Bust it out like a Boss Mama // PRODUCTIVITY

Do you ever find yourself staring at the clock at 4:55 and asking: “What did I
actually get done today?”, or “Geez, how did I get so little done today?”  It’s easy for feelings of frustration, defeat, and self-criticism to come rushing in when you feel like you barely made a dent in your to-do list.

Often, I’ll replay the day in my head- seeing all the spots where it seemed as though nothing ran smoothly- where I kept getting off track on random to-do’s, putting out “email fires”, answering texts on my phone, scrolling Instagram (after I was supposed to just post and close it out), and so on…

Don’t beat yourself up too bad…. With chronic health issues, 5 kids with needs :), a steady stream of  “ideation ADD,” brain dumping, and…well…a phone… I’ve been there too…often.

After I had our 3rd child a few years ago, I began to realize how limited my “best” work hours really were, and I had to find any and every way to maximize those hours!  And so my mission begun to get more focused, more organized, and more productive with the time I did have to devote to our business.

Years ago, I saw a great illustration of how to view the things in your life, so that you can stay focused on the most important things…  Imagine you have a large glass ball jar, a smaller cup of sand, and about 5-7 rocks…now… make it all fit inside the jar.   Spoiler Alert:  The right way to do it is to start with the rocks first, then pour the sand in AFTER… it will fill in all around the edges, and both the rocks and sand will fit in nicely.   But, if you start with the sand, you will waste time trying to cram the rocks in and down into the sand, and you will NEVER be able to fit it all inside the jar.

That is our life my friends!   The “rocks” are the truly important priorities in our lives… our health, our husbands, our kids, our faith/religous practices, our family/friends, and our work.   The “sand” is everything else!

Productivity is so much more than just implementing tips and tricks.  It’s a total mindset.  It takes planning ahead of time, it takes determination to be laser focused, and it takes the self-discipline to say “no, wait” to the sand and “yes” to the rocks

Here are a few of the productivity “best practices” that we’ve implemented into our business and our life:

Gain Perspective

Most of us have one long never ending “to-do” list, and when it’s time to “work” we tend to go the path of least resistance- things that are easier, quicker to finish, less mental energy to do- rather then the more time consuming (and often, more important) tasks and projects.  Try to choose only 2-3 important, needle-moving tasks per day, and schedule those in your calendar before the week starts.

Then get up early (BIG tip here), and do 1 of them first thing when you get up.  I can’t tell you how much better my day goes when I get up early, do my morning routine, and accomplish an important business task…all before my kiddos are up! 

So, how do you decide what the important “rocks” are?  These are the projects/tasks that directly effect the forward movement of your business… things that will make you money!  Addressing emails, commenting on Instagram posts, and running random errands are NOT rocks… those are the sand that should be fit around your Top 3 for the day.

“If you have 5 minutes to chop down a tree, spend the first 3 sharpening the axe.”

Additionally…If you go about your week in execution mode, rather then constant planning mode your brain will have more energy for the focused, creative work you have to do.

So set aside a few hours at the end of your week to plan for the next one.  Then, each night take a few minutes and prep for as many things as you can, so that the next day runs as smoothly as possible… pick out clothes, make lunches, get the coffee ready to brew, make sure your desk is cleared off and your top 3 priorities are in front of you.  (List them on a sticky note and stick it on the side of your computer, as your constant reminder all day.)


If you are at a place in your business where the majority of your time is taken up with busy work/tasks- things that need to happen to keep your business running, but that are not utilizing your strengths (or things that you just hate doing)- it’s time to start outsourcing! 

You are your business’ biggest asset. 

If 80% of your time is sucked up by busy work, instead of important business building activities, your business won’t grow the way it could- and could even fail completely because of it.  Or, you could end up being a complete zombie from having worked all hours of the night just to keep the biz afloat- making you not the best mom, wife, and friend that you can be. 

So, take a quick inventory at what you are spending your time on, and find some tasks that you can get off your plate… like asap!  And then, intentionally fill that time with business building efforts: creating a new product/service, promoting your business in y our community, or creating a valuable piece of content that your target market will love!

We’ve put together a FREE download where you can read more about some of our favorite productivity habits. 

-Finding Your Rhythm

-Productivity’s Slow Death

-Time Blocking

-The Email black hole

-Be anti-social

Grab that HERE and go bust your week out like a Boss!

Click here to subscribe

Cheering you on,


Welcome to Rise and Rally!

Are you a Mama dreaming about starting your own business?  Maybe you’ve recently taken the leap, and things are off and running?  Or, maybe you are experiencing a period of growth with your business and need to get things more systemized and optimized?  Then you are in the right place, my friend! 

