Does it ever feel like you never have enough time? Time to do the chores, time to get work done, time for YOU (and let’s be honest, time to shower). When you have kids, it feels like your years AND days shorten.
Mama, you are not alone. I promise. A couple weeks ago, I walked into my Moms n’ Tots meeting Stressed. Out. My priorities (taking care of my 6 month old, homemaking, helping my husband, BLOGGING) were really dragging me down. It didn’t feel like I had enough time in the day to get all these tasks done, let alone have time for me! Then, the speaker started to share her productivity tips for moms.
As I listened, so many light-bulbs went off. I realized that I was doing it all wrong, that the reason why I wasn’t completing my tasks was because I honestly had too many. This speaker gave me a valuable gift indeed…more time.
If you’re struggling with everyday life as a stay-at-home mom and need some hacks to help you save time then you’ve come to the right place! These productivity tips for moms have already changed my life–I can’t wait to see how they change yours.
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8 Quick and Easy Time Management Tips for Stay at Home Moms
1. Stop Cleaning and Start Organizing Efficiently
How many hours a day do you dedicate solely to cleaning? Cleaning up cheerios,
stepping on cleaning up toys, putting away massive piles of laundry?
Cleaning is one giant time-suck. It demands hours and hours and hours of our day.
It’s just so easy to become overwhelmed when you clean up a mess and then five minutes later, your little demolition expert creates a new one. And when we try to clean these messes, only to be interrupted by a new, pressing need, we are left with piles of “organized” junk that just creates more chaos and stress.
And clutter messes with your emotions. It makes you feel like a failure (especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom whose “one job” is to keep a tidy home and watch babies…), it can prevent you from inviting your friends over because of embarrassment, and it can steal precious time away from your baby in the name of cleaning.
As a new mom, this was basically my life. And endless cycle of cleaning and re-cleaning. It was just so exhausting. Another blogger recently introduced me to Hilary’s Home Organization course. The course was literally the price of a pair of flip flops and it shares the secret formula for managing a beautiful home with the extremely short amount of time you have.
What I’m learning from this course is that the key to a more productive day and a clean house isn’t actually cleaning… it’s creating organizational systems that work and basically maintain themselves. Once you create an efficient home organization system, you instantly gain so many more hours that you can spend doing the things that actually matter.
(Here’s the link to Hilary’s Home Organization Course!)
2. Focus on the Power of Three
The fact is, sometimes you feel like you don’t have enough time on your plate because you don’t. None of the tips I list below will do you any good if you’re stretching yourself too thin. Or, if you use the tools below and you fill up those time slots with more tasks. (Mmhmm, I know you!) The biggest time-saver for me was identifying my true priorities.
Right now, identify the 3 core components of who you are.
For me, I’m a Christian, a wife, and a mother. That’s listed by priority level. For you, it might be mother, realtor, and vegan. I don’t know, that’s between you, yourself, and…you.
Once you’ve got your three main priorities, you’ve drawn an invisible line. Anything below that line is fuzz.
Related Post: Conquer Stay-at-Home Mom Guilt With This One Sentence
3. Identify What is Getting in the Way of Your Top 3 Priorities
Your top 3 priorities should take precedence over everything else, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Look for red flags that you aren’t focusing on your priorities. This is usually what stresses you out the most.
For example, my first priority is being a Christian. But, ugh! I never have time to read the Bible. That’s a big red flag that I’m letting other things get in the way of my main priority! Seriously. Red flag.
Have you become short tempered with your child lately because they always seem to demand your attention when you just need to get things done? Yep, another red flag.
Is your husband complaining that you never spend time together? Red. Flag.
Those red flags are cues that you have prioritized other things. If you’re feeling helpless right now, like there’s no way you can squeeze any more time in the day to focus on your 3 main priorities, then it’s a good time to take a hard look at those distractions and DROP them from your plate.
For example, my husband has complained that I am way too focused on my blog. Now, between all of my responsibilities, I barely have time to blog as it is.
However, my husband is still one of my top priorities and blogging is probably my 4th. So, once a week, I’ve made a commitment not to do any blogging. In addition, I’ve set aside an hour to two exclusively to him.
You know what I’ve found from this new technique? The blog can–and does–wait. And I feel so much less stressed because of this decision!
Running out of time? Pin it!
