17 Steps How To Be Productive As A Work-At-Home Mom

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As a mom, you have so very many roles. So how can you be productive as a work-at-home mom?

I don’t think you could find a professional position in existence that includes as many roles as being a parent.  Add a career to this title; you are a downright master ninja!  Add in working from home? Now that’s insanity.

As much as you may love being a mom, sometimes you just might feel like you can’t keep up, you’re failing, you don’t know which way to go next, you are stretched way too thin, or all of the above.  Trust me; been there, done that! 

As a mom of four, I totally get it.  I have learned lots of tips along the way.  So today, I would love to share with you how to be more productive as a work-at-home mom. There is no reason you can’t be home and be successful.

how to be productive as a work-at-home mom

1.      Plan Your Week In Advance

Choose a day and time of the week to sit down and review your schedule for the coming week.

Be as consistent on this as possible.

For example, Sunday evenings are a great time to sit down and review your calendar for the week ahead.

As you plan, you will want to:

  • Create a master to-do list for the week
  • Check for any appointments or places you must be that are already on your calendar
  • Review your Time Block Schedule and implement anything new
  • Create a list of the top 5 things that must get done for the week
  • Put an emphasis on the top 3 tasks that you must accomplish
  • Don’t forget to plan fun activities, down time, and days off

2.      Create A Time Block Schedule

Timeblocking is by far the best thing you can do to be more productive as a WAHM.  So maybe I should have made this #1 haha!

Related: Check out my article on How To Time Block now and thank me later.

A time block schedule will take the guesswork out of your days creating the perfect, simple framework for a daily routine for your entire life. No, seriously!

how to be productive as a work-at-home mom with time blocking

3.      Have A Daily Top To-Do List

Similar to your weekly planning in advance, you want to plan each day’s most important tasks the night before.

Create your top 5 to-do list for the day by the level of importance and focus on making sure the top 3 get done.

To-do lists have always helped me out immensely. Especially if I am feeling very overwhelmed.  Just getting all the things that I need to get done out of my brain and onto paper can make my stress levels come down instantly.  And most of the time, as I start to cross things off of my list, I realize my to-do list wasn’t near as bad as I was making it out to be.

Crossing things off a list will make you feel sooooo much better!

4.      Create A Dedicated Work Space (and keep it organized)

Having a space that is work-ready will save you tons of time.

If you are having to get out your laptop, gather your notebooks and planners, find pens, clear off a table, etc., etc., well you are not going to be productive at all. 

You will be wasting so much time preparing to work, that you could have already had your emails checked by now.

Create a space, any space, and you will be happy you did.

5.      Schedule In Time For Cleaning House And Chores

This is where your Time Blocking will come in super handy.

We all have to clean the house and do chores, but keeping it organized and scheduled can really help you to avoid distractions.

Me, I like to get really distracted with multiple things at one time (i.e. I’m doing laundry and remember that I forgot to thaw the chicken for dinner, so I go to get the chicken out of the downstairs freezer and also remember I need to reply to an email in my office, so I run to do that before I go back upstairs, and then get distracted with the email from Target with a sale that is going on and 15 minutes later I realize I was supposed to be doing laundry and go back upstairs and realize I didn’t get the chicken…).  It happens.

Create a day and time for laundry, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, etc. and life will be smoother.

6.      Use Your Available Time

If you are going to be productive as a work-at-home mom, then you must do this.

Do you have napping children, kids at a friend’s house, daycare, or a nanny; then you need to use this time to your benefit. 

Whether this means you are working, doing chores, exercising, preparing meals, or even napping or reading, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you use this time to your benefit.

Don’t let the distraction of your phone or social media take this time away from you.

7.      Set Timers

I explain this in my article on Time Blocking, but setting timers will help you to work faster and more efficiently.

When I know that I only have 30 minutes to bust out a task, I am amazed at my productivity skills!

You can reference your time block schedule planner to set these alarms on your phone.  I use Google Calendar to add in my block times with timers which help remind me of what I should be doing and when.

A timer helps you to stay focused on a single task knowing that you only have a certain amount of time to work before you move on to the next.

8.      Have The Kids Do Chores

Let the kids help.

It is so important and good for them to learn to work.  And you do not need to do everything.

Learning to do jobs on their own will teach them how to survive things like school, jobs and how to care for their own home when they grow up.  It also boosts their self-esteem!

Learning how to work is not bad, it is oh-so important. 

A good Chore Chart and age-appropriate chores will create structure and make life so much easier for both of you.

how to be productive as a work-at-home mom with chore charts for kids

9.      Make Time For Self-Care

You are important.

