Sometimes getting up and getting started with the day is a challenge. The bed feels so good and you start to think about all of the things you have to do and decide to sleep for a few more minutes. Next thing you know, you’ve overslept and are late for work. This leads to a spiral that can send your day down into the dumps.
Having a productive day doesn’t necessarily require you to wake up super early in the morning. But there are a few things that need to happen to ensure your day goes well and you tackle the to-do list.
I brought my friends and productivity fairy godmother, Holly Haynes to share her secrets of how she stays productive. As a wife and mom of twins that work full time AND have a full-time coaching business, I think she knows a thing or two that can help us out with our productivity.
In this episode Holly shares:
- How to structure your day efficiently so that you actually are able to get what you need to be done without it being overwhelming.
- Why you need a morning routine and what to include in your morning routine to help you have a productive day.
- Her method to determining what you need to tackle first on your to-do list
If you need a little magic from the productivity fairy godmother, make sure to check out the full episode.
Holly helps female entrepreneurs take back control of their time with proven productivity techniques, systems, and structure to create a strategy that scales long term. An industry expert, host of the Crush the Rush Podcast and featured Thrive author with a 20-year business consulting background with Fortune 500 companies, Holly runs her strategic coaching business and the Crush the Rush planner company while raising her twin daughters with her husband in addition to working for a non-profit in Columbus, Ohio.
Connect with Holly
- Website: www.hollymariehaynes.com
- Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/crushtherush
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/holly_marie_haynes
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/holly_marie_haynes
- Freebie: https://bit.ly/SideHustleStrategyStarterKit
Links Mentioned in This Episode
- 5 AM Club (affiliate link)
- Think Up App
- Crush the Rush Podcast
- Productivity Quiz
- Instagram: @holly_marie_haynes
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Related Blog Posts
- Productivity Tips You Need to Get More Done
- How to Increase Your Productivity and Make Time for Yourself
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Transcript of This Episode
Real Happy Mom 0:03
You are listening to the Real Happy Mom podcast, the weekly podcast with busy working moms to get inspiration and personal practical tips. My name is Dan, and you are listening to Episode 152. Welcome back to another episode of the Happy Mom Podcast. I am so happy you joined me today, I’m always excited to be behind the mic and talking to you. So thank you, thank you for taking time out to listen to the podcast. And thank you especially to those who have been listening for a very long time now because it is it’s been three years, not three consistent years, but three years of the Real Happy Mom bug guess. And it’s been a lot of fun. And one thing that I have found is being more consistent, and then finding ways to make sure that I’m staying more productive. Because if you’re anything like me, you probably heard the quote that. You know, we all have the same 24 hours in the day. And it is true, but how we manage those hours and that time that we have is so so crucial. And that is what I wanted to share with you in this episode today. So I brought my guests Holly Haynes on. She is a phenomenal lady and she calls herself the productivity Fairy Godmother and she is going to be helping us all out with how we can just do better about our time, but in particular, how we can focus on the things that actually matter. So in this episode, Holly shares with us how she really uncovered how to get more productive with her days through one book, which you’ll learn about in this episode, and how she has structured her morning routine so that she is ready for the day and ready to get things going. As well as being more efficient and more productive. She also shares how she pairs different tasks with some of the other fun things that she likes to do. In particular, listen to podcasts, because let’s just be honest, a lot of us don’t have time to just sit down and just listen to podcasts all day. But when you pair it with other tasks, you can definitely listen to quite a few because there’s always laundry always something to clean. And that takes time. So this is why having a Real Happy Mom podcast in your ear is definitely helpful. Now, Holly, now we talk a little bit more about how we definitely do better with structuring and focusing on the things that really matter for the day. And she talks about the cake method, which is sounds really, really delicious. I know. And it is really helpful. And then lastly, she shares with us how she prioritizes so that she’s actually doing the things that actually matter. So if you are in need of some ways that you can do better, with being more productive, being more focused, this is the episode for you. Because Holly is a busy Mama, who’s working a full time job, got a coaching business, got twins, family homeschool, all the things, and she is definitely one and very qualified to help us out with being more productive. So before we jump into our episode for today, I just wanted to make sure that you know about the Real Happy Mom Facebook community. Now I know I’ve talked a lot about staying off of social media. But if you are on Facebook, you definitely want to be in this Facebook group. Because this Facebook group will be like the after party to the podcast, we’re going to be talking about some of the things that are going on on the podcast, having more discussions offline, as well as getting some more of the inspiration and encouragement that you need to be an awesome mom. And then lastly, we have monthly trainings where I show you