5 Productivity Hacks to Calm Your Life
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show.
I am your host, Amanda Tento, and I have with me the lovely Lori Oberbroeckling and she is the author and founder of Secrets of Supermom.
I’m very excited to talk about what we’re gonna talk about today because this is something that I personally struggle with. I recently found out that I have ADHD, Of course, I probably have known that since I was born, but I just found this out and so now I’m trying to figure out all of these ways to calm my life down. Today you’re gonna share with us five productivity hacks to calm your life. I am listening.
Yes. Absolutely. And I think so. I think you are not alone in having the ADHD diagnosis as an adult. And I think so many of us are like, Oh yeah, that totally makes sense. But then you realize that’s why none of these things work for me. That’s why I’m not, that’s why I’ve gotta try something different.
Having that divergence is A little bit of an eye-opener so you can make better choices for the things that you try and the things we’re talking about today, they’re not, they’re not specifically right.
They’re to calm any busy mom, busy entrepreneur, or busy woman who needs to really be able to focus and also wants to be productive but just feels.
That sometimes is elusive, right? They wake up at the end of the morning and they go, What did I do yesterday? Did I get anything done? And so these are just some kinds of ways that maybe you haven’t thought of that can help.
Yeah, I’m sure I haven’t. Before we dive in, I would love for you to introduce yourself and tell us about how you got started and what you’re doing.
Absolutely. So I’m Lori Obra Ling. I wrote the book Secrets of Supermom at the end of 2020, and basically when the pandemic happened, although the idea to write a book, like the thought of it being really fun was, in my mind, certainly not that year, right?
That wasn’t in my plan. It was not on my vision board for 2020, and the pandemic happened and I realized that moms were really struggling and.
Parents were struggling, families were struggling, people were struggling, but moms were really struggling.
And so I thought, how can I help them get more information, help them with easy ways to feel like they are actually accomplishing things, feel like they actually feel good about themselves? You know what?
And then also, what are moms? Are still thriving enough, right? Maybe not ex exceedingly thriving, but how, what are these other moms doing? I interviewed and surveyed almost 200 moms, and we put together Secrets of Super Mom, which is 16 chapters, 16 secrets that these higher achieving moms that really felt like they had it together, if you wanna call it that.
What were they? And so we, the book came out at the beginning or in, at the beginning of January, or in February 2021, and it turned into a podcast and it turned into a program and it just has flourished into all these things that are helping moms, and it’s been really amazing.
It sounds like an amazing book. I still have yet to pick it up, but I will. It’s on my list of things to do. I’m sure it’s a very long one. But I’m very excited to read that because I definitely need it, and I love that this book came out of the pandemic because I’ve said this in other episodes, but I really feel like the pandemic has given us some hidden gifts that we never would’ve had. If it hadn’t happened.
I think that I love that attitude because we can just say it was terrible and it was, or we, and it is in some ways Or we can say that, that we can find those silver linings and allow them to carry us forward because I do think there have been some. Some, we’ve been able to question things that we maybe wouldn’t have questioned.
We’ve been able to connect with people we maybe wouldn’t have connected with, and just we’ve had some opportunities that are super weird but have come and maybe made our lives better. It may certainly make my life better in this particular way, yeah.
Awesome. So give us these productivity hacks. Help us. Help me. Help everyone. Let’s do it.
Productivity hack number one. We like to. Wait for motivation. We want to feel motivated and we think in order to be productive, I have to feel motivated. So we wake up in the morning and we’re like, Ugh, I don’t wanna get outta bed, and it’s warm here and I don’t wanna do anything.
And so we think I’ll just work on that tomorrow. I’ll just start my business tomorrow. I’ll just write my new social media plan tomorrow, or I’ll just worry about SEO tomorrow, right? We just take those things that we know would put us in a better spot and we think we have to be motivated to do it.
No, no friend. We have to be able to start without motivation. And to truly believe that it’s not, that motivation doesn’t have to be there. You do not have to be motivated to get things done.
