Have you ever wondered how you can maximize your productivity during the summer? In this episode, Camille welcomes Lori Oberbroeckling, author of Secrets of Supermom, host of The Secrets of Supermom Show, and mentor who helps busy working moms beat burnout and stay happy and productive.
If you really are intentional about the way you’re thinking about your time, thinking about your tasks and planning them, you can really get a lot more done.
Lori shares how she found a balance in her corporate work, her side hustles, and motherhood. She also gives her recommendations on ways that you can maximize your time and energy during the summer so that you can avoid burnout. She also describes some of the activities you can do with your children at home depending on their age group.
Know your own energy, and then block your time around that because I think that that is a giant help.
If you’re looking for ways to make the best out of summer for you and your family, tune into this episode to hear Lori’s advice on how you can become a supermom during this season.
If you can put some of those routines and systems in place, even if they change from your normal school year systems and routines, that is going to set you up for just some nice consistency so that the fun stuff can be the fun stuff. The energizing stuff can be the energizing stuff.
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LORI OBERBROECKLING [0:00]
So, when I see those things, when I get those feelings, I know, all right, I need to step back. I need to think this out. I know that I’m letting it get to be too much.
CAMILLE WALKER [0:16]
So, you want to make an impact. You’re thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We’ll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. This is Camille Walker, your host. We’re talking about all things summer, how you can stay productive, how you can stay focused, but also have fun as a mom. We always look forward to summer as it is a time that we can take a seat back in the homework and the rush, but also keep our kids entertained enough that they’re not driving themselves or us crazy. Am I right?
Today, we are here with Lori Oberbroeckling. Did I say it right?
You got it. You did.
Oh my gosh. It’s the end of May. I feel like it’s such a struggle, but I’m so excited because Lori is here from Secrets of Supermom. And she’s so much fun and we’re going to have a discussion about this. She’s going to tell us about her past and we’re going to help you have an awesome summer. So, Lori, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for your patience with my mispronunciation. I think I got it. It just took me a jiff.
You did. Yes, I’m so happy to be here. So much fun, yes. And I’m excited to talk summer today because as we’re recording this, we are just into our first week of summer. So, our last day was 5 days ago of school. And so, we’re just finished out the weekend and here we are heading into the real deal of summer, so we’re ready.
That’s so great. So, tell our audience about you. What’s your background? That’s what we do around here. I want to hear about how you got to where you are now and then now what your project is for moving forward in your career.
Absolutely. So, I’m Lori. And I am a mom of four. My oldest is 12. My youngest is 5, and then I am also a wife, and then I am a corporate leader. I still work full-time in a corporate environment. And then right after the pandemic hit, I realized that moms were really, really struggling and so I said, “What can I do? How can I help?”
And I interviewed and surveyed almost 200 moms and I wrote the book Secrets of Supermom, so it shows 16 secrets ultimately is what we pulled together, 16 chapters, 16 secrets of things that the moms that were maybe not thriving but struggling a little bit less during the pandemic were doing differently than those of us that were really, really struggling and just some of the tips and tricks that they were using and some of the things that they were doing differently to make life a little bit easier. And so, it shares all of those. And that has turned into a podcast, so I have the Secrets of Supermom Show. It has turned into a program and a membership and just all of these exciting things to really support those high-achieving ambitious moms.
I don’t even know how to start with that. So, you’re in corporate. Tell us about what you’re doing in corporate and how did that translate into you sharing these secrets of moms? Does it correlate at all?
It doesn’t really. So, I’m in clinical research and I have been for almost 20 years, but I’ve been in my same company for almost 15 years. So, I have seen a lot of growth in the company that I’m at and done a lot of changes. And really just my day job requires a lot of logic, a lot of very tight budget and timeline management, a lot of very strict left brained type activities. And in my soul of souls, I need more.
And so, many years ago, I think in 2017 maybe, I started a photography business on the side. And so, you can see that creative piece needed to come out in a different way. And so, that helped me feel what I like to call balanced. I felt more balanced by having this very corporate, very structured position, but then also able to have that creative outlet on the side while still momming and doing all of the mom things I love to do. I just wanted to make sure that my life felt like I was doing all the things that were passions for me.
And so, I feel like that has spun into this new thing. Writing a book is a very creative activity, even though there’s certainly structure to that. Coaching and podcasting, all of those things, again, there are these structured pieces, there are these ways to make it better, faster, smarter, which I totally love, but also ways to get to be so creative and connect and just do things that are not the same as my corporate position.