how to use Trello, which is a product management tool that you can use to really help you with being more efficient, be more organized, just tackling things that you didn’t think that you could with a really simple tool. So in those trainings, I’m showing you how to create Trello boards, just basically to do different things. There has been one training where I showed how to do a meal plan and create a plan for the menu for the week. Another time I showed a home management binder that you could create using Trello lots of different things that you can do not necessarily for business but also for running your home. So you definitely want to join me over there in the Facebook group. Head over to Happy Mom comm slash community and you can join me there. Alright, I want to see your face. I want to talk to you. So definitely join me over there so we can have some more fun now. We’ve got that out of the way. Let’s go ahead and jump on into this week’s episode.
Real Happy Mom 4:52
All right. Well, Holly, welcome to the podcast. I’m excited to have you.
Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.
Real Happy Mom 5:00
Yes, yes, I am super pumped to talk to you because you are I want to consider you like one of my time management productivity sisters out here. So, I’m excited to finally talk to you today. But before we jump into our topic, I just want you to share a little bit about you and what you do.
Yeah, so my name is Holly Haines and I am from Columbus, Ohio, I work full time. For a nonprofit, I have a 20 year corporate strategy background. And I also have a full time strategic coaching business, along with twins family, all the things that came this year with homeschooling. And so I like to call myself a productivity fairy godmother. But my goal is really to take all of the information that I have learned, helping fortune 500 companies over the last 20 years consulting and apply it to women owned businesses so that you can see the results that you want to see without burnout without anxiety without overwhelm. I promise you, there is a way to do it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. But I have come up with a method and a system that works for our family, which really helps us achieve that I think time freedom that everyone is looking for when they start a business, but they end up getting like so overwhelmed that they quit. And so I really want to make sure that you guys are doing what you love in a way that is sustainable. So that’s what I do.
Real Happy Mom 6:31
Yeah, it says I love it. And I love their productivity fairy godmother. I love that name. Thank you. Yes. Now, being that you are the productivity fairy godmother. I know that morning times are definitely really important, at least for us moms, because I feel like that kind of starts our days. So I’m just wondering, what are some of the things that you do to structure your day so that you’re more efficient, and actually get things done that needs to be done without it being too overwhelming?
Yeah, so I will say the book that changed the game for me on routine is the 5am Club, I’m not going to say that you have to get up at 5am. Because not every person is a morning person. But what I will say is how you start your day, and if you start your day with intention will make a huge difference. So for me, the 5am Club book resonated the most because it’s based on scientific data, of how much sleep you get and what you do when you wake up so that you’re setting yourself up for success for the day. So I really took that. And then I sort of like, flipped it into my own method that works with a family and you know, all the things that happen in the morning when you’re a busy mom. So I will tell you that my number one tip, aside from making sure that you get enough sleep, which is probably a whole nother episode is wake up without distractions. So most people, I would say, you know, 95% of my clients, when I start working with them, they’re like, I just get up and I start checking social media. What that does is that letting somebody else control how you start your day, so you could log in to let’s say, Instagram and get this really motivating quote, and it could be amazing. But you could also log in and see like this, you know, picture that makes you feel kind of icky about yourself. And then you’re like starting your day with this, like awful feeling. So my my number one tip is wake up without distractions, and do something for yourself. So for me personally, I listen to affirmations, I actually use the think up app, it’s totally free, it will write affirmations out for you. I hit play on this app, while I brush my teeth and empty the dishwasher. Now it sounds like a ridiculous thing. But that’s just it’s just the way to start my day with positivity. I’m not letting someone else control how you know, we’re going to go through the day. And then the next thing that I do is really think about, okay, what do I need to be most efficient with. So along with not checking my messages or logging on Instagram, I typically will journal and get some additional motivation, and then I will dig in to my business activities. Now, the reason that I do this is one because I also work full time, but to I’ve been able to grow my business to six figures in 15 months by really focusing on you know, one hour at a time every single morning. So, tip number one, wake up without distractions. Tip number two, be efficient with your morning routine. Even if you don’t have a business like What’s that one thing that you really want to get done for the day. So maybe it’s a workout, maybe it’s reading a book, maybe Doing something for yourself. Or maybe it’s, you know, doing a chore that like, you just haven’t been able to get done forever, and it would feel amazing to get it off your list. So I really sort of use my morning to work for me. So by you know, eight o’clock, I’ve done that one thing that’s going to set my day up for success. And I’ve also loaded my day up with motivation, if that makes sense.
