International Women’s Day is coming up and we just passed the leap year day! As you know, I am all about sharing stories of women who have touched our lives and has served a purpose and inspiration to others.
In January, you have read the post “It’s not hard to be real: Tips from the R.E.A.L Biz Mom Founder” followed by our February Feature: “Top Tips and Tricks from the Author of Bedtime: the Ultimate Battle”.
What is MomStar of the Month all about?
MomStar of the Month shares inspirational stories of women, no matter what background, ethnicity or race; has a great career or not, is a first-time mom or not, it doesn’t matter.
Any Mom is a star in her own ways and with these stories, we share the journey of moms who aim to inspire others and transform lives with a purpose.
We highlight different women in our society, with their spirit to motivate others. A unique opportunity for all of us to hear and understand how these Moms learned how to flourish and balance their lives in today’s overwhelming world.
In today’s post, we have Nici Brooks, the Founder of Sassy, Smart, and Simple, who will share to us her secrets of organization and productivity.
Being the mom that we are, we oftentimes feel overwhelmed and we don’t know where to start. There’s just a lot of things to consider.
That’s why Nici is here with us to share her Top Productivity Tips and reveal her secrets so we can make time to what matters most!
Here it is.
1. Tell us about yourself (ex: Family, Children, Profession/ Background, what do you do, etc)
I am a mother of two young children (4 and under), a wife, a high school teacher, and athletic director. I have degrees in Biology and a Master’s in Sport Management.
My ultimate career goal has been to work in collegiate-level athletics.
I come from a very modest background, divorced parents, and became an adult really fast. But I believe every experience I’ve had helped create who I am today which is a really hardworking, responsible person and I care deeply about helping others because I know not everyone is as fortunate as I am.
2. As a Mom of 2, a full-time Athletic Director and Pinterest VA, how do you manage your day to day activities with your children?
I am a type-A routine OCD scheduling maniac.
Think about my professions…teaching is all about planning, and being an athletic director is ALL about scheduling, confirming and juggling fifty things at once. I took on the role of athletic director when I was 8 months pregnant with my first child and my husband thought I was nuts.
I believe I do a great job juggling it all because I work my tail off when I’m at work and I refuse to bring work home with me.
My time at home with my kids is precious. I don’t blog or VA when they are awake. I only do it when they are sleeping.
We have weekday routines and schedules which include work, and we have weekend routines and schedules (which are a bit more flexible), but it works for me and maximizes my time with my kids.
3. How did you start your blogging and Pinterest VA journey? What inspired you to start side-hustling and what keeps you going?
Initially, it was a desire to stay home with my children instead of having to go to work, and education is a very different field than I thought it was going to be.
Once I got into blogging I really enjoyed the creativity that I got to harness and really don’t care if it becomes a full-time job at this point, because I’m definitely at my maximum of things I can juggle.
In addition, I remember how overwhelmed I felt about being a new mom. I thought I could never do this job and raise decent humans.
Turns out I am not half bad at it and I think I did a lot of stuff right for my kids and my own sanity.
I wanted to help new moms navigate the world of new motherhood to help them not feel so scared or alone.
4. What do you think is the most rewarding part of being a working mom?
The most rewarding part of being a working mom is knowing that I can provide what I need for my family.
My mom raised me after the age of 12 and seeing a single mom work so hard to make ends meet I knew the only way I could get out of that rut she was in was to get educated and get a career.
I owe my entire life and everything I have to be career-focused for a short time in my life. I never thought I wanted children, but because of my career, I met my husband. And because of my husband, I realized that having children was not a curse on your career. I believe it has made me a better more empathetic teacher, and a better person in general.
I like myself a lot more now that I’m a mother than I ever did before then. And I did some cool stuff like play college sports.
5. Please leave us a message to all Moms who feel overwhelmed and provide us with some productivity tips.
Wow being a mom, in general, is overwhelming, but you just have to change your attitude about things, and not let the little problems get in your way.
I always say to my kids “is this a big problem or a little problem?” My daughter has never once said “Big Problem.”
So you too should look at the spilled juice, the dirty laundry, and all the other things that need your attention as little problems. Will the world stop spinning if you don’t get to it right this second? No, it probably won’t.
Here are my Best Productivity Tips:
1. Use a checklist
Do a brain dump at night and write a list for the next day. Put easy stuff on your checklist that you can check off stuff almost immediately because they’re that easy! Sometimes I jokingly put on my list “make checklist.” So when I’m done making my list, I get an easy checkbox to check!
2. Have systems in place that work for you.
Whether it is routine or schedule or organization. Find what works for you and run with it.
I absolutely love the fabric storage bins for organization. Not because they look good, but because they are so easy to dump stuff in and hide the clutter!
I am a stickler for my kids taking naps because that is part of our routine. I don’t make all day plans with anyone unless there is some way to sufficiently plan a nap for my kids.
So yes, I leave social events early for my kids’ naps or for bedtime. My husband thinks I’m nuts, but honestly, I’m the one who pays for it if they don’t sleep well (not him).
3. Purging Moments
Every now and then just go crazy and purge and declutter as much as you can. Sometimes you can only have enough time to do this in a small space (like a closet) but if you can go all out on the house, then do it.
When I get on a roll my family knows to stay out of my way. Throw on some music, have your significant other take the kids if they can, and purge purge purge!
The less stuff you have, the less clutter you’ll have.