So, my life right now, though it has a lot of moving parts, has so much fulfillment that I’m really happy with the way that it is. You might have heard before that balance is a feeling, it’s not really an actual live balance of life and that is where I feel like I am right now. I feel so balanced because I have all of these things that are so fulfilling. And I’m able to prioritize all of them while letting go of some of the other things like letting go of some of the other stuff in our lives and it’s all working pretty beautifully right now. So, I am grateful every day.
It sounds like you have done a lot of internal work of figuring out what that balance is for you, which if anyone’s been here for half a minute, that’s the number one thing that I express is everyone’s balance is so different. Discovering what works for you and knowing, I need a creative outlet or I need a productive outlet or I need a way to use my brain besides XYZ and I love that you’ve sorted that out for yourself.
Yes. And I do think that in 2018, I had a burnout moment. I truly believed I could never get burned out. I truly believed I would never ever burnout because I would work a million hours and never feel burned out. I would be running kids everywhere and my husband was travelling all the time and I was doing all the things and I never felt burned out. And I thought, I’m never going to be burned out.
I will tell you. We all have our maximum. We all have that upper limit. And I hit it in 2018 and I knew it and I felt it because all the things that I loved, I hated. All of them. I was doing so many things that it was so many things on my plate that there was no white space like zero white space from 4 in the morning to 10 at night, no white space. And it was just maximum. It was the maximum that I could handle and I found it.
So, the lucky part is that I found it. And so, now I know what that looks like and I know where I have to build in white space. I know where I can’t overtake. I know where I have to say no. I’m way better at boundaries, though working on those every single day all the time. I’m way better at that. And so, I think those two things together, really doing a lot of self-work, but then also getting to the point where it was too far, let me learn a lot of lessons, lessons that are hard to learn I think sometimes. So, now I can see it as a total benefit that that happened because now I know when I’m getting close, so that I never get there again because that was a terrible feeling and I don’t want to be there again.
What do you think the warning signs were when you got to that space of burnout that you can now recognize before it gets too far?
Yeah. If I feel like there’s no white space in my calendar, if I feel like so many meetings or tasks, activities, whatever it is, kids’ activities, my activities, if everything’s so back-to-back that there’s no space, no white space, that’s number one for me. If I feel like the calendar’s not mine.
So, my calendar is mine. I control if a meeting gets put on my calendar. I control what activities I let my kids do. I control all of these things and I know that in my brain. But when it starts to feel like it’s not my control, when it starts to feel like everyone else is in charge of my calendar and I’m not, I know I’m hitting burnout because I’m getting that overwhelmed feeling and that’s the overwhelm is feeling that everyone else is in control of me.
And so, when I start feel that, I go, okay, there’s too much on here because it’s all yours. You made all of these things. You are in control of this and you are the one that can change it. So, when I see those things, when I get those feelings, I know, all right. I need to step back. I need to think this out. I know that I’m letting it get to be too much because I still like to be busy and do a lot and I’m high energy and I love to do all these things, but I have to be careful because I never want to get to the point where I don’t love all the things that I’m doing even when it’s a lot.
I love that insight because I think that oftentimes, we can put on the hat of like, I can handle it. I can do it. I can, I can, I can. And before long, it becomes that situation where we don’t have that moment to just be, to not be doing something, but just to be. And that’s just as if not more important than being the doer. And I think as moms, it’s easy to forget that.
It’s so easy to forget. And so, I have started, even Friday nights are especially this for me, building white space of nothing. So, building in a block of time that is truly there’s nothing on the calendar. And I might still work during that time. I might feel like working, but the benefit is that I get to that time and I refuse to block anything in that time.
And once I get there, I get to decide. So, maybe it’s just that I want to watch TV with my husband. Maybe it’s that I want to read a book. Maybe it’s that I want to play in the pool with the kids and maybe it’s that I want to work for the next two hours, but I get to decide then. And the white space is there for me to choose and that choice is everything. Having the choice and feeling like you have it, that keeps me fully out of burnout.
I love that. I can totally relate to that too. And as we are transitioning into the topic of today, which is creating that space in summer, because I feel like we get that reverse whether you’re working from home or out of the home or just getting things done in the house, it doesn’t matter. I think all of us as moms are like, “No, we have to figure out the new schedule. How are we going to get things done? How are we going to structure our day?”
