Needing some productivity tips as a stay at home mom? Get more efficient with these highly effective hacks!
As stay at home moms, it feels like we have a million tiny tasks that constantly need to be done, as soon as possible. It feels like we have so much to do, but at the same time, we feel like we haven’t gotten anything done.
I mean, changing a diaper, filling a water cup, and breaking up a sibling quarrel while folding a basket of laundry doesn’t seem like a huge accomplishment.
It really just feels like folding that basket of laundry took way longer than needed.
So how can we be more productive as stay at home moms? Even with adorably tiny, yet demanding, people are needing our constant attention?
Well, I’ve put together a list of productivity tips that I have found helpful as a stay at home mom. Hopefully you will find them useful, too!
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27 Productivity Tips for Stay at Home Moms
1. Daily To Do List
I don’t know if it’s mom brain or just me, but I tend to forget things a lot. I recently started using a tiny notepad. Each day, I flip to the next page and jot down chores and reminders for the day.
I keep it right on the kitchen counter so I can always see it and check in with it. There’s a pen nearby so I can cross off what’s been done, or jot down other reminders.
This simple thing has helped me a TON. Highly recommend. Especially if you’re forgetful like me!
2. Finish your task.
I know…easier said than done. Hear me out.
Do you ever feel this way? You’re making lunch for the family. But then you realize there’s a diaper to change, and a text comes through.
The diaper and the text can wait two minutes for you to finish making lunch.
Finish your task, then move on to the next one.
3. Train your family to be patient.
This productivity tip piggybacks off the last. Train your family that they will have to wait for you.
Maybe using the word “train” sounds a little harsh.
However, you want them to learn the expectation that you are not “on demand.” …At least for minor things that really can wait just a couple of minutes.
My children have gotten very used to my response being “In a minute.” They know that I’m not going to drop what I am doing to fulfill their every desire right in the moment.
I will certainly help them and give them the attention they need. But I want them to learn to be respectful of my time. Which is a transferrable skill…and they’ll learn to be respectful of others’ time in the future!
4. Plan for nap time.
If you are lucky enough to have a nap or quiet time in your day, use it to its fullest potential!
Think ahead about what you actually want to get done during this time, and do it!
Maybe it’s doing some cleaning, or scheduling some appointments. Maybe it’s just sitting in a quiet room for a while, reading a book!
Whatever it is, plan for it, so you don’t find the time gone quite so quickly!
5. Do everything you can from one spot, first.
This productivity tip is really helpful when cooking or preparing food.
Maybe you’re fixing breakfast for everyone. You’re standing at the counter, spreading peanut butter on waffles. (Sounds disgusting to me, but my kids love it!) You need to grab some eggs from the fridge, but you also want to throw some bananas on their plates.
Since the bananas are already at the counter where you’re standing, do that first. Then, head to grab the eggs.
Doing everything you can before stepping away, even for a moment, keeps you focused, and completes tasks just a tad faster.
6. Pomodoro Method…adapted for SAHMs.
The Pomodoro Method is a productivity method. You set a timer for 25 minutes. Work only on that task for the full duration without any distractions. Then, you get a five minute break to stretch, walk around, etc. You repeat this three times, then get a half hour break. After that, you start over again.
I love this productivity tip, and find it pretty helpful. However, I often adapt it to meet my needs.
If I have a blog post to write during naptime, but also want to, say, clean the bathroom, I use the Pomodoro Method, but slightly adapted.
I’ll work on the blog post for 25 minutes, then spend 10 minutes on the bathroom. Then, I’ll repeat it process.
I find it helpful when there’s different kind of tasks I want to get done at the same time!
7. Have a cleaning schedule.
Find one that works for you, and try your best to stick to it!
8. Put systems in place.
If there’s any task that seems too cumbersome, or just annoying, try developing a system.
For example, I found grocery shopping to be a huge time suck each week. So, I developed a system that works for me, on a monthly basis, instead!
9. Early start.
This is not the productivity tip most SAHMs want to hear. But we all know that if we get up earlier, we can be more productive stay at home moms.
10. Have the kids help.
Start small. Teach the kids how to help with specific tasks. Assign them a daily task.
My kids put the silverware and kid plates away every day. It’s wonderful. It’s teaching them responsibility. And I also no longer have to deal with the silverware!
We’re also at the point where my five year old and three year old can put away their own laundry! My five year old is great with this. I can give her the basket, and it’s done.
For my three year old, I break it up. I’ll give him his pile of folded shirts to put away up in his room. He’ll come back down, and I’ll pass off his pants to him. Will I sometimes find stranded PJs on the floor in his room? Sure. But is most of that work done? Yup!
11. Get the “dishwasher” done.
For me, it’s the dishwasher. If I don’t have the dishwasher done first thing, it messes up the rest of the day.
