How to Be More Productive as a Mom

Mama, are you wondering how you can be more productive at home?

It is no question that being a mom is a serious job that requires a HUGE amount of time!

It is SO easy to get bogged down in the daily grind of dishes, meals, diapers, laundry, vacuuming, etc, etc, etc.

By the end of the day, it can be so easy to fall into bed thinking, “What did I actually DO all day” or “How did I actually add value and meaning to my life?”

Can you relate?

As moms we tend to react to demanding situations all day long –  rather than intentionally creating opportunities to grow, create, play or rest.

So how do we become more productive as moms?

Here are 23 simple ways to help you multiply your time so you can go to bed actually feeling like you’ve had a productive day.

how to be more productive as a mom

Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission if you click through or purchase. I only recommend products that I feel strongly you will love and will help you to live your mom life on purpose.

How to Be More Productive in the Morning

 

#1: Wake up before your kids

This is first for a reason y’all. I know it may sound impossible, but hear me out, okay? 

I knew I needed to wake up before my kids for YEARS.

waking up early is the #1 way to be more productiveLearning that early risers tend to be not only healthier, but happier too made a big impact on my decision to actually start waking up early. 

I started to put my phone across the room at bedtime, so I’d have to actually get out of bed to turn off the alarm at 5am every morning. And I also bought a sunrise lamp like this that gradually lightens the room before the alarm goes off! 

I’ll be honest: it took a little time to get used to it.

But now I wouldn’t trade my quiet morning hours for anything! 

You could spend this time before kids are awake doing all kinds of important things to help you be more productive:

  • exercising
  • praying or meditating
  • studying scripture or holding a devotion
  • reading for personal development (or fun!)
  • journaling
  • eating a proper breakfast
  • showering
  • getting dressed
  • putting on a little makeup or doing your hair
  • starting some laundry
  • prepping a bit for dinner
  • answering emails or texts
  • completing a simple decluttering or organizing project
  • working on your home biz

For all details about how you can make waking up early a habit, read this post! 

#2: Make your bed

Making your bed is one of the simplest ways to start your day productively. And it only takes a few seconds! (Seriously, try timing yourself – you might be surprised!) 

making your bed helps you have a productive dayAs soon as you are up and out of bed, spend two minutes pulling up the covers and placing the pillows neatly on top. Voila! You’ve already accomplished one task!

Even if you have a baby crying in another room, take the time and get this done.

And no matter what else may happen during the day, you’ll know that you’ve conquered making your bed! 

One of my favorite explanations about the importance of making your bed is this video of a graduation speech given by Navy Admiral McRaven at the University of Texas, Austin. 

Before we go any further, let me tell you that I’ve created an awesome resource to help you boost your mom life productivity! 

This 20+ page printable pack is full of great ways to help you start living mom life on purpose. 

It has pages with menu planning helps, printable calendars, laundry and cleaning schedules, habit trackers, gratitude writing, morning and evening routines, recipes for making your own homemade cleaners, and more!

Oh, and it’s free. 

the productivity printable pack will help you live your mom life on purpose

#3: Get dressed

I’m gonna say it: it helps to wear real clothes.

getting dressed really boost your productivityI know we all have our activewear days, but it’s a fact that how we dress impacts our productivity.

So pull on your favorite jeans and top, add a little jewelry and brush your hair.  Read this post here for more detailed info about how getting dressed everyday helps us to be more productive and feel better about our days.

The bottom line: you will feel better in minutes and find yourself gaining the energy to be more productive as a mom. 

#4: Stay off your phone for the first 2 hours of the day.

This one can be tricky, but it is incredibly helpful.

Are you ready to know why?

The minute we start checking email and social media, we head into response mode. We know that this is a mama’s general M.O. as we constantly answer demands all. day. long. 

We want to delay getting into response mode for as long as possible in the morning! 

#5: Exercise

Aim to get 20-30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.

exercise is a great way to start your morning productivelyWorking out at home can be really simple. You can check out yoga and workout videos on Youtube, subscribe to an exercise app, or walk or run with a friend.

Some of my favorite at-home exercise products are:

If you like to walk or run on a treadmill, or workout on an elliptical, try reading while you workout too! You might think it’ll throw off your balance, but I got pretty good at it in about two weeks.

Or, if you prefer to walk or run outside (or the reading doesn’t work!), listen to a podcast as you exercise to double up on your efforts to be more productive.

#6. Eat a healthy breakfast

Taking the time to sit down with a healthy breakfast can really feel like self-care for moms! 

all moms need to eat breakfast because it helps to be more productiveI don’t know about you, but I eat most of my meals standing up while I’m taking care of everyone else’s needs. 

