Do you ever get to the end of your day and ask yourself, “What did I actually do all day?” or “Where is all of my time going?”. If so, you’re not alone.
It’s so easy as busy mamas not even to “waste” our time but spend it doing everything else for everybody else and not actually getting anything done that we would like to get done – whether that be for ourselves or in our homes.
Today I’m sharing 5 tips for being more productive as a stay at home mom. It can be hard to structure your day and manage your time efficiently. But don’t worry, friend, I’ve got you!
Productivity and time management doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult and this episode will walk you through some simple steps to take to get more done! Put your headphones on or plug your phone into your car and let’s get started.
Don’t forget to rate and review the podcast letting other mamas know how these episodes are impacting your life! It helps other moms find this show and hear episodes just like this one. I appreciate you doing this more than you know! Thank you so much for your support!
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey mama! Welcome to another episode of Her Pursuit. I’m so glad that you’re here today. This episode is going to be so good. I pray that it encourages you and gives you practical things that you can implement in your life for being productive as a stay at home mom. I know that it can be really hard. It can be really draining.
It can feel like the to-do list is unending. There’s so much to do. There’s so many people that need you. It can be a lot, so it can be hard to feel productive. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten to the end of my day and thought to myself, “what did I do all day? Like where did my time go? What did I even get done?”
And obviously we are keeping little people alive and fed and happy and entertained and doing all the things that we’re doing, taking care of your home. But I hope that you will find these things to be helpful for you in feeling like you were productive with your time, that you were able to get some things done that you wanted to get done.
So grab your headphones, grab some coffee or some tea, or just keep on doing what you’re doing. We’re going to get started!
When it comes to productivity… When it comes to being productive as a stay at home mom, as a busy mom, the first thing that we have to do is really define what matters to us. So what matters to you? What matters to you and the things that you want to get done, what are your priorities? Because you don’t have to strive to make your life look like something that you don’t even want it to be just because moms on Pinterest are doing it that way, or your friend is doing it that way, or another mom that you know is doing it that way.
It doesn’t mean that you have to do it that way if it doesn’t make sense for you, if it doesn’t make sense for your season and your life and where you are right now. So what areas are important for you to be productive in? And what would that look like for you?
Mine are pretty simple. These are the areas that I like to be productive in and have a very simple, loose plan for. And they’re pretty practical. So they are the areas of reading my Bible, journaling, prayer time. I’ve got to have that time every day and these things are non-negotiables. Okay. These things are areas that I like to be consistent with because when I’m consistent with these things and have a plan for them, and I can kind of stay on top of them and be productive, then life just runs a whole lot better.
So along with quiet time is laundry, cleaning and keeping surfaces just clutter-free. Food and meals. So I like to plan for those things. I like to prep for those things. That is one less thing that I have to do in the moment. And so these are all the areas that I like to be consistent with, to be productive in, because if I’m not intentional in these areas, then things start to feel like they’re spiraling.
If I get behind in any of these things, then I start to feel like things are getting out of control. It starts to feel like that ocean of life. That’s just, you’re kind of hanging on by this float and you’re barely staying above water. I think all of us can relate to that. But there’s a difference in living in that for a short amount of time or noticing that you’re going there and spending like seasons there, like a month or months, years, there’s a difference there.
And so I’ll be honest with you, even, you know, these past few weeks have been very difficult for me to balance and manage, I guess you could say I’ve taken on some new things. I’m in a group program right now. I’m working through some content. So I’ve got some extra work on my workload that I’m having to figure out.
Okay. How do I balance this new thing that I’ve added onto my life with my home life and, you know, laundry and cleaning and these things that I like to have a routine for? Sometimes things will get thrown your way, or sometimes you’ll have to take something on that maybe you planned for you didn’t plan for, but it can very easily start to feel like things are getting out of your control.
But one thing I want to say to encourage you when you feel like that, because I had to remind myself of this is that you have a choice and deep, deep down, you know, the things that you need to take care of to help you feel more productive, to help your life run smoother. We know the things that we have to do.
It’s just a matter of stopping and saying, okay, I’ve got to do this. And I had to do that at the beginning of this week. I had to say, you know what, I’ve got to come home and I’ve got to get this the surface stuff under control so that I can do the work that I need to get done. Now, sometimes I’m able to, and in certain seasons I’m able to ignore those things because the work or whatever else needs to be a priority for, for me.
