Because I really struggle to get things done…
Life is crazy and I am always trying to fit everything in. Some days I am really on a roll, and I get a ton of stuff done. Other days things don’t go as planned, and my to-do list is a complete flop.
I’ve recently learned a lot about becoming more efficient in my day to day life, and I wanted to share my tips with you. I hope we can all start feeling a little bit better about our to-do list. It’ll never be perfect, but there’s always room for improvement.
Here are some strategies I’ve learned to help get more things done throughout the day, and how to feel good about not doing it all:
1. Teach your children independent play.
For those of you that read my post on how to teach your kids to play independently, you know that it’s possible to get up to an hour a day of additional time to get things done. For children who are a bit older, I wrote a post about starting independent play late or after a long hiatus to help you get started.
Teaching independent play offers children time to learn focusing skills, creativity, problem solving, and self-play adeptness. Learning to play independently is also a valuable life skill for all children to learn.
It is also very helpful for busy moms…
During this time you can get chores done, catch up on bills and emails, or also take a break to breathe and doing something just for you. As moms, it’s okay to take some time each day to recharge and invest in ourselves. I’m a way better mom when I make time for myself. Plus, when I get a few things done without interruption, I feel really good about myself.
2. Get sleep in order.
Having a good schedule and a child who can fall asleep independently offers up additional time each day to get things done. If you are able to lay your child down awake, it is a huge timesaver! If you have a good sleep schedule going, it offers tons of predictability to help you plan your day.
In our home, we have a 5 minute nap routine and a 30 minute bedtime routine. No muss. No fuss.
This means when it’s nap time, I set the stage about 20 minutes before the nap to help him calm down. 5 minutes before his nap, I take him to his room, put on his wearable blanket, and we cuddle for a bit with his blanket before he lays down. That is all.
3. Child no longer napping? Implement rest time.
For moms out there with children, who no longer nap, rest time is something that is available to you. I’m not an expert in rest time because we haven’t reached that point yet, since my son is still napping. However, I know several moms, who’ve used rest time as a way to get things done, and they say it works really well!
Rest time is basically a set time each day where your child is required to lay down in his bed and read books or do another type of quiet activity. This ensures your child gets some wind down time each day, and bonus, you can get some stuff done around the house!
4. Get Organized.
I know easier said than done, right? Truly though, staying organized really streamlines my day to day life. I can find things quicker and get done what I need to more efficiently.
For our family, home organization comes in the form of getting our house cleaned up before bed so I can start each day fresh. It also means putting things back where they belong so I can find them easily when I need them. For tons of amazing tips to help you organize your home, check out my Home Organization Pinterest Board.
5. Enlist your spouse for help.
I know as stay at home moms, we often feel like we should be doing it all without assistance. But my husband and I are in this together. While I manage the majority of our household, my husband does help with laundry, dishes, and basic household stuff.
Because getting the kitchen cleaned up together after dinner means more time for just us in the evening. When my husband helps me fold a load of laundry, it goes twice as fast! Which again means, we have twice as much time to spend together in the evenings and on weekends. Asking your spouse for a little bit of help goes along way when trying to get things done more efficiently.
6. Enlist your kids for help.
I created a set of 100+ printable chore cards for kids. They are easy to use, teach kids responsibility and they are vastly different from chore charts.
I used the exact same approach to teach him how to use these chore cards. Within a few days he was doing jobs on his own, and I didn’t have to nag, yell or dangle M&Ms in front of his face.
Talk about a parenting miracle.
Printable chore cards for kids.
Once you have your chore cards, you’ll want to print them on card stock or matte photo paper. If desired, you can laminate them using some simple laminating paper, but I usually skip this step to keep it simple.
7. Know it’s okay to NOT do it all.
After doing all of the above, there are still many days when the floor is a mess, the laundry is piling up, and I’m behind on emails. Life happens. And that’s okay. Some days my son just won’t do independent playtime, or he refuses to nap for longer than 20 minutes, or he gets up really early: all of these things are understandable. If the bills get pushed back a day or two and my to do list is rapidly expanding, it’s okay. After all, I’m only human. I’m only one person. And life is imperfect.
Ready to find a routine that works for your family?
I’ve written a book with my friend Rachel that has ideas for rhythms, routines and schedules that’ll help your children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. There are over 30 printables (all different routines you can print out) including tips for running your day and figuring out a routine with multiple children!
I've created a free email series just for you! If you are struggling with finding a routine, rhythm or schedule, this email series will help you find one that will work for YOUR family. Yes, really. I've seen my sample routines work time and time again for parents. I know it can work for you too.
This free email series will help you:
- free sample routine for your child
- learn one easy routine that will help you get more done (and keep your child happy)
- get simple hacks for managing the day with multiple kids
- get a sneak peak at a book containing 25+ sample routines and schedules