So, I would love to dive into tools that you’ve used and I’ll sprinkle in some of my own too of ways that we structure our time in the summer that is purposeful, it’s meaningful, it’s fun, but you also have time to get things done. So, let’s talk about that. What are some best ways of bringing in summer fun and also getting things done?
So, I was so fortunate to actually get to present to a group of women about how to plan your best summer ever. So, we did this in person. It was so fun, but really, I think the very first start and being able to know what you want is stepping back a little bit and saying, what do I want for my summer? Just like you would at the very beginning of a year. The beginning of 2022, we’re so excited. It’s a new year. We’re hoping it’s a good one. And we’re like, what do I want from my year?
I think we should do the same thing at the beginning of the summer because if I can say, what do I really want for my summer? What do I want for me? What do I want for my family? What do I want individually for my children? How do I want us to feel at the end of summer? It’s going to impact all the choices that you make.
Because if you want to feel relaxed and refreshed and really excited for the new school year, packing every activity that you could ever think of doing in a summer into this summer is not the way to do that. But if you want your kids to be super active all summer long, you really want to do as many things as possible. You feel like maybe your last two summers went awry and you really want to do all the things, if that’s your goal, that’s a completely different type of summer than mom who wants to really be relaxed and chill and hang out and just spend time with her kids.
And then, when we pile in work, whether you have a business or you are working for a corporate or maybe a little bit of a combination of both, you have to figure out how that works into it because maybe your childcare situation changes. Maybe your kids are all home and that’s going to change. Maybe you are a balance of both. Maybe you’ve got a combination where some of your kids are gone, some are here and you’re trying to figure all that out. So, I think really just taking that big step back first is our very, very first step. Camille, do you do that at the beginning of summer? Do you say, okay, where do we want to be? What is our summer going to look like?
Yes. So, one of the things that we do as a family is we do a summer bucket list run through where each of our kids, including my husband and myself, take turns one at a time saying something we really want to do that summer, and then we go through the list. And most of the time, they’re small things like get a Slurpee on 7-Eleven day, go fishing with dad, go golfing, these are my husband’s list. And then, my oldest who’s 14, he’s like, “Each week, we should have a going out to dinner day or take out day and we each take turns deciding what that is.” And so, each of them, for my teenager, it’s all about the food. And my younger ones, they’re like, “When can we go swimming?”
And so, why we do that is because then I can really see what is most important to them and to myself and my husband so that we can put those in the calendar and then again leave that white space around it so that we create that intention and that makes such a difference.
I love that. We did something similar. So, we started after an interview that I had with a teen mom, actually a mom of teens, not a teen mom. She was telling me how when her kids were littler she had started these one-on-one meetings with her kids and that she’d been getting one-on-one with them and she’d been doing it for so long that they went through teen hood and now she’s got one of hers is in her 20s, her oldest, and that that was a great way for them to connect.
And I said to my husband, “We need to start doing these one-on-one meetings with our kids because they are so important.” We do one-on-one time occasionally like dates and things like that, but not consistent one-on-one time. So, we called them kid connections. We put them on the calendar. They’re on their digital calendar that the kids can see and the last one, the last round of them, we ask them, “What are you most excited for for summer?”
So, they’re all by themselves, just with the two of us and they’re able to tell us, “Most excited about swimming every day, most excited about, like you said, a certain camp that they’re going to do.” My oldest is in theater camp. She’s really excited for the shows they’re doing this summer. So, I know, okay, these are the things they’re most excited about, so you’re right. These are the things we need to make sure to incorporate into our schedule. If swimming every day is important, we need to make sure we have time for that. We can’t just be rushing through all the things, and then a week goes by and we haven’t made it to the pool.
Absolutely. I think it’s really fun too. We call them family meetings, which I like yours way better, kid connection. But typically, we do those every Sunday and we talk about something that they’re working on, how they think they did like something good that week and something they want to work on. And we set goals and just talk to them one-on-one. And I think that kids will talk to you differently when it’s just the two of you or just you and your spouse with your child. And I love that so much because I think it gives them that value and the validation of they actually care what I think or what my input is and it makes such a big difference.