Maybe it’s taking care of myself, whatever it looks like. And there are some seasons where I can deal with the clutter or the mess or the laundry kind of piling up and I’ll say, “well, I’m going to get to that when I get, get done with this, because this is what is most important to me right now.”
And that’s just it, it’s life and seasons are so fluid and they’re always changing that, it’s just important to every now and then evaluate and say, well, where am I with this? Um, so I knew that I had gotten to a point where I had to kind of reset. And, you know, it came with the, on the tail end of sicknesses.
And my husband had had a cold and I’d kind of had a cold and then the baby got a cold and things gradually start to pile and build. If you don’t have systems in place and routines that you’re consistently working through. And so when life happens, it’s understandable that we don’t always get to work through those routines and, and stick to those rhythms that we have.
And my fear is that for some of us, we stay there for way too long, because I know that I did, I stayed there for way too long. And at that point it was like,I honestly felt too far gone. I was like, there is no amount of productivity. There is no amount of decluttering, or I don’t even have the energy energy for that.
I can’t, that’s not where my head space is, but I just want to encourage you that if you can just stick to some of these things that I’m going to walk you through, because they’re so simple, they’re so simple. It’s not complicated. And productivity doesn’t have to be complicated rhythms and routines and systems, even.
I didn’t even really know what a system was until recently. I’m like, “what, what is this fancy word for?” Like a routine or something that you just consistently do in your life? It’s just, it’s just a big word. Don’t let it be scary. Okay. You are capable. You can do this and we’re going to walk through these things together.
Now I want to give a disclaimer for all the mamas of faith and know that a lot of you are Christian moms listening. And if not, it’s okay. You’re still welcome here. This is going to apply to you when I get to the practical stuff in just a minute, but for all of us that are, that are moms of faith, I want you to remember if we’re not careful, productivity can become an idol.
And very simply put, an idol is just anything that we elevate above God. It’s anything that we look for, or look to, I should say for complete fulfillment, other than Christ. And I know that it can be so hard to not get caught up in busy and hustling and being the mom who does it all. And so when we talk about productivity here, I want you to keep in mind that I’m sharing from a, from a place of healthy boundaries and one that is God centered, and yes, these things are practical and they will keep your home running smooth, smoothly, smooth, smoother, smoothly.
I never know how to use that word, but we must be aware you know, the tendencies that we have to let these things be what we elevate highest in our heart and in our lives. And again, it is about the intent of your heart when you’re doing these things. And God knows that, like the Lord knows your heart.
He knows the intent. So no worries there, you don’t have anything to prove to anybody because He knows and He’s got you. So with that little reminder for all of us, here are five ways that you can be productive as a stay-at-home mom. Number one, you know what I’m going to say? You know, I’m going to tell you that a mini morning routine is the most simple way to get a jumpstart to your day.
It helps you get grounded and centered and focused. You can get creative with it. Should you set an alarm five to 10 minutes earlier? Or should you implement some morning structure once your toddler is awake? Can you get him settled with something to eat and maybe a morning show to watch while you sit and walk through your mini morning routine?
Because, I mean, stillness and quiet is what we would prefer, right? But that’s not always realistic. So walking through a mini morning routine with some background noise, as often as you can, and doing it consistently is better than never doing it at all, right? So I did a little math here and I figured if you added just 10 minutes, say you got up 10 minutes earlier, or maybe you just choose to make 10 intentional minutes each day to work for you in whatever it is that you want to do.
But if you take those 10 minutes a day and you did that every day for a year, you would have 3,650 minutes, but that 60 hours, almost 61 hours, which comes out to two and a half days. And when we’re saying that we want more time, which is something that I was saying a lot and something that I hear other moms saying a lot.
If you want more time, your time is there, we just have to utilize it and be intentional with it. So really a mini morning routine can give you an extra two and a half days in your year. And if you’re able to bump it back further than that, you know, as you’re able to sustain it and increase it, then you can add even more time…
Essentially to your life, because otherwise you’d just be sleeping, if you were anything like me. Which there’s nothing wrong with sleeping in. I still love to sleep in from time to time and obviously honor your body with where you are and even your cycle each month and sicknesses and things like that.
