Two words. Time management. The elusive term for many stay-at-home moms, working moms, or any type of mom.
Before kids, I described myself as very organized, but with each child, it became harder to manage my time, be organized, and stay productive.
This article will review several ways I stay productive as a work-at-home mom, Airbnb Superhost, and Fiverr seller.
Before We Get Started
Here are some items essential to making a work-from-home mom schedule run smoothly (in my humble opinion).
Planner (Paper or Digital)
Highlighters (various colors)
Bag (doesn’t have to be fancy)
I like to keep all supplies in my bag or on my desk for easy accessibility during the day as a work from home mom. I am more organized and productive when I have all my items at my fingertips.
The days and weeks I have it “most” together are when I meal plan. I first “shop” my fridge, pantry, and freezer to see if I can make any meals from what I already have. This reduces food waste and saves money. I then write down the meal plan and items needed on Sunday and place a grocery pickup order for Monday. A Monday grocery pickup means we are starting the week on the right foot.
Preparing snacks is also crucial. I try to have ready-to-go veggies, fruit, cheese, and other easy-to-grab items so that when my school-aged kids get home from school, they can grab a couple of snacks.
A meal plan ultimately gives me control over what I am feeding my family and prevents decision fatigue, which wears on me mentally.
Monday Morning Meeting
Every Monday morning, I have a team meeting. And by “team,” I mean myself. I review my calendar and planner for the week and make a game plan to tackle everything. I typically do this after school drop off at my dining room table with coffee and Ms. Rachel on for my 18-month-old.
I also create a to-do list for the day and week where I write everything down. I’m more productive when I write down what I want to do for the day or week.
Speaking of a planner, I am a fan of an old-school paper planner. I like to visually see the day, week, and month and not have to scroll and click within different appointments on an app. I know plenty of people who prefer Google Cal and iCal, and I plan to explore those more in 2023 and see if I will make the switch.
Since we have an Airbnb/VRBO, it’s essential to keep track of when people are checking in and out and when I need to go clean. Our Airbnb is 45 minutes away, so it takes coordinating schedules to make it happen.
I also color-code my planner, which helps me visually see who has the most going on for that day or week. Every child, our family, the Airbnb, and Fiverr due dates have their color. I can quickly scan and know immediately who has an appointment or somewhere to be based on the color.
Time Blocking is a productivity tool many entrepreneurs use for a good reason. Time blocking has many benefits.
Gives a sense of control.
Helps establish flow.
You can set up time blocking however you see fit, which is why it works well for many people. I center my time blocks around school pick-up and drop-off. This provides me with boundaries and focused time to accomplish tasks. It also prevents me from getting stuck on a specific task and allows me to put it aside and go on to the next item.
A visual timer is an excellent tool for time blocking. I set various visual timers throughout the day, like a 10-minute pickup for toys at the end of the day, a 60-minute writing flow during nap time, and more. It’s a great way to accomplish a lot in a short time.
Time blocking is great for stay-at-home moms and work-from-home moms because it gives you control over your schedule, which sometimes feels impossible to do with little ones.
Stay Focused During the Chaos
One of my favorite things when time blocking is to put one AirPod in and listen to a Podcast or audiobook. This allows me to engage with my kids and provides entertainment for myself.
I also enjoy a special treat in the afternoons of an iced coffee with my Nespresso or a crisp cold Coke. It gives me something to look forward to around 3:00 pm and a little extra energy boost when I’d rather just sit on the couch.
There are certain things that I do each day that are non-negotiable for our house. No matter how tired I am, these get done every day.
Prepare coffee for the following day
Run a load of dishes each night
Unload dishwasher each morning
Wipe down kitchen surfaces after every meal
Quick vacuum of floors before bed
My advice is to start small, get a good routine with one of them, and then add others in. Or, you may find your non-negotiables look different, which is okay.
This is something new I am exploring and excited to try. The premise of Zone Cleaning is that you divide your home into different zones and focus on deep cleaning, organization, and decluttering that space for an entire week.
This does not replace the regular cleaning you do each day but aims to work on those deeper cleaning tasks that never get the attention they need because there aren’t enough hours in the day.
The Fly Lady has some great information and resources on how to get started with Zone Cleaning, and she has an app!
A cleaning schedule is a great way to help keep your home clean, organized, and running smoothly. There are many different schedules on Pinterest, so I recommend reading through some and finding one you think makes sense for your family.
Give it a try for a couple of weeks; if you don’t like it, try a different one. A clean house can tremendously help your productivity and mental health, so finding a system that works for you and your family is always a win-win.
It’s About Time to Wrap This Up.
Whether you work from home, outside the home, or are too busy with little humans to consider anything else, staying on task and productive during the day is something many of us strive to improve at.
By taking the time to make a game plan for your week, you can be proactive instead of reactive, which will set you up for success.
We hope this article was helpful and you can implement some tips. And remember to give yourself grace. Not everyone can be productive 24/7, and some R&R is equally important.
Feel free to let us know what worked for you or what you do to increase your time management skills! Check out more articles for work at home and stay at home moms on MagneticMama.