Yeah. I’ll be honest. Sometimes half of our time is me asking questions and the other half is wrestling with daddy. But that’s okay because they’re having that one-on-one time that they don’t get, especially with 4 kids. We have 4 kids. Throughout the week, sometimes they don’t get that one-on-one time, just a mass chaos of running around and doing all the things. So, yeah, I think that that’s really helpful, and then us being able to focus this one on last summer was fun because they are excited about some fun things that we’re going to do. Okay.
So, I have another recommendation that I have used, I used it last summer, I’m using it this summer. It’s working beautifully. I would love to share it because I love it so much, a checklist. It’s a laminated checklist, so you’ve seen that kids use checklists. Adults use checklists. Many of us love to check a box. I know my kids do. And so, we created these checklists and the goal was they could do them independently because my husband and I work.
We both start very early in the morning and the goal is that so we could finish early so that we could have some afternoon time with the kids. But because we’re starting very early when they wake up, a lot of times, one or both of us might be on a meeting. So, we might be on with clients or we might be on with our internal teams and sometimes, they can come in and talk to us, but sometimes they can’t actually come in and talk with us right away.
So, we need them to be able to jumpstart their day on their own. So, there are things on this checklist like brush your teeth, get dressed, make your bed. There are also things on the checklist like do your 30 minutes of reading for the day or find someone to read to you, if you’re my 5-year-old because he can only independently read a small selection of our library. And so, then he can have somebody read to him. There’s time for a craft project, time to be active.
And the point of this is not only so that they’re independent and can be responsible to these things, but also so that they are not immediately going to electronics because for us, being that they have now been at home with us for the last couple of summers, because summers past they would have been at camp or a daycare. We worked full-time. They would have been at a camp or at daycare. They would have been gone all day.
For the last now three summers, they’re here and we haven’t transitioned back into full-time camp. And so, for us to have them do something they need to not be on a tablet all day long while working. So, this gives them an independent way of doing all those things, and even when they complain about it, are very excited to check everything off their list. They come in and show you the list and they’re like, “I did my stuff.” They’re quietly next to you on a meeting and showing you that they did everything. And they’re just loving it.
And so, a little bit more of this story. My nieces are staying over with us this week and they said, “Aunty Lori, where did you get these checklists?” And I said, “I made them.” And they said, “You need to tell my mom that we need to do these checklists” because they loved them so much. And I said, “I will make you some.” So, we’re going to pick them up and we’re going to give them their checklists too.
And so, their ages are 11 and 9. So, you can think of age group teens, maybe you want them to do something and it’s going to be different. But I think definitely kiddos, it’s good for. And even if you have one, my littlest one has pictures. So, his has words on it, but it also has a picture so that he remembers what it says just in case he can’t read some of the words we’ve included. And I think for even littler ones, you can do just pictures and they know what to start with and it has brought a level of stress in the mornings down for summers so much.
I love it. We’ve been doing checklists for the summer for years now. And my son, the other day, he said, my oldest, “Two weeks until summer, and two weeks until summer chore charts.” And they just know. It’s just part of it. I think there’s a sense of accomplishment and purpose and they know that that’s just part of how it works.
And one of the things that we’ve incorporated with that checklist is I’ll give you a couple of examples of things we’ve done. One year, we created a list of random things my kids wanted to learn about. And so, if we did our lunch time, it was a routine where they did their morning chore list, we did lunch together, and then this is like a 15-minute YouTube search, but we did it as a family and it was something that they wanted to learn about.
So, a zonkey is a mixture of a zebra and donkey. I haven’t even heard of that. My son’s like, “I really want to learn about that.” And so, we watched a video on that or just yesterday, my son, I was telling him how fleece is made out of recycled bottles and he’s like, “I want to learn about that.” And I was like, “Let’s add that to the list.”
So, I think that’s been really fun to incorporate some learning because for us, bringing in the electronics piece, I give them a time of day that they can’t get on their electronics until I’m trying to remember now if it’s 1 o’clock or 3 o’clock. But they can’t even touch them until their chores are done, we’ve done lunch, and they’ve had time outside and reading, all the things, and then they can do the electronic time. And that’s made a huge difference for us.
Yeah, because how easy is it for a kiddo to wake up, especially if mom and dad are in meetings or working and just to get on a video game or to start watching YouTube kids for 15 hours in a row? It’s so easy for them to do that and so easy for them to want to do that. They are like us. They have their little baby addictions to these electronics. They just want to watch them.
