Feeling stressed out by the thought of balancing parenting with work and busy schedules? Take advantage of these tips from top mommy bloggers to help increase your productivity.
It’s a known fact that parents have busy lives. There’s a lot going on in terms of responsibilities and trying to balance home & work life in the most efficient way possible. These “mommy” time-saving hacks will help prevent you from going too crazy when you have a full schedule and even less time than last week to try and get through it all. Also, this list can definitely be used for daddies too!
Are you ready to have more time for yourself and for your family? These hacks will help guide you to a more productive lifestyle and help reduce stress along the way. There’s nothing better than feeling like you’ve accomplished a whole lot in a short amount of time while still being able to spend time with your kids.
The 3 MIT's
As Fit4Mom talks about in her post about the Best Working Mom Time Hacks, figuring out your 3 MIT's is the key to saving time and being productive.
MIT's stand for the "most important things." These are the items you most want to get done in a day and that you need to accomplish. Write them down and think about how you will do each one the night before to prepare yourself mentally for the work in front of you.
Batching your work
Fit4Mom also talks about batching your work together as another great way to not waste your time trying to multi-task and just allow yourself to focus explicitly on each task at hand. If you need to run errands, do them all at once.
Same with meal planning, phone calls, meetings, and anything else you deal with on a weekly or daily basis. Do them all at once and don’t look at them again, you’ll find yourself getting through your task list in an efficient and powerful way.
Plan out your outfits
Instead of being indecisive in the mornings and wasting time, take a cue from Ashley at Coffee Cafe and Cardio and plan out your outfits the night before and take the decision making out of your hands at that 5 am wakeup call. You’ll know exactly what you need to do and how long it will take to get out the door. Use that extra time in the morning to go workout, read your favorite book, or check off another item from your task list.
She even goes so far as to say if you're planning on an early morning workout, sleep in your workout clothes! You'll automatically be ready to take on your day when the alarm goes off.
Include your kids in your routine
Parents sometimes forget that they don't have to pick and choose between working out, running errands, or spending time with their kids - include them in your routine!
Rachel at Running Rachel loves this tip when she's working out because it allows her boys to see their mother as a strong woman who enjoys a healthy lifestyle. It can also be a great way to bond more with your kids and make it a fun activity in the process.
Plan family menus & activities a week at a time
The Bayt blog recommends getting one of those large fridge magnet calendars to plan out your and your family's schedule in an organized and visual way that everyone can see. Having a plan for the week or even a month ahead of time can making scheduling in "me time" or other things that come up that much easier.
Bayt also encourages families to plan menus at the start of the week. This goes back to the whole batching concept, buy all of your groceries for the dishes you'll be making for the next week in one go. Likewise, research which dishes you'll be making for the week in one sitting ahead of time. This also allows you to often shop in bulk which can further save time and money.
Keep an all-in-one cleaner in your purse
Kids are always touching the worst surfaces full of bacteria, as well as getting stains all over their clothes on a daily basis. Wellness Mama suggests a great way to combat both of these worries is to carry an all-in-one cleaner in your purse at all times.
She recommends using a spray cleaner, like this one, that you can put on clothes to prevent stains and also use to disinfect the most germ-covered surfaces. If you take preemptive action you could very well prevent unwanted sicknesses or stains that may pop up and drain your energy at a later date.
Have healthy snacks ready to grab
Nicole from Mom Always Finds Out, has a great suggestion for those kids who come home from school and need a quick ready-to-eat snack - make a snack station!
Use a simple container in either the fridge or pantry that is eye-level and reachable for your children, that includes a variety of healthy snacks to choose from. Include dried fruit, granola bars, yogurt, sliced fruit, or anything else you deem healthy & tasty, and save yourself time when your kids are looking for a snack but it's not quite mealtime yet.
Cut yourself some slack
Lastly, it's important to be reminded that you can't do everything and you shouldn't expect to. Lifestyle guru, Lauren Conrad, says to know that it's okay to let some things suffer.
If life is particularly busy, make decisions on what you're willing to give up for the time being until life gets a little less hectic, and don't feel guilty about cutting yourself some slack to reduce your stress levels. You'll be happier in the long-run if you don't always try to fit every single thing in and take the struggle of work & life balance for what it is.
And if you really don't want to give up on any activities/tasks in your life, if it has to do with work, don't be afraid to delegate and pay someone else to do the little things. You'd be surprised at how much delegating can free up your schedule for more important moments like spending quality time with your family.