Sometimes it's hard to get things done around the house with kids hanging on your leg and following you around all day. It can definitely be frustrating… but there are ways to be productive at home without having to wait for those cute littles to go to bed!
Kids are such a joy to have around, right?! We can probably all agree that we're lucky and blessed to get to be their parents. Even when they're being little stinkers, all it takes is one of their perfectly-timed kisses or hugs to make everything better! But getting things done and being productive when they're around? You can throw that out the window…
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Or so you might think! Whether you stay at home, homeschool, work from home, or work outside of the house, we've got some great ideas on how to be productive at home. Many of these you can start applying now. They'll help you to get more things done, even when your kids are around. Oh, and these don't include them just being plugged in to the ol' telly all day long, either! #Winning
PREPARE FOR YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE
Sometimes all you want to do after the kids go to bed is relax. Your cozy PJs are calling you, and you just want to curl up on the couch and binge your favorite shows. Trust us, we totally get that! But before you do that, dedicate just a little bit of time after the kids go to bed to prepare for tomorrow.
Figure out what you're going to fix for breakfast. Lay out your clothes. Gather all of the kids' things that they'll need for school (or better yet, have them do that before they go to bed!). Prep tomorrow night's dinner. These are just a few of the great ideas that you can do to make tomorrow easier and be more productive at home! Get even more ideas in this post HERE.
GET UP EARLY
Sleeping in (is that really a thing when you're a parent?!) is the best. However, it's not always the most productive thing that you can be doing. Unless your littles just get up at the crack of dawn (insert Hunger Games solidarity whistle and signal), start waking up before they do!
Use this time to get ready for the day, work out, read your scriptures, meditate, or whatever it is that you need to do to start your day off the right way. You could also use this time to start working, empty the dishwasher, clean the house, start a load of laundry, or anything else that you need to get accomplished.
Pro tip for those who are on the struggle bus when it comes to getting out of bed and not snoozing that alarm: Put your phone/alarm clock across the room so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off! Then, don't allow yourself to get back in bed. It's a hard habit to break, but you can do it!
ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE!
One of the best things that you can do to be more productive at home with kids around is to create a routine! It helps them to get used to a more concrete schedule, while also helping keep you on track. Because let's be honest, who doesn't easily fall down the rabbit hole of social media?! *Raises hand timidly, in shame*
Our biggest tip to help you create and keep a routine is to use a block schedule. It's gone viral on the internet and has literally helped so. many. people. to stay on track and be more productive in their day! So go over to THIS post and read all about it and get a free printable to create your own!
If you love this idea and want an even better one, then you need to check out our Productivity Planners! They've got everything that you could need, from a block schedule to a to-do list, weekly meal planning and more that we'll get to in a few. Go check them out HERE and sign up for the email list to be notified when they're in stock!
KEEP A CONSISTENT NAP/REST SCHEDULE
Nap time is the best!!! The cute littles get some much-needed rest while mama gets to catch up on a few things. To help make nap time (or quiet time, when they get older and stop sleeping during the day) easier, be sure to stick to a consistent schedule! It's a lot easier for their little bodies to know that it's nap time if it falls around the same time every day.
Then, make sure that you're being productive while they're resting! Sure, that may be taking a nap one day if you're not feeling well. But for the most part, take advantage of that quiet, alone time! Do those tasks that are hard to do when the kids are awake and running around.
If they're too old for a nap, call it quiet time. Let them read books, color, or play quietly with toys. Just set a timer so they know when quiet time is over! This will be CRUCIAL for your day and theirs!
ESTABLISH A REGULAR CLEANING/LAUNDRY ROUTINE
Come up with a daily cleaning routine that will help you to clean your whole house during the week. Believe it or not, coming up with a daily cleaning schedule will help you to stay more productive during your day! You'll know exactly what you need to be doing that day. That will keep you from jumping around from task to task and only partly finishing multiple projects.
And wanna know a secret? Your kids can help, too! Seriously, put those babies to work! It doesn't matter what age they are, they're never too young or old to help out around the house. We've got a great post that goes over the different cleaning products that we use that are safe for kids to use, too. Go read all about that HERE!
Do the same with your laundry – make a routine and stick with it! We've got a super unconventional way to do your laundry that basically broke the internet. Get all of the deets for that HERE and see how you like it.