And so, we have to have ways to have them not do that. We have to have ways to have them do some of the other things. And a lot of our checklist items are like yours where it’s what do you want to do? It’s find a craft, but it’s not do this craft. It's you could color, you could paint, and then they come up with different ideas for things they want to do. They’ve made up games together and they’ve been like, “Are we allowed to do a puzzle?” “Yes, please do a puzzle.”
All the different ideas, it’s just been really, really great to have them do something else and still make it possible for them to be here because it is fun for me to not have them gone all day at camp. It's fun for me to be able to take a quick lunch and be able to be with them.
Where do you live? I’ve never even heard of a place where you can do all-day summer camp.
Yes, so we’re in Phoenix. And our school has it and there’s a couple of different other options that we can do camp. So, they have to be school age. So, a lot of the years, half of our kids were in day care and half in camp, but yeah. So, they would be in these camps all day long and it was like we had before and after school care that they had available at the school. It was something like that on a crazy extension.
They did field trips and brought in art and brought in different groups, brought in a computer guy that would teach them coding, they had all these different cool things. But mine are getting older and some of them just didn’t love being at camp all day. They would rather be here. And so, of course, we had two years ago where we didn’t have the option at all, so just really trying to figure all that out, it’s always a balance and it’s always a challenge.
And I think also for those of us working in groups with other people, for many years, it would have been an impossibility for me because even though I worked from home, people did not expect to hear children behind you when you work from home. And now, the work life balance, those boundaries are a little more blurred. I think even still at our company even though people are going back into the office and doing all the things, the boundaries are still a little blurred. They know you can do your job and still have children that they might hear in the background. Whereas five years ago, people would have been like, “Do you have a kid home?” It would have been a not okay.
Neat. So much more flexibility.
Yeah, completely. Even though you’re like, “I am a mom. I can do many things at the same time.”
It’s funny because it’s like, of course, we have kids. Why are we pretending like they don’t exist?
I know, but I definitely did. If I had a sick kid at home, I would have to tell every person that I talked to that, “Just so you know, you might hear a child in the background. They are sick. They are home.” I had to explain it all away and now rarely do I do that because they just know that I can still deliver with excellence in my position and be excellent at home and sometimes the lines are going to be more blurry than others.
I love that. That’s so cool. Okay, so I think we should both link to our summer chore charts. So, if you’re listening, we’ll link to those. And now, I want to transition into incorporating more reading into summer because I have some resources with that and ideas and you do too. So, take that away.
Yes. So, for us, I do not have any children that love reading sadly. I, as an adult, love reading. My husband also loves reading. So, we read yet we do not have children that love reading just yet. I’m hoping that there’s still a chance that that will develop as they start to read faster. I do think that the speed of reading can often impact the joy of reading because if you’re struggling with every word, it’s hard to comprehend and hard to love the story. So, I do think that with practice that they get better with it.
And then, certain books that they can feel passionate about, we get even if they’re not their grade level, so basically the point is excitement. In the summer, we do not require reading at a specific level. During the school year, they have to read a certain ours is called Lexile score, I don’t know if anybody else uses that, if we’ve got teachers that are listening that are like, “Yes, I know that.” So, they have to read books at a certain Lexile score.
During the summer, we do not require this. We require reading. We require a certain amount of time, but it can be any book they love. So, even if it’s a comic book type book like some of those Baby-Sitters Club books that they’ve taken the old Baby-Sitters Club story and turned it into this comic style book, those are okay.
Any of those are okay because I just want the joy of reading to be there, not necessarily them to have some level of growth during the summer. I don’t want them to regress, but I’m not looking for growth. I really am looking for enjoyment because I know they’re going to go back into school and start these things again. I don’t want them to lose skillsets, but I also don’t want to push hard because the pressure sometimes takes the joy out, so we have to balance that a little bit. So, tell me yours.
Yeah. I love, first of fall, that creating that joy. I think trips to the library really help with that where you give them ownership of, “Okay, let’s discover and you get to talk to the lady at the counter and tell her the things you like.” And they always shave amazing suggestions. So, I like to lean on that resource.
And then, I have book reading lists for everything on my blog that I’ve done for the last 10 years. So, I’ll link some of them below. They’re the best books to read out loud, the best books for certain age groups, and also, I have a summer bucket reading list where there’s one that’s like read under a tree, read on a picnic, read in a hammock, or whatever. And that’s really fun too because it’s a checklist that they can do that’s a summer bucket reading list that’s a really fun way to incorporate some different ways of enjoying books outside and different things like that.