4. Pick a Day and Plan Out Your Week
Now that you have your priorities straight, planning out your week should be the next step. Grab a planner, calendar, bullet journal, whatever, but write it out. It sounds silly but this not only increases your productivity, but it totally reduces your stress.
Think about it, when you worked outside the home, didn’t you have some sort of schedule? I know when I worked in the interior design field, I would have never remembered a single appointment if I hadn’t had my calendar. Treat #momming like a job.
BUT REMEMBER TO SCHEDULE IN FLEX TIME—if you’re the type that likes to plan, you’re more likely to stuff your schedule. By the end of the week, you may STILL feel like you don’t have enough time. You may not be accounting for natural disasters your kids or any hiccups. Schedule in some YOU time as well.
Now, I won’t get into my spiel about getting your kids on a good schedule. But, if you do have a baby, starting a great schedule has been my secret weapon to success.
5. Go Grocery Shopping Once a Week
Man, this can take a while to get right, but once you do…you’re going to add HOURS to your schedule.
Grocery shopping is a stress-filled, time suck. (Can I get an amen?)
Here’s the time I’ve calculated for my grocery shopping trips
- Make List—15 minutes
- Get Cali/House/Dog ready- 15 minutes.
- Get me ready—10 minutes
- Drive to the store—15 minutes
- Grocery shop—45 minutes (if I’m quick)
- Drive Home—15 minutes
- Put groceries away—10 minutes
That is over TWO HOURS dedicated to a single event! With one baby! Do you have more than one kiddo? When you grocery shop multiple times a week, you are literally throwing away time.
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Do yourself a favor, plan your trips to the letter before you go and ensure that you don’t forget a single item.
(And for all that is holy, do NOT go shopping without linking your card with Ebates. I started doing a couple months ago and every month I’m seeing free money go into my wallet. If you haven’t already signed up, that link gives you $10 right off the bat. Ka-ching! )
6. Don’t Go Grocery Shopping at All
Say whaaa? Surely, I must be talking about one of those expensive grocery delivery services. Nope.
Wal-Mart grocery is THE best thing since sliced bread. Heck, try the invention of the wheel. If you have one in your town, USE IT. I was a little skeptical at first but I’m on my fourth run now and it’s amazing. You pick out your items online (including meat and produce!), they do the hard work of gathering it and all you have to do is pull up to the Wal-Mart grocery loading zone. They even load it for you.
7. Meal Prep and Meal Plan
In my third trimester, some awesome ladies introduced me to meal prep. Post-pregnancy, I fought this one hard. Let’s face it, meal prep requires some time. But, like planning out your week, it saves time in the long run.
When you BATCH meal prep, you’re literally eliminating hours of work from your week. When you meal prep, try to coordinate the ingredients with other recipes. For example, meal prep your chicken pot pies with your cheesy chicken enchiladas. That’s two birds (hahaha) with one stone.
If you’re new to meal prep and meal planning, I have an entire Pinterest section devoted to it, including recipes you can try and how to efficiently start it. Or, you can check out Meal Planning Mommies …the hidden gem of the interwebz.
8. Incorporate Power Hour
I.Love.Power Hour! (Er, not the drinking event).
If you’re new to the concept, it’s a designated amount of time when you get stuff done very quickly. For me, it’s usually during my baby’s third nap. By then, my creative juices are gone. I think there’s 2 things that make a successful power hour.
- Write out your goals first. If I have a cleaning list I’ve been trying to get to for a week, I put it on the power hour checklist and BAM! Eliminated.
- Amp yourself up. Listen to music, call your best friend, anything that jazzes your up but DOESN’T distract you from accomplishing that checklist.
Bonus Tip: Get Some Sleep!
I know that is easier said than done, especially with babies, but if you’re truly going to accomplish your goals during the day, you need appropriate rest. If you’re struggling with sleeping at night (or struggling to get your baby to sleep at night), I have a ton of resources available to help you. Just check them out:
Those are my Productivity Tips for New Moms….or any mom, really.
Okay, Mama. Those are my quick and easy productivity tips for new moms. I truly hope that you find these tips helpful and you’re able to implement them in your daily life. If I can do anything for you, give any kind of advice, please let me know in the comments below. As a mom who’s been there, I’d like to be there for you!
Until Next Time!