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Podcast 08 Using Habit Stacking to Make Life Long Changes

Podcast 08 Using Habit Stacking to Make Life Long Changes

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast

Episode 08

Using Habit Stacking to Make Life Long Changes

 

 

 

In today’s episode we’ll have a chat about habit stacking and how it can help you make life long changes in your life.

 

 

 

Episode Show Notes

1:38 Join the Waitlist for the 15 Minute Formula 

2:08 What is Habit Stacking?

3:37 Benefits of Habit Stacking and How Habit Stacking Works

5:50 Internval vs External Motivation

7:35 Why you need systems in your home

8:14 Where you can use Habit Stacking

10:07 How to Get Started with Habit Stacking

15:01 Using Habit Stacking with Your Kids

24:07 How Habit Triggers Help

27:30 Tracking Your Habits

30:48 Finding Accountability on Your Habits

Subscribe & Review in the Podcast

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, make sure you head over and do it now so that you don’t miss an episode! 

Click here to subscribe at iTunes!

While you’re there, I’d love an appreciate if you’d leave a rating and review! These allow other purpose driven moms to find the show and help grow our community! Just click here to review, select ‘Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know your favorite part of the podcast! I’d love to feature you as our ‘Review of the Week’.

 

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in Today’s Episode 

Busy Mom Goal Setting Challenge 

Join the 15 Minute Formula Waitlist!

Healthy Habits Transition Course (use code PODCAST for $5 off the course!)

 

 

Related Blog Posts

Podcast 01: How to Break Down Your Goals in 15 Minute Chunks

How to Set up Your Week to Be More Productive

Habit Stacking to Make Routines That Stick 

 

More Resources to Achieve Your Goals as a Busy Mom

Ultimate Productivity Bundle 

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman (use code PODCAST for $5 off!)

Organize Your Life with Trello

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you listened to today’s episode, take a screen shot of the show or you taking action on a tip from the show and TAG ME on Instagram! 

Make sure to join our Facebook Community and continue the conversation about the episode!

Using a Time Blocking Template As a Busy Mom (Free Download)

Using a Time Blocking Template As a Busy Mom (Free Download)

What is time blocking and how to use a time blocking template?

 

Time blocking your schedule is a must have time management strategy for moms! 

 

When you time block, you are looking at your schedule in a way that gives you flexibility AND structure 

 

Time blocking is the concept of looking at your day in extended period of time instead of hour by hour. 

 

Hourly schedules used to work great for me. When I was teaching and in the classroom, I had a million things to remember. I had to be at many meetings throughout my day, show up at certain times and follow a ton of deadlines. 

 

When I left teaching 5 years ago to become an entrepreneur and work at home mom, I thought that using an hourly schedule like I did in the classroom would keep me focused and on point.

 

Instead, it led me to burn out FAST. 

 

I had left teaching so that I could have more freedom, be more in control of my time and allow my job to align with my top priority – my family. 

 

I found that by using an hourly planner I was stressing myself (and my family) out, felt more overwhelmed and behind and didn’t have a system that I could use to run my home that left space for us to just be human. 

 

time-blocking-template

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

How does time blocking help save time?

 

Time blocking is a mom’s best friend when it comes to time management. 

 

We have so many things on our plates as busy moms and it sometimes feels impossible to get anything done.

 

How many times have you let overwhelm just paralyze you? 

 

I’ve been there too. 

 

I jam pack my schedule on Monday with a ton of to-dos, pretend that I’m superwoman and can get it all done, and feel overwhelmed and defeated by Wednesday. 

 

Related Post: Habit Stacking to Make Routines that Stick 

 

When you use time blocking, you give yourself the freedom to live life while still being productive. 

 

Yes, you’ll probably put too much on your plate and there are times when you’re still overwhelmed but if you incorporate time blocking into your day you’ll feel more in control and actually productive – instead of just spinning your wheels day in and day out. 

 

Time blocking helps busy moms manage their time because it gives you and your family structure AND freedom. 

 

 

Examples of time blocks as a mom

 

When you time block, you split your days into chunks around events that are happening. 

 

For example, you might have a morning chunk from when your kids wake up until they go to school, or an afternoon chunk from lunchtime until nap. 

 

Time blocking can help so much because you can customize them to what you need and  change it each week or even each day. 

 

I make a typical time block for our Monday through Friday that pretty much stays the same. I change it on the weekends  when we have more activities or I have to go to work. 

 

This week for example, I  have had to switch the entire time block around because of summer camp and sports practices. 

 

Even when you have to move your time blocks around, you can easily shift things from block to block. 

 

Here is an example of our current summer time blocks. It’s important to note that I have a 2 year old who naps 1x a day, a 3.5 year old who goes to summer camp from 9am-12pm and she is currently dropping her nap (I know… I’m sad about it too) and a 12 year old who goes to camp 9am-3pm that is 30-40 minutes away. 

 

I’ve listed below how I space my blocks out and you can read this post if you want to see what I put in each block and how I structure are day! 

 

Time Block #1 Early Morning

5:00 am – 9:00 am 

 

Time Block #2 Morning

9:00 am – 12:00 pm 

 

Time Block #3 Afternoon 

12:00 pm – 3:30 pm 

 

Time Block #4 Evening

3:30 pm – 7:30 pm 

 

Time Block #5 Mommy Time

7:30 pm – 10:30 pm 

 

As you can see I don’t recommend making any of your time blocks longer than 4-5 hours. 