But one idea that a friend just told me yesterday and I thought this was so clever, she has a children ages 9 and 6 and I’m sure you’ve seen something similar to this, but where you get those different-colored pom-poms in jars and what she has is she says once she’s filled up the jar with 15 pom-poms of books you’ve read or if it’s an older child, minutes you’ve read, then you will have the opportunity to go get ice cream with mom, go pick out a small toy, have an outing of some sort. And then, if you save it and you save up to 30 or 45 pom-poms, then you get a bigger reward.
So, they get to decide if it’s going to be smaller or is it going to be something you save up for something bigger? And so, it’s just out on the counter and they have a little chart of the minutes or the books that they’ve read where they can write it down, and then use the pom-poms and I thought that was such a clever idea.
I think that’s so cute. That’s so much fun. And then, I know that our libraries, many of the libraries at least in the Phoenix area because we have lots of them, they have the reading programs where the kids can read a certain number of minutes or books, depending on their age, and then win prizes. So, personal pan pizzas and those sorts of little coupons for things they can start to get rewards.
And as a child, I remember every summer, we would go the library and we would get our paper for this so that we can mark ours off and we could get our personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut and we were so excited about it because that was not a treat we usually got at home, so that was very exciting. So, yeah, I think rewards and all of the fun things. There are so many I think community options, online options even for if you sign up for things for them to be able to do, and then the pom-pom is just one you can do easily on your own at home, be able to grab a jar and some cute crafts and do it.
And then, it’s exciting for them because making it fun is the first step. Once it’s fun, then they can start to get better. They can be better at comprehension. They can learn more vocabulary. They can expand their genres of readings and the things they want to do. But really if it’s not fun, then they’re just not going to want to do it. So, we’ve got to figure out ways to make it more exciting, I think.
I agree. Now, switching over into the piece of getting work done and time blocking in a way that you can do the things or have the quiet time. What would your advice be for moms in that space? How do you create that and how do you make that happen and have a consistency with it?
So, one of the productivity hacks that I always share is to cultivate energy and by that, I mean use your energy during times that if you know you’re high energy in the morning, plan your things, your tasks around the fact that you know you’re going to be high energy in the morning and you know you’re going to be brain dead at 8 PM versus the flip of that. Some of us are the opposite of that where you’re like, “Ew, I can’t even think in the morning and 8 PM, I’m on fire as soon as the kids go to bed, I’m ready to rock and roll for a couple of hours.”
Know your own energy, and then block your time around that because I think that that is a giant help. So, for me, I’m the morning type of person, I start my day ay 4 AM, which is absurd to many people, but I love it and I can get a whole lot done before my kids are even awake. So, I can do anything that needs full focus, focus without lots of background noise.
If I’m focusing on a very heavy contract, a heavy budget, things where I really have to think and I can’t be distracted, I’ll put those in those really early time blocks because so many of the other tasks I have to do, I can do with distraction. I can do with people around. I can do with some questions coming into me and I know that in your business, you’ve had those tasks too. If you own a business or maybe you have a combination of those things, you have tasks that require that full focus and you have tasks that are easier to do anytime.
And then, there are certainly plenty of tasks that are easy to do, so tasks I could do at the kitchen counter while I’m also helping a child make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, while I’m also helping another one paint a treasure chest that we just got at the craft store. I can do those things all at the same time, but not every task.
If I tried to review budget while doing those things, it would take me forever and it would be so inefficient. So, I just don’t plan things out that way. So, I think if you really are intentional about the way you’re thinking about your time, thinking about your tasks and planning them, you can really get a lot more done.
I love that advice. First of all, can you walk me through your 4 AM morning? What does that look like? I’m so curious. I think that that’s amazing. And then, the second piece of that, I love that you are being intentional about using your energy well.
And I’ve noticed that when I comminute with my kids of what is happening and why priorities need to happen so that we can go have fun or that we had this really fun morning and now, I need to get stuff done in the afternoon, like if you have a napping baby or a toddler or whatever, that’s always been a really strong work pocket for me where I say, “Okay, we’ve gone and done this thing or we’ve done the chores and now you’ve earned your time and/or now is the time for quiet, whatever that looks like.: I think that communicating that with your kids is really powerful too.
