Today’s post will hopefully give you some tips which you can easily incorporate into your life to help you to become more productive, and generally just get yourself together to be more organized! Whether you’re a new parent like me and struggled to find ways to “get it all done”, or if you’re just looking for some tips to make your life easier and to be more productive, this is for you.
I will explain in this video how you can be productive, work full time, look after a baby, eat healthy meals, and do some semblance of self-care… yes, it is possible! Keep reading to see how I make it work for us.
These 8 tips will hopefully help you to be more productive, and as a result lead a more organized (and happy!) life:
- Meal planning: As often as I possibly can, I try to map out our weekly meals so that we have at minimum a rough idea of what we will be eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner (and snacks) every day of the week. I organize our meals using Pinterest, an excel spreadsheet, and the “Notes” app on my phone, and really the idea is just to make sure that I’m eating healthy and balanced meals as often as possible, and that I’m shopping for groceries with actual meal ideas, instead of just picking up a bunch of random ingredients which will inevitably go to waste. This is a much more economical way to shop for food and it makes it so much easier to eat healthy.
- Family schedule: I’ve always been a pretty organized person, but since becoming a mom, having a schedule in place has become a make-or-break non-negotiable element to our lives. It is so tempting to just wing it every day, but I quickly realized that this was totally inefficient and always ended up with us not being productive at all. With a family schedule, we know what we need to do each day of the week, and around what time things should be getting done. We use time blocking, but any method works – as long as you have a rough idea of what you need to be doing. This way, you don’t find yourself at the end of the week realizing that you haven’t made time for personal things like going to the gym or self-care, you haven’t really cooked or done laundry, and generally speaking, you just haven’t been productive as you otherwise could have been. Family schedules give you the structure needed to be productive, while making sure that daily and weekly tasks aren’t forgotten.
- Find balance & divide up tasks: If you’re in a two-parent family, then this tip is crucial to ensuring that things are getting done, but importantly, that the burden of managing the household doesn’t always fall on the same person. Sit down and think about which tasks you like doing, and which ones… not so much. Divide up tasks based on what makes sense for your family, but try to make sure that the division of tasks is as evenly distributed as possible. We are more productive when we are doing things we actually like doing, and when we don’t feel overwhelmed with having to do it *all*.
- Clean daily: this might sound crazy, but if you’re anything like me, then you love having a clean and tidy home. This really impacts my mental health, and I feel anxious when my house is in a total disarray. It also distracts me from being able to concentrate and as a result, I’m not as productive as I could be. Instead of letting the household chores build up every day, resulting in a huge mess by the weekend, I instead clean up every single day. Nothing over the top, just picking up things laying around, making sure the kitchen is tidy, vacuuming and laundry. A little bit of cleaning every day means you won’t spend hours of cleaning on the weekend!
- Routines: creating structure around daily tasks are great ways to improve productivity. If you’ve implemented a family schedule, then routines are the logical next step. Routines allow you to be more productive because you will spend less time trying to get organized for things that you do every day (like baby’s bathtime!). If you do the same steps every day for things like mealtimes and bedtimes, then over time they’ll become second nature and things will flow a lot more easily.
- Prep the next day: this tip is especially useful if you have a very busy day, or if you need to go out. When you have littles to look after, you need to get yourself together *and* a whole other person together, too. A good way to make sure your morning is not chaotic and totally disorganized is to get your things ready for the next day, the day before. Before I started doing this, I cannot tell you how many times I got ready only to spend 20 minutes looking for something that I need to take with me. Now, I get everything ready and organize the day before, which in turn makes my morning departures more efficient and overall I’m more productive because I can focus on other things, instead of racing around the apartment looking for things (and therefore being late to whatever it is I had to do…).
- Self-care: none of the previous steps will matter, if you’re totally burned out and exhausted. Part of staying productive is also about taking care of yourself! It is so easy to focus on everything else, and we are the easiest thing to neglect at the end of the day. This is so counter-productive because in order to accomplish everything we’ve talked about so far, you need to be happy and healthy, and have the energy to actually do the other tips on this list. So it’s important, if you want to stay productive, to also look after your own well-being. Take a bath (or even a slightly longer shower!), meditate, do a beauty routine, read a book. Do whatever makes *you* feel happy and relaxed and it will pay off in the long-run.
- Be flexible: at the end of the day, life doesn’t always allow you to stick to your family schedule, or follow your routines exactly as planned. And that’s totally ok. Don’t be afraid to change things up, to deviate from your schedule, to not meal plan if you don’t feel like it, and so on. If you can find time and energy to do all these things, then great – I guarantee that you will be more productive. But these are guidelines to *try* to live by, and not strict rules. Give yourself a bit of grace if you don’t always get everything done, and if you totally throw you weekly schedule out the window. Just try again the next week, and the week after.
I hope these tips were helpful and have given you some motivation to get organized and to improve your productivity! x