Ok, it’s 9am and I am sitting at my desk at work reading through today’s emails. The person next to me is yawning as they sip on their latte, crunch on their toast and complain about how tired they are, how much work they have and the fact that they don’t know where to start. They haven’t even logged on yet—in fact I think they may have only been awake for about 20 minutes and achieved only a shower and navigating public transport!
In fact there is much more than 20 minutes of morning time before hitting the office—and that includes that public transport navigation (plenty of time for planning)! With three kids, a demanding career, a busy family life and a passion for family, friends and fitness I have learnt to use my time wisely, especially those precious hours when the sun itself is only starting to rise. And that’s when I find I can be most effective in my day.
My typical pre-9am morning (like today whilst my colleague has continually hit the snooze button and now snoozing in their latte) entailed a six-kilometre run, shower, blow-drying my hair, hanging out a load of washing, making four beds (a “tidyish” house is great for clarity of the mind), made three different breakfasts (different tastes and one with a food allergy), cleaned up from breakfast (see earlier note re a clean house equals a clean mind), loaded and turned on the dishwasher, packed bags, brushed teeth and hair (including a fancy Disney-inspired plait), fed the dog, and dropped three children off to daycare/school; all before arriving at the office to have a brief morning chat with colleagues and then logging on to start responding to emails (the best way I find to start the work day is allocate some morning email time).
You may think this morning regime is exhausting, but in fact it actually energises me and by 9am, I am firing on all cylinders and ready to plough through the list of actions I wrote yesterday before leaving work (yes that’s a big part of the plan). So how is this achievable and how do I find the motivation to be like this every day (well OK, most days)? I strive to be super efficient mum (SEM)! I plan what I have to do every single day in the most efficient way so as to be as productive as possible!
Let me firstly clarify here that you don’t have to be employed to be a SEM—many mothers don’t “officially engage in paid career work” however they do clock up the hours by managing the house, ferrying multiple kids (and often friends of kids) to activities, and volunteer—whether reading or tuckshop duty at the school or in other forms of community engagement.
So what is a SEM? She is a woman who has carefully planned and implemented a series of systems and processes that help her to be productive and efficient in her world—that is by accomplishing as much as possible with the least waste of time and effort. It may be an overused word, but the truth is, multitasking is key—wipe down the bathroom sink whilst brushing your teeth!
10 TIPS TO BEING SEM SAVVY
If you are reading this you are more than likely a super SEM with your own amazing routines in place, however I have a few tips that work for me that may help you further cement your SEM status.
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