These time management strategies will help make you up your productivity as a work from home or stay at home mom! Time management is crucial to efficiency as an at home parent. These will help you increase your efficiency and get stuff done in no time!
How do stay at home moms manage their time?
Honestly, some days are better than others; but overall, there are a handful of things that help, and I’m here to share them with you today!
In a nutshell, for me, these have been the biggest game changers for my time management as a stay at home / work from home mom:
- Schedules / routines
- Consistency & predictability
- Accepting help
Time Management Strategies to Thrive as a Stay at Home Mom
1) Have a schedule.
You have got to have some kind of predictability! It’s so easy to let this one go and just fly by the seat of your pants when you have nowhere to be, but kids thrive predictability, and it will help you, too, to have a guideline of how your day will go.
Don’t be too rigid though; it’s a guideline, not an absolute. There will be days where something interrupts it. That’s okay! It’s okay to have a schedule but be okay with being flexible in it, too.
To go along with this, morning and evening routine provide structure and are nice book ends to your day. I talk more about that in this post.
See the end of this post for sample schedules I have used and loved.
2) Try time blocking.
I have used this concept different times off and on for years. Basically the idea is you chunk your time throughout the day to dedicate so much time to each thing. It can work well but it can also be frustrating if something is taking “too long” in practice.
I like to create larger blocks with fewer things and resist the urge to overschedule myself. When I feel stretched thin, I don’t feel accomplished; I feel discouraged because I didn’t get done as much as I wanted to get done.
3) Get up earlier.
This was and remains one of my favorite time management tips. Is it hard to get in the habit? Yes.
Is it worth it to have the extra time? YES.
It’s rarely a matter of not enough time, and more of a question of what you’re doing with the time you have.
4) Have a 3 must do tasks and make the remaining “nice to do tasks”.
Instead of having a 6 mile long do to list and feeling discouraged that you only got the top 1/4 mile done, have three things that you laser focus on.
If you get to the rest, great! If not, do the same thing tomorrow and prioritize what is most important to you. They aren’t going anywhere, trust me.
5) Set attainable daily goals.
To complement #4, set attainable daily goals. Break them down as much as possible. Take one large goal, break it down, and work on it in pieces for days until it’s done instead of trying to do something massive in one day.
Resist the urge to over-schedule yourself.
6) Divide your goals down into bite sized chunks to work on a few each day.
This is not the same as daily goals – this is about the bigger ones. 🙂
At the end of December each year, I love to review the past year’s goals and see how many we accomplished. With those in mind, I write the following year’s goals.
Then I write January goals, and each week, I have goals with a few monthly things on it.
Each day, I work on something from the weekly. That way, I’m always working on my bigger goals, even if it’s only a little bit each day.
I talk about accomplishing goals in a lot more detail in this post.
7) Snowball your goals for the day.
Start with your shortest, quickest task. It always helps me feel more productive when I get on a roll of checking things off!
8) Stay laser-focused on ONE thing at a time.
Resist the urge to multitask as much as possible.
9) Be more than willing to delegate and accept help.
This is so important! You are AMAZING, but you are not superwoman. You’re going to have hard days. You’re going to have times where something suffers because your attention was on something else.
And guess what? You’re normal. That’s normal! We all need help. Asking for and accepting help with change the way you live. Be okay with it and rest in the knowledge that we have all been there.
How does time management help parents and kids?
It helps your kids be more even-keeled.
Kids that have schedules and predictability are automatically more inclined to listen, be more emotionally level, and happier. It lessens anxiety, uncertainty, and is beneficial for a variety of children including those with autism and ADHD.
This is a great article on the benefits of schedules for kids and how to implement them to help children!
It ensures everyone is resting enough.
Enough sleep is an absolute must to our well-being – emotionally, mentally, and physically! When I am rested, I feel better physically, and I am much more happy, calm, and patient with my kids.
Kids need enough sleep to grow and be their best little selves. If they’re tired, their emotions will be more on the surface. Everyone benefits from sleep!
It gives you needed quiet time.
When a schedule is in place, as a mom, you always know a break is coming. I like routines because they are flexible, and if your kids are having a day, rest time can come 20 minutes earlier if that’s what you all need. Be okay with flexibility!
It helps you feel more in control.
Routines prevent you from feeling like you’re spiraling and nothing is going like they should be.
It improves efficiency and fulfillment.
