Ya know that feeling when you get the urge to clean out the basement?… And you crush it!… And then you’re exhausted and remember why you only get that feeling once a year?
How about that feeling when you crank out 5 loads of laundry in one day, AND fold it, AND put it all away? Boom! You’re unstoppable! Does it get much sweeter?… Does it happen very often?
The thing is, we don’t have to do all of the right things all of the time. When we’re crushing it, we’re on a high. That’s not who we should expect to show up every day. And that’s okay. The important thing is that we try to move the needle a little bit each day.
We have to do most of the right things most of the time.
And that’s an example of a mom-win. It’s what we love about grace!
We’ve created a system – you may have heard of it, MotherShip?… Our tagline is “get your ship together,” get it? It’s incredible (just ask me). I can say that because Amanda is the brains behind it.
We’re going to start sharing more about it soon – because the mom world needs this… a better way to: do most of the right things, most of the time. Am I right?
We’re not perfect, y’all. Anyone who signed up for that should get their money back.
But we’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got and darnit, that counts for something!
So, this week we’re talking about how to keep the needle moving. That’s fancy-speak for how to learn something new to grow a little bit every day.
Daily learning and growth is chock-full of benefits. Namely, when it comes to busy moms, it’s the thing that a) keeps us sharp (and one step ahead of our kids) and b) sets an example for said kids to follow suit; to learn and grow daily. It’s an investment in our #1 goal: to raise successful humans!
And we know what you’re thinking, this all sounds like a great idea in theory, but you just don’t have time. Am I right?
We’re here to share with you how you can find time to learn and grow every day.
Let’s talk about reading; a frontrunner when it comes to modes mode of learning.
Literacy is an enormous global movement that every mom would tell you is imperative for our developing youth, and yet, an alarming number of (many of those same) moms would tell you they don’t have time to read. This is a missed opportunity.
It is said that reading just 10 minutes a day (some even tout 6 minutes!) can have a profound impact on everything from improved mental and physical health to better sleep, improved focus and concentration, reduced stress levels, and even increased life expectancy, which is kind of a big deal.
Check out our Recommendations Resources this week to explore many of those benefits according to the experts. Also, read on for some specific – and realistic – mom hacks for making it happen… some of which the experts don’t want you to hear.
5 Mom Hacks That Move the Needle
Mom Hack #1: If you love reading but wish it wasn’t such a time investment, you might try Blinkist. Blinkist is a professional book summary service that gives you an overview of an entire book in 15 minutes or less. Some find this approach to be an abomination to the fundamental art of reading. Maybe they’re right, but if the choice is consuming Blinkist’s summarized versions of books or reading zero books, we say give Blinkist a try.
Mom Hack #2: Listen instead of reading. It’s possible to consume books in less time if you listen. There are several platforms out there. I like Hoopla and Libby which are lending services, and I use Audible when I can’t get a particular book on loan.
I’ve mastered the art of listening at a high playback speed. It’s an art because I find that I have to start out at 1x then slowly increase the speed as I start to get a feel for the author/reader’s voice and the general flow of the book. Or if it’s fiction, I increase it once I’m familiar with the characters and the plot. Most often I get up to around 1.5x however, sometimes I can get up as high as 2.25x depending on the book. #timesaver
Mom Hack #3: Listen while you read. Whaaaat? This is something I only recently discovered. I value being able to underline/highlight various things that resonate with me in an actual paper book but it admittedly slows me down. Sometimes I’ll stop to ponder what I’m underlining and I float away in my thoughts. Listening while I read forces me to keep my eyes, and my thoughts, in the book – especially if I’m listening at a high speed!
Mom Hack #4: If books are out of the question, read articles on topics that interest you and move your needle, if you will. Google any topic. A long list of options will appear before your eyes. In researching our Smart Reads for the newsletter each week, I learn a ton just from skimming article after article, in search of something that will speak to our community of moms. There is SO much content available in the world today and articles are a great way to learn and grow.
