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 can you become more productive as a mom?
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.
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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?
According to Entrepreneur magazine, early risers tend to be not only healthier, but happier too!
I knew I needed to wake up before my kids for YEARS but I struggled to make it happen consistently.
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:
- praying or meditating
- studying scripture or holding a devotion
- reading for personal development (or fun!)
- eating a proper breakfast
- getting dressed
- putting on a little makeup – check out this daily 6-minute make up routine!
- prepping a bit for dinner
- answering emails or texts
- completing a simple decluttering or organizing project
- starting some laundry – (here’s how I do clothes laundry once a week for seven people!)
- working on your home biz
For all nitty gritty 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!)
As 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:
Free Printables to help you be more productive as a mom
Before we go any further, I need to tell you that there’s an awesome resource waiting for you in the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable library!
The Daily Routines for Moms printable pack is full of great ways to help you start living mom life on purpose.
It has a list of all 23 productivity tips, plus pages for habit trackers, daily gratitude, morning and evening routines, and more!
Oh, and it’s free.
Click right here to get access to the Free Printable library, or on the image below!
#3: Get dressed
I’m gonna say it: it helps to wear real clothes.
I 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 hour 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!
Aim to get 20-30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.
Working 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.
I’m a big fan of the Les Mills On Demand at-home fitness app. It has a HUGE variety of workouts – from cardio training, HiiT, the popular Body Pump, yoga, Barre classes, and more. (For more info about my experience, check out my Instagram stories highlight about it!)
Some of my favorite at-home exercise products are:
- these inexpensive resistance bands
- a nice, thick yoga mat
- a set of small free weights
- a foam roller for stretching and recovery
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!
I 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.
#8. Read a book or devotional while you brush your teeth
I just started doing this about six months ago, and I love it.
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.
#9: Limit how often you do laundry.
Yes! Every mom’s dream is to do LESS laundry, right?!
A 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!
To find out how to plan your meal for a month in 3 easy steps, read this article here!
(You’ll also find a free Menu Planning Printable Pack with free printable menus in several colors that you can display in your kitchen in the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable library!)
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
Mama, you don’t need to spend time wandering the aisles of your local grocery store!
Opt for either free grocery pickup or consider paying for grocery delivery!
If 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
Similar 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.
To find out more about how moms can use this concept of time blocking to save time throughout the day, read this article!
#14: Set a timer for social media
It can be SO easy to get sucked into the hole of social media everyday!
Recent statistics reveal that moms check Facebook more than 6 times a day and spend 214 minutes online everyday!
While social media isn’t inherently 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.
As reported in The Independent, 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!”?
It’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.”
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 published in Psychology Today have found that one hour of rest every week can help our productivity skyrocket!
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
You may consider having your family help with the after dinner chores.
You could 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 includes 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
Here is one of my favorite mom secrets: your house doesn’t have to BE sparkling 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 your 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
This 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 tomorrow 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.
Because 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.
I absolutely LOVE the Spaces Planner and I think it’s perfect for moms!
Every week, you can create to-do lists and then schedule them into your days.
Created with moms in mind, celebrating life’s repeated tasks, and putting people over projects, the Spaces Planner is absolutely amazing! Check it out by clicking on the image below.
#23: Write a list of five things you are thankful for before bed
Ending your day with gratitude can 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 of these productivity tips at first.
Let me know which ones resonate with you in the comments below, and don’t forget to download your Daily Routines for Moms FREE Printable pack from the Free Printable Library!