All the moms I know directly correlate their productivity to their definition of success. Though this is definitely not true, it does make us moms feel great to get lots of tasks checked off! And if we can benefit from something, in my opinion, it’s at least worth a try.
My favorite Quick Time Saving Tips for the Daily Grind
- If your kids are small, don’t give them baths every single day. Honestly, they don’t need it, it’s a huge ordeal the more kids that you have, and it takes so much time to do it every day.
- Dry shampoo. I probably do my hair 1-2x/week and I’m fine with it. It makes me feel more together to have it fixed, so I do; I just don’t take the time to do it every day like I once did, pre-kids.
- Cook extra 3-4x/week instead of less every day to save time on off days. This is one is probably my favorite. Purposely cook to have leftovers so you don’t have to cook every day!
- Do your least favorite thing early in the day and get it out of the way.
- Start with something quick or small to get some momentum going.
- Prepare for the next day in as many ways as possible. Make it a part of your evening routine to lay out clothes, toothbrushes, pack lunches, backpacks; what have you. Anything you can do to make tomorrow go more smoothly well help you when tomorrow comes.
Actionable Steps to Start Right Now
Pay close attention to how you spend your time for a few days.
I used to watch so much TV. So much. Even on in the background while I worked, did dishes, folded laundry. all of it. Until one day I had this epiphany about time and realized how many thousands of hours of my life had been given over to screens… namely, TV and mindless scrolling on my phone. I’ll spare you the math, but it made me cringe.
I noticed, too, how much better emotionally I felt when I wasn’t constantly externally stimulated; and found the same to be true for my kids!
Ever since, I have been very mindful of how much TV we watch in our home and how much I utilize social media – in fact, the vast majority of my social usage is for TJT. I post much less on my personal pages than I used to because of how much of a time investment it is to keep up my social pages for my blog.
What helped me:
Drastically reducing external stimulation and refusing to let it steal my time.
How to do it:
Use settings in your phone to see where your time is spent when you’re using your phone. On Android you can go into Settings > Apps > Select an app > It will tell you the percentage of the battery used and the minutes used on that app since its last charge!
iPhones can do the same thing, and if memory serves me correctly, I could even see how many hours I’d spent on a certain app for the last week.
Be hyper-aware of how you use the time you have.
I have always struggled with time management. I get on one thing, someone distracts me or I go in another room and get distracted. Before I know it, it’s easy for a whole day to go like that, and feel like I got nothing accomplished.
It’s way too easy to waste the time I do have.
What helped me:
Awareness and discipline.
What I am doing right now? What am I focusing on? Is this a good use of my time? What could I do with this time that would be an investment instead of a waste?
How to do it:
When your mind pings from thing to thing, re-focus. Do this so often it becomes a reflex.
Where is your mind? What are you supposed to be focusing on? Then write down the distraction, and go back to what you were there to focus on.
Choose to use extra time to do something that makes your heart sing instead of vegging out. I have found in the last few years, I LOVE painting, yoga, cooking, and crafting.
I think it is crucial that every mom has a great hobby to unwind and do something for herself. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, multiply that comment x about 95. I talk more about awesome hobbies with resources to get you started in this post.
This one is so hard, especially at night! But I have found that when I use extra time to spend with Jesus, read, paint, do yoga, invest in my husband, or something else I enjoy, I instantly feel more satisified and fulfilled in the knowledge that I made good use of the time I had.
Have a routine, but be okay with flexibility.
I used to be pretty rigid about schedules, and it almost drove me crazy.
What helped me:
The realization that schedules are guidelines. There are going to be days that are different, and that’s okay.
Basically, I had to relax a little. Life can’t always be perfectly choreographed, and that’s part of the beauty of it.
How to do it:
- Take three long, cleansing inhales through your nose and long exhales out through your mouth. Soft shoulders. Stretch in the back of your neck.
- Pray and ask God to give you a fresh realization of what is really important. He gave you those kids (not just any kids, but those babies!) and He gave you the perfect capacity to be the mom they need. He loves you so much, and when we ask for His help, He will give it and meet us right where we are.
- Name five small things you’re grateful for.
- Realize that you’re doing better than you think you are. You’re not alone. We’ve ALL been there.
You got this, Mama.
Practice some affirmations related to time management.
I used to think these were so cheesy… Until I tried them. And don’t ya know, they kinda helped!
Sample Stay At Home Mom Schedules I have Used & Loved
I hope you enjoyed these time management tips and that they help you as much as they have me!