No matter which of those stages you find yourself in, I’m willing to guess your plate is FULL.  And if your life is anything like mine, FULL is probably an understatement.   On any given day you’ve got toddlers to chase, booties to wipe, kids to taxi around, homework to help with, meals to make, errands to run, bills to pay, a house to clean, and oh yeah… a business to run too. 🙂

All of this can be overwhelming without running a business… then add one into the mix, and holy hot mess! 

I know exactly what that place feels like… anxiety attacks, stress headaches, constant exhaustion, being pulled in 10 different directions, and constantly feeling like a failure because I’m not doing any of my roles as well as I’d like- and then there’s that aching guilt for even wanting to pursue a business in the first place…

Let me bring you in on my beginnings as a “mompreneur”…

January 1st, 2006 I started my first business- I was a professional photographer.  And then about 2 weeks later, I found out about my first (and very unplanned, I might add) pregnancy.  Oh, and we also bought a condo that year that required an extensive, 3 month renovation.  My husband Derek worked full time, as did I, and my intent was to start this business with my “spare time”- haha. 

Shortly after our son was born later that year, we had a couple of major family tragedies that absolutely rocked our long term plans.  After about 5-6 months of trying to keep up…  sleep deprived, working full time with newborn in tow, dealing with family crises, and having some random, crazy pregnancy/delivery induced health issues myself… I had to leave my full time job, which is what pushed me head first into growing the photography business.  

By February of 09, the business had grown to a tipping point: Now, the first few years of business building were pretty gnarly, and included ALL of the feelings and tensions I mentioned earlier.  And we now had two kids under 3, and we could barely stay afloat with our workload.   I mean, how do you work around the edges when there are no edges?  After a lot of prayer and soul searching, Derek (who had already been shooting, and helping with other parts of the biz) and I decided that him quitting his job and coming into the business full time was the right path for our family.  Two kids, the Great Recession, and self-employment- I mean, what could go wrong?  🙂

Again, we faced the lost sleep, anxiety attacks, and “Oh my gosh, what were we thinking?!?” moments.  The barely paying the bills months, up all nighters, and caffeine overloaded trial and error hustle became our norm.   I say this from a place of intimate experience… starting a business is NOT for the faint of heart, and doing it as your full time income can be just plain crazy at times!   

BUT, we knew what was in our hearts, and we knew we had to commit ALL IN.  So, through a lot praying and leaning in, we became disciplined at pushing through the fear and doubts– OK, maybe it was more like fingers in our ears, “nah, nah, nah, we’re not listening…”,  but we committed to constantly improving…to researching, learning, and then implementing the best strategies and systems that would help us grow quickly.

Fast forward to the present, we have a few more kiddos… 5 to be exact! yep. FIVE. (More stories for another time!)  We’ve also moved our family across the country and have “re-built” the business in a new state.  We’ve been entrepreneurs for over a decade, and we love it!  

It can still be stressful and overwhelming at times.. complete with the occasional anxiety attack, rough financial month, and caffeinated all nighter… but it is exciting, rewarding, and let’s us build the life we want for our family, on our terms!

And I’m guessing that’s a reason why you decided to pursue this entrepreneurial thing too…

You are a busy mama that wants to be present and devoted to your family, actively contributing to bettering their lives… but you also want to chase your dreams, model bravery for your children, create something of value in this world, and bring freedom to your life… AND YOU SHOULD.  

GO. FOR. IT.  

And you won’t have to go it alone… this is where I come in…  I am here to make your business, my business.  

YOUR dreams.  YOUR growth.  YOUR success.

You, my friend, are a rockstar in my books, and I am here to be a coach on the sidelines and your biggest cheerleader!

I’ve started Rise and Rally to help busy mamas build businesses AND family lives that thrive– to grow a business that is profitable, fulfilling, and doesn’t run your life, while creating a personal and family life you LOVE!

Derek and I love to teach, encourage, and share what we have experienced and know; we’ve been in the trenches and would love to keep you out of them, so that you have MORE time for the things you are passionate about doing!  

Rise and Rally’s vision is to provide you with “work smarter not harder” strategies so you can say buh-bye to hours upon hours of googling….”how to xyz…”, only to get lost in the weeds with 28 tabs of articles open, softwares, tutorials, and programs that might not even be what you actually need in the end!   

We’ve done the heavy lifting, and we value practical, easy to understand, action-oriented, and efficiency based solutions… so that is what we will bring to you!

Let’s get your business rockin so you can get back to playing legos, riding bikes, baking cookies, and shoot… maybe even relaxing in a bath with a book and some wine. 🙂

I look forward to serving you!

Cheering you on, 

Sarah (& Derek)

PS- Pop in the comments and tell me what kind of biz you have, and what 1 area of biz do you most want help with right now?