Sometimes we allow ourselves to fall to the wayside because we feel guilty taking time for us.  But how can we care for others when we ourselves are tired, feeling down, and lacking?

It is just as important that you make time for yourself as it is to make time for others.

Make sure you schedule in time for self-care.  Get some exercise, take a nap, or read. We all need life-balance, sleep and fun to function properly and give back.

10.      Allow For Failure

With kids, there is always going to be the unexpected. And when you’re trying to be be productive as a work-at-home mom, these little unexpected occurrences can be frustrating.

So, if your toddler has an ear infection, or the baby is teething and won’t nap today, or you were up all night for whatever reason, it’s ok if your schedule didn’t go as planned.

Or maybe you just weren’t on your game today.  There is always tomorrow, and you have an awesome schedule to fall back into. Just know that these things will always happen so you can mentally prepare yourself.

11.      Make Time With Your Kids A Priority

When you spend quality time with your kids and make it a priority, you are showing them that they are more important than your work.

They will be less likely to interrupt or do things to distract and try and get your attention as you work. Not that there will never be interruptions, but you will have better success if they do not feel that they must compete for your attention each day.

Let them know that you appreciated them being quiet as you worked and that you are proud of them.  Maybe you can even reward them afterwards with some one-on-one time.

12.      Meal Prep & Plan

Oh dinner.

As one who likes to cook…I also dread the task of spending so much time on meals daily.

Anything to speed up this task, all while making it healthy is a WIN!

I’ve often wished I could just have my own personal chef, lol (and maybe you can!).

Meal prepping one day a week will definitely take a huge load off and save you so much time, but if you can’t do that, then DEFINITELY plan your meals out in advance.  This is one of the most important steps to getting more done.  A Meal Planning Menu is a must! This will be one of your biggest tools in how to be productive as a work-at-home mom.

It’s the worst when you are in the middle of working, it’s almost dinner time, and you realize you have no idea what you’re fixing.  Cold cereal anyone, lol?

how to be productive as a work-at-home mom menu planning

13.      Do Not Multitask

If you want to be fast, then multitasking is going to be your nemesis.

Switching from one task to another repeatedly slows you down a ton. Your brain must refocus each time you switch tasks.

It takes 5-10 minutes to refocus and get back to your train of thought for each job.

So, it’s best to either work on one large task at a time, or batch multiple similar tasks.

14.      Put Your Phone Away

Yep, it can rival the kids as far as distraction goes.

You can silence it, put it in another room, or put it on do not disturb, but limiting your phone to certain times is important for success.  You can also prioritize contacts in your phone that need to get through to you for emergencies if that makes you more comfortable.

It’s also smart to schedule in some time to be on your phone if you’d like some social media time.  This way you’re not constantly punishing yourself, just keeping things under control.

15.      Break Down Large Tasks

Sometimes it all gets too overwhelming.  A really large task can be daunting and scary which causes us to want to procrastinate.  Then the job keeps getting pushed to the side, or we get “lost” in the job losing focus as we try to manage it.

Sit down and break that huge task into multiple. This will make it manageable as you are able to check off sections at a time.  You will become more efficient as you work this way.

16.      Keep a To-Do List Nearby

As I mentioned in #5, it’s easy to get distracted.

The best way to keep this under control is to have a notepad nearby so that you can just immediately write down those distractions and thoughts that pop into your head for later.

Getting those thoughts out of your head and onto paper will keep you ultra-efficient!  So, when you remember that you need to get milk at the store, write it down. When you remember that you’re supposed to bring a salad to your neighbors on Thursday, write it down.

It also helps get rid of that feeling of “I know there was something I needed to do…what was it?”.

17.      Schedule Days Off

You are not a machine.

Sometimes it’s too easy to feel that you have to work all the time just because your work is also at home.

Just as with any other job, it is important to take time off.  Spend it with your kids, rest your brain and focus on other things that matter, or go have some fun!

You can do this!

Working from home is wonderful and can also be so difficult at the same time. But you’ve got this mama!

Try implementing these steps into your weekly schedule to be a more productive work-at-home mom.  Remember to test things out to find what works for you and your family.  And remember what I said in Tip #10, just try, try again.  It will work out, and you will succeed!

how to be productive as a work-at-home mom daily schedule routine

1 thought on “17 Steps How To Be Productive As A Work-At-Home Mom”

  1. Pingback: How to Use a Chore Chart for Kids That Works (and Succeed!) - Jennakate Blog

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