The Cool Mom Tech / Motorola Productivity Guide
We are so excited that Cool Mom Tech is partnering with Motorola this month, makers of the new Motorola Elite Sliver Bluetooth Headset, to provide tips to help make the lives easier for all you busy working parents.

Now that we’ve tackled home office organization, increasing productivity is probably the greatest bane of our existence. At parents, let’s just say we have a pretty big incentive (or a lot of little ones) to get our work done quickly and efficiently.

Here are our 5 really easy suggestions to help you make the best use of your time and energy, so we can do what we love most: Enjoying our families.

[After the jump, find 5 great productivity tips AND another chance to enter to win our fabulous Working Mom’s Lifesaver basket valued at more than $750!]

1. Turn off your digital distractions

As much as we
love social media, and value their role in our work lives, when it’s
time to get work done, they can easily become a distraction. The best
remedy is to close your Facebook window and log out of Tweetdeck so you
can completely tune out the chatter and updates.

Productivity tips: turn off the Tweetdeck!

If you’re like us, it’s easy to get sucked into conversations or following links and suddenly an hour has flown by.

2. Manage your alerts and notifications.

days, you can be pinged and dinged for everything, whether it’s an
unimportant tweet or an urgent text from your babysitter. Be picky about
your alerts. Set up your smart phone so only the important messages get
through. If you’re having to check your phone every few minutes to see
someone’s comment on a Facebook post about a funny YouTube video, you’re
wasting precious time.

Productivity tips: curate your mobile alerts carefully

Besides, research has shown that it takes
significantly longer to get your
head back into a task, even if you’ve just taken a 5 second status update break.

3. Be the boss of your email (and not the other way around)

amazing how easy it can be to get sucked into managing an overflowing
email box, just to end up in the black hole of replies and never make it
out. If you do need to keep your email open, we suggest adjusting
settings so that the inbox only refreshes every 10 minutes–or even
longer if you need a dedicated time to concentrate. The more time you
have to complete a task uninterrupted, the more you’ll be able to get
done. And really, if someone really needs to get a hold of you, they can
use the phone. (Remember the phone? Thing that rings sometimes with an
actual voice on the other end?)

We’ve even seen email auto-replies that read, “To increase productivity,
I’m now checking email only two times a day and will get back to you
when I can.” That’s commitment.

4. Don’t disturb the working mom!

you work outside the home, or your office is a desk in your bedroom,
you’ll never get anything done if you keep getting visits from
co-workers or your kids. Shut a door or put a polite sign up on your
door so that people know that you’re in the middle of working, or snag a
“Do Not Disturb” sign the next time you’re at a hotel.

teaching clock for kids

teaching clock from learning resources

The same goes for your kids if you work at home. They don’t
always understand that a parent in the house might not be completely
available to them. Create a sign or signal that alerts them you’re busy.
Or get a teaching clock, and move the hands to a particular hour so
they’ll know just when you’re back on parenting duty and ready to help
them find that soccer uniform.

5. Multi-task when you can–or for goodness sakes, get a Bluetooth headset!

can’t tell you how much more we are able to get done with the help of
Bluetooth headsets. It’s like having that extra hand parents are always
joking that they need.  What really sets the Motorola Elite Sliver Bluetooth Headset
apart are the amazing features that truly let you be hands-free, so you
can talk while you tweak that spreadsheet, or take that conference call
while you make the bed (ha, we’ve done that).

Not only can you
use the voice controls to initiate a call, but the free My MotoSpeak app for
your Android 2.2+ phone is pretty sweet, allowing you to start a text, hear
an incoming text, and reply, all with your voice — no need to touch
your phone at all.

Motorola Bluetooth headset

And the fact that you can be up to 300 feet away from your phone
and not have to carry it around with you? We like that a whole lot.

so excited to give away a Working Mom’s Life Saver gift basket to one
lucky CMT reader!

Working Mom's Lifesaver Gift Basket!
In it, you’ll get two (whoo!) Motorola Elite Sliver
headsets and more to help keep you going–like a beautiful leather
laptop satchel, “Inspire” aromatherapy drops, an eco bamboo calculator,
a pound of coffee plus a stylish Jonathan Adler on-the-go mug, a desk planner, and
(whoo again!) a $200 gift card to Bliss towards whatever creams
or lotions or pampering you deserve.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post telling us your biggest productivity pitfall AND let us know which feature of
the Motorola Elite Sliver seems most cool to you (psst…check their site for
more information). You can earn a second entry by leaving a comment on
our Home Office Organizational Tips post as well (see rules there) if you haven’t yet done so. Good luck!.

Congratulations to Jennifer S!  She won the Motorola’s Working Mom’s Life Saver gift basket.  

Read more:

To learn more about our partner the Motorola Elite Sliver, you can like Motorola on Facebook and follow @Motorola on Twitter plus see this amazing headset in action on their YouTube channel.

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