Real Happy Mom 10:24
Yeah, definitely. And I’m loving all of these steps that you’ve got, and especially where you’re saying, I’m focusing on one hour at a time, because I think a lot of times what makes it so overwhelming as we’re looking at like, Oh, yeah, we got to do. So I like that focus. Now I know that you’ve gotten things started, as far as you know, waking up without distraction. You’ve been, I’m using the think of app journaling, getting some motivation, that kind of thing. But I’m wondering, what do you do next? Or how do you structure your day? from there so that you are actually working on the things that actually matter? Because let me just be real with you, Holly? Is all these people out there that tell you Oh, you need to be on social media. I need to be doing this on clubhouse, like, how do you kind of like weed through the noise and focus on what’s really going to help you move forward? Well, I
will say one side note, I’m not on clubhouse, because it’s a huge time suck for me like I don’t I just don’t have an hour to sit and listen to conversations for. And I think this is probably like a bonus side tip. And then I’ll answer your question is, I listen to podcasts, because I can listen to a podcast while I clean house or get ready or whatever that is, and I’m sure you could do that with clubhouse as well. But I try to pair things with other tasks, right. So like, if you’re folding laundry, you can listen to a podcast, if you’re, you know, on a walk, you could listen to a podcast. So side note about that. But I think you know, to answer your question, you have to know what you want. So there are two things that I do to go into my day to know that I’m focusing on the right things. The first thing that I do is the night before, so let’s just go through a, you know, an example. So the night before, like you’re wrapping up your nine to five, or maybe you’re just finishing up for the day, I sit down and really think about like, Okay, what did I get done today? How did it go? And what do I have to get done tomorrow? And then I time block the next day. And I know you’re a huge fan of time blocking, and everyone talks about time blocking, which is amazing. And I live and die by it. But are you time blocking the right thing? So as an example, maybe you set aside business hours. So you have you know, from six to seven, you’re going to work on your business, and you’re like, Okay, I’ve time blocked, and I’m good to go. But what exactly are you doing during that hour. So as an example, for me, like I probably should be thinking about the next strategic step to bring in income instead of spending an hour building a Canva picture, if that makes sense. A lot of people will do busy work, because it feels like they’re working. But it might not be the next step that’s going to move the needle. So by thinking about it the night before, and really saying like, Hey, what’s my goal this week? Where am I at? And what do I have to do? If I have 30 minutes tomorrow, that’s really going to help me take that next step, it’s probably not spending 30 minutes making a beautiful Canva template, it might be if you have like a big launch coming up. It’s probably like engaging with ideal clients, and, you know, whatever those those steps might look like, which are sometimes not what we want to be doing. And so it’s getting really specific in those time blocks. And so instead of saying, like, Okay, my business hours are going to be from six to seven, I’m going to work on my business, it’s saying, Okay, the first 10 minutes, I’m going to answer all of my emails, the second 20 minutes, I’m going to engage with my ideal clients, and the third 10 minutes, I’m going to research some new hashtags, so that my, you know, posts get seen more on Instagram, whatever that looks like. But the theory is that you’re you’re much more specific. So I do that. And then the other thing that I do is I use this method, which I call the cake method. Now this is really fun. It’s really easy to remember I did not make this up, but it seems to stick. So I think of my day as a three layer cake. Everything else is sprinkles, which is kind of fun, right? Like who doesn’t want to think about cake every day. So when you’re thinking through what you need to get done for the next day, think of three things that you absolutely have to get done. One for me personally is typically business related. Another is usually nine to five for my corporate job and then another one is usually personal or family related. So you’ll notice that only one of them is related to my business and the other are related to other sort of pillars of my life. So I think about before I head into the next day, what are the three things that I absolutely have to get done. If I’m a list person, which I’m sure some of you are, and you have like a list of 10 things, just put them on sprinkles list. And