One thing that many moms struggle with is utilizing their time while at home. This doesn’t just apply to stay at home moms, either! Often, we know that this is a problem but we don’t know where to even begin in a way that will actually improve the situation. Fortunately, you can improve your own productivity and thus reduce your stress by staying focused on a few simple things that will make a big impact on yoru day. Print these out and post them where you can easily see them throughout the day.
Before doing anything else, ask yourself this question to see if you should even include what you’re doing in your schedule:
Does this benefit myself or my family? Does this harm anyone? Am I intrinsically fulfilled by doing this? Does doing this in the way that I am and the amount of time I spend on it a true reflection of what I value and who I want to be?
Once you have established how you should approach the actions that make up your day by answering the above questions, then you can begin to apply the following rules to help yourself be more productive.
- Set a limit on your screen time. This means Facebook, Blogging, TV watching, texting, surfing the web, and checking email. Don’t trick yourself by thinking that your searching for deals online is exempt from this rule! What used to be chatting on the phone for our own moms when they were raising us has now become playing games on our smart phones and getting into debates on Facebook, or even gossiping in online message board forums for us. Find a number that is reasonable (whether 20 minutes or an hour), and stick to it. Get a timer!
- Make a menu. These are easy to do, don’t take a ton of time, and can be saved to reuse in the following weeks or months. You can make these weekly or monthly, and you’ll find that it’ll reduce your grocery bill, the amount of food you waste, and make you feel way more on top of your home management!
- Rest. It’s important to find time to rejuvinate yourself, whether it’s by getting a good night’s sleep, reading a book, working out, or meditating. This will not only improve your mood, but also your productivity!
- Make a chore schedule. Include who’s laundry gets done on what days (don’t forget towels, sheets, and diapers!), the “daily” chores like sweeping and dishes, as well as the “monthly” chores like mopping and scrubbing the bathtub. Even better, put checkboxes on it so you can track and be motivated by your accomplishments. Include your children on this chore chart to help instill a good work ethic and family responsibility within them.
Target your weakness. Do you find yourself watching TV too much during the day? Did you ever stop to think that it might be because you’re lonely and lacking stimulating conversation? Try listening to a book on CD while you’re folding laundry instead. By looking at the reason behind the behavior that you want to change, you may be able to find an alternative and thus eliminate the problem altogether.
I so agree with the limiting of the screen time. I find myself falling into this trap all the time – I log on to Facebook and before I know it 2 hours have gone by. Such a loss of productive hours!