INSIDE: In this post, I’m sharing my best productivity hacks for stay-at-home mums. Want to get more done whilst looking after your kids without losing your sanity? Give them a try! Home life will become LESS stressful and MORE enjoyable before you know it!
Being a stay-at-home mum is far from easy…
There’s always so much to do! And unlike my old office job, there’s no 9-5, no set lunch break and coffee breaks are far and few between. There’s no switching off to head home at the end of the day either and when your kids are under five, there’s a 99% chance you’ll get disturbed at least three times during the night too!
Looking after the kids and the home when you’re a stay-at-home mum can feel like mission impossible. If we’re to make it through to the end of the day in one piece, we need to find a way to manage our time. Because if we don’t, things can get pretty crazy!
So how do we do it?
By being productive! If we’re to get things done, we need to make the most of the time we have. But finding the motivation to be productive can be tough – especially if we’re exhausted from a night of changes and feeds. Just how do we stay motivated and get things done? And how can we make the most of the time we have?
My top productivity hacks…
Below are ten of my favourite productivity hacks to help you find the motivation you need to boost your productivity as a stay-at-home mum. Want to know what they are? Keep reading!
#1. | Get up earlier
The first and probably most effective of my productivity hacks is to get up earlier. It can be incredibly tempting to hit that snooze button and stay in bed, but try to resist the urge. Make the effort to get up before everyone else so that you have time to gather your thoughts and plan out your day. It doesn’t have to be mega early, just half an hour can make all the difference.
If you can, try to have some time for you too. Have a bath or shower, read a few pages from your book or a magazine and enjoy your cup of coffee while it’s still hot. You’ll be amazed by how those few minutes to gather your thoughts before all the chaos begins sets you up for a successful day!
#2. | Have a routine
Routines make life so much easier to manage. And that’s why they’re one of my most favourite productivity hacks. With routines, not only do you know exactly what you’re doing when, there’s also no worrying about what’s next because you’ve already figured it out. Helping you to put your day on autopilot, routines free up your mind so that you can focus on the task at hand without getting distracted. Which makes you more productive!
If you want to be more productive, routines are key. When there’s routine, not only do you function better but your kids do too. Even if you’re not a natural planner, try scheduling out your day and creating a routine to help you to get everything done. Follow it for a couple of weeks and see how much more productive you are. You’ll be amazed by the difference it makes!
#3. | Get dressed for your day
Life as a stay-at-home mum can make you want to stay in your pyjamas all day but don’t do it! Stepping out of those yoga pants and into a pair of jeans can be a real motivator for getting things done. Especially if you throw on some mascara too!
When you dress for your day you’re subconsciously telling yourself you’re ready for work. And that increases your motivation – which in turn increases your productivity. It’s a small switch but incredibly effective. Try it at least once a week and watch your morale – as well as your productivity levels – receive a little boost!
#4. | Prepare the night before
We all know that preparing for a day out the night before saves our time, energy and sanity. But it’s the same for when we’re staying at home too. Just because you’re not going out, doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for the next day. Get ahead of the game by taking a few minutes to prepare for tomorrow before you go to bed tonight.
Lay out everyone’s clothes so they’re ready to be worn. Prepare as much of your lunch as you can. Put the next load of washing in your machine ready. Take dinner out the freezer so it can defrost. Doing these things might only take a few minutes but you’ll really thank yourself come morning. Not only will it help you feel in control of your day, it’ll save you a ton of time too!
#5.| Find opportunities to relax
Us mums work our butts off and we deserve time to relax. If we were working outside the home, we’d be entitled to regular breaks. And so I don’t see why it should be any different when we’re a stay-at-home mum. And that’s why finding opportunities to relax is next on my list of productivity hacks!
We all need time to recharge – even if it’s just a few minutes here and there. Find opportunities throughout your day to relax. Whether it’s five minutes or half an hour, it doesn’t matter. Give yourself a few minutes to regroup and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle whatever’s next on your list.
#6. | Set nap time or quiet time
Set nap times are what kept me sane when my youngest was little. I would look forward to those couple of hours each day because it was the only time I could stop and have five minutes to think about what I needed to do next.
I would challenge myself to get done as much as possible during the morning nap so that I could have the hour during his afternoon nap to myself. Knowing that latter hour was all mine was enough to make sure I got everything done!
When he was done with naps we switched to quiet time. He still went in his cot – and later his travel cot along with a few toys – at the same time every day. I would tell him that it was quiet time and Mummy time which helped me get things done. He very soon got used to it and I’m pretty sure that being so consistent with nap times helped him get into a good sleep schedule too.
#7. | Teach independent play
Teaching independent play is probably one of the most useful productivity hacks you can adopt. Start this from an early age and the older they get, the longer they’re happy to play by themselves. And the longer they play by themselves, the more you get done!
Our children don’t need, nor should they have, our attention 24/7. We don’t need to play with them all day and time by themselves is good for them. Letting them learn to play by themselves when Mummy needs to get some work done encourages imaginative play and helps them to be creative. Build independent play into your day and see how quickly they (and you!) start to enjoy time playing by themselves.
#8. | Delegate chores
Just because you’re a stay-at-home mum doesn’t mean you have to do everything all the time. If they’re old enough, get your kids involved and have them help with the chores. This not only teaches them responsibility, it takes things off of your to-do list too!
Harrison helped me with the chores from a very young age. His favourite was doing the laundry with me. He loved sorting the washing into the right piles and would help put his clothes away. Now he’s 8, he lays the table every mealtime and helps with the dusting. My eldest has his own chores too. He’s 20 and so he washes his own bedding, unloads the dishwasher every day and is responsible for taking out the bins when they’re full. And every Saturday he hoovers the whole house too.
Make life easier and get more done in less time by showing your kids what they can do to help you out. Not sure which chores to delegate at what age? This chart from Your Modern Family will help!
#9. | Don’t be afraid to ask for help
We might want to keep going and do things at lightning speed but we’re not Wonder Woman. No matter how much we might want to – or think we should – it’s just not possible to do all the things. And sometimes we need a little help. Asking for help doesn’t mean we’re not capable nor does it mean we’re failing.
Whether it’s your husband, another member of the family or a close friend – never feel ashamed for feeling worn out and needing help with any part of motherhood. You could even team up with another mum and take it in turns to babysit for an hour or two so you can get things done. Remember, it takes a village. Us mums need to stick together!
#10. | Embrace the chaos!
The final of my productivity hacks? Embrace the chaos! Life is full of seasons and some days will just be crazy. My kids might be older now but there are still days where my house is a mess. There’ll be piles of washing lined up waiting to go in the machine. The ironing basket will be overflowing and there’ll be dishes piled up by the sink. But do you know what? I don’t let it get to me. I’ve learned that I cannot do it all. There’s always tomorrow and that’s okay.
If you’re having a day where things aren’t going as planned, give yourself some grace. Embrace the chaos and tell yourself you’ll start again tomorrow.
Productivity hacks for stay-at-home mums…
There you have it! My best productivity hacks for when you’re a stay-at-home mum. It’s taken a lot of trial and error, blood sweat, and tears for me to discover these but they definitely keep me on the straight and narrow. Give them a try too and I promise you home life will become a lot less stressful and much more enjoyable! Here they are again:
- Get up earlier.
- Have a routine.
- Get dressed for your day.
- Prepare the night before.
- Find opportunities to relax.
- Set naptime or quiet time.
- Teach independent play.
- Delegate chores.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Embrace the chaos!
That’s it for this post! Which productivity hack was your favourite? Which will you be trying first? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
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