I literally call it sprinkles. And it’s just like a brain dump of all the other things that I want to get done. But what happens is, is every day, if you’re consistent with getting three things done, you’re going to see faster results, because you’re not going to get overwhelmed. Because your list is like 50 things. If you happen to have more time, you have now a plan of all the other things that you want to get done. But if you get them done, you’re gonna feel amazing, because you’re like, Oh, I just crossed off all my things. Now I have some free time, I have some whitespace, I can go for a walk, I can play with my kids. And you have this like breath of fresh air, which typically for me, helps me do even more, because I’m creating more whitespace and more downtime. So the power of three has, you know, you know, I think been proven and research of being a great number in terms of things to do for a list. But having that very specific intention with time blocks, and then knowing like, Hey, I’m gonna do these three things today. And if I get them done, I’m gonna take a break. And if I happen to have some extra energy, I might do more, but knowing that you don’t have to. And the cool part is if you think of it as a cake, right, so if you have a four or five layer cake, like and you eat that every day, you’re just going to get really full, it might fall over, like it’s too big. But if you have a three layer cake, it you know, it sits up straight, you can decorate it, it looks really nice. You can consistently, you know, continue that every day. So if you’re having a day where you’re like, I just have to get four things done. That’s okay. But the next day just have a smaller piece, right? Just have two layers, so that you can make up and and really incorporate that downtime. And whitespace, if that makes sense.
Real Happy Mom 16:59
Yeah, definitely, I am a huge advocate of three things because I have talked about it before how I use a particular planner, it’s the still planner, and on there it says your top three things to do. And then it has your secondary list. So it’s kind of the same thing, but not as it doesn’t sound as nice and tasty and delicious as yours.
Yeah, it’s simple, right? Like, a huge fan of keeping it simple. So if you are like overwhelmed, and you’re like I just don’t know how to do this, like, Okay, what are your three things for today? Start with that, and then back it up like tomorrow? Can you plan those three things the night before? And then you know, as a bonus, can you really think about how you want to intentionally spend your morning?
Real Happy Mom 17:41
Yeah, definitely. No, I’m just wondering, you know, you mentioned having just three things, but what if we’re struggling to figure out, you know, what is the real important things, because I think a lot of times, like prioritizing things can be a little bit challenging. So I was just wondering what your thoughts were on that on how we could do better about focusing on what really matters, and what’s really gonna move the needle.
Yeah, so I teach this to my clients. And what we do is we come up with what we call our personal pillars. And so most people have three or four personal pillars. And these are like just really important buckets that you’re working out of like as you go through life and your your day to day. So like personal pillars for me would be like just personal wellness, and mindset, my business, my career, my family, those are those are four. So those are the ones that I usually pull from each week, like at the end of the week, or beginning of the week, I will pick one goal from each one of those pillars. So I will have like one goal for my nine to five, like I have a big executive meeting next week. And so like if I’m looking at my list right now, like that’s my one goal for the week. And then like from a family perspective, we’re just coming up off of a holiday weekend. This is our first like, big week where we’re all sort of back on a normal schedule. And so our goal as a family was to, you know, be consistent with schedule and then find some time to celebrate, like, you know, as a family and do things together on the weekend. So you can see, like, each pillar has its own goal. And then at the end of each day, like I talked about, I look at those goals, and I say like, Hey, where am I at with this? Like, have we done this? Or like, did I even start that presentation that I’m supposed to be doing and then that helps me sort of dial it back in. Of course there are like a million other things that I could be working on. But knowing sort of that, that one thing at the beginning of the week for each of your your pillars really helps you sort of find that focus. It doesn’t mean that you can’t like brainstorm or write other ideas down but it really helps you dial it in when you’re trying to plan like your day to day activities.
