Do you want killer tips to be a more productive mum? The most common ‘excuse’ that Mums come up with when asked why they don’t exercise, eat healthy, or just take time out for themselves is that they “just don’t have the time”. I get that, 100 percent – I do! All Mums feel super busy and ‘time poor’. Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do you can never fit in any ‘me time’. You can’t pour from an empty cup! You need some down time. Try these simple tips and see if you can schedule in that much needed ‘me time’ you have been craving!
Start with an organised clean space
Disorganised and messy workstations and homes = disorganised and messy minds. Ultimately, this equates to a waste of precious time. Think about how much time you can waste looking for a set of lost keys while your late for work! It all adds up…
Having an organised home with ‘a place for everything, and everything in its place’ makes it a lot easier for the whole family to keep the house neat and tidy. Hubby will probably still ask “where’s the butter?” as it stares him right in the face… but if you get the family on board with the most essential things, you could free up some valuable time, and save yourself some frustration too. My 2 year old knows how to ‘pack away’ her toys. She can even put away the washing! While she puts a couple of face washers away, I can fold a basket of cloths without her unfolding everything in the process. YAY!
De-cluttering is a good idea too. Getting rid of things you don’t use and freeing up space helps you to have more room for the things you actually utilise, rather than just ‘shoving things wherever they fit’. Knowing where things are as your rushing out the door saves time, and helps our poor mummy brains stay a bit more relaxed!
Build your tribe
The year I trained towards my goal of competing at the Age Group World Championships for triathlon, with a relatively new baby was certainly a busy one! I relied on my incredible husband a great deal to look after our baby whilst I spent time training. Without the luxury of grandparents living close by, I also relied on friends to help me to fit in my training. Saying “yes” to help from friends (or anyone for that matter) is very difficult for us Mums. It was definitely hard for me at first, but once I gave in I was glad I did! They say it takes a tribe to raise a child, and I believe it. There is NO WAY I could have done it without my friends and family.
Organising a group of busy mothers to work together to reach their goals was one of the best things I ever did. I was able to ask my friends to look after my daughter so that I could fit in a training session whilst hubby was at work. I could return the same favour, giving them time to do whatever it was that was important to them. Our children got to play together too, which was excellent for their friendship and helped to wear them out a little bit more too. When we got home Sophie would sometimes sleep for just a little longer. WINNING! Surround yourself with good people, and be good to them and your support network will help you to find more time. Ultimately making you more productive!
Spend less time at work
Mums are sometimes the worst at saying “No”. Although there will be times when it is essential to do the occasional overtime, some of us spend a substantially larger amount of time at work than what we are actually paid for. If you are are nodding your head thinking, “this is me!”, my advice is to ask yourself “Is it really worth it?” Do you get recognised for the extra time you spend at work? Whether it be by way of extra money, or leading towards a reward of promotion in the foreseeable future. If the answer is no, perhaps you need to re-think how much time you are spending at work. If your excess time at work goes unrecognised, why spend your time there?? On that note, learn to say “no” elsewhere in your life too. You know what I’m talking about. It’s OK to say no!
Prioritise your time
Prioritisation = productivity. What do you actually do with your time? Do you know? It’s often a good eye opener if you take a snapshot of your week and evaluate what you really do with your time. Choose 3-5 days to document what your day entails. Take a look and ask yourself if you are you happy with what you are doing with your time? Why ? / why not? What else would you like to fit in? Perhaps you need to re-prioritise. We all have essential tasks that take up time in our day, whether we want to do them or not. Prioritise the rest of your ‘free time’ to make sure that your doing things that are genuinely important to you!
Choose your downtime wisely
The biggest ‘time wasters’ that come to mind are TV and internet. Could you cut out some of your TV time? I think the answer for most of us would be “yes”. How often do you spend time ‘channel surfing’ only to find there is absolutely “nothing on TV”. Do you browse the net mindlessly, looking at things that don’t bring you any value to your life? If you cut these things out, you will all of a sudden find chunks of time that you could spend doing something much more rewarding, valuable and probably more relaxing too!
Mums are the best multi-taskers I know, so telling them to multi-task seems a little bit ridiculous! However, there could be a few better/unknown ways that you could do it. Do you have appliances with great features that you don’t even know how to use? I know I do! It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the time-dalay function on my washing machine. Well, I knew it was there, but I had never actually used it. I’d waste time waiting for washing to finish, or I would avoid putting one on altogether because I knew I would be out and about when it finally did finish.
Now that I use such a simple feature, I have been able get a couple of extra loads in during the week, which mean some ME TIME on the weekends. Hooray! For me, one of the things I LUURVE to do is have a good sweat session. I used to feel like I just couldn’t fit it in when I’d have the kids all day. But with a little bit of creativity I was able to fit in exercise whilst still letting the kids do things they enjoy. Read my article about how to get fit with your get active with your little ones in tow.
Plan your meals
This is perhaps one of the best strategies Mums use. Be creative and plan your meals in advance. Some ideas are:
- Cook in bulk – eat one meal tonight and freeze the rest for sometime next week
- Use a slow cooker! – often you can cook 2 meals at once if you use a slow cooker. One on the stovetop and one in the slow cooker. Usually you don’t need to keep a close eye on slow cooked meals, so you can throw everything into one bowl and then head out for work / play / exercise, and still come home to a healthy home cooked meal.
- Make your breakfasts in advance. Most people think of making dinners in advance, but don’t recognise the time you could save preparing breakfasts. Chop a heap of vegetables, add some protein, +/- some cheese, add some eggs and bake in the oven. A delicious breakfast frittata that not only saves you time, but adds to your daily intake of veg!
- Bake for your friends! You don’t even have time to cook for your family, so how on earth do you find time to bake for your friends?? Do you have a mothers group? Friendly neighbours? Or just your close friendship group. Put your heads together and come up with some recipe ideas. Buy bulk, cook one meal but enough to share with the group. You give out as many meals as you receive. Dinner for the week done! And you only had to wash up the cooking / prep items once!
Rid yourself of excess baggage…
Spend your days listening to ‘friends’ talk about themselves all day and never ask how your going? Or do you listen to everyones problems and try to sort out their issues? If you do, you might not only find yourself being robbed of your time, but also of your energy! Every friend (especially our Mummy friends) needs our support and a listening ear, but if you find yourself in a ‘one sided’ friendship take some time to consider if this relationship is really important to you. It’s sometimes very difficult to do, but cutting back (or eliminating completely) the time that you spend on relationships that ‘don’t give back’ will allow you to invest in the relationships that are more important and valuable to you.
Time is our most precious commodity. Use it wisely. As a mum it is so important that you take time out for yourself. Mums are often ‘burning the candle at both ends’, so we need to be conscious of striking the balance between ‘getting it all done’ and taking time out. Remember Mumma; first, take care of you! If you have any time saving tips, I’d love for you to share them with us. Find us on Facebook and strike up a conversation with our lovely SRM mummies today!
If you want to access our best resources including FREE workbooks, training plans, nutrition guides and more, join the SRM Team today and get access to our Resource Library.