you should spend your time on.
I know many moms feel like they don’t need to write stuff down, but when you work, go to school, and are a mom, it’s hard to remember everything, and you can end up wasting precious time on unimportant tasks.
7. TWO ESSENTIAL PRO TIPS FOR STUDENT MOMS: START YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE AND WAKE UP EARLY
One of the best and easiest ways to get a head start and accomplish most of your daily goals is to start your day or morning the night before and also wake up early.
In my experience, waking up early gives me a good start to the day and I accomplish more things when I am up bright and early. So, how do you start your day the night before? Here are some simple ways to do it.
- Take a few minutes each night to go through your planner or calendar
- Write out your to-do list for the day so you don’t have to keep looking in your planner or checking an app on your phone
- Prepare whatever you can the night before. For example, prepare and pack lunches, put books and binders in your school bag, lay out your clothes and kids clothes, prepare or ask kids to have their bags packed and organized
- Clean and tidy whatever you can. Wash dishes. Put a load of laundry in the dryer
Planning your day the night before means you can hit the ground running when you wake up in the morning. Another benefit of waking up early is that you can get started on your to-do list before you have to tend to anyone else, and you can have some alone time too.
You can spend a few minutes making and drinking coffee, writing in a journal, meditating, praying, or doing something that helps you relax for a few minutes. These few minutes each day can help you deal with the stress of trying to balance motherhood and school.
So, whenever you can, try to get to bed at a decent hour and try to wake up as early as possible.
8. SCHEDULE EVERYTHING, STICK TO THE SAME SCHEDULE, SET UP A ROUTINE
One of my favorite tips for student moms is the importance of creating a schedule and following a routine. I have already talked about it a fair bit, but I would like to talk a bit more about it.
The best way to get things done quickly and efficiently is to schedule everything. No task is too small for you to schedule or put on your planner. While scheduling everything is good and can boost your productivity, it’s very important to try to stick to the same schedule every day or week.
I know some moms have rotating work schedules or have shift patterns that make it hard to stick to a schedule. That’s okay. Just follow your schedule as closely as you can.
Finally, setting up a routine can really help you to stay on track and save you some valuable time. Having a set routine every day means you know what to do from the time you wake up until you go to bed.
For example, you can try to wake up at the same time every day, eat breakfast at the same time, work on your schoolwork at the same time, and so on. Doing the same things consistently will help to minimize the amount of time you waste and would increase your productivity.
9. PRIORITIZE REST
At the end of the day, you must remember that you are only one person and you need your rest too! It doesn’t matter what your goals are. You need to be healthy physically and mentally to be able to achieve them, so think about that before you run yourself ragged.
Taking breaks can help you refresh your body and mind especially if you have been doing this for a long time and lack adequate support. As a single mom, there have been times when I could have done with a break but felt I couldn’t afford to.
Well, guess what happens if you keep pushing yourself. You might end up breaking down and still end up taking a break (though a forced one). So don’t wait until everything becomes too much for you. Ask for some help if you are close to your breaking point. Force yourself to take mini-breaks often even if you can’t do a long break at once.
So, make it a habit to step away from everything once in a while. Find a happy place where you can relax and be by yourself. Use that time to destress and let go of all your frustrations. Trust me, you will be more productive if you prioritize rest.
Closing thoughts on productivity tips for student moms who want to succeed in college
Going to school as a mom is definitely not a walk in the park. There are so many challenges and obstacles to tackle and it’s easy to lose motivation if you fall behind.
Whether you are going to school full time with a baby, a full-time student with kids, or a stay at home mom going to online school, I know all student moms want to succeed and graduate from college. So, I hope these productivity tips can help you find some balance in your life so you can accomplish your goals.
Are you a student mom struggling to juggle it all? What are your biggest challenges?
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