There are so many great productivity tips out there. You can use your smartphone to help you manage your life and you can say "no" to more things. You can make changes in your workspace. But when you get pregnant, so much of that goes out of the window because your body changes in ways you can't anticipate.
When I got pregnant, I wasn't sure how my productivity would be affected. Now that I'm close to having my baby, I've realized just how much I've had to adapt over the last few months.
Here are five things my pregnancy has taught me about productivity.
1. You can do more than you thought was possible.
Before I got pregnant, I found myself nervous about the pregnancy itself and about how having a child would impact my career. Although there is a lot of talk out there about how a woman can't have a career and be a great mother, I'm realizing that it's all wrong.
My pregnancy has been on the harder side. I was very ill for 16 weeks and have suffered from pretty much every annoying pregnancy symptom you can imagine. For someone who is normally a hard-core, workout-loving business owner, my energy is everything to me.
What I discovered is that, because I love what I do, even at my lowest energy point I can still thrive. It might not look like my usual definition of thriving, but it's not far from it; it just feels really different. The bottom line: If you want to be a parent and have a career, it's possible; you just have to make sure that you absolutely love your work. My work kept me feeling better than I did because it means so much to me.
2. Taking time to rest is productive.
Taking a nap when you're tired is one of the best productivity hacks I've learned while pregnant. It seems obvious, but I know most people have trouble making time to rest. Great companies don't create nap rooms for nothing. Use them!
3. Women have more strength and resilience than they give themselves credit for.
According to The Confidence Code, women struggle with confidence more than men. It's clear to me as I enter into the journey of motherhood that women have more strength and resilience than we actively own. Ladies: If you can create a human, give birth, and survive the first year, you truly can do anything.
4. Always prioritize what is most important.
I have interviewed mothers for years, and they have all said having children increases their focus. I've found this to be true during my pregnancy, more because my energy is about half of what it is when I am not pregnant. Since I can't do everything I did before, I'm forced to only do what is really important. Anything peripheral is out the door. I know once the baby comes this will be reinforced time and time again. Focus is essential to great performance, so I welcome this lesson.
5. Managing a growing and changing body calls for creativity and innovation.
Having your body change on an ongoing basis calls for flexibility and creativity. Everything you normally can do is altered slightly. What this does is make you more adaptable and less rigid. In fact, I've found it's making me more innovative. It might not be easy, but it's going to serve me well during and after this pregnancy - at work and at home.
I know I'm going to learn even more lessons once the baby comes. For now I'm grateful for what I've discovered already, and I can't wait to see what comes next.