Productivity hacks for busy moms
These are my top five hacks to getting things done as a busy working mom. Being a career woman juggling my work, life and parenting, one of the questions I’ve always been asked is “how I get so much done”.
Well, first of all, I will forever be grateful for the blessing of having an amazing support system which means that I always have the help that I need to raise my daughter. But apart from that, I’ve always had to find ways to navigate my schedule to accommodate not only my child but also my career and my own personal goals and passions.
From trial and error over the last few years, I've found these five hacks to be the key to staying productive and staying sane:
1. Sleep train your child/children
This is most important for new moms and the most underrated of all mom hacks. Find a sleep training programme that works for you and teach your child to sleep when they’re supposed to. Failure to do this will literally bite you in the behind when you’re unable to sleep or do anything productive because your minion stays up until odd hours. As someone who went back to University while my child was only a year old, sleep training is how I was, as a student, able to catch up on assignments and study after hours with little to no distractions. To this day, 8 PM has remained my child’s official bedtime (now more strictly applied during school nights). I am able to catch up on any work or house chores when she’s asleep and before that, I can be fully present without worrying about work or any other distractions.
2. Lean on your support system
I have always been blessed enough to have an amazing support system that allows me to get so much done without the constraint of parental duties 24/7. If you’re privileged enough to have people willing to help take the kids off your hands for a few hours, days or even weeks, take advantage of it! Let go of the mom guilt and know that it takes a community to raise a child and you can’t do everything alone. It’s just not feasible.
3. Plan, plan plan!
As a Capricorn, my life is a mess without proper planning and structure. Not only do I plan my work days, my evenings at home and my weekends also have structure. I set time aside in my calendar for family fun (this can be a movie or lunch date with my daughter), our now traditional Sunday baking afternoons (another family bonding experience), cleaning, organizing and even rest.
4. Become a morning person
Yup! All the motivational quotes about waking up early are absolutely true. There’s just so much you can do in the quiet hours before dawn and I find that not only does it set the tone for a productive day, I’m usually more energetic when I follow an early morning routine. I try to wake up by 04h30 on weekdays and my mornings are reserved as my “Me time”, it’s when I exercise and do my daily devotion - both activities that have proved to make my days so much better. I feel like this helps you to also get in tune with yourself - something we are prone to get out of touch with when we have children.
5. Put those kids to work!
Now, my ultimate hack to being a productive parent is definitely to put them kids to work. That’s right. It’s only fair that these little people we pour so much into (God bless their souls) also do their part to help you get things done around the house. This helps to not only ease your load but teaches them discipline and a sense of responsibility. So unless you want to be consistently burned out, your kids have got to get some dedicated chores (just be sure that they're doing age-appropriate).
At the end of the day, you’re a precious human being whom so many people - especially your children - depend on. It’s only fair that you find ways to pour into them without completely draining yourself. I know that things get hard and there are so many challenges we have no control over, but I truly believe that these hacks go a long way in making your life just a little bit easier.