You do not have to be motivated to start very small because when you start small, picture the tiniest little domino in front of your domino train, you push that tiny domino over and it still can get those dominoes.
So when you start really small, it then leads to something a tiny bit bigger and it leads to something a tiny bit bigger. And if it doesn’t, you’ve still got the one small. You got the one small step done, the one small thing done. But most of the time what happens is it leads to something more and it leads to something more.
And with that action comes the motivation to continue that activity. So we want to believe that we need to be motivated, but really there isn’t a reason to wait for that. And we can stop waiting and just get started and then we get to feel the motivation we wanted in the first place.
That is mind blowing. I’m just going to go ahead and say that I cannot believe it, I feel silly for never having thought of it that way. You know what I mean? Like when you explained it, it sounds very simple and it really truly is. But I think. At least in my mind we overcomplicate things. And make things like a huge deal.
Like starting something is always a huge deal to me.Like it’s a huge deal. Like it’s like a thing. I have to plan it, I have to put it on the calendar. I have to know that’s the day that I’m starting the thing. whatever it is. It could be, I don’t even know. It could be anything really.
It has to be on my calendar in order to, for me to be able to say I’m starting it. But I love that you said, Maybe if I have an extra five minutes, I can just look into what it takes to get started or whatever, honey.
Yes. It’s this, you, we feel like it’s this giant mountain, right? And I, you guys can’t see me. My arms are high up. You have this huge mountain of things and there’s just no way I’ll ever be motivated enough to get there.
But really what do you have? Just pick up one tiny rock and then another tiny rock, and then slowly you’re gonna pick away at that. and seeing that progress is going to bring the motivation that you have so been desiring in the first place.
Some of them are mind, right? Like this one’s a little Mindy, but some of them are actually strategic things that I do that really make a giant difference in my life. So I’m gonna share those two.
The next one is a little Mindy still. So the next one is to Cultivate. Energy. And what I mean by that is that so often we are, we’re trying something new, Doing something new in our business, doing something with our family, whatever it is, and we’re trying to fit it into the margins of the day that we’ve already planned.
And that’s not always a bad thing, but sometimes that new thing. Is really important and requires a lot of mental understanding. Knowledge, and energy require a lot of focus, right?
So like it in your case, if you’re thinking, Oh wow, no wonder I wasn’t focused during all these times, you still, your cycle throughout the day has a level of energy.
So, we are not all the same, but there are times when you will feel the most focused and the most energetic and the most productive. And if you know that, use those times to do the things that are most important. So for example, for me, it’s first thing in the morning. I am a very obscenely early riser.
And first thing in the morning I am with it, right? But for others of you, it is after you put all the kids to bed and it’s. 9:00 PM and then you get that second wind and you’re ready to rock. Some of you, it’s that slow going morning, but then 9:10 AM you’re like, Okay, this is my time.
But if you put a bunch of pointless activities, things that don’t really matter, things that you could do with your eyes closed, things that don’t require a lot of energy in that time bucket, you are wasting all that energy that you have in the day, getting mundane things.
If you can really think about your day and take those really important tasks, those tasks that might take a little more to get started, those tasks that you are really passionate about and you put them in those high energy times, oh, your day, you can get so much more done in that amount of time.
And they even think about that. Think about if you could do a three hour task in two hours. What would you do with that extra hour? It’s amazing.You’re hacking your time almost. You’re hacking it. And we all have it. We all have those higher energy times and those lower energy times.You just kinda have to figure out when they are.
Yeah, I love that. And I think I can focus better in the afternoon for some reason. Yeah. But I also get sleepy in the afternoon, so it’s like a toss up. If I’m, am I gonna be focused or am I gonna be sleepy? I don’t know which one it’s gonna be, but yeah, it’s funny.
Yeah. And then even, I go so far as to track my time so that I can find these things out, but I go so far as to track energy and food and those sorts of things. Cause I, I realize, oh, I eat lunch and then I feel so tired. My whole body is only working on digesting right now.
Not working on anything else. So I have to be careful when I am going to eat so that I’m not just so sleepy during this next activity. Because for me, after lunch would be a terrible time to review a very complex contract or review a very complex budget. That is not the time for me to be doing those acts.