Real Happy Mom 20:00
Yeah, definitely. And I like how you’re saying the pillars and just focus in on one thing on each one. So that definitely helps me to at least narrow the focus in so I’m not looking at all the things. So I really like that one.
Yeah, I think, you know, so often, people have like 20 or 30 pillars, like, they’re like, Oh, I’m gonna, like, volunteer for the PTO, and I’m gonna, you know, try to work out every day. And I’m gonna be an amazing cook. And like, I’m not saying that you can’t do all of that. But you have to dial it in so that you can see results in some of them. And then once you see those results, you can move on to the other one. So really thinking about like, what’s your one goal for the week for each of those categories? will then help you write your cake items each day as you go through the week?
Real Happy Mom 20:52
Yes, Got it. Got it. Now, Holly, the one thing that I really wanted to know is like, you’re like me, you got a lot of things going on, as far as work and business and family and all those things. So I’m just wondering if it was like, one thing that you can think of that really, really helps you to kind of keep from feeling like you’re just a hot mess, mom, and everything’s all overwhelmed. Your house is burning down that kind of feeling? What is the one thing that you would say that like, really helps you to keep it all together?
Um, you know, I will say, lately, it’s been spending less time on social media, which, if you look at my Instagram, you’re probably like, well, how’s that possible, but I tend to compare a lot like I’m an enneagram, three. And so I always want to, like, have everything checked off the list. And I want, like, if somebody tells me to do something I’m going to follow through. And if I see somebody else doing it, I’m like, Oh, I need to do that, too. Like, I’m always striving for that, like, next thing. And so for me, like, it’s, I need that whitespace, I need the like, like, I as an example, on Saturdays, I will time block literally from 10 to 8pm, like 10am to 8pm. or whenever I go to bed, and I don’t have anything planned, doesn’t mean that I’m not doing anything. But it’s like that free space and whitespace I don’t get on social media, I actually share with my followers, like, Hey, I’m gonna take a break. I’ll see you on Monday. And it just kind of gives my brain like a break, if that makes sense. So that I’m not comparing I’m not worrying about like, what I have to post did I share that story? Like, where am I at, like, Oh, my gosh, their house was so clean, and mine’s not. Like it makes it just makes such a big difference. So I would say, number one is social media. And then number two, I’ve really been digging in to affirmations and mindset, sort of resetting lately, which I used to think was kind of like a joke. I was like, really? Like, how am I going to start a business by focusing on mindset? Or like, how am I going to feel better about myself by writing down like 10 affirmations a day. But it’s, it’s really, truly helped. And I think it goes back to that morning routine where, you know, you’re starting your day with how you want to start it, right. So I’m loading myself up with motivation. I’m listening to podcasts, I’m repeating my goals, I’m revisiting my goals. I’m reminding myself, you know, that I can do all of these things. And that really helps me sort of like, keep my head on straight as the day goes on. I know you asked for one thing. The two that
Real Happy Mom 23:42
no, no, no, this was great. This is great. Because Yeah, social media. I love it. And at the same time, I hate it. So I’m definitely with you on that one. And I am the exact same way as far as comparing myself. I have to catch myself all the time. But you know, the thing that has been helping me Hollywood is like, when I catch myself like comparing myself or like getting like kind of jealous or envious. I’m like, like, what is it that I’m like, feeling like envious about like, Is it because her house clean? Do I want my house clean? Like maybe I should go clean my house? Right? cuz she’s getting in. I’m not like, maybe I should stop eating all these cookies all the time. Yeah, so it’s like, I have to like check myself and be like, okay, like, what is it that you actually want it that you’re like, you know, getting kind of envious about so I’ve been doing that a lot too. But yeah, that mindset work. Oh, Holly. Yeah, that’s another episode. That’s like, real true stuff right there. Like it really does change things. So I’m glad you brought that up. And yes, we’re gonna have to make another podcast episode for that one.
