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 VIFreebs! 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:
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 the VIFreebs 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?