What's a mama to do when she's got a lot to accomplish but only so much time during the day? Enter multitasking! Do it the right way and get things done, son! Boost your productivity by using these simple tips.
Multitasking is one of those touchy topics. For the most part, you should never try to do multiple things at once because your work will likely suffer, you won't be giving everything your attention, and it's not very productive. You dabble in 1,000 things in a day, but never really accomplish much. You'll result in having to redo your work or take longer to finish something than you normally would. HOWEVER…
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When you do it the right way, by pairing two mindless tasks together, talk about being productive! You can really knock some things out. It helps you to better organize, manage, and make your chaotic life more efficient. Perfect or those of us who can never just do one thing at a time! Multitasking will help to find the balance between buckling down and focusing on a project and doing multiple things at once.
Oh, and a BIG shout out to the Freebs! We polled them to see their favorite multitasking ideas and they did not disappoint. Thanks a lot, ladies! Alright, on to all of our greatest multitasking tips, starting with…
MULTITASKING IN THE BATHROOM
The bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in the house. If you're going to be in there a lot, you might as well be multitasking! 😉
CLEAN THE SINK WHILE WASHING YOUR HANDS
If you're anything like us, a busy mom deep-cleaning the bathroom every day is…well…NOT on the daily priority list (though, our daily cleaning schedule really helps). To help stay on top of the never-ending water spots, sticky handles, and dirt splashes from those incredibly messy kids, just use your hands!
Anytime you're washing your hands, get them real soapy and wipe down the sink and handles. Rinse your hands, then wipe the sink again to wash the soap off. Dry off the (now clean) sink with the hand towel after drying your hands and voila!
WIPE DOWN THE TOILET
Another multitasking-in-the-bathroom tip? Keep a container of disinfectant wipes next to the toilet and do a quick 5-10 second wipe of the bowl, seat, handle, or all 3. This doesn't replace the occasional disinfecting deep-clean, but it does keep it looking presentable and works great for in-between cleaning! Just put your phone down and use that time to give ‘er a good wipe down instead. Instagram can wait, we promise. 😉
READ BOOKS WHILE THE KIDS ARE IN THE TUB
We believe reading to our kids is important and want to give ample reading time with them at night, but let's be honest…bedtime is CHAOTIC! Sometimes we can only squeeze in one book with the kids before they fully start melting down, or on late nights, we might not get to a book at all.
To wind the kids down and ensure lots of good reading time, we have started reading stories to our kids while they take a bath before bed. We keep a stack of books right in the bathroom (in the storage rack above our toilet) and each of the kids get to pick at least one book. Bonus? You get to rest your tired feet while the kids get clean AND get some quality reading time in. It also helps cut down on the fighting, splashing, and getting riled up and rambunctious in the tub (which was a huge issue for a while).
BRUSH AND FLOSS TEETH IN THE BATHTUB
Brush and floss your kids' teeth while they're contained in the tub! It will help cut down on the bedtime chaos while also keeping them from trying to run away. And don't be afraid to do this for yourself, too! It's always nice to have a reason to stand under the warm water for a few more seconds, so start brushing or flossing your teeth in the shower. Multitasking at its finest.
NEVER STAND STILL WHILE BRUSHING YOUR TEETH
Since you should be brushing your teeth twice a day (and you're probably not showering twice a day), make sure you're using that time to your advantage! Tidy up your bathroom, pick out what clothes you're going to wear for the day, do calf raises/squats/lunges, pack up what you need for the day, help kids grab their backpacks, or anything else you can do while brushing your teeth! Yes, it only takes a few minutes to brush your teeth, but multitasking is still highly effective in short bursts of time.
WASH THE SHOWER WHILE YOU'RE IN IT
Another great in-between deep cleaning multitasking tip is to wipe down the shower while you're in it! The hot water and steam help loosen things up, so you can easily get it squeaky clean. Just keep a sponge (one of these filled with vinegar and dish soap) or a cleaning glove in the shower to make the process even easier!
MULTITASKING WHILE WATCHING TV
Watching TV is definitely a guilty pleasure. It's fun to be entertained and have shows to keep up with. But sitting down to watch TV is hard to do when you have chores and tasks to accomplish around the house. To solve this problem, start watching TV while multitasking!
