Stuck In A Productivity Rut? Here's How To Get Out Of It

Stuck In A Productivity Rut? Here's How To Get Out Of It

Single mom and business owner Heather Craik shares her Small Stackable Wins Method for generating momentum and getting shit done. 

We’ve all been there. You know, the nights where you’ve finally shuffled the kids off to bed, silence descends, and you slip back into your living room. Or trudge. Or tip-toe if light sleepers demand it. 

Only to be met with carnage, yet again, and the (crushing) weight of everything you haven’t done. 

You made it through the day, but you have Dreams. Dreams that choose that exact moment to pipe up and remind you that you’ve been ignoring them a little (read: entirely) lately. Dreams you imagine blowing away and spiralling out of reach like the bubbles you blew earlier. 

And then, faced with that, on a good day you sigh and tidy up. On a bad one? You ignore it, grab some junky something to munch, and flick on the tv. 

No judgement. But wouldn’t you like a hand up?

Hi, my name is Heather, and I am a single Mom with a business. That living room in the photo? Mine, on any given weeknight as soon as I get my toddler down to sleep. In the trenches, just like you, and I have a couple tips that may save your sanity. 


Motivation will not help us in this situation, we’re already running on near empty. What we really need, is momentum. This is the same exercise I use to kick-start that any time I’m feeling the overwhelm threaten to swamp me. 

The Small Stackable Wins Method

  1. Grab yourself a new document or piece of paper, if analog is your thing. 
  2. Write a quick sentence at the very top stating whatever the main thing you’re trying to achieve is. Often, for me, this is business related but it can be used for life stuff too. 
  3. Don’t overthink this next bit; Write down in bullet points every little thing you can think of preventing you from reaching that goal. No matter how small or ‘silly’.
  4. Seriously, make sure you cover all the main areas of pressure on your goal. Environmental, Mental, Emotional, Training gaps, Money, little irritating things that annoy you and distract you, Time issues, Mindset, anything you can come up with - all of it.

Now stop. 

Take a breather, get a coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate, or hot blackcurrant, or fill-your-blank). Relax and ignore your page for just a little while.

  1. When you’re ready, go back down the list, bullet point by bullet point, and write yourself a response with a solution. 
  2. Those solutions that will take less than five minutes to do? Zip through them now.
  3. Feel that sparkling glimmer of momentum returning? Use it to do the ones on your list that will take less than 15 minutes to complete. 
  4. With the action points left, take a moment to map them onto your schedule. Step by step, when you know you can handle them (and make them reeeeeaaaaaally small steps). 
  5. You took measurable steps towards what you really want today. Celebrate!

With your newly budded momentum, keep moving forward in little steps every time you get the chance. Any step forward is a good step, even if it’s as simple as taking five minutes to clear up your living space so you can breathe. And now? You have a PLAN for the rest. 

And it took you less than an hour. 

If you’re as driven and passionate and generally awesome as I think you are? This is gold. 


Our job is already tough-- worthwhile, wonderful, and irreplaceable, but tough. Let’s not make it worse by letting all this extra stuff cloud out our own dreams. You’ve got this. 

 

Heather Craik, single Mum to a toddler, runs Designmancy - the people you call when your WordPress website isn't quite doing its job.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence

I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.