Breakfast doesn’t need to be extravagant or time-consuming. 

Some of my favorite quick, healthy and delicious breakfasts are:

  • scrambled eggs with sauteed peppers
  • avocado toast with eggs over hard and a bit of red pepper
  • whole grain toast with ricotta and grapefruit
  • homemade quick oatmeal with almond milk and frozen berries
  • smoothies with almond milk, Greek yogurt, flax seed, spinach and various fresh and frozen fruits
  • potato, wilted kale and baked egg hash

 

How to Be More Productive During the Day

 

#7: Listen to podcasts

Speaking of podcasts, listen while you fold laundry, cook, shower or drive.

You can learn so much by just listening throughout the day.

There are thousands of options to choose from.

Some of my favorite motivational podcasts are by Terri Savelle Foy and Darren Hardy, so give ’em a try if you’re looking for inspiring and motivational content in the morning. 

I’m also a fan of Chalene Johnson, Ali Brown and Brilliant Business Moms for business encouragement, interviews, and how-tos. 

#8. Read a book or devotional while you brush your teeth

I just started doing this about six months ago, and I love it.

how to be more productive? read a book Two minutes of brushing and reading twice a day adds up to just under 30 minutes of reading a week.

To make sure I brush for a full two minutes, I bought an electric toothbrush like this that keeps a timer (and lets me know when it’s time to switch to the next section of my teeth!). 

If you are like me, I wanted to read for so many years, but felt like I could never find the time.

I realized that if I wanted to start reading consistently, I’d need to attach reading to a habit I already had. Hence the toothbrushing.  

Honestly, it isn’t hard to hold a book in one hand and a toothbrush in the other. I mean, we’re moms, right?! The page turning can be a little tricky, but if I can do it, you can do it! 

Seriously though, feeding my mind by reading has a big impact on helping me to be more productive as a mom.

you can increase your daily productivity

 

#9: Limit how often you do laundry.

Yes! Every mom’s dream is to do LESS laundry, right?! 

consolidating laundry is a great productivity tipA few years ago I started to time-block our family laundry, and it has had a massive impact on my productivity.

I launder sheets and towels once a week.  I run all the clothes on another day once a week. That’s it.

Can you imagine having 5 laundry-FREE days every week?!

When a load is done on laundry day, fold it as soon as possible. You could fold while reading to your kids, watching TV, listening to a podcast or while your kids are completing their individual homework.

Be sure to put all the folded clothes away quickly!

I put our folded clothes back into the laundry basket, which my kids deliver to the appropriate bedroom. My kids and husband are then responsible to put their own clothes away.

If you feel that laundry is something that is always hanging over your head, give this weekly laundry system a try

#10: Plan your dinner meals a month in advance.

Trust me, this is so much EASIER than it sounds!

creating a weekly and monthly meal plan is so helpful in helping moms to be more productiveI’ve got a great system that makes meal planning super easy, as well as a free printable menu in several colors that you can display in your kitchen.

After a year of using my meal planning system, your meal planning for a month will only take you about five minutes to apply to each new month.

Talk about feeling more productive as a mom!

#11: Order your groceries

Y’all, you don’t need to spend time wandering the aisles of your local grocery store!

grocery delivery is a huge time saverIf you’re concerned about the marbling in your steak or are picky about the color of your bananas (like me!), go into a store for these items ONLY.

Let a personal shopper do the rest for you. 

I recommend finding out when the line for grocery pickup is the shortest and scheduling your pickup for that time.

 To get really effective with this, plan your grocery pickup and/or shopping trip for the same day and time every week.

Update: for Mother’s Day 2020, my husband gifted me with a year of grocery delivery! It is heaven to have our food  show up on the doorstep every week. 

#12: Do a small amount of dinner prep during lunch

Having a jump start on dinner is SUPER helpful when 4pm rolls around and you’re tired from the day!

You may consider spending two or three extra minutes cooking some noodles or chopping veggies for dinner when you’re already in the kitchen fixing lunch.

Having one small dinner task completed in advance is a huge motivator to get up and complete your dinner prep later in the day!

#13: Batch prep your meals

batch prepping meals is another big time saver for momsSimilar to consolidating your laundry days, you may also consider batch prepping your meals. 

Spend one afternoon or evening cooking or grilling all the meat you’ll need for the week. You could make spice mixtures and dressings, chop vegetables, or prepare casseroles for several meals all in one go. 