As you're doing “around the house” chores, watch TV on your tablet or phone. Carry it with you into the laundry room, prop it up when you're doing dishes, carry it with you to clean out the freezer. As long as you're not pulled into the show, you're able to stay on top of your shows AND chores at the same time.
You can save all your “sit-down” chores for nighttime when the kids are in bed – folding laundry, sorting through a junk basket, sorting mail or papers – and can enjoy watching a show without interruption. It will really help you to stay more productive during the day when you have the most energy. Plus, it will help to cut back on marathon TV watching at night, which helps you get to bed earlier, too!
NEVER LEAVE A ROOM EMPTY-HANDED
As you walk from room to room, make it a point to grab just ONE thing. Scan and look for something that belongs in the same vicinity of where you're headed. if you're walking somewhere anyway, might as well grab something and take it with you to put it away! Or grab something that can be put back in its place, like a pillow that's been knocked off the couch. The laundry basket trick is another great way to stay on top of this!
MULTITASKING WITH PODCASTS
This is probably one of our best multitasking tips! If you love to listen to podcasts (or webinars, Facebook Lives, IGTV, audiobooks, Scriptures, etc.), then pair them with those normal, everyday tasks that you're doing anyways. Here are some of our favorite pairings:
- Meal Planning
- Meal Prep
- Getting Ready
- Working Out
- Running Errands
- Taking a Walk
You'll find that things go quicker when you can listen to something while doing those tasks!
I chopped veggies for dinner while listening [to Jordan's webinar]! I had ear buds in so I wouldn’t distract my kiddos who were still doing schoolwork. I was also cooking my lunch at the same time! I chopped dinner veggies at that time so I when it was time to start dinner I could just throw it all together faster.Amanda B.
MULTITASKING IN THE KITCHEN
Yes, it is possible! Here are some of our favorite ways to be extra productive in the kitchen.
THE MICROWAVE PRINCIPLE
Whenever you throw something into your microwave to heat up, use that time to your advantage! Wipe things down, prepare the next thing, rinse dishes and put them in the dishwasher. Don't just stand there! You'd be surprised what you can get done in just 30, 60 or 90 seconds.
I do the “microwave challenge”, when I try to even get a little task done while the microwave is going. I also clean the shower while I'm in it, which has helped a lot.Katie M.
DO YOUR KIDS' HAIR WHILE THEY EAT BREAKFAST
Keep all the kids' hair necessities in a portable hair bag somewhere easily accessible (such as in the hall closet where their shoes, socks, and backpacks are). To speed up your “getting ready” process for the day, grab the bag and do their hair while they are eating breakfast! They are seated, distracted, and contained… The perfect combination for multitasking!
Pssst…if we're running late, the hair bag is easy to grab and go. You can do the kids' hair in the car or parking lot of wherever you are going, or you can even take it into the waiting room and do it while you are waiting (at an appointment, for example).
CLEAN WHILE DINNER IS COOKING OR WAITING TO BE SERVED
There's usually some down time between starting dinner and eating dinner. Rather than standing in the kitchen, watching the water boil or staring at what's in the oven, use that time to clean up! Give those things that can go in the dishwasher a quick rinse and throw them in there.
If it's something that needs to soak, get it started asap so you can easily wipe it clean once dinner is over. There's no point in staring at your food that's cooking unless you have to watch it to make sure it doesn't boil over or burn.
I typically do dishes and laundry while I'm cooking dinner! I start a load in the wash and then start up dinner. Once dinner is on the stove or in the oven, I start washing prep dishes. About the time dinner is ready to go on the table I can switch the laundry to the dryer, that way it's ready to fold once we are done eating.Kate F.
SORT THROUGH MAIL IN YOUR CAR
Sorting mail in the car helps you stay on top of it. You can take immediate action on the things that need it, and squeeze every ounce of productivity out of being stuck in a car. Grab the mail as you're leaving the house or driveway. Sort through it during school pickup, waiting for a bank teller, during a soccer game or even gymnastics practice.