Number three. Ready for number three? Number three is set phone reminders. And I don’t just mean like little, like reminders to go pick your kids up at school though, Keep those cuz you know, get them. But I’m talking about setting reminders that remind you who you wanna be, what you wanna be doing.
Reminding you of specific activities that you might do. So I’ll give you an example. When I was writing my book, I wrote in the morning, 90% of the time I wrote in the morning, but sometimes I didn’t get all the words that I wanted to get in and I had a goal. And so in order to meet that goal, I had to put in extra time.
And I decided that when I was sitting at baseball practice, we had an hour and a half practice and I was gonna just sit there, right? I was just waiting for him during baseball practice. I was gonna bring my laptop and I was gonna. That was like in the early evening. It was like 5:00 PM. That is not a high energy time for me.
So in my phone I said a reminder, it was location specific. So it was when we got to the ballpark, the reminder went off and said, You are an author. You will change lives. You are an author. You will change lives, pop up.
And I go, Okay, if that energy was waning, if that energy wasn’t there, here it is, and I’m ready because yes, I’m gonna get this done and I’m gonna write my words. And so that reminder. Said this, remind like, Hey, you wanna be productive?
This is the person you wanna be. Let me tell you who that is. So that’s just one really like location specific example. And those of you that are in offices, think about when you get home, what kind of mom do you wanna be?
I wanna be a patient and call mom when I walk in.So that location says, Whoop drove into my driveway. I wanna be a common patient mom. Wow. And if that reminder pops up, so powerful.
That’s huge. Yeah. I’ve never, Yeah, all of these things. I’ve never thought of them and I am absolutely loving it. I’m enjoying this phone.
It’s so easy because our phone is with us all the time. We always have our phones. You can set an alarm or a reminder alarm of course, if you want it to go off at a specific time. So let’s say at noon every day I have a team. and I really get frustrated during those team standups.
So you are a patient manager, right? Whatever you want to remind yourself of time, specific or reminders, you can use those for location specific, and it really can be a powerful reminder of who you wanna be and sometimes, almost never do.
I remember they’re going to go off. First of all, I have one that goes over at eight 15 every single day. That’s when I take my kids to school. Calm, happy, patient. Calm, happy, patient. I never remember it’s gonna go off, but every time it’s a oh. I’m taking the kids to school, I’m gonna be calm, happy, and patient.
And so it just keeps you in the mindset that you wanna be in, even when you have let yourself get away. When you’ve forgotten.
I love it. I love it. I’m gonna, as soon as we get off of this recording, I’m totally doing this . Yes. My first task.
It’s so good. It’s so good and so easy, so fast to set up right. It’s gonna take you like three minutes. Okay, number four. Are we ready for number four?
Number four is my strategy and that’s Sunday planning. I, And so this one you all will have heard of, but I’m really, I have to keep it because it’s so important to me. Every Sunday morning I plan out my week and I’m not talking about it, just looking at a calendar.
I take all the tasks, all the work tasks, all the business tasks, all the personal tasks, and all the kid’s tasks, and I put them all in a single planner. And I look at it all and I say, Is this doable? Can we? Do I need to move anything? Do I need to ask for help? Do I need to talk to, For myself, my husband and I do different things with different kids cuz they overlap.
Do I need to make sure that he’s on board for that? Do I need to check and see if he has a meeting? Because I can’t take the kids to school today. I look through the whole thing and I do that on Sundays every morning I still look at my calendar and I make sure that nothing has changed.
But that Sunday was planned in the morning. Has been a complete game-changer for me. I’ve done it for years now, and it’s just the best way for me to have a wonderful handle on my week, know exactly what’s coming, and know when my to-dos are gonna be done, and then it’s not stressful. I just have to execute.
The stress is that not knowing that unease of not knowing. So what I know, boom. I’m ready to have a wonderful Sunday and then I’m ready to kick off my Monday.
