i recently read a great article about the importance of morning routines on productivity. it echoes and consolidates pretty much all the advice i’ve ever heard about feeling good and getting valuable work done. i’m very much a morning person and have designed my workdays to end at 2pm because my effectiveness pretty much falls off the cliff by 3. so if i was to be my own productivity guru, i’d recommend i get up at 6, exercise, “clock in” at work, then do a bunch of home projects and be officially done with everything goal oriented by 3. the afternoon and evening would be chill, and i’d go to bed early. sounds great, the only trouble is, i have a 3 year old. maybe that’s a big excuse, but i really don’t hear much helpful advice when it comes to being productive while being a full time parent. here’s my situation, tell me what you think:
i work at my job (from a home office) 2 mornings a week while damian is officially on parenting duty. damian also takes oliver for an hour a day while i exercise (in theory this happens everyday, anyway…). the rest of the week i’m full time parent. it’s not that damian doesn’t do any parenting other times, but he mostly works (he’s a permaculture designer and musician) and cleans up after us. as you may be aware, the kind of distraction free focus that productivity experts recommend we create and guard every day is not exactly possible with a 3 year old present.
oliver generally sleeps from 10pm-6:30am and naps from 2:30-5pm. in theory, i could be productive during this nice big chunk of nap time, except that is the time of day that i am the most brain dead. i need a lot of sleep, so if i got up before oliver, i’d need to go to bed before him also, which is not possible most nights because my husband is a musician. i’ve tried napping when oliver naps in hopes of getting up crazy early, but i either can’t fall asleep to nap, or if i do nap, i can’t fall asleep at night, so i’m back to square one. i’ve tried forcing oliver not to nap, but he’s just a wreck all afternoon and is so overtired and miserable that bedtime is long and painful, and he still gets up at the same time in the morning so that extra hour in the evening doesn’t really help me.
i’d love to have productive chunks of time every morning without my kid. i often have more work than will fit into my 8 hour workweek, and i usually end up doing it during nap time or evenings, even though i’m less efficient (sorry grace). and of course there are the 50 million personal projects (like writing blog posts! and designing our chicken tractor!) that i feel like go forever without any progress whatsoever.
so, what do your mornings look like? do you have any tricks to getting anything other than parenting and a couple loads of laundry (if you’re lucky) done in a day?