Productivity hacks for stay-at-home Moms….if only there was a book or some magic button, right? Luckily for you there are plenty of veteran stay-at-home Moms out there that have plenty of tips to share. And I am one of them!
I’ve been a stay-at-home Mom for six and a half years. It’s not an easy job, and being productive can be challenging. Kids cry, they fight, and they find a multitude of ways to get your attention. All of those household chores that you’re supposed to do pile up on sick days. Sports take over and you’re not always at home to cook. Whatever the scenario, chances are there is a productivity hack to make things a little bit easier for you.
Without any more delay, here are 13 simple productivity hacks for stay-at-home Moms that work.
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Productivity Hacks for Stay-at-Home Moms #1: Plan Out and Schedule Your Tasks
This is probably one of the most obvious and most recommended productivity hacks for stay-at-home Moms. Even though you might be at home all day with the kids, you can still schedule out and plan your days. A stay-at-home Mom’s day might need to be a bit more flexible based on the ages of the kids, but you can still schedule activities such as household chores, meals and exercise.
When I first started off as a stay-at-home Mom I winged just about everything. I did what I needed to do based on the day. It worked for a while, but as I started to add more activities and responsibility to my plate the need for scheduling became greater.
Scheduling doesn’t have to be hard. It can be done in an app on your phone (I use Any.Do). Scheduling can also be done in an old school paper planner. I have one of those, too. The bonus of using a paper planner is that you can 1) actually write stuff down, 2) use pretty stickers and pens to make things pop more and 3) get a break from a screen.
Productivity Hack #2: Keep Your Expectations Low On Busier Days
I can’t express this one enough: Moms, keep your expectations low on busier days! There’s always been this negative stigma associated with low expectations, but on busier days it can make all of the difference. If you have two appointments and a sports game for your kid all in one day, why would you also expect to clean the entire house that day? That’s not fair to you, Mom!
Please put this stay-at-home Mom productivity hack near the top of your list just like I did. If you over-schedule and over-book your time then you will not be as productive as you think. Yeah, you might get stuff done, but you will be exhausted. And guess what…exhaustion does not equal a productive stay-at-home Mom.
Productivity Hacks for Stay-at-Home Moms #3: Meal Plan and Prep
Meal planning and prep is another very popular and successful productivity hack for stay-at-home Moms. When you plan ahead you don’t have to spend extra time standing in front of the fridge and freezer going, “What am I going to make for dinner?”. If a pen and notebook paper are too vague and not structured enough for you, try getting a meal planner. I have one available in my Etsy shop that includes everything from weekly planners, daily planners, a kid’s meal chart, and so much more!
Meal planning is something that I’ve been doing for almost my whole career as a stay-at-home Mom. I pick one day per week, usually on the weekend, to make a list of meals for the next week. I look ahead to see what we have going on at night, making note of the nights that I can’t cook an extensive dinner. This is hands-down one of the best ways that I continue to be productive as a stay-at-home Mom.
Meal prep is not my strong suit, but it definitely helps when it comes to remaining productive. There are so many articles on Pinterest that give tons of recipes for make-ahead meals. So if you’re starting to get into meal prep but you don’t know what to make, I highly suggest you start by looking there.
Productivity Hack #4: Grocery Pick Up and Other Services
Another great productivity hack for stay-at-home Moms is grocery pick up and other grocery delivery services. Many grocery pick-up services are free to use as long as you meet a minimum bill amount, and those amounts are usually on the lower side.
Grocery pick-up has saved me so much time as a stay-at-home Mom. It has also saved me the headache of having to take my kids into the store and then having to tell them twenty times that they couldn’t get candy from the check out line (we’ve all been there at least once). A grocery trip that could easily take an hour turns into a fifteen minute pick up in the parking lot. Talk about a great productivity hack!
I’m also a big fan of grocery delivery services. There have been many days that I didn’t have time to even do a grocery pick up, or I didn’t have the energy to do it. Instacart has been my delivery service of choice, but there are plenty of others, too. Depending on where you live you may be able to use Walmart+ or Uber Eats.
Productivity Hacks for Stay-at-Home Moms #5: Give Yourself Breaks
Here is a productivity hack for stay-at-home Moms that I can not share enough: Moms…give yourself a break! Yes, Moms you need a break every now and then in order to be more productive. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long break. It can be small breaks throughout the day. Just find a pattern and time that works best for you.
During the week when my girls are at school, I like to give myself a few minutes before I head out to get them off of the bus. It usually involves me laying down on the couch and scrolling through my phone for five minutes, or setting a timer for twenty minutes and closing my eyes. On cooler days I like to go out and sit on the porch while I drink my water or my coffee. It doesn’t matter what a break looks like for you, just make sure that you give yourself one. You’ll feel refreshed afterwards.
