Twenty four. The number of hours in a day. It seems like a lot, but after 6-8 hours of sleep and 8-10 hours of working, you’ve suddenly found that maybe there just isn’t enough time to do what you need to do! Add in kids, and now you’ve got even less to work with. How in the world are we supposed to get things done?? I mean, there’s no way to add extra hours in a day. However, what if we took advantage of every minute? Could we possibly do things in a way that seems like we now have enough time to relax after being productive? I’ve come up with 3 simple ways that really help me find more time in my already busy day and I truly hope you can benefit from a few of these tips!
1. Wake up early every morning. Seriously, this THE main reason I get anything productive done. If I sleep in until Allison wakes up, which is now around 6:30, I feel like my whole day is just wasted and I’m so grumpy the rest of the day. In order for me to feel accomplished and ready to go, I have to do these 6 things every morning:
- Drink coffee
- Read my Bible
- Publish blog post, set up Facebook posts
- Eat breakfast
These 6 things are just so essential for my day to start right! Yours may look different, depending on your season in life. I put breakfast last because usually I can eat before Allison wakes up, but if not I’ll just eat when she does. I still aim to eat beforehand though, because I’m much happier that way!
Make a list of the things YOU want to do every morning, whether you have kids or not. How big is that list? And how early do you need to wake up to make this happen? For me, I’ve found I’m most productive when I wake up at 4:45 every morning. Yes, that is QUITE early! But in my season of life, that’s what works for me. I also make sure I’m in bed by 10:00 every night to make sure I get enough sleep. If your child still wakes up at night or doesn’t even go to sleep until really late, you may have to adjust your schedule accordingly to make sure you sleep enough, too.
2. Sneak in extra minutes/multi-task. I am all about using my time as wisely as I can! After having a child, I’ve found ways to sneak in a couple extra tasks while I do other things, either with Allison or before she wakes up.
- While Allison eats breakfast, I’ll empty the dishwasher. She’s occupied, I can still engage with her, and the dishwasher is now empty! I used to do it right after lunch, but then I felt guilty about letting her just run around by herself, and she would also try to help unload the knives and large glass items. This way I can do something productive and keep her safe!
- Sometimes when I do meal prep/cooking while Allison’s asleep, I’ll prop up my phone and watch Netflix or Hulu. It’s really hard to get caught up on my shows now, so being able to sneak in some TV time is great!
- Listen to podcasts/audiobooks while sitting around the house/driving/doing housework. I don’t currently do this, but I’d love to be able to listen to something and learn while I work!
- If you’re sitting in a waiting room and have a few extra minutes, be sure to bring something productive with you! A book you’ve wanted to catch up on, a notebook to brainstorm… You can easily get 15-30 minutes of work done!
3. Set timers for everything. This includes housework and even time-suckers like social media. Have you ever tried to do a few things here and there around the house, and you look around an hour later and nothing got done? I’ve heard this before but it so works: Just set a timer and do as much as you can within the time limit. Start with 10 minutes; it doesn’t seem like a lot, but try it once and see how much you can clean up! It’s amazing how much time you waste when you don’t really want to do something.
I know it sounds weird to time yourself with social media, but how often do we check our Facebook feed every day? Do we keep going until we get caught up with our friends’ stories? I was shocked at how often I checked Facebook throughout the day. Try setting the timer for this, and when the time’s up, put your phone down and do something productive. This is almost guaranteed to give you extra time to do the things you thought you didn’t have time for!
One thing I know for a fact is that at the end of the day, after Allison goes to bed, my mind just turns to Jell-O and I can’t do anything productive for the rest of the day. So I make sure to get all the important stuff done early in the day while I have the energy, so the evening can be spent browsing Pinterest (Still productive! All my menu recipes come from Pinterest!) or getting caught up on reading. Some of you may actually be more productive in the evenings, and that’s awesome! Find what works for you.
Do you have any tips for finding more time in your day? Share with us below!