I’m not saying push yourself, but we crave structure. Our brains thrive on knowing what’s coming next. And in that familiar rhythm, that is totally attainable and possible for you to create within your life. So the second tip for productivity is to organize chores by either days of the week or times of day, and then trying to stick to it consistently to see how it works.
So I’m going to give you an example, because I know that your brain- Even saying it, I’m like, well, that sounds so confusing, but… So for example, laundry days could be Tuesday and Thursday, like, you know, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you’re going to do the laundry. Maybe you even strip the bedding and do all those things.
Well, you wouldn’t need to do the bedding twice a week, but you know what I’m saying. Maybe do that on Tuesdays, but all the laundry is done Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you have a bigger family, maybe you start a load every morning, you know, every day before lunch. But setting a day for certain tasks and trying to keep it consistent.
This is how, now it takes, it takes a lot of work on the front end, if you want to get ahead of it, but maintaining it, setting these rhythms, like this is going to be your sweet spot. So if you can say, I’m going to clean my bathrooms every Wednesday, or, you know, like I said, in the beginning, that might not even be important to you right now, and totally cool.
Cause it’s not really important to me right now. I got a lot of other things that are calling for my attention and that’s just not one of my priorities in this season. So like we talked about in the beginning, knowing what matters to you, knowing what you would like to get done and what you need to get done for your mental peace, for your home to run smoothly and efficiently and feeling like you’re keeping a handle on things that you’re, that you’re being productive.
You know, what areas are that for you? Making certain chores, designating certain days for certain chores is one way to help stay on top of that. Then the other way that you can do that, if you want to flip it is just saying every morning at this time, I do this habit.
So whatever it is that you need to get done or want to get done. And then you know that every morning, say it’s at 9:30 AM, whatever it is for you doing that thing, that’s going to help you with task management. You also have to be flexible though. Like you have to be willing to switch it up and try different days for things or different times.
If you find it’s not working, don’t let your mind and your mindset shift to, “oh, this just doesn’t work. I’m just not going to do this, it’s too complicated,” because when you start something new, your brain is going to look for every excuse to give you an out and say, “just don’t do this. This is, this is too hard.
Just don’t do it.” And so be mindful of that and be aware that you’re going to encounter some resistance there, when you start to implement these new things into your life. The third tip for productivity is if you have something that you’ve been putting off for like months, maybe even a year… Does anybody else have those little things, like something that sits around your house or an unfinished project?
And you’re like, it hasn’t really been that long that this thing’s been sitting or been unfinished. And then, you know, sometimes you can convince yourself of that unless it’s like a holiday thing. Like something from last Easter, like the Easter basket or the Easter eggs are still sitting in the same place and you realize, “okay, well, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but it’s almost been a year.”
So there’s that, but for those type of things, that, for some reason you just can not commit yourself to accomplish or actually do the thing, try this. Okay. Try setting a timer. You may have to guess about how long it’ll take, but use a timer and jumpstart that task that feels overwhelming or just like, you don’t want to do it.
And maybe you even go into it knowing, “I’m not going to complete this whole thing fully depending on how big it is. I’m just, I’m wanting to make progress here. I don’t want to do it all the way. I just know that I want to take one little bite and see how far I can get.” And to make it even more fun, if you can put on some really fun music, loud music, or maybe put in some air pods or headphones and just work at the one thing for the set amount of time.
I like to try between 10 to 15 minutes, because it’s enough to say, “okay, I can do this thing and it may not take as much time as a thought to see progress.” But sometimes if you go for like 30, 45 minutes, or an hour, you can kind of get burned out super easily and you don’t really want for that to happen.
You want for this productivity to feel fun and light and doable like you can, you can do it. And for smaller tasks like clearing surfaces or those little things that you may be kind of put off, you can probably do that within like two to five minutes. So just trial different times and see how it goes, but make it fun.
Your brain is so much more likely to cooperate when you can make it fun. So sometimes I like to race the clock. Like I make it a game and I like to see how much I can get done in X amount of time, or I try to finish before the timer goes off. And it’s just another way to make productivity fun and not feel like you’re miserable while you’re doing it.
