How do some moms manage to get so much done before dinner time? You know exactly who I’m talking about. They are the mothers who always look somewhat put together. They seem to be able to do it all for their family while still managing to take time to workout, cultivate enriching hobbies, and maintain a social life. Their productivity is SUPERCHARGED! I would like to share with you how you can become one of those moms.
After I had my son a little over two years ago, I was what I would describe as a “Hot Mess Mama.” My wardrobe consisted of v-neck tee shirts (made nursing way easier) and pants with some type of elastic waistband. I showered only when my hair got so bad that dry shampoo no longer helped. My home to be a perpetual mess because I was keeping my son alive and that was enough pressure. Trying to manage my home and care for my child without a plan left me frazzled. I didn’t dare try adding a workout or a girls’ night to my calendar. I was treading water.
Fast forward two years and I am raising two little ones. Roman is 2 1/2 years old and River is just shy of three months. There are most definitely days where I feel like I am treading water again. In fact, the first month was FULL of those days. But overall, I feel like I am able to maintain a high level of productivity throughout my weeks. I credit this change to cultivating two habits:
A preparatory nighttime routine
A supercharged morning routine
It’s pretty basic stuff. Small changes lead to big changes. But I want to share with you a few things I have incorporated into my day that have made a world of difference for my family. As a result, most days, I have time to prepare meals, exercise, hang out with my family, and enrich myself in some way.
It is no secret that a productive day starts the night before. It makes sense – planning your day the night before allows you to skip steps when you wake up and jump right into the good stuff. Don’t lie in bed asking yourself, “What do I have to get done today?” or “What should I wear?” Plan it! Take the guess work out of your morning.
- Pick out your clothes. Plan an outfit for working out, for work, and for your evening activities.
- Make your to-do list. Start with things you MUST do, and then add some things you would like to get done if you have time.
- Decide on your exercise routine and set out any required equipment.
- Set a timer on your coffee pot, set out your coffee cup.
- Fill a water bottle and put it on your bedside table or kitchen counter, somewhere you will see it first thing in the morning.
- Prepare for alone time. If you listen to a podcast, pick out an episode, download it, set your headphones out. If you are reading a book, set it on the counter with your coffee cup. Take the work out of it.
- Plan a make-ahead breakfast: overnight oats, egg muffins, a protein shake.
- Chug that water! Your body craves water first thing in the morning. Being hydrated will help you make better food choices all day long.
- Change your clothes. DO NOT give yourself permission to stay in your pajamas. Put on your workout gear or something else that makes your feel like you are starting your day.
- Tackle 1 thing on your to do list. Make this thing either the most important or the most time consuming. For example, I try to get my laundry done (or at least most of it) before the rest of my house wakes.
- Take fifteen minutes to a half an hour for yourself. This is super important. I had to force myself out of bed when I first started this, and now it is what I get out of bed for. I pour myself a cup of coffee into my favorite fox mug, grab my planner, and sit down to center myself for the day. During this time, I go over what I will accomplish this day while listening to some kind of educational podcast. I love The Chalene Show. Chalene Johnson has tons of great advice for living your best life.
- Exercise. I don’t care what you do, but get you blood pumping faster within an hour of waking up. We all need to exercise and doing it in the morning will give you momentum that will carry over into the rest of your day. If you are a stay-at-home-mom like me, sometimes a walk is the best you can do. That’s something! Nothing calms my kids down when they are grouchy quicker than a walk in the stroller.
- Have a great breakfast. I try to load up on protein at breakfast to make sure I get head start on my protein intake for the day. My usual breakfast is scrambled eggs with toast and avocado. My son loves protein overnight oats with fresh fruit.
Some bonus ideas
- Go to bed early! I am not the first person to tell you this. It is difficult to be your most productive self if you are not rested. Catch some extra Z’s. I promise you won’t miss anything.
- Extend your nighttime routine to the rest of your family. Encourage your husband and kids to pick out their clothes, discuss appointments and tasks the night before, pack the diaper bag for any excursions. You are supercharging your mornings. You cannot do that if you are scrambling to get your family ready for their day.
- Give yourself a break! No mom is perfect. You cannot plan for a sick kid, the dog going through the trash, or a surprise visit from Grandma. Don’t worry about not being perfect. Try to do as much as you can ahead of time, and then focus on being present with your family! After all, your kids will not notice dishes in the sink or laundry that isn’t put away, but they will remember time with mom.