Productivity Hack #6: Get Some Sleep
Moms, how can you be productive if you don’t get some sleep? Make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep. The Sleep Health Foundation says that adults between the age of 18 and 64 need to get 7 to 9 hours of good sleep each night. I know that can be hard for Moms, and especially new Moms, but it’s really important. If you can’t get all of that sleep at night, try to nap when your kids nap. There’s nothing wrong with a good nap, trust me!
Productivity Hacks for Stay-at-Home Moms #7: Open the Blinds
I’m no scientist, but I do know that natural lighting and opening the blinds can make you more productive. Out of all of the productivity hacks for stay-at-home Moms, this has to be one of the easiest to do.
I love opening the blinds on a sunny day. It just makes me feel better and it makes me want to do more. And guess what? There is science behind it, too. In an article written by Carla Davis on the NC State University website it talks about several studies that have been done that show that , “[…] natural light leads to enhanced productivity.” So Mom, just open the blinds. It’ll put you in a better mood, too.
Productivity Hack #8: Ask for Help
This might not seem like a productivity hack, but asking for help can be a great way to boost productivity. As Moms we often think that we have to do it all: all of the chores, all of the appointments, all of the meals and all of the sick days. But that’s not true! Asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of understanding that you are human and others can and will help you when you need it.
Now that my kids are now 6 and 8, I’ve been asking them for more help with chores around the house. They don’t always want to do it, but I’ve told them that the more help I get with the little things, the more time I have for fun stuff with them. Ask for help Moms. It’ll be okay!
Productivity Hacks for Stay-at-Home Moms #9: Group Errands Together
This is one productivity hack that I practice as much as I can. Try grouping your errands together on the same day. If you can’t fit everything into one day, try to limit errands to two days a week. It’ll save you gas, it’ll save your time and it’ll give you more room in your schedule for other things.
I’ll give you an example of how I practice this. Once a week I go to therapy. I’m only in therapy for an hour. I use my therapy days as grocery shopping days, as well. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll make sure to schedule a grocery pick up after therapy rather than going into the store. I don’t have to go out three times a week for groceries, and I can use those other days to be productive on my blog and around the house.
Productivity Hack #10: Put the Phone Down
While this hack is in an article for stay-at-home Moms, this is a productivity hack that anyone can benefit from. Put the phone down! We’re all guilty of it…we sit on the couch and scroll Facebook and Instagram for minutes and hours at a time without even realizing it. What does that do for productivity? Nothing!
There are so many articles and studies out there about screen time and productivity. Scrolling social media does little to nothing for your productivity. In fact, it can make you more tired. It can cause headaches. The list goes on and on. And trust me, your kids might even tell you to put it down. So Mamas, put the phone down. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
Productivity Hacks for Stay-at-Home Moms #11: Take a Day Off
Yes, Moms, take the day off. There is no law or rule book that says stay-at-home Moms have to work on household chores and meals and whatnot 24/7, 365 days a year. One of the best productivity hacks is to take the day off.
When you take a day off, get some rest. Spend time playing with the kids. Go out together as a family. There is nothing more productive than putting yourself, your kids and your family first. And while a day off may be tiring in other ways, I guarantee you that you will feel more refreshed and ready to go afterwards.
Productivity Hack #12: Get Up Before the Kids
No one likes waking up early. But getting up before the kids can be a great way to be more productive. Even if you’re just sitting and being still before they wake up, I guarantee you that you will feel more productive once the full day begins.
I usually get up just 20 minutes before my kids do during the week. I take that time to get dressed, to stretch and to make coffee. It’s nothing grand, but it helps me to start off my day in a more peaceful way. I don’t feel rushed, and that really helps with productivity. Any time that I feel rushed and like I’m under great pressure, I’m less likely to reach my full productivity potential as a Mom.
Even if you’re skeptical, try it once. You may be surprised at how it affects your productivity during the day!
Productivity Hacks for Stay-at-Home Moms #13: Learn From Other Moms
This one might not be as obvious as the others, but it totally can help your productivity as a stay-at-home Mom. Talk to other Moms and see what works for them! Often times we get so wrapped up in our normal routines that we don’t realize that what we’re doing isn’t working. It feels “easy” because we’re so used to it, but the reality is that sometimes routines need to change.
If you don’t have a lot of stay-at-home Mom friends, join a group on social media. Facebook is especially chock full of Mom groups. If you feel like your routine isn’t as productive as it used to be, get ideas from other Moms. They won’t all work for you, but chances are you’ll find a new idea that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
More Ways Stay-at-Home Moms Can Be Productive
These 13 simple productivity hacks for stay-at-home Moms are just the beginning of a long list of tips and tricks. There are so many other stay-at-home Moms out there with ideas that I may have never thought of myself. In a world when Moms are doing it all and kicking butt, let’s support one another by sharing the things that make Mom life a little bit easier.
So Moms, what other productivity hacks do you know of? What is your favorite way to be productive? Let me and other Moms know in the comments below!
Until next time…