Productivity 2.0: Getting My Life Back in Order

by Barb on February 15, 2013

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As a work-at-home mom, my most productive days are a balance between work and family. Sometimes the balance tips in favor of family; sometimes it tips in favor of work. To me, productivity for the work-at-home mom is understanding that we won’t be able to do it all every single day. We are going to go through challenging periods where we see all our plates crashing down. I’ve had it happen quite a few times.

[P]roductivity is a priority and it is all about bringing in peace, balance, and worth into your life as a work-at-home mom. (Productivity 2.0)

Ebook Review Productivity 2.0 by The Mom Writes

This school year, I’m struggling with balancing my writing/blogging, volunteering, running, and running our home and family of 5 kids. I’m a fairly organized and disciplined person though I’ve known for some time my current organizational system isn’t working well enough. My house has been dirtier than I’ve liked; we’ve run out of items at the grocery store; my fall rushed by between blogging, volunteering, and the kids’ schoolwork.

Productivity is an understanding of how to take control of time {and not be in control of it!}.

(Productivity 2.0)


This past fall, I tweaked a few things with the help of Mom of 6′s Boot Camp. Then, I tweaked a bit more. Still, I’m not satisfied.

I don’t feel like I have a handle on my time and priorities. Or the cleaning. Maybe the relationships. The bigger picture.

Productivity 2.0: Not Being Organized Enough is Too Painful

My husband and I argued about how things were going, then we settled into a series of serious discussions about our stresses and how to handle them. We started thinking about what we could change to reduce the stress of a family of 5 kids. I thought about my goal to turn my blogging into an income stream this year.

Productivity 2.0

Then, I read Prerna’s new book, Productivity 2.0. I’ve been an avid reader of her site, The Mom Writes, for awhile. I chat with her on Facebook from time to time. I’ve read her guest posts on Life as Mom, another favorite site of mine. I was drawn to her cheerful, organized way of handling her business as a mom who works from home.

Productivity 2.0 pulls together Prerna’s approach to being a mom and business owner into one complete package of 40 pages. With an initial review of 3 to 5 areas in our lives that are suffering, the next step is to figure out the most productive peak times for our work at home. Some moms can get the majority of their work done for a few hours in the morning before the kids get up. Others find the evening hours after everyone’s in bed to be their peak time. Some have their own unique combination.

Once you’ve done your review, Prerna walks you through setting up systems for your business and home. Her advice is simple: Choose the tools that work for you. They need to be simple and minimal. If you are controlled by the tool, the tool isn’t working for you. Try the tool for 2 weeks before making a decision or tweaking your use of the tool. At the end of the book, Prerna includes a daily planner, weekly planner, along with her favorite tools, links to more tips on her website.

I put together systems and routines, schedules and plans, streamlined processes, and made life organized and easier for everyone to follow. (Productivity 2.0)

My Takeaways from Productivity 2.0

Daily Task List

I need to have one list for blogging and one for the homekeeping.

Home Organization

  • While I’ve made some changes to help parts of my day run smoother, I haven’t conquered issues with my current system.
  • I’m not spending time planning as a team with husband – we’re working on this with a weekly time Thursday nights.
  • I’m not cleaning as well as I would like. We’re going to institute a family cleaning hour every Saturday.
  • I’m not using the kids help in doing chores. This isn’t quite true. I just need to use all 5 kids more often.
  • My menu planning is helping, however, I need to get some batch cooking/freezer cooking done to have meals ready/prepped in the freezer.
  • While I’m using Evernote and Nozbe to track and plan a lot of stuff, I’m not using anything for the homekeeping. I’ve decided to go back to a paper planner for homekeeping. One step at a time.

Schedule my day

  • Using a timer helps me focus.
  • Working in Evernote on my writing projects ensures my work is saved automatically and prevents me from lingering on Facebook.
  • I think I may move towards 2 longer days of writing at home and taking advantage of the after school care offered at my children’s school.

The biggest takeaway: I need to be crystal clear about my priorities.

If I want to bring in extra income writing and blogging, I need to limit my free work and limit my volunteering.

As I create a new home management planner, I’ll be posting updates and sharing my lists and resources.


Disclosure: I am an affiliate of The Mom Writes eBooks and Nozbe Affiliate, which means I’ll earn a small commission from any sales made through these links.

Meet Barb

Barb Hoyer has written 3939 posts.

After working in the fundraising world for over ten years, Barb is an avid runner, writer, photographer, parent volunteer, and lover of dictionaries and thesauruses. Wife to an engineer and mom to 5 kids, Barb lives in the suburbs of Philly. Her idea of relaxation is an afternoon on the couch with a stack of books.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Steph February 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I think I need a productivity coach. Or someone to hand me a schedule and some checklists and say get to work!
Steph recently posted..Quaker Hearth Health


Barb February 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Paging Darla!


Alissa February 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Great post, Barb! Sounds like a book I could stand to read, too! Thanks for the recommendation.
Alissa recently posted..Game Night Love List #ShareTheLove #DietPepsi


Carrie February 15, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I’m with Steph. I feel like I start to get the handle of a schedule with something and then if I miss a day or two, I’m overwhelmed. I also am raising 3 kids – 5 and under – and never have a moment when I don’t have at least one awake. Mornings are terrible but evenings after bedtime I can get work done… if I stay off facebook!
Carrie recently posted..Allergy Friendly Friday: Nacho Bar!


Becky February 15, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Bravo to you for taking a step back to reflect and think about what you need to do to move forward. I am getting back to paper too and I am trying to stop checking my email on my phone so that I don’t miss things.
Becky recently posted..TV Free Friday: Great Backyard Bird Count


Jayne February 16, 2013 at 8:00 am

I happened by your blog, and just never realized what it would be like to spend time on the computer AND raise a family! There was no such thing as blogging and Facebook when I was raising a family. The computer can be such a time suck, and I always found my days too short back then. I admire your taking the bull by the horns to get it all under control!


Sheila February 16, 2013 at 11:36 am

I’m helping a friend for 11 weeks and I need to be more organized. I will start a to do list today. Making money with a blog is a full time job, for sure.
Sheila recently posted..A Baby Boot-Camp for Beginners


Barb February 17, 2013 at 6:23 am

I think I have a paper planner to handle the blogging basics, and with ListPlanIt lists, I’m getting the home management binder together. However, I just realized my goal of monetizing my blogging doesn’t have a clear cut plan or lists. Time to make the plan and work it!


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