Samantha Barkley, founder of A Mom Around Town, is an engineer by day and a mom blogging, resource finding, motivation junkie by night. A Mom Around Town helps moms navigate through pregnancy and parenting to find peace amongst the chaos of mom life. Her own experiences with a newborn left her needing help finding breastfeeding support, sleep guidance, and someone to have coffee with on a Tuesday morning! She created A Mom Around Town to help other moms find confidence in themselves and the best health, wellness, and parenting resources to help them get there.
She loves doing anything active outdoors, is completely not stylish, and always has a song stuck in her head.
Samantha’s Productivity Tips
The number one thing, which isn’t surprising, and is to prioritize. My recommendation is to create a key list of things that have to get done today. You should only have two to three things, and that’s it. I know some people would say, I can only get two or three things done, but if they’re the most important things that you have to get done, just focus on those things and get them fully done.
2. Set a Deadline
The other half of how that works is that you have to have a deadline. We keep on this perpetual treadmill to try to find the perfect or getting something done perfectly instead of getting it done to what is, the best that we can in the time that we need to do it.
When I start working on, something I literally set a timer and say, I have 45 minutes to get this done and then I’m done with it. When the timer goes off., I stop working, and I take a break. Giving yourself a deadline makes you laser-focused, to finish so you can move on.
3. Use Work Blocks
I think is really critical to use work blocks when trying to get something done. For example, let’s say every Monday from 1-1:30, I schedule a time to get my 2-3 priority items done time. I would look at my calendar and just block that time for certain things.
Emails are a good example of a time suck. Often throughout the day, we disrupt whatever we’re doing because an email pops up and we respond to it. To stop looking at your emails so frequently, schedule time in your day to focus on them.
4. Take Micro-Breaks
Taking a break may sound counterproductive, but the optimal work time or attention span that we have is 52 minutes or something kind of random like that’s just under an hour. When you set these blocks of times that you’re focused and working on something, set that alarm between 40- 50 minutes or 50-60-minute mark. When the alarm goes off, stop even if you’re not done, even if it’s something that’s going to actually take you four hours to get done, set those blocks, and then take a 10-15 minute break.
If you don’t have time to take a whole 10-minute break, still push back from your computer or stop whatever you’re doing, and actually take a deep breath, maybe close your eyes for a second, and breathe it out. That’s a micro-break and it’s just a little tiny thing to reset your mind. When you go back to work, you will be more focused and ready to go.
If you use your phone as a timer, it can be convenient but a phone can be a terrible distraction. Try to use an egg timer a watch or a Fitbit instead. If you have to use your phone, put it away from you, literally hide it.
5. Use a Post-It Note to Jot Down Random Thoughts While Working
Keep a post-it note or notebook near you while working. This way, if something pops in your head while you are focusing on something, write it down to get it out of your head and then go back to what your primary focus is. You can come back to this new thought later and you won’t lose it, but don’t stop what you’re doing to go take care of that.
- What is one fun fact about you that not many people know?
I actually spent a year on an Island called Trinidad and Tobago, right after college doing research. While I was there, we went on an alligator, excursion, and watched for alligators. That was one of my favorite things that I did while I was there.
- Who inspires you the most and why?
- What book are you reading now or have read that you’ve loved and recommend?
- Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals, by Rachel Hollis
- Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be, by Rachel Hollis
- What is one actionable tip or piece of advice that you can tell our moms out there to help them on their path to financial independence?
I think being on the same page as whoever you’re with in life, whether it’s your spouse if it’s just you then rock it, maybe it’s your kids that you need to get on the same page with.
However, I think if you are going to really strive towards financial independence, getting debt free, building a business, or whatever it might be, you have to be on the same page as the people supporting you and around you. You have to be going towards those goals together. If you’re doing something and your spouse is counteracting, you’re not going to get there. Get aligned with whoever is with you in your journey towards your goals.
Connect with Samantha
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