I love this because it means we only make one giant mess in the kitchen as opposed to  having a smaller mess to clean up every. single. day. 

#14: Set a timer for social media.

It can be SO easy to get sucked into the hole of social media everyday, isn’t it? 

It is reported that moms check Facebook more than 6 times a day and spend 214 minutes online everyday

While social media isn’t bad, you may consider setting a time limit for how much time you’ll spend on it everyday.

When you sit down with your phone, set a simple timer like this and put it across the room so you’ll have to get up and turn it off.

For many moms, consuming a lot of social media leads to feelings of comparison and diminished self esteem, which are rarely great motivators for true productivity. 

#15: Do your least desirable tasks first

Have you ever heard the phrase “Eat the frog!”?  

productivity tip: do the hardest task firstIt’s based on a quote from Mark Twain, who wrote, “If it’s your job to eat a live frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two live frogs, eat the biggest one first.” I love that!

When it comes to your undesirable tasks, I encourage you to do the hardest one first. Then work quickly and efficiently.

Challenge yourself to really focus and get it done in 30 minutes or less.

You could also turn on your favorite hype music to really help yourself to be more productive! 

#16. Schedule time for rest

This may seem counterintuitive. But studies have found that one hour of rest every week can help our productivity skyrocket

taking a nap can actually help you to be more productive!Scheduling time for rest is so essential to our mental and emotional health. 

If either of those are struggling, you’ll have a much harder time being productive, right?

So give yourself permission to read for fun, take a nap, play with your kids, or just sit down on the couch for a bit too! 

How to Be More Productive in the Evening

 

#17: Involve your family with the dinner chores

have your family help with the dinner choresIn our home, we rotate which kids set and clear the table, clean counters, sweep the floor, and help with dishes. When you have helpers, this can go very quickly.

Becoming more productive as a mom definitely should include learning to delegate!

And having the dishes done and a clean sink every night helps you to feel more productive the next morning too! 

#18: Do a quick pick-up around the house before bed

schedule a 5 minute pickup to get a jump start on the next dayHere is one of my favorite mom secrets: your house doesn’t have to BE clean to LOOK clean! 

If you can make sure that everything has a place and that clutter is cleared from the floor and most surface areas, your house WILL LOOK clean. 

So before you head back to your bedroom at night, do a quick 5-10 minute pick up all over your house. 

#19: Connect with your spouse

Going through the motions of dinner, evening, and getting kids to bed can make it easy to forget to connect with our significant other. 

But carving out a little time for each other after the kids are in bed can be another time for you to rest during the evening hours. 

I know too many moms who fill their evenings with book clubs, baby showers, PTA meetings, church events, etc.

While these things can be good in moderation, I believe the value of staying home and resting with our loved one is often even greater. 

#20: Set out your clothes for the next day

setting out your clothes is an easy productivity hackThis is such a simple habit to start and helps you feel more excited about getting dressed in the morning. 

If you plan to workout in the morning, set your workout clothes on top of your sneakers. 

Pull your outfit for the next day – regardless if it’s something fancy or just leggings and a tee – and put it someplace in your closet or bathroom where you will see it in the morning. 

#21: Turn off screens one hour before bed

This is so important for a good night’s rest! 

All LED screens, such as computers, tablets, and phones all emit blue light. This blue light suppresses our body’s ability to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone.

When we don’t have enough melatonin, it can be difficult to fall asleep and to sleep peacefully. 

If you absolutely must look at a screen before bed, you may consider buying a pair of inexpensive blue-light blocking glasses like these! 

I really love mine and definitely feel like they make a difference.

#22: Plan your next day

Taking a few moments at the end of the day to make a plan for the next day is a great way to help you be more productive. 

While you might be used to writing a to-do list, I highly recommend that you DON’T use this to-do list as a plan for the day.

Why?

writing a gratitude list every night is a great life habitBecause as moms, it is easy to have a to-do list that is a mile long! When we continually look at our unfinished list, it is easy to become unmotivated. 

Instead, choose a few high-priority items from your to-do list and schedule them into your day. 

My very favorite planners of all time are both by Clever Fox. They are great quality and have made a huge impact on helping me to identify my daily priorities and schedule them into my day!

The daily planner has a page for everyday, broken down into hours. The weekly planner PRO shows you your entire week on one page, with lots of helpful sections for habit tracking, and a life-balance to-do list that I love.

Both are undated, so you can start using them at any time! Finally, they are super high-quality and have withstood living in a house with five kids with no troubles at all! 🙂 

#23: Write a list of five things you are thankful for before bed

This will center your mind and help you to see where things have gone right throughout the day instead of focusing on what you didn’t accomplish. 

