Stay at home moms need routine to be successful. Use these critical time management tips for stay at home moms to get your day back on track and actually accomplish your to do list.
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When I first became a stay-at-home mom, I was completely inefficient. I had no idea how to set a schedule that was not dictated by my set time to be at work. There was complete freedom in my schedule, or lack thereof.
In those early days, my children set the schedule of the day and I got almost nothing accomplished. Laundry was piled to the ceiling and no one had chores or responsibilities but me.
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Time Management Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms
Have a schedule.
When I first left my job to stay at home with my children. I had no set schedule at all. I woke up when my children did and I had no goals for the day. I soon learned, if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
Creating a daily schedule gives you an actual plan for the day, and it shows you what is actually possible to accomplish and what is not. I tried lots of methods for creating a schedule, and finally stuck with a time blocking schedule. A time block schedule is perfect for moms, especially those with multiple children and lots of commitments. You can find my full time blocking strategy along with printable worksheets here.
Toss your to do list!
A to do list is just that, a list. Having the list does not help you get things done. Instead of walking around all day or all week with an ever growing to do list, schedule the items in your block schedule and get them done. Once you put the items on your calendar, throw the list away!
Just because you are a stay at home mom, that does not mean that you now have no goals for yourself. Becoming a stay at home mom may have been a goal that you have now achieved, but now it’s time for more goals. You can set goals pertain to your children and your home, but you can also still work toward personal goals like health and weight loss.
Wake Up Early – Before Your Kids
In the first days after I left my corporate job, I slept in every single day. It was like every day was the weekend because there was no time clock to punch and no one was expecting me at the office at any certain time. My children were the alarm clock, so we were never really up at the same time each day.
When I realized how little we were accomplishing in our days, the first adjustment I made was to set an alarm and wake up early, before my children. (This was absolutely critical when I began homeschooling.)
More waking hours in the day naturally gives you more time to get things done. An object in motion tends to stay in motion so, as long as you are getting enough rest to be healthy, waking up earlier can be a huge benefit. People who wake up early:
- Are usually more successful in school and work.
- Eat a healthier diet, since they don’t usually skip breakfast. I like to have a bullet proof coffee early in the morning. The fat helps my brain function well.
- Are more productive, since they have more waking work hours and less interruptions early in the day.
- Tend to be more confident and action-oriented.
- Experience less stress and anxiety since they aren’t rushed.
- Are more fit since they have time to exercise and they usually do this early in the day.
- Have better sleep quality, as waking up early promotes a normal sleep schedule.
Practice a Morning Routine
Having a morning routine made all the difference for me as a stay at home mom. Don’t miss understand me. I am not at all a morning person. That is actually why a morning routine was all the more important for me.
Having a morning routine puts those first few steps of your morning on autopilot. Soon, those things become habits and your body and brain will move from one to the other smoothly, like muscle memory. See all the things at are critical parts of my morning routine here.
Get yourself an Evening Routine!
It didn’t take me long to figure out that the key to a successful morning routine was a good evening routine. It was so much easier to wake up in the morning when I knew where my clothes were, I wasn’t tripping over clutter from the day before, and the coffee pot was already cleaned and on the counter. You can see all the elements of my night time routine here.
Having a clear routine for the morning and evening creates success for stay at home moms at the beginning and the end of each day. If you need help in creating the perfect morning and evening routine, I recommend using Crystal Paine’s Makeover Your Morning and Evening Course. The course was a huge help for me!
Prioritize Your Health and Fuel Your Body Well
Another unexpected result of leaving the workplace and becoming a stay at home mom was a decline in my overall health. You would think that, without the stress of the office and with the ability to manage my own schedule, I would be healthier. Not so.
Sleeping in and not having a scheduled time for meals really impacted me. I ate whenever I wanted, which resulted in grazing throughout the day. Plus, I was at home and could have anything in the pantry, where I used to be limited to what I had packed for lunch.
When we feel better, we function better. It’s just that simple. There are several habits I began working on to maintain my health and help me be more efficient. These are what I did first:
- Increase Water Intake
- Give up Processed Sugar
- Exercise Regularly
- Fill Your Plate with Super Foods (I did not start a diet, but I did make sure to eat a salad each day.)
- Use an Essential Oils Regimen
- Get more sleep
You can also find a free 30 Day Fitness Challenge here from Kelli at 3 Boys and a Dog.
Schedule a Mom’s Weekly Planning Time
Setting aside, even a few minutes, on a weekly basis to look at your schedule for the following week, and just wrap your mind around what is coming is a game changer.
I like to take some planning time on Sunday afternoons before the work week starts.
Learn to delegate and accept help.
Moms can’t do it all, especially if you have a large family. Learn to delegate tasks to others in the house, even if their work might not be up to your standard. A partially swept floor is better a floor that hasn’t been swept at all. See a list of age appropriate chores here and assign those to anyone who can help.
Stay at Home
Some moms do not want to hear this, but its necessary. As stay at home moms, most of our work is at home. That means, in order to get our work done, we actually need to be at home. Yes, home can get lonely, quiet and even overwhelming, especially if you are an extrovert, but managing your time well will allow you to get all of your work at home done and schedule some time out.
Feed your mind to stay motivated.
Staying motivated as a stay at home mom is sometimes difficult, especially when days are hard and sleep is limited. Listening to podcasts and reading books that encourage you toward your goals as a mom can keep you motivated. Feel like you don’t have time to read? See my tips for making time to read for stay at home moms here.
Find Accountability from other Stay at Home Moms
When we quit our jobs to become stay at home moms, we leave behind the stress of the office, but also the accountability. Accountability is a major player in productivity. We can be accountable to ourselves, but there is nothing like having some external accountability.
You can talk to your husband about your schedule and holding you accountable. You can find another stay at home mom to be your accountability partner, or you can form an accountability group for stay at home moms.