Mom Hack #5: If reading, in general, is not in your wheelhouse right now (or even if it is) listen to podcasts! We have so much to learn through the stories that others tell. Whether it’s fiction, self-help, or otherwise, getting on the podcast train can absolutely “move the needle” for you!
If you’re not already hooked on podcasts, let’s take a deeper dive.
Welcome Amanda to the conversation…
Hey there! Amanda here. If you’ve been following Grace in the Race for a minute, you know that I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE podcasts! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to check out the Grace in the Race Podcast Playlist which I curate weekly based on the week’s overarching topic.
Like Rachel and the weekly articles she researches, I gain so much from listening while I research for the playlist. I’m always delighted when I land on something that I’m confident will resonate with moms! So, let’s take a step back and talk about how this love affair began.
Podcasts are my favorite way to consume content. I listen for news and current events. I also listen for entertainment. Furthermore, I love to listen to them to learn something new. Every day I try to listen to something that moves the needle.
The first podcast I ever listened to was Serial. Have you listened? It’s still one of my all-time favorites. From there, I stumbled on other true crime podcasts, but also love scripted fiction, culture & society, health & wellness, comedy and well, pretty much anything that is well-produced.
I love listening to podcasts while I do other things. This makes me feel super-productive. I listen when I’m cooking, folding laundry and cleaning. I always have something playing while I get ready for the day, and we usually listen to a family-friendly podcast while driving to and from kids’ activities. I’m proud to say that my kids have asked me to keep the car running after we pulled in our driveway so they could finish an episode of “How I Built This.”
Amanda’s favorite Mom Hack…
I often save my favorite podcasts for my least favorite chores (Are you taking notes? Write that down). It makes doing the tasks more enjoyable and they feel like they take less time. I’ve actually started looking forward to my chore/podcast time. Pairing these two activities together helps me stay consistent with all I have to do to navigate my MotherShip.
Podcasts makes learning something new easy. And learning something new doesn’t have to feel like a chore– it really can be fun! Here are some of the podcasts my kids and/or I listen to in order to move the needle; and I included my favorite episodes on this week’s podcast playlist!
- Smartless (Will Arnett, Jason Bateman & Sean Hayes interview a celebrity– not for kids and may have some saucy language)
- Throughline (Every headline has a history. Go back in time to understand the present.)
- The Next Big Idea (Groundbreaking ideas that have the power to change the way you live, work, and think.)
- Short Wave (New discoveries, everyday mysteries, and the science behind the headlines)
- Radiolab (Investigating a strange world)
- Invisible You (Knowledge and information garnered from the best conversations held in the podcasting world today)
- Smash Boom Best (Debate show for kids and families)
- Brains On! (A science podcast for kids and curious adults)
You can rest assured that they are all great listens. If you’re intrigued, pick one that appeals to you and pop in your earbuds while you’re doing household chores or going for a walk or a drive. See if you can use my ‘mom hack’ to pair a fun activity (listening) with a mundane one (pick one!) to give yourself a little grace.
Whether you delve into podcasts or books, strive to learn something new each day.
It could help you get more consistent at doing the right things more often than not. It may also be useful for better-momming, but more importantly, it will help you move the needle to evolve as a person.
We rarely see ourselves as the “person” separate from the “mom” but we shouldn’t lose sight of her. When she’s at her best, so are all of her other personas – the cook, the driver, the magician, the housekeeper, the remote-learning cheerleader, the professional, the partner, the friend, the sibling, the daughter, and the mom. What do you think? Can carve out 10 minutes a day for her? It might just be the most attention she’s gotten all day.
Do you have a recommended practice to “move the needle”?
Share it in the comments.
We’re digging into this work in The Grace Experiment this week and we invite you to join us. Meet us in our private group on Facebook to get in conversation with other moms. We share our struggles and our wins and lift each other up. Will you join us?
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