Because remember everything comes back to a belief and what you’re choosing to believe about that thing that’s in front of you, whether it’s something you need to do or something, you know, a circumstance that you can’t control, whatever you’re believing about it is what you’re going to see. And that is going to be the truth that you live in.
So why not treat this new belief that productivity doesn’t have to suck? It doesn’t have to be miserable. It doesn’t have to be difficult or hard. It can be simple. It can be easy. It can be fun and light. And when you can make it be that way. So when you do make it fun, then you’re showing yourself, okay, this doesn’t have to be difficult.
And that’s how you practically walk it out in your life. That’s how you show yourself the evidence of what you’re choosing to believe. So the fourth tip for productivity is to plan ahead again, you do not have to have a top secret, insider systematic way of doing things. Most times you just need a plan.
And this requires you to hit pause, to stop, to zoom out and look at your life in this big picture. You know, what can you do this afternoon or tonight or tomorrow, tomorrow morning, that will set you up for success. The following morning of the following afternoon. And what is the one thing that you can do right now that’s going to eliminate some decision fatigue for you?
Because you’re making like tens of thousands of decisions each day. And I keep saying, I’m going to find the accurate number there. You are making so many decisions. And I don’t know if anybody relates to this, but sometimes at the end of the day, when my husband asks me a question and wants me to decide on something that feels totally pointless to me, and I do not care either way…
Not like when he says, “where do you want to go out to eat?” And you say you don’t care, but you really do care. No, I’m talking about a decision or a question that they ask and you’re like, “I really just do not care. Can you please just make the decision? I’ve been making decisions all day long.
I don’t want to make another decision. I do not care. You just decide,” because as moms, as women, we are, we face decision fatigue. We just do, because we are constantly deciding things and it is a lot. It’s a lot. And I don’t feel like that’s really talked about enough. I don’t feel like it’s talked about or normalized that it’s okay that you feel overwhelmed.
It’s because you’re making thousands of decisions all the time about every little thing. So what can you do to get a jumpstart, you know, ahead of tomorrow? What can you do today and right now to prepare for that? Plan ahead with this. So some examples that I thought through would be setting out uniforms or school outfits the night before, prepping lunches the night before, and having them sit in the fridge or out on the counter if it’s not cold.
Prepping snacks for the week, creating a snack basket, or a bin that your kids have access to. And they know when and how to use it. I like to meal plan for the whole week on Sundays. I do a weekly prep that’s part of that. You can dedicate specific tasks to specific days, like I already mentioned, and you can also use time blocking to do that, but planning ahead, figure out some way to plan ahead and it doesn’t have to be difficult.
It doesn’t have to be complicated and huge. It can be small and simple. If I know that I’ve got an hour and a half while the middle daughter’s at preschool and the baby’s napping, what do I want to do during that time? And you have to know that ahead of time, because if you don’t think through it beforehand in the moment, we’re so like we’re way less likely to do the things that we really actually need to do in the moment, because you’re more than likely going to be tired.
You’re more than likely going to be worn down and you’re not going to feel like making the decision. So you’re automatically going to default to the easiest, the path of least resistance, because as humans, that’s what we gravitate toward. We want the one that feels the easiest. And sometimes the easiest thing is to sit down and numb out and watch Netflix for two hours, which is not really what you wanted to do.
Now, I’m not talking about if you plan for that, because sometimes maybe you need that. But if you didn’t want to do that and you end up doing it, then that just feeds into the mom guilt and the shame, because you’re like, “well, wasn’t productive again. And I told myself I was going to be again, but I didn’t have a plan.
So I didn’t know what to do. And therefore, now I just feel like a failure.” Which by the way I had to deal with this recently, I kind of had to have a little pep talk and I had to remind myself of that verse in Romans that says “there is, therefore now no condemnation. No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
So if you know him, if you’re a Jesus follower, if you are a Christian, if you are a believer, if you’re a mama of faith, there’s no condemnation for you whatsoever. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been vegging out and watching Netflix for two years, for five years, for seven years, it doesn’t matter.
There’s freedom in Christ and he wants that for you. He wants you to kind of have this awakening moment, I guess you could say, and return to him and walk in freedom and walk in the abundance that’s yours. And this is something I’m continually having to do. I’m continually having to refocus my eyes and fix my gaze on him and in what he has for my life and my motherhood and all these things.
