Moms have a lot to do during the day, yet it is easy to look up at the end of the day and wonder, “what did I actually accomplish besides keeping the kids alive?”
I have gone from stay-at-home mom to working outside the home to stay-at-home mom again. Now I work from home while my kids are in school.
If anyone gets it, it’s me. I know what it’s like to live in complete chaos and turn it around to create order and structure.
I am not a naturally productive person, but I have worked hard to change that. It takes discipline and focus, but it is possible.
How to be more productive at home
It is amazing what I can accomplish now that I have changed a few key habits. I have gone from someone who regularly underperforms to someone who overproduces most of the time.
I’m going to show you exactly how to be more productive at home by sharing ten tried and true methods that have worked for me.
1 // Identify your priorities
Priorities are the things that you consider to be most important in life. To approach each day with purpose, you must know your priorities.
A clear vision of what matters to you will allow these things to guide how you spend your time. Spending time on the things that are truly important to you brings satisfaction rather than frustration.
Take some time to consider what your priorities are and list them in order of importance. Your priorities might include things like spiritual growth, your marriage, time with your children, your health, etc.
This will look different for everybody. If your list is too long, narrow it down to 3-5 items at the most.
2 // Create good routines
A routine is a set of habits that you perform the same way each and every day. I am a big believer in using routines in a systematic way to get things done.
Good habits are the best way to ensure that you stay on track no matter what you are trying to accomplish. Routines give order and structure to your day, which is super important.
Does doing the same thing day in and day out sound boring and restrictive? I think you will be pleasantly surprised that there is freedom in discipline.
I like to establish a morning and evening routine that allows me to start my day off right and end my day well. Each routine has a different goal.
My morning routine includes things that encourage productivity throughout the rest of the day. The evening routine includes things that allow me to rest well, knowing that I can start fresh the next day.
Incorporating these routines allows flexibility with the rest of my day because I know I have time set aside for the things that are most important.
3 // Develop a realistic schedule
Do you know what tasks to complete each day and when to complete them?
If not, you will benefit from developing a schedule. You can do this using a paper or digital calendar, or a task management system, like Trello.
First, identify the time you have available. Next, determine what needs to get done by making a list of everything that needs to happen each week.
Create your schedule by accounting for the essentials first. Then fill in high-priority activities where you have open time.
A solid schedule is one that you can actually maintain. I don’t set an hour-by-hour schedule. Instead, I view my day in blocks of time that I dedicate to different types of tasks.
My schedule is fluid, as is life, and can be changed easily depending on what is required of me from week to week.
4 // Wake up early
I love waking up early. I used to be a self-proclaimed night owl until I realized how much waking up early could totally change my life.
The early morning hours are a great way to sneak in whatever it is you don’t have time for during the day.
Once I started waking up early, I realized how much I could accomplish before 9 a.m. How you start your day determines the rest of your day.
Waking up early gives me time to savor my coffee while reading my Bible, spend about an hour writing, and then get ready for the day.
By the time my kids wake up to get ready for school, I already feel like I’ve accomplished so much. When I sleep through my alarm, I start my day feeling behind.
Waking up early makes me a happier person and a better mom.
5 // Get dressed
As a mom who is home most of the time, it is so tempting to stay in my cozies all day. You would think that working from home, it wouldn’t matter what I was wearing.
However, I am always more productive when I get dressed and ready for the day. When I look presentable, I feel more confident and approach my day with energy.
This doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time. I can get ready in 30 minutes or less most days. Click here for a 5-minute makeup routine for busy moms.
You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style either. Throw on some leggings with a cute top and a cardigan, or a maxi dress if it’s warm outside.
You can dress pretty casually these days and still look pulled together. It’s not about what other people think, though, it’s about you and your self-confidence.
Taking that time for yourself is refreshing, and it really does change how you tackle your day.
6 // Plan ahead
Planning ahead is essential for busy moms who desire to live life with purpose. It is easy to go into survival mode when life gets busy, but continuing on this path will lead to unhappiness.
Take some time on Sunday to plan for the week ahead. Take note of any appointments or activities you have scheduled and map out the things you need or want to accomplish.
Don’t start your week feeling behind. Instead, wake up Monday morning with a plan and purpose for your days.
7 // Prioritize your to-do list
Have you ever experienced feeling so busy, but not being able to quantify what you actually accomplished throughout the day?
Productivity is important, but it is not quite as important as being effective.
There are things that must get done each day, no matter what. Beyond that, knowing your priorities is key. When you look at your to-do list for the day, tackle your tasks in order of priority.
This does not always happen perfectly because things change from day to day. Balance is a myth, but having your priorities in line is crucial.
Your priorities may not always get equal playing time, but knowing what they are and how to apply them to your daily routine will change your life.
8 // Stop multitasking
Wait, what? Women are born multitasking, right? Maybe we are, and we’re probably better at it than most men, but does that mean it’s effective?
Multitasking makes you feel like you are accomplishing a lot of things at once, but it is actually more of a hindrance than a help.
Think about it. When you focus on too many things at the same time, you cannot give any one of those things your full attention.
Breaking this habit is a total game changer when it comes to getting things done. It keeps your brain from having to switch from one task to another.
Choose one task and give it your full focus before moving on to something else. This will turn you into a productivity powerhouse.
9 // Limit screen time
Social media is a valuable tool, but it can also be a huge time waster. Set specific times during the day to use social media and stay off of it otherwise.
When you do use social media, set a timer and stick to it so you don’t look up and wonder where the last hour has gone.
You can also turn off notifications on your phone. This will keep you from feeling like you need to respond to every little thing that pops up during the day.
Television is another time waster that you can do without. Leave the television off during the day and during those times you have dedicated to getting things done.
Choose to listen to music or a podcast instead. This will help keep you motivated to keep working instead of pulling your attention away from the task at hand.
10 // Reward yourself
Be sure to allow time for breaks so you don’t burn out. It also helps to reward yourself for a hard day’s work.
Give yourself time in the afternoon to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, a square of dark chocolate, or 30 minutes to read.
If you want to take it a step further, only allow yourself to indulge if you have completed certain tasks. This will give you extra motivation to speed through your to-do list.
Now, it’s your turn
This can work for you, too. It takes time to implement these strategies and change your habits, but you can do this.
If you’re wondering how to be more productive at home, keep these things in mind:
- Identify your priorities
- Create good routines
- Develop a realistic schedule
- Wake up early
- Get dressed
- Plan ahead
- Prioritize your to-do list
- Stop multitasking
- Limit screen time
- Give yourself a reward