I love it. Yeah. You’re taking all of the stress out of us. Out of our zone, and you’re literally calming our lives. So I am so excited that you are here talking about this. Yes.
Oh, I’m so glad I, Yes, I, So if you’re not planning, start small again. Does it have to be you taking all your calendar and putting it together and doing all the planning? No. But if you’re not doing it at all, start with a little plan. Just review your calendar, review what’s coming up, and then slowly get into a routine of the things that are really gonna work for you.
The things that really feel. Oh wow. My week felt so much cleaner. My week felt so much calmer. My week felt so much more organized. Those are the words that the moms that I work with use, and it’s because they’re all true and it’s exactly right. Okay, number five. Are we ready for number five?
Number five is super. Moms hang out with super. And again, this is gonna be one you might not have heard before because it is, you don’t think, okay, productivity and my friends and the people I surround myself with matter, but they matter a million times because if you want to be motivated, if you want to be.
Not stressed. If you want to be happy, if you want to be organized, if you want to be any of these things productive, hang out with people that are that way. Hang out with people that are spending their time doing the things that you wanna be doing. Because it just elevates you. It elevates you when you spend time with people that are the same as you want to be.
And so when we find ourselves being super, not productive, super low energy, just, we don’t wanna get anything done. One of the things you can absolutely do is say, Who have I been spending time with? Have I been spending time with people that are low energy? Yeah. With people that are dragging me down.
Like maybe that’s even team members or family members sometimes. And if you don’t have those people, they are, They exist. They are right. They are. They are online. They are in mom’s groups.
They are in business networking groups. They’re around. They’re here. And they’re out for you to find them. But it is so powerful to spend time with people that are how you wanna be.
I love that one too. And I have found in my journey, just in the last five years of being an entrepreneur again and really working specifically with moms just like you, that’s how I started out, was working with primarily moms and just, we all have there’s just such this organic.
Understanding and ease of working with other moms. And it’s just, if a kid walks in right now on our podcast recording, you get it. Like you totally get it. It’s just, yeah, it’s just one of those things. And There are, like you said, huge communities of amazing moms out there.
And especially if you’re in the business space, like most of our listeners there, there’s just so many resources and so many places that you can go to meet amazing moms.
So true. And it’s so powerful. It’s so powerful. So yes, that is a, that’s my last recommendation to you is go find your tribe if you don’t have one.
And it looks like you have a Facebook group. Do you wanna tell us about that? Is that a face? To meet another Super boss? Absolutely.
Absolutely. The Super Moms Society on Facebook is a free group on Facebook, and you can absolutely go there and interact with other moms, ask questions and yeah we love to have new folks join us and let us know what they’re working on and how we can help.
I love it. These were the best five tips that I’ve heard in a very long time. And I’m getting ready to do it. I’m getting ready to do a 300 episode or not. 300 is a 300, three years, the third year anniversary episode. So I am going to probably include these in that episode because I love it. I It’s, they’re just amazing.
Thank you. I know, I can’t believe I, I literally started the podcast just, because I wanted to, Kind of address some of the things that I was going through as a mom that was literally at the very beginning stages of her business and struggling with this and that and the other thing and it’s really changed my life.
Isn’t it fun that it’s become a mind of its own right? It’s taken on its own thing. It’s amazing. Yeah. Amazing.
And so, I go on autopilot. I don’t even think about it. Just every Friday I have podcast recordings and I talk to amazing women like you and it’s just awesome.
And I don’t know about you, but interviews for me are like the best part of my week. Yes. So I am so excited to do them. I love it so much.
It is for me too, thank you so much. Where is the best place for everyone to find.
If you wanna check out the podcast, it’s The Secrets of Supermom Show and then secrets of supermom.com is where you can find literally everything, the book, the podcast, the links to Instagram and Facebook, which are Secrets of Supermom.
That’s the best place to be. I love that name by the way. It sounds so great when you say it. Secrets of Supermom. I love it.
You find all the things Yes you need. Yes, and we all need the things for sure. I know we do. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you so much, Lori, for being here and we will put all of your links in the show notes.