So do not let Satan grab ahold of you and get you caught up in the cycle of shame or guilt. Or that you can’t do this because you’ve never been able to do this, and you’re not ever going to be able to do this because, see you can’t. And I know that it feels like mind games sometimes because you want to do different, but then you don’t and then the things you say you’re going to stop doing, you can’t.
Or you don’t and it’s just because you just haven’t yet. You’re going to, you just have to keep trying, you just have to keep trying and maybe try again over and over and over. And maybe that next time is going to be the one time that you actually do succeed and that’s okay. But these things are hard.
Productivity is hard. You know, people talk about it like it’s, it’s just easy and not a big deal, but when you’ve never done it before, it is hard and it is difficult, the actual steps to doing it and implementing it, those things are easy. Or I should say simple, those things are simple, but simple does not always mean easy.
So obviously when you’re learning new habits and you’re getting rid of old habits that is hard, but do not let condemnation or shame, keep you stuck in old patterns that, you know for sure are no longer serving you. Okay. The last tip that I want to share with you sounds counterintuitive. And I love that it is.
I love that it sounds so backwards, but that it works because sometimes God speaks to me and reminds me of how His way and His Word are so counter-cultural and really can go against what we’ve been taught, like our whole lives. And I just love to see the relevance of scripture and my walk with the Lord in my daily life.
So I love that this is not going to make sense, you know, at all, when I say it and you’re going to be like, “what, what are you talking about?” But you have to give yourself breaks. You have to take brain breaks. Because if you’ve ever worked on something for an extended period of time, you know that your, your brain is like starts to shut down.
You just can’t think about it anymore. You cannot. You have to take a break and it’s because your brain needs that. And I love to do this getting outside. Like, it’s a great way to reset, just sitting in fresh air and preferably sunshine, but I know winter makes that difficult, but being outside and fresh air, being in nature.
It can take some, getting used to, to see it as like a reset and refreshing, because I don’t really consider myself to be like an outdoorsy person. So if you don’t either like I’m right there with you, but I do greatly appreciate the mental reset that I find in nature. And it’s kind of a journey to detach from busy and noise and just sit or play outside.
Because it’s generally quieter outside than it is in my home, but it’s so good for you. It’s so good for your mind. And I can’t tell you how many breakthroughs or ideas I’ve experienced when I’m just, I’m just sitting and being, and I’m not trying so hard to do the thing. So when you get outside and you can just kind of let yourself breathe and relax and go with the flow and let your kids play or do whatever it is, you know, which sounds, sounds great in theory.
And then you get out to the playground and they’re arguing over the swing and they want to throw woodchips at each other and hit each other with whatever’s outside. I get it, like yes, they’re kids. So perfection does not exist, but in theory, getting out, and even if you go on a walk together, that can do so much good for your mental health.
And I feel like it comes back to just letting these things be easy. Jesus said, “my yoke is easy. My burden is a light.” True rest is found in him and rest is an important part of productivity because if we don’t have a healthy balance and rhythms of rest, then we’re just going to burn out so easily. So rest and breaks, as backwards as it sounds, actually are very vital in productivity.
That is it for today’s episode. I pray that these five tips are helpful for you. I pray they encourage you and give you some practical advice and things you can start implementing in your daily life because it doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but at the same time, simple, doesn’t always mean easy.
It’s a process to learning how to be productive in what rhythms and routines would work for you and your season and your life. But I pray that these things you’ve heard today encouraged you. I pray they blessed you. And if they did, would you share this episode with a friend? Would you just take a screenshot and send it to her in a text or use that little feature to share it and send it out or send it to somebody on Instagram or Messenger?
However you want to do it, but a mom who you feel like may resonate with this or could use these tips in her life. And if you’ve been wanting to be a part of a community, I want to invite you into our online community. I’ll link that below in the show notes, but it’s really just a place where we come together as moms and women and share and learn and grow together.
So if you want to be a part of that, just tap that link in the show notes. I will see you in there and we are going to be wrapping up our February series with part four of Loving You this Thursday. So be sure to come to and listen to that. I’ll see you then friend!