If it's a bill, call and pay it right then, or pay it on your phone. Put a coupon or discount it in your accordion file. If it's trash, toss it in your car trash bag or leave it on your lap to throw away the next time you get out of the car. When you're stuck in the car anyway, might as well use that time well!
FEED THE KIDS IN THE GROCERY CART
As busy moms, we all know going shopping with kids is a certified NIGHTMARE. They like to fuss, whine, cry, jump in and out of the cart, fight with each other, run amuck around the store… But moms gotta go to the store in a pinch once in a while, so what do you do??
Shop around lunch or snack time. It's cheapest to bring your own food and snacks from home, but don't be afraid to grab that cheap and delicious popcorn chicken from the store deli if it fits in the budget. It distracts them, keeps them busy, and helps them sit still so you can speed shop! We wouldn't recommend doing this every time you have to go to the store, but it'll definitely save your sanity on those days when skipping the store isn't an option.
LEARN HOW TO BE A MULTITASKING NINJA
If you loved these tips, then you definitely need to check out Productivity Boot Camp! It's a fun online video program that helps you to get your life in order. We'll help you find your pain points and how to overcome them, while also being more organized and productive in your life!
Doesn't that sound amazing?! You're going to love it. Bonus? Use the code FCFBLOG for 10% off at checkout, just because. 😉
Alright, well there you have it! Our favorite multitasking tips, tricks and hacks! What's your favorite way to multitask? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for more great ideas to help you be more productive?
- Stay productive at home, even with kids in tow!
- Stop doing it all yourself! Delegate tasks to your hubby and kids and take some of the stress off yourself.
- Want help staying on top of everything you need to use? Check out our Productivity Planner Lite digital download!
I love these!
I try to always read a story or 4 to Greyson while he is taking a bath. It helps me make sure we get at least our 20 minutes a day of reading in!
Those are good tips. Multitasking is the only way to get things done sometimes 🙂
Hi, I just had to comment. I think these ideas are really ingenious! BUT, as a mom of twins and now an empty nester, please use these as more of the exception, and not the rule. Sitting down for a meal as a family is so important. Feeding kids in the tub or grocery cart may be necessary sometimes, but TRY to find the time to sit and talk and enjoy your kids while sharing a meal with them. Believe me, they grow up fast! Reading to them while bathing them is very creative, but there is something about piling on the bed and snuggling with them while you read. It also is something that helps ease them into “sleep mode”. My advice, as an older mom, SLOW DOWN! Put the phones down, turn off the computers, don’t over extend yourself so that you have to resort to these short cuts on a routine basis. Take it from someone who has “been there” and “done that”. You will never regret your messy house, piles of laundry, etc… Find ways to multitask that do not involve your kids. I promise, you will be so glad that you did! Thanks for all you do, Jordan!
Fabulous insight, thanks so much for sharing!!
Thanks for these great ideas! I have been following your blog for a couple years and I always look through your archives when I need tips on traveling, organizing, finances or just to see pics of your cute family. I appreciate you!
Aww, thanks for reading and commenting Grace!
Oooo – I like your ideas! I’m bad at doing 1000’s things at once and being left with a bunch of half done chores, but at least I have been better lately! A new multitasking tip I have been doing is flossing my teeth in the shower. It fits in my routine better since I shower regularly (ok, try to- ha ha!). I can rinse off the extra yuck in the water and it gives me an excuse to savor the nice hot water for another minute or so!
I LOOOVVVEEE that idea! I can’t tell you the last time I flossed. Yikes. I’m starting this asap!
When you have 3 little ones running around, are pregnant with your 4th, and have a husband who is out of town for an extended period of time…do what you have to do! Stories in the tub sound awesome, and an occasional meal in the grocery cart is probably a fun experience for the kids! You’re still together as a family, and you’re doing your best. Good for you!
Thanks SJ, huge virtual hugs your way 🙂 XOXOXO
I love these ideas. I am a big fan of the “one thing” rule. It really does have a big impact on the mess at the end of the day. And I try to empty the sink after every meal. It only takes a couple of minutes and I don’t have to stare at the dishes stacking up and making me crazy.
I’ve been working on clearing the sink as well. I’m not the best, but boy, it makes a nice difference!!