KEEP A TO-DO BOOK
A to-do list is another great way to be more productive at home. It helps you to keep up with things that you need to do during your day. All you need is a notebook and pen! They really keep you on track, especially when you're trying to be productive with littles around. Kids have a good knack when it comes to distracting you, so make sure that you write down things when they come to mind so that you don't forget to do them later.
And wouldn't you know it, the block schedule and a to-do list go hand-in-hand with each other! Take your items from your to-do list and add them to your block schedule the night before. That way, you know everything that you need to get accomplished during the day.
Put the most important things that you need to do during the blocks that you have uninterrupted time. (Such as nap or rest time, school, and extracurriculars.) You could also do them before the kids get up or after they go to bed, whatever works for you!
As we mentioned above, the new Productivity Planners have a to-do list section in them. You can also easily make your own! Hop on over to THIS post to read more about how to do that.
INDEPENDENT PLAY TIME
This is so important for kids! They need to learn how to go and play by themselves or with their siblings without you around. Be more productive at home by doing what you need to and encouraging them to go play. If they're used to constantly being around you, then work on this for short periods of time for as long as they'll last.
You'll be amazed at how quickly they'll learn that playing on their own is fun! Just make sure that you take advantage of them playing and accomplish that to-do list of yours. There's time to relax and get lost in your phone later. Put that phone away and get things done while you can!
For independent play, make sure you have safe and engaging toys for them around. Puzzles, Legos (make sure they're age appropriate), art sets – grab ones that are mess free if you're worried about leaving them alone with art supplies, and books are all great options!
HAVE FUN THINGS FOR THEM TO DO
Sometimes your cute little one just wants to be around you and there's nothing that's going to stop them from doing that! Don't get frustrated with them! Instead, work it to your advantage. Pull out something special for them to do. Then, have them sit down and do it beside you while you get things done at the table.
This allows you to supervise and interact with them while also being productive and working on your computer or making doctor's appointments. Try out playdough, legos, blocks, paint or Colorwonder markers. See which is your kids' favorite that will keep them preoccupied the longest. We've got even more ideas HERE to keep your kids busy!
GIVE THEM POCKETS OF YOUR TIME
What? How does this help you to be productive at home with kids around??? It may sound crazy, but when they're getting extra clingy, they may just need a little one-on-one mama time. If you give them that time and snuggle with them for just a few minutes, then they'll be happy to go have independent time.
Just trust us and try it out before you knock it! It'll make you feel better because you're still getting to snuggle with your cute kids. Then, you can send them on their way so that you can continue rocking your day and being productive!
MEAL PLANNING AND PREP
Save your sanity and productivity during the week by planning your meals and meal prepping over the weekend. This will help you to know what's going on and not have to waste any time trying to figure out what you're going to make for dinner when 5 o'clock rolls around.
If you're not sure where to start with meal planning, then you've got to check out this post over on our new Shelf Cooking site! You'll learn how to meal plan with food that you already have on hand. Then, you'll supplement with food from the grocery store. It'll save you lots of time and money at the grocery store!
Get the whole family together and whip up a bunch of make ahead breakfasts and lunches over the weekend to help your week run smoothly. You'll find that you're a lot more productive during the week when you don't have to worry about making fresh breakfast and lunch every day!
ACHIEVE YOUR BEST WORK-LIFE BALANCE
For all those workin' mamas out there, we feel you! So much so that we've got a whole post that's chock-full of all of the best info that will help you to get the best work-life balance for you and your family. Check it out HERE, we promise that you'll reach your most productive self once you read it!
PRODUCTIVITY BOOT CAMP
If you've been digging all of these tips and are wanting more like them so that you can reach your most productive self possible, then it's your lucky day! You need to stop what you're doing right now and go check out our Productivity Boot Camp program!
It's a really fun online video program that will help you to find your pain points and crush them, so that you can reach your productivity goals. You'll find the time that you need to get things done, freeing up more time to do the things that you love! Use the code FCFBLOG for 10% off, just because!
Alright, so there you go! Now you know the ins and outs of how to be productive at home. Follow these tips and you'll find that you're able to get more done with kids around. Let us know what your favorite way is in the comments!
Looking for more ideas to help you to be productive?
- Get help with your motivation! Come learn how to get and stay motivated to accomplish your goals!
- Go watch a day in the life of a productivity expert (with 6 kids!) and see how you can get things done in a day.
- If you want some great challenges to help with your productivity, then check this post out!