Invaders of the Lost Week :: A Productivity Challenge


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This week has been all about Mommy - and although very fun, rewarding, and I wouldn’t change a thing… I didn’t get CRAP done on my business.

With school starting, back to school shopping, and my Mastermind Group ending (sob), I had hoped to settle into a productive day yesterday. But we just made some changes to our household wireless network, and I was unable to get online for the entire day (talk about maddening!!). So, good business woman that I am, what did I do yesterday? I resigned myself to my fate and I cleaned. As in, went to Target, bought containers up the wazoo, and organized the heck out of my basement.

I think my challenge as a work at home mom is not that I would rather be spending time just living the stay-at-home mom life. (But I must admit, if RookieMoms was around when my kids were little, I might have been tempted!) No, my challenge is that I love my work so much that the house tends to get, shall we say, a tad bit “unkempt”. And as much as I HATE to do big cleaning projects (or little ones, for that matter!!), I MUST admit that I am MUCH more focused and productive in a clean house than in a messy one.

So. I have an assignment for you. And I want to hear from you on this one:

  1. Notice how you feel about your procrastinated tasks. Guilty? Frustrated? Overwhelmed? Just notice it. You are not allowed to beat yourself up about it. Take out your journal or a small notebook and write a paragraph on what it feels like specifically to have so much that you HAVEN’T done.~
  2. Make a list. Go with me on this, because it’s NOT a to-do list. Just a list of EVERYTHING that you haven’t done yet. I mean everything that you truly intend to do, even if there is no possible way for you to complete it right now due to available funds, needing help from others, etc. For example, here are a few from MY list:Patch the wall where my coat hook installation project went awry
    Clean out screened in porch
    Organize front closet
    Repair coffee table top
    Put a picture window into the dark front room
    Gut and remodel downstairs bathroom
    Clean out email inbox and respond to every email needing a response

    Walk around each room in your house as you create your list. Also, go through all of your computer files and internet bookmarks/favorites. I’m sure you’ll find a few more things to add from your ‘virtual’ house.

    If you create this list accurately, it will likely take you at least a half an hour, and a few more things will come to you over the next day or two.

    Lastly, I want you to organize your list by the time it will take to complete the task. One week, two days, one hour:: break down the list into time chunks that work for you. Also break out the things that will take money to complete.


  3. With your list completed, I want you to notice how you feel NOW. How freeing does it feel to simply have ALL of this stuff out of your head and down on paper? What part of you is now a bit more motivated just by getting organized with your thoughts? Write one more paragraph on what specifically feels better and why you think that is the case.~
  4. Here’s the important part. No pressure to do anything on your list. You are NOT allowed to put any pressure at ALL on yourself. Your assignment was simply to create the list. Relax. Breathe deep. You did everything I asked you to do!~
  5. BUT… if you now happen to want to complete anything on the list, that’s fine. Just be sure to reward yourself by taking the time to scratch the thing off of your list (and whatever other reward you feel is appropriate… nudge, nudge, wink wink!)~
  6. I will have a follow up assignment for you in one week’s time. Plus, I will even give you some insights as to the psychology behind this assignment, and how you can apply it to your own ongoing productivity.

Do I have any takers? Email me privately or comment below to let me know if you are participating. I’ll even open up my email inbox for free coaching questions during the week for the people who are willing to take on the eMoms Productivity Challenge.

So, what do you have to gain? You get to create a list with more benefits than you probably realize right now (you’ll find the great benefits along the way. Promise!). PLUS, you get to email me with any professional development, personal development or motivational question your little heart desires. AND you’ll get a personal response, with a REAL answer!

So, stop reading. Start writing! :)

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    On August 25th, 2006 at 11:49 am, nettie hartsock said:


    I’m up for the challenge and I just made my list!

    Both my kids just left to school Tuesday and like you I need to find more work life balance. Or even if were able to find the left shoe to my favorite pair of New Balance running shoes, that would be an accomplishment!

    Here are some on my list (which is three pages long!)

    1. Clean both kids closets and donate clothes.
    2. Get rid of all shoes in my closet that haven’t been worn in a year.
    3. Clean out email folders and delete as much as possible.
    4. Finish reading Pema Chodron’s latest book.
    5. Fix back screen door.
    6. Get someone to repair fence for dog yard.

    Thanks for putting up this challenge!!!

    On August 25th, 2006 at 11:53 am, eMom said:

    Wow, Nettie! Three pages since I put up this post?! I’m amazed you have a list at all! ;) Bring on the questions, my friend!

    On August 25th, 2006 at 12:57 pm, Crystal said:

    Okay, I’m up for this too. Funny how great minds thing alike, a couple days ago i realized that i need to get my home organized and tidy so i can let my mind focus on work. My kids don’t go back until Sept. 5 and on Sept. 6 i’m doing intensive work catch up. So, here are my main things that are bugging me pretty much daily:

    1) Go through food -sort and clean chest freezer, pantry and lazy susan. USE UP foods in the house and freezer before grocery shopping!
    2) Tidy toy room and give away toys the kids don’t use anymore.
    2.5) Tidy spare room (rarely used) and make room for toys.
    3) Move toy room stuff upstairs and create office for hubby and I in that room instead.
    4) Do ALL laundry so no items are on the laundry room floor.
    5) Sort shoes and clothes for kids and I. Donate what doesn’t fit and get some new stuff that does :)
    6) Make fall business goals and write them down.
    …more things to add soon

    I’m excited to get to this. I’m off to deal with the spare room :)

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