I have been following your blog for about a year now and I love it! I don’t have any children, but I am still able to incorporate your ideas into my life! I also feel better prepared for when I do have children- even though I don’t think you can ever be fully prepared- all because of you! Thank you so much for everything you do!
Brandy, that was the nicest comment!! Thanks for taking the time to share. You made my day 🙂 XOXO Jordan
I play a little “game” with multi tasking.. like while my lunch heats up I will see how much I can get done in the kitchen.. load the dish washer.. set up the coffee pot for the next morning.. wipe cabnets/counters/ sweep..ect.. I am surprised how much can be done in short 3-5 minutes … I also do the quick wipe down in the bathroom and I do the shower/tub just like you do your sink.. I just use the wash cloth that I am done cleaning myself with and use my foot to wipe up the tub/shower floor.. then toss it into the dirty laundry when I get out. Makes the ”deep clean” much easier
I love the timer idea! I do that too – I’ll give myself 3, 5, or 10 minutes and will set an actual timer. Keeps me hustling and yes, it’s amazing how much you can get done that quickly!
I love these kinds of tips! As a mommy of 7 ppl are always asking me how I do it…it’s because there is always a better way to do something! here is a few of my own tips..
*do homework immediately after school the little ones are still napping and then there is no last minute homework rush
* plan certain nights for baths and clip everyone’s nails we do Tues,Thurs,sat
*Everyone has there own cosmetic bag with a toothbrush, paste, and floss.. miraculously the sink and counter are always almost free of toothpaste smears and splatters
*I use norwex rags that can be used for dusting and windows and only use water.. no cleaner no paper towels and does a fabulous job.. I just run around wiping all the surfaces with just a squirt bottle and rags!
*I took a whole Saturday to do freezer breakfasts, Hubby’s sandwiches, and over 20 dinners…it has been a huge timesaver:)
LOOOOVVVVVEEEE these tips!! What kind of freezer breakfasts do you prepare? I want to try that!
I made breakfast sandwiches with English muffins lightly toasted, frozen sausage patties from wal mart, and eggs that I scrambled with some s&p, bake @325 in muffin tins until firm. Then wrap in pLas tic wrap and stick in freezer safe bag. I also did breakfast burritos with just a big batch of scrambled eggs and sausage crumbles, and french toast sticks from sixsistersstufff.com.
Love this thanks for sharing!
I had to smile when I saw your iPad, I totally do the same thing. I rarely sit down and watch TV, mostly just on the Kindle. I believe that DirecTV has the same thing as Dish, will need to check it out, thanks for the reminder!
I do several of the others but never thought of them as multitasking, they totally are though. Love the idea of reading books while the kids are in the bath, bedtime seems to take forever so that’s a great timesaver!
Multitasking is definitely something I do at my house. I never have time to do everything individually so small tasks I can do while doing other things are awesome!
I do squats while I brush my teeth. ?
I loved all these tips! Thank you I’m going to start reading more when they are in the bathtub! 💕
I out all clean laundry in my room and at night before bed as I watch TV I sort and fold it and out away mine than in the morning the kids do theirs.
I love to clean up kitchen while dinner is cooking. I very much dislike cleanup after eating. That way all you have is table ware and putting the food away for the most part.
I love these and do (or have done) all except feeding a child in a grocery cart. I NEVER leave any room empty handed and I’m a huge fan of multitasking in the bathroom and kitchen and while watching TV.
Another tip for the bathroom, is to do a cursory clean every morning. But when it comes to a twice weekly REAL clean, I wipe down the toilet with wipes then put a couple of squirts of cleaner in and give a quick, but thorough brush and trap the brush under the clean seat to drain a bit but DO NOT FLUSH. Then I jump in the shower where I wash the walls and tub, and get out and dry off. Before I do my hair, I turn back to the toilet and give it another quick brush and flush and let the brush drain again while I finish my hair, etc. Before I leave the room, I put the brush away. Completely clean bath except the floor which I would immediately return to 5 min later when dressed and I’d be done after cleaning the floor and changing out the towels. It never gets dirty because it’s constantly being cleaned! I actually clean the toilet every other day now since it takes so little time.