My kids are 2, 3, and 5. This was even more true when they were all babies and toddlers. If I didn’t get the dishwasher done before getting them in the morning, then I had a mess of dishes EVERYWHERE, and basically no time to get it all away until naptime. And it would drive me crazy.
Whatever that task is that you need to have done first, get it done, so you can have a bit of peace in your day!
I mean…is there any more to say?
13. Take breaks.
This is a hard one for me. I’m not great at it.
Being a stay a home mom is a bit of a paradox. I haven’t gone to work in almost four years, which is wild to me. But, I also haven’t had a single day off.
We, stay at home moms live where we work, and work where we live. There is ALWAYS something that can be cleaned, prepped, or attended to.
However, if we get the breaks we need, it will help us be more productive when it comes time to be “on.”
14. Teach boundaries.
It’s important for our kids to know that we’re there to help them. It’s also important that they do not become demanding of our attention to the point where they tantrum if they have to wait a minute for us.
One tactic I often use is telling my child what I’m working on. Then, I’ll tell them that I’ll come read with them, or help them with blocks when I’m done.
For example, I might say, “I’m sweeping the floor. When I’m finished, I’ll help you fix your block tower.”
Learning to have patience is a good thing!
15. Get tasks done when the kids are awake.
I’m able to do more of this as the kids are getting just a tad older.
Consider what you can realistically get done with your kids around you. Don’t over-plan.
Take that task or two that you can get done, and try doing it when the kids are up!
16. Have a realistic time table.
I’ve worked hard to be better at this. And it has really helped my time management. I would constantly underestimate how long it would take me to get things done. Then, I would feel frustrated that things took me so long.
Now, I try to remember how long a particular task took me to do. When I go to do it again, I can plan for the proper amount of time. This way, I don’t feel rushed, and it’s getting done.
17. Plan out tasks over the week or month.
If you have any long-term projects, grab a calendar and plan out when you’re going to work on it.
For example, twice a year I participate in a large consignment sale. It’s very involved and takes a long time to prepare for. I’ve started jotting on the calendar which days I will work on preparing the clothes for the consignment sale.
Again, because it’s scheduled for me ahead of time, I’m able to get it done without feeling like I should be working on other things!
18. Avoid decision fatigue.
If something works, go with it! We make enough decisions in a day. We don’t need to make more for ourselves!
For this reason, my kids have very similar breakfasts and lunches each day. They like it. It’s healthy, and I don’t have to think about it!
Think about what you can streamline, so you don’t have to constantly reinvent the wheel!
19. Meal plan.
I’m not great with this productivity tip. But I know things would be a little easier for me around 3pm every afternoon if I got better at it. Maybe it’ll be my New Year’s resolution next year…
Anyhow, obviously having meals planned out ahead of time can save you time!
20. Grocery shop once a month.
I mentioned earlier that I only food shop once a month. If you’re interested in learning how to do that, I describe it in full detail here!
21. Run errands without getting out of the driver’s seat.
This is my favorite way to run errands. I don’t have to do seatbelts a million times. It’s fab. Read here how to turn errands into a breeze!
22. Have a “uniform.”
This follows the same idea of avoiding decision fatigue. Having a general sense of what you’re going to wear each day can make things just that much easier for you!
23. Teach the kids to play independently.
This is a must! Having kids that know how to play without you is necessary…especially if you want to stay sane! Need help with this? Read more here!
24. Get things done while the kids play outside.
My favorite place to fold clothes? The patio table. I know it’s silly, but I love getting chores done while the kids are outside playing!
Here’s a whole list of things you can get done, while watching your kids play in the backyard!
25. Have the proper tools.
You can get things done faster, if you have the right tools.
My husband upgraded our knife set for Christmas. Chopping those veggies really does take less time, now! And it’s less annoying!
My favorite mom “tool” is my Shark Cordless Vacuum. I’m obsessed, and I sincerely think every stay at home mom needs one.
You can vacuum Cheerios out of the highchair, dog hair off the baseboards, and clean up any spills in a snap! Sweep 24/7 like me? I just vacuum up the pile rather than dealing with the dustpan!
I literally use it a minimum of three times a day. I’ve had it for years, and it’s incredible!
26. Use the “One Touch Rule.”
The idea of the rule is that anything you touch, you put away. Rather than putting a cup on the counter to then be put in the dishwasher, you just put it right in the dishwasher instead.
Allowing this productivity tip become a habit will save you both time and clutter!
27. Curb social media.
Of course. Setting timers for social media, or giving ourselves designated times to scroll will help us from losing hours in our day to our screens. We know this. We just have to remember it when that algorithm gets ahold of us!
We can be incredibly busy in our homes as SAHMs! By using these productivity tips for stay at home moms, we can get more done, with less stress!
7 Benefits of Grocery Shopping Once a Month: Productivity Tips for Busy Moms
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6 Fast Tips to Get out the Door Quickly with Two under Two