Monday, 4 June 2018

7 ways to get stuff done as a working mum

Seven ways to be more productive in your spare time and get everything done around the house as a working mum. How to organise your time better, life hacks to get through the working week, prepare for the next day, maximise your time and plan your day better

Since returning to work after maternity leave I've definitely noticed everything in my life stepping up a gear. In all honestly spent the first few weeks run ragged trying to fit everything in (I mean I always felt very busy whilst on maternity leave, but having those additional hours out of the house have left me struggling to keep up with everything). Two months in I feel like I'm finally balancing things a bit better, so I thought I'd share my top tips for maximising your time, and getting stuff done as a working mum. 

Plan meticulously 
It's not a fun way to spend your week I know, but its the only way I personally find I can get it all done. Up until baby's bedtime I know how I'm going to spend every half an hour - playtime, dinnertime, bathtime, bedtime. During her nap times I know exactly what I want to get done too e.g. laundry, cleaning, painting the fence (this is why its taken me nearly a month to finish as I've only been able to do one panel at a time!)

Plan a different activity each day
When time is really limited I only seem to get about an hour to myself most evenings - so needless to say meticulous planning is essential! I found that I was only getting a little bit done here and there before I started allocating chores to a day of the week (this is all super boring, I know!). But this has meant I can get stuck into one thing each day and feel like I’m getting somewhere, and not running around like a headless chicken like I was before. So for example, I'll try to do hoovering one day a week, clean the bathrooms another evening and take some blog photos on another.

Seven ways to be more productive in your spare time and get everything done around the house as a working mum. How to organise your time better, life hacks to get through the working week, prepare for the next day, maximise your time and plan your day better

Preparation is key 
Obvious one, but needs to be said. On a Sunday night I lay out a pile of clothes for both me and the baby - our outfits for the week in order that we will wear them (so Fridays at the bottom, Monday on top. I don’t bother with my day off - thank god for joggers Thursday!). Obviously this is all weather dependent, but it takes seconds longer to do it all in one go rather than remember to do it each evening. 


Plan what you’ll do tomorrow 

On the night before my days off I think about what I’d love to get done the following day. I find that this means I can get up and get on with whatever I need to straight away without wasting precious time procrastinating/planning my day. This also helps me get to sleep quickly too, as it’s a super boring thing to think about!

Schedule 'you time'
This one is hard, I know, as there always seems to be something else that needs doing, but its so important to give yourself some time off every day. Even if its only half an hour to have a pamper or watch some TV - try and schedule that in too as its so important for recharging your batteries and helping you switch off. I love having a relaxing bath, however if you’d rather spend that time reading a book or writing a blog post, then don’t feel bad about it! I think this time is vital to help me wind down and de-stress.


Seven ways to be more productive in your spare time and get everything done around the house as a working mum. How to organise your time better, life hacks to get through the working week, prepare for the next day, maximise your time and plan your day better

My saviour: notes on your phone
This one is quite honestly my lifeline. I've got hundreds of notes on my phone - everything from shopping lists, to what I need to get done this week, to half-started blog posts and emails. One of them just reads 'January de-clutter' - that'll have to wait until 2019 now. 

It means I can still be sorting stuff even if I’m sat on the loo or waiting for the kettle to boil (see I told you my day was planned to the second!), and whenever I think of something I can just pop it down and deal with it later. It's SO helpful with writing blog posts. If I'm on a long car journey, or simply having half an hour to scroll on my phone before I go to sleep, I can get some ideas down and draft a post to finish when I've got the time. I then use the cloud (google drive is a good alternative) to connect my phone to my laptop so my notes are waiting for me on there when I next log on. 

Remind yourself why you’re doing all this 
And finally this is a biggie for me because, to be totally honest I find trying to fit it all in ridiculously difficult. Sometimes running around like a crazy person 24/7 can make me feel so anxious and stressed out, so I find it really helpful to take 5 minutes to remember what it’s all for. Are you fitting all the household chores into an evening because you can’t bear clutter? Are you staying up late to run a side business/blog because it’s your dream to make it your full-time career? Don’t feel guilty about how you’ve chosen to spend any spare few minutes you have in your day - you’re doing your best and anything you manage to squeeze in above and beyond that is amazing, so go you.

Seven ways to be more productive in your spare time and get everything done around the house as a working mum. How to organise your time better, life hacks to get through the working week, prepare for the next day, maximise your time and plan your day better

Hope this is helpful, what are your life hacks to get through the working week?

Thanks for reading, 
Sam Xx
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10 comments

  1. Love this post Sam. It sounds like you're doing brilliantly - well done gal! ;) I don't have a little one yet (but hoping to in the next couple of years!) and I'm already panicking about how I'm going to survive... All tips gladly appreciated! Rx

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  2. For me, the biggest problem is not remembering events and always running last minute to prepare school related stuff - costume for shows etc. So scheduling the week is paramount! We have a door that leads to our garage in the kitchen. I painted an A2 Size board there with blackboard paint and now write notes on it!

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  3. Need this post in my life, I suffer from a contidion called dyspraxia so naturally organisation isnt my strong point! Thanks for writing this!

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  4. I really need to get more organized and not just try and do everything at the last minute - i love the fact that you have provided us with easy to follow plan x

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  5. As a mum of three (ranging from 23 to 10) I have to say I admire your planning. I've always been a kind of go with the flow kinda person.... fitting in things as and when I can and taking each day as it comes which in turn can take away the pressure of trying to tick boxes. That said, I do think you should do whatever works for you and your family as everyone is different. It can be incredibly challenging working and running a family (even more so with your own business) and I'm sure your post will help others see that it can be manageable :D

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  6. Wow! You are organised! Unfortunately it is something I need to work on. I'm good at writing list but that's where it ends. Usually the list are left forgotten or even unread. I need to get better at this. So thank you for your tips :)

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  7. What a great post and it's so nice to hear that others struggle too. On social media every one always comes across as so together and I often feel completely deflated that I don't seem to cope with it all. However, my youngest started sleeping through the night in the last few weeks and I can't tell you how much it has changed my life. I feel human again and all of a sudden I am so much more productive. I have to say though there is no way I can plan a weeks worth of outfits for my 2 and 4 year old. They always refuse to wear what I pick out. I've given up now and let them wear whatever the hell they want whilst trying to educate them in the art of colour co-ordination and choosing weather appropriate clothing. It doesn't always go down well!

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  8. Great article.....
    A few years back when our twins were born we had 3 boys aged 2 and under....a complete juggling act! All of this resonates so much with me too! Planning, preparation, lists and more planning......its the only way to get through.

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  9. I need you to organise my time I think. I'm normally so organised but lately its been feeling like an overwhelming to do list. I've decided mostly its because I'm not batching tasks and scheduling my time effectively. But I don't have the time to sit down and do that....arghhhh

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  10. Thank you so much! This is exactly what I need. I always go to bed after 12 and wake up at 6 everyday, so tired. I should do better.
    imgrum

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