Build self-awareness by looking back on last year

Hey Mama! This is Robin Camarote with your Working Mom Tip of the Day.

You're probably thinking about next year right about now. Questions such as "What do I want? Where should I go? What should I do?" are bouncing around in between work and to-do list items.

Our problem isn't the goals themselves. Instead the mistakes we continue to make are the optimistic assumptions about how we're going to be different in working towards these goals. If we don't change anything about ourselves -- how we prioritize, manage time, and say yes or no to distractions -- we shouldn't expect different results. Knowing where we got stuck before can help us get unstuck in the future.

Looking back at last year, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What was harder than I thought it would be this year? Why?
  • What accomplishments did I make that I wasn't expecting?
  • What percent of my time this year was dedicated to day-to-day activities at work and home? How much time can I realistically devote to something new?
  • If I take on something new, what else can I take off my plate?

The answers will help you identify patterns and habits that are holding you back. Address these before diving into this year's goals.

Thanks for listening. You got this! For more, head over to my blog at robincamarote.com

Help your company give back to the community

Hey Mama! This is Robin Camarote with your Working Mom Tip of the Day.

According to a study by Randstad, 75 percent of employees want their company to participate in philanthropic activities. Corporate philanthropy makes people feel good about their employer and good about themselves for participating.

The first challenge is selecting a charitable organization to donate funds, goods, or time to. Narrowing down the options in a sea of worthwhile causes is tough. 

Then do your homework and ensure that the organization you select is, in fact, as great as it says it is. You can do this through referrals, site visits, or checking with CharityWatch.org from the American Institute of Philanthropy for ratings

Thanks for listening. You got this! For more, head over to my blog at robincamarote.com

Check the weather, plan your meals

Hey Mama! This is Robin Camarote with your Working Mom Tip of the Day.    

Check the weather, plan your meals    Creating a weekly meal plan cuts down on last minute decisions and stops at the grocery store. Dinner becomes one less thing to think about which, of course, saves time. I used to struggle with meal planning because I didn't know what I'd be in the mood to eat. What helps me now is a quick check of the 5-day weather forecast. Rain, sunshine, and temperature have a big impact on what I want to eat. For example, a lot of people like soup on chilly, rainy days. The weather will help narrow down your options and ensure you're not planning to grill-out during a downpour.

Thanks for listening. You got this! For more, head over to my blog at robincamarote.com
 

Create a home for your recipes

Hey Mama! This is Robin Camarote with your Working Mom Tip of the Day.    

Whether online or printed out and kept in a drawer, you need a simple system for keeping recipes. Create a repository of those you and your family loved and those you want to try. Lots of online recipe sites offer options. I use allrecipes.com because of the variety and less complicated dishes. However, for the stuff I make (or bake) most often, I print out a copy for super easy access.

Thanks for listening. You got this! For more, head over to my blog at robincamarote.com
 

Set aside 3 times per day to check email

Hey Mama! This is Robin Camarote with your Working Mom Tip of the Day.    

Set aside 3 times per day to check email    I often have all of my multiple email inboxes up and running throughout the day. It's distracting and takes time away from my most important tasks. I do this because I want people to know I'm there and think I'm responsive but this comes at a price. Instead of constantly reacting, I'm trying something else. I schedule 3 times a day to check email. Within about 30 minutes of starting my day, after lunch, and one hour before I plan to end for the day. If I can't quickly resolve the question or issue in the message, I'll schedule time for later in the week on my calendar to address it. This requires some self-discipline and a committment to put yourself first which is the hardest part for me. But limiting distractions is the only way to get focused blocks of time.

Thanks for listening. You got this! For more, head over to my blog at robincamarote.com
 

Notice when you're busyworking

Hey Mama! This is Robin Camarote with your Working Mom Tip of the Day.    

Doing first things first means knowing your priorities and working in that order. We all know this but still don't do it.  Get more aware about when you're going to easy, busy-work kind of tasks on your "to do" list instead of focusing on what's most important. Acknowledge to yourself what you're feeling when you do that. Are you avoiding something? For me, opting for busywork is often one way I avoid the fear and uncertainty associated with my more important goals. For today, the tip is to just be more aware of when you're doing this by asking yourself, "Is this the most important thing for me to be doing right now?" each time you start a new task.

Thanks for listening. You got this! For more, head over to my blog at robincamarote.com
 

Get yourself unstuck

Hey Mama! This is Robin Camarote with your Working Mom Tip of the Day.    

Get unstuck    We all know the feeling of being stuck and unable to make progress on a big goal or project. When you're stuck, it's the goal telling you that the first step isn't clear. Take another look and find the most obvious, do-able first step you can take to get started and do it. Then repeat this exercise the next day and the next. Achieving any big goal is just the accumulation of hundreds or thousands of small actions done consistently over time.

Thanks for listening. You got this! For more, head over to my blog at robincamarote.com
 

Pick yourself up

Hey Mama! This is Robin Camarote with your Working Mom Tip of the Day.    

pick yourself up working mom tip of the day on alexa.png

Pick yourself up and start again. Outright failure is less of an issue for me than my loss of motivation. I start and stop too many projects to count. When this happens, we have to reconnect with what matters and what we're trying to accomplish. This quote from Maya Angelou makes sense to me. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Let's start again.

Thanks for listening. You got this! For more, head over to my blog at robincamarote.com