Yeah, absolutely. And even if you are going to have childcare, the reasons that you’re going to have that, “Why do I have to go to the babysitter’s today?” “Mommy has really important things she’s working on and it’s going to eb amazing. It’s going to help so many moms or it’s going to be something that helps us go on vacation or whatever,” however you explain it to the age of your child, then that helps understand too. So, as far as walking through my 4 AM morning.
Yes, walk me through this 4 AM because I’m waking up at 6 and thinking that’s really early. So, what time are you going to bed?
I was just going to say, I don’t go to bed super late. So, 9:30 PM is my bedtime. For me, I would like to be asleep by then.
You’re in bed or you’re sleeping?
Ideally, I would be sleeping, but I am always in bed by then. Ideally, I’ll be sleeping also. And my kids’ bedtime is usually around 8:30 PM. Now in the summer, we’re a little bit more flexible with that and we’ll let them hang out and talk in their rooms while we go to bed and they’re not going to do anything while we’re sleeping. So, they’re just going to chill in bed.
But yes, so I wake up at 4 AM, and then 3 days a week, I have a 5 AM workout. So, my goal by 4 AM is to have my entire morning routine done. The other days, I start meetings early. Because I work with teams that are in Europe, and then I also occasionally work with teams that are in Asia-Pacific, so I catch them on the opposite end of their day. So, yeah, there is that benefit of me being up early with other regions.
But for me, what I want to be doing in the morning before I kick off any work or any high energy, high mental capacity tasks is I want to have coffee because I love it. I want to do a quick gratitude. I always look at my schedule for the whole day, so I plan my week on Sundays. I think it’s really important to go through my entire week, make a full plan, talk to my kids, talk to my husband, if anything is wonky or if we need to shift anything, if we need any help with anything, but I still look at my full day plan and make sure that I know my priorities for that day and I want to make sure that I do all of these things before I hit my workout, if I have a workout or before I start meetings because that just helps ground me.
I‘m ready to go. I know exactly what needs to be done. I know where I may have some things that are back-to-back that I need to be careful with, whether it’s setting boundaries and ending on time or knowing I need to chat with the kids before this time because I could hit a back-to-back and I may not be able to really communicate with them well for two hours.
Now, of course, my kids are bigger. This would not have been a possibility when I had tiny, tiny children, when I had 1-year-old, 2-year-olds, this wouldn’t have been a possibility. I would have had childcare during these types of situations. I would have worked that into my day because my days are too high pressure some of the times to become the best mom and the best employee that I could be, so I would have had to do that. But that’s what my initial morning looks like and it’s been working for years that way.
Wow, that’s amazing. So, with your gratitude practice, is that something that you’re writing down or what does that look like?
Yeah. So, I actually have two things right now. So, one is I write down the thing I’m most grateful for. It’s just one thing. I don’t put any pressure on it to be any more than that or I haven’t put any pressure for it to be more than that. If I have a bunch of things, I write them all down and it’s always something from the day before. So, I never write down, I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful for my husband. I never write those things down, though I am very grateful for those.
I try to be very specific. So, I’m thankful that Kellen is my youngest. I’m thankful that Kellen came and Kellen came and snuggled with me after dinner and climbed in my lap and closed his eyes. So, I’m super specific about the things I’m grateful for because I find that it is consistently helping me look for those things in my life. I am always looking and thinking that’s going to be my thing for tomorrow because I’m finding it.
But I also have a new accountability partner that I had for the last few months and we have been voice messaging each other three things that we’re grateful for or wins from the day before. And that’s oftentimes more business focused, my personal business focused, but it’s fun and sometimes it’s personal.
But it’s fun to share it because with my gratitude, I was never sharing. Even if my husband was part of it or my kids were part of it, not that I don’t show appreciation, but I just was never going out and being like, “I wrote you on my gratitude list today.” Whereas this, I’m actually sharing it with someone else, so it makes it feel even just a little bit more real and pushes me to look even more for the wins, especially on hard days because sometimes, there are hard days and it’s hard to find the things that were actually wins. And sometimes, I even have to turn things around and say, that was tough, but what did I learn? I’m going to make that my win today and I’m going to be able to turn this around. And so, force yourself to do that every single day, it’s a change to your attitude that is for me welcome.