Like I said, I didn’t believe it at first because I’m such a Dewar and like a hustler. And I’m like, well just give me the thing. Like, I’ll get it done. But like, in reality, it’s almost like doing less but doing it with more intention. And then creating that, like creative space where you actually like it. You know, as a busy mom with twins and all the things like, I used to never have a half hour to myself, and now I’m like, my morning routine is like 90 minutes to myself now and it has like changed the game. And it doesn’t make sense on paper, but it makes such a huge difference.
Real Happy Mom 25:17
Yes, definitely. Now Holly, before we sign off, I just wanted to share either some words of encouragement or a motivational quote before we signed off.
Yeah, so I love I am such a huge motivational quote, fan. And I’ll give you guys a tip when you’re thinking about like your morning routine. When I am on Instagram, and I do see like a good quote or something, I actually save it to a folder that says motivation. So when I’m like, ah, I don’t know if I can do it, I’ll like open that folder. And it will have like, all those these amazing quotes. So if you need a little bonus, and you happen to get on your phone, then you can look at that folder. But one of my favorites is strength grows in moments where you can’t go on, but you keep going anyways. And I actually have it behind me on my desk, because, you know, I, I talk a lot about consistency with my clients and on my podcast. And there’s this, this fact that you know, 1% of listeners or readers will actually do what you’re talking about, like 1%, that’s like nothing. So if you’re really thinking about like, how do I get ahead or, you know, this, this woman is doing the same thing I’m doing like, why should I do it too, most of the time, your competition is not going to be consistent. So if you take one thing away from this episode, and you actually follow through with it, you are already guaranteeing yourself success because most people won’t. And so I really tried to like, stick that in my head and say like consistency will win. Every time I have to show up. And I’m going to show up. And you know, this is how we’re going to do it. So that’s my quote.
Real Happy Mom 27:05
Yes, I love it. And I love the thoughts that you gave behind that one, because that was that’s really, really good. And I appreciate it. So Holly, thank you. Thank you for coming on. Thank you for sharing all these gems with us, and really helping us to get focused and a lot more productive. So I’m just wondering if there is anyone that’s listening to this, like, I want to hear more about Holly what she’s got going on? Want to connect with you online? Where can we find you? Yeah, so
the best place to find me is on Instagram. It’s at Holly underscore Marie underscore Haynes, or you can check out my podcast called crush the rush. And so I talk a lot about all these techniques, plus some business strategy tips mixed in and I have a productivity quiz that you can actually take and it will tell you if you’re like a procrastinating Patty, or a scrolling Sally or an overthinking Olivia and it will give you curated tips and strategy tips to help you so you can grab that on Instagram, or listen to the podcast for more
Real Happy Mom 28:11
awesome awesome and I will make sure to include all of those links in the show notes. So Holly, thank you again for coming. And yes, I really really enjoyed you and everything that you had to share. Yeah, thank you so much. Now that does it for this episode of the Real Happy Mom podcast to find the links in the show notes head on over to Real Happy Mom comm slash 152. There you’ll find all of the information that was mentioned in this episode as well as a cliff note version to help you out if you need more information. And do me a favor if you found this podcast episode helpful leave me a five star rating and review in Apple podcasts. This helps me out more than you know and I will be so so grateful and superduper happy because I love to see when you lead these reviews because it lets me know that this is actually helpful and this is actually the information that you are wanting. So do me a favor. If you found it helpful. Let me know by leaving that review or send me a DM on Instagram at Real Happy Mom. I’d love to hear from you. Now that’s it for another episode, take care and with lots of love