I write my list in my planner, but you could choose to write your list in a pretty gratitude journal like this.

Practicing gratitude daily can have a major impact on your life!

Final thoughts on how to be more productive as a mom

Now here’s a big reminder: You don’t need to do all of these at once! 

In fact, PLEASE don’t. We all know how real mom overwhelm can be – and this list isn’t intended to add to that at all! 

I recommend that you choose only TWO to get started.

Let me know which ones resonate with you in the comments below, and don’t forget to download your free printable help sheet and habit tracker! 

you can be more productive everyday!

Related articles about increasing your productivity:

5 Reasons Why Every Mom Needs the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

How to Boost Your Productivity during a Pandemic

What are some of your best productivity tips for moms? 

this productivity printable pack will help you be more productive everyday
How to Be More Productive as a Mom
How to Be More Productive as a Mom
How to Be More Productive as a Mom

30 thoughts on “How to Be More Productive as a Mom”

  1. These are all such great tips and many I need to work on! I think I’ll start by getting dressed everyday lol. As a SAHM I all too often will just stay in my pajamas because I dont care to impress a 2 and 4 year old haha, but it would definitely impact my productivity to start the day LOOKING like I’m ready to get to work!

  2. Planning a meal a month ahead will definitely not work for me. Like it will a very long time for my mindset to around the idea. I just love eating different every day, my daughter eats all the time too. However, I like the idea, a great way to save money too.

    1. Hi Sonia, I was skeptical of the monthly meal planning at first too. But cutting $500 from our grocery budget after the first few months of planning a month at a time definitely made me a believer!! 🙂

  3. Love these tips. Reading while brushing teeth! Wouldn’t have thought of that! I have been ordering my food shopping lately to save time and it
    Feels so good not to spend so much time in this task.

    1. Yes! I completely agree about ordering groceries! Two days before Christmas, I couldn’t get a pickup time slot, so I had to do the actual shopping myself … ugh!!! Not fun! And let me know if you start reading while you brush! 😉

  4. I’m slowly getting there. I do most of your tips but you had a few more that I need to add to my list like stay off of my phone for the first two hours! Brilliant!

  5. I absolutely love your idea about doing just a little meal prep while you’re fixing lunch. I’m the worst about meal planning and prepping. I’m checking out the system that you mentioned in the monthly meal planning.

    1. Rikki, I’m so glad the quick meal prep during lunch is helpful! It definitely can help me get back to the kitchen in the afternoon. And I’ll tell you, I love monthly meal planning! It can take a bit to get used to, but it really can be a huge timesaver. I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

  6. Ugh, I totally agree with ordering groceries and having them delivered, and there used to be a great online grocery service around here….until there isn’t. I don’t know what happened but they closed down.

    1. Oh man! That’s too bad!!! I know having to actually go into the store and shop is definitely #firstworldproblems, but I do feel for you on this!!

    1. Me too, Amber! We can learn so much by listening! And listening to a podcast while folding laundry, cooking, or driving helps us to feel doubly productive!! 🙂

  7. Great tips! I’m always looking for productivity tips because it is something I struggle with as a stay-at-home mom. I will definitely start implementing these. I think the most helpful will be to not touch my phone for the first 2 hours. It will be difficult, but I know that it will make a huge difference in my productivity! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much, Heather! Staying off the phone in the AM can make a big impact on our mornings! You can do it! I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

  8. I would love to wake up before the kids but they wake up too early! I already plan out dinners (most weeks) but I need to be better about consistently doing it. I love the idea of setting a timer for social media! I think that would really help!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Brittany! Setting a timer for social media and planning dinners in advance definitely make a difference! Good job, mama!

  9. These are great tips! I know waking up early really helps but my youngest still isn’t sleeping through the night so it’s out for now but I think I could apply some of the other ones.

  10. I really needed this. I always find myself doing laundry with no idea how all the clothes keep piling up so fast! Thanks for the great tips!

  11. Hi Jen! These are great tips! My favorite was tip #1. I’ve been making more of an effort to wake up before our little guy to start the day off in peace and spend some alone time with God. Great post!

  12. Great ideas to be productive! I am someone who feels accomplished with making the bed, working out before my daughter gets up and getting ready to feel pretty. It makes a world of difference!

  13. Such a great read! Some of these things I do and didn’t even realize the benefits I could be getting. I love listening to podcasts. I’m a sucker for true crime and a good gossip podcast. I also try to workout at least 20-30 minutes per day as it makes me feel great!

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