I love that it’s very specific with gratitude, so you’re looking for things to be grateful for because that mindset already is setting you up for success and that you have someone that you’re saying it to and that you have that accountability. And also, I think that’s such a reward too to be able to listen to someone else, and then reciprocate that and cheer each other on. That’s an awesome force of energy you’ve built for yourself. That is so cool. I love that.
Yeah. It’s been great. Because we’re like, “Let’s just try it and see if we like it,” and we now have been doing it for a long time.
Do you Voxer each other?
I have Voxer.
Okay. So, you’re Voxering her at 4 in the morning?
Yes. And she starts her day at 5 AM, so she is an early bird too, and some days at 4 AM. So, we’re both early birds. She wouldn’t have to listen to it live, but we’re both leaving very early our messages.
Yeah, I love that so much I think especially where I just did an episode that went live this last week about having friendship and support and how a lot of times, especially if you’re running a business or you have that mom life and that business life, it can be very lonely or it can be hard to know who to talk about wins with for someone who maybe doesn’t relate in that way. So, what a good idea. I think that is super clever.
Yeah, because even your best friend loves you. They might not understand. If they’re not doing the same thing, they’re like, “That’s cool.” You love that they love you, but they don’t get it and that’s okay. They don’t have to get it. We can have other people in our life that do get it and it’s fun to share with them too.
Yeah, very cool. So, wrapping up here, are there any takeaway? You have the 16 secrets, so first of all, the audience needs to check that out, of course. Do you have any for sure do this with your summer list that we have missed? Okay, I’m going to do that, and then we’re going to do one more after that.
Okay. So, the very first secret is habits. Routines, habits, systems and how those moms that are really thriving are using these. They have habits. They have routines. They have systems. They’re not rigid, but they have things that they do systematically because it makes life easier. It takes decision fatigue away and it gives them the energy to focus on all the other things and it gives their kids the energy to focus on all the bigger things.
And so, that’s the first chapter in the book and I think it really ties well into summer because if you can put some of those routines and systems in place even if they change from your normal school year systems and routines, that is going to set you up for just some nice consistency so that the fun stuff can be the fun stuff. The energizing stuff can be the energizing stuff. And you’re not exhausted just getting everybody ready for the day and no one’s even done anything yet. So, I really think that those things are just vitally important to having a thriving life.
I love that. My 8-year-old just came up and complained to me the other day because in our house when they go home from school, if they want tech time, their schoolwork has to be done, their room has to be cleaned, and they need to have helped in some way like a small chore. And my son sometimes will be like, “Ugh, mom, why?” And I’ll tease him and I’ll say, “Hi, I’m Camille, I’m your mom. And this is the way it’s always been. I’m not pulling a fast one on you. This is the way we do it. If I were to ask you, what would need to be done before you could do the thing, you would know what to say or has it changed? Has anything changed?” And he’ll be like, “Ugh.” And so, they want to balk at it, but then they’re like, “Okay.”
So, if you do have a consistency of whatever that routine looks like, they may still give you a little struggle with it. But I feel like everyone’s so much happier when they know what the expectation is, and that there’s flexibility, yes, but for the main part, things are the way they are and that it helps the system of a family run.
Yes, and so much less chaos, so many less arguments, even though your son is fussing about it. Everybody is going to fuss about it every day, I bet it’s not every day struggle argument because that’s what we want to try to limit. We want to try to take some of that stuff away because that just zaps everyone’s energy. Your energy and you’re kids’ energy. Your energy to be nice to each other, your energy to love on each other is lost in those struggles and for what? So, if we can get those systems in place, I really think that it just benefits everybody in a so much bigger way.
Yes, this has been such an amazing conversation. Lori, I appreciate you being on the show so much and please tell our audience about your summer summit that you have coming up.
Yes, so the Summer Summit is specifically focused on productivity. It’s our very first summit. And so, we’re calling it Discover the Secrets of High-Performing Moms Who Get More Done in Less Time Without Stress, Overwhelm, or Burnout. And we have 25 speakers, maybe more than 25 speakers. We have one that’s on the fence. And it is going to be amazing. The best part is it’s free. So, www.thesupermomsummit.com is where you can go. You can get all the details. You can register. You can sign up. Yeah, so it’s going to be mind-blowing. It’s going to be great.
That sounds good. How about I be your 25th? It sounds like you need someone to fill that spot. Hello?
Hello, I will do it. So good.
That’s awesome. Thank you so much. This has been awesome.
Thank you, thank you.
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