 

I’ve also anchored our times around an event – school drop off, naps, or bed. This allows for natural changes in our schedule as needed. If for example, the kids naps get switched or someone has to get picked up early, I can just move things around. 

 

When you fill your time blocks, instead of exact times (unless you have an appointment or something you have to do at a certain time) you fill them with general things. It allows you to manage your time but not be tied down. 

 

Make the Most of Every Day - 97% off!

 

For example, if my morning time block is always errands and outside play time for the kids, I can figure out what time we need to leave or where we have to go. 

 

If my kids know that during our evening block, I”m going to workout in the playroom and they get a show, it’s predictable for them. The know what is going to happen during that block and I can customize each day with what workout I plan to do. 

 

Why you should have a template for time blocking.

 

I suggest having a template when you’re time blocking so that when you do your weekly schedule you don’t have to always start over. 

 

Templates allow you to have predictability and help you think of your day and task in chunks instead of saying ‘what do i have to get done each day’

 

I use my time blocking template each week to pre plan out errands, activities and tasks. 

 

I suggest trying to keep things as predictable as possible for yourself. Try to batch all of your errands on one day or one time of the day (maybe after you’ve just done school drop off so that you’re only in the car at that one time in the morning) 

 

By using a template to preplan things, it also gives you some urgency to stay on your time blocks and allows you to see the week at a glance. 

 

A time blocking template also helps because it will allow you to know the best time to make plans. If you know that your afternoon time block tends to be more time bringing kids to activities than if someone asks you to meet at the park for a playdate, you can suggest meeting during a better time block.

 

Sample time blocking template and free download

 

I use a very simple time blocking template each month. I have a general one that I fill out and adjust it monthly as needed. 

 

Again, you can adjust your time blocks daily if you need to, but know the more predictable you can keep it the better! Time blocking is more about predictability and routine that being time bound and super structured!

 

This template is great to keep on the side of your fridge so that your kids and family can see what the week looks like or to put in your planner so that you have it at a glance. 

 

If you want to start time blocking for your family , you need to grab this free template. 

 

 

It’ll help you identify your general blocks (or even print one out for each day! Whatever works best for you!) so that you can start being more intentional about how to spend your day and get done what you need!

 

Make sure you PIN this to come back to later! I’d love to know how you’re using this template! Post it in the comments!

 

 

More Time Management Tips for Moms

Simple Steps to Make Your Morning Easier

How to Set up Your Week to Be More Productive

How to Schedule Your Day as a Work at Home Mom

How to Fit Self Care Into Your Day

How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom 

Digitally Organize Your Prayer Time to Become a Prayer Warrior

Create a Morning Routine in 3 Easy Steps

How to Time Block and Get More Done!

 

More Resources to Manage Your Time as a Busy Mom

Ultimate Productivity Bundle 

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman

Organize Your Life with Trello

How to Time Block and Get More Done!

How to Time Block and Get More Done!

How to Time Block and Get More Done!

 

Time blocking is one of the best time management tips for moms out there! As a busy mom is can be hard to figure out what you need to get done, when you will have time to complete your tasks and how to juggle everything on your plate! Time blocking allows you to give yourself a framework for your day without feeling too structured or tied to a schedule. 

 

What is time blocking?

 

Time blocking is the concept of taking your day and breaking it into smaller chunks. Instead of using an hourly schedule (which can be helpful but not all the time) you’d break your day down based off of events that happen each day. 

 

If you used an hourly scheduling method, you might have a jam packed day and everything planned very structured and stacked. While this can be helpful when you have a lot of moving pieces, a super structured week at work or with kid’s activities, being too rigid with your schedule can make you feel overwhelmed and behind. 

 

how-to-time-block

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Why time blocking works for busy moms

 

With time blocking, you’ll use chunks of time instead of the hourly planning. This allows to you have the best of both worlds – structure AND flexibility.

 

When I was a high school teacher, I found myself pulled in a million directions. I had to teach my classes, hold a resource room period, accommodate and modify tests for other teachers and run all of my extra activities. During this season of my life, I needed to be on an hourly schedule for my time management or I would possibly be late to something or miss a meeting I had to be at. 

 

Now that I’ve transitioned into a work at home mom running my own business, I have had to adjust how I schedule things. In the beginning, I tried to stick to this more tight schedule but after my children were born, I learned how hard it really is to be that planned. I was burning myself out with too many things on my to do list, feeling overwhelmed because we’d inevitably get behind at some point each day, and frustrated with my homemaking, motherhood and work tasks. 

 

Related Post: How to Schedule Your Day as a Work at Home Mom 

 

Time blocking really has been one of the best things that has happened to my schedule and time management! Instead of being so structured that the littlest thing would set off our schedule (and my mood), I now break my day up in chunks around events. I am able to use time blocking to be flexible and accommodate each day based on what we need to get done while still providing routine for my kids and myself so that things don’t always feel frazzled. 

 

Make the Most of Every Day - 97% off!

 

How to create time blocks in your day

 

When you set out to create time blocks for your day, you’ll want to follow a few guidelines so that you can set yourself up for success. 

 

You want to try to keep your blocks around 3-4 hours long. They can be shorter than this but, any longer and you get into a space where it’s easy to procrastinate because you ‘have the time’ to do it later. 

 

Grab your calendar and look at your day and the major events and transitions that you will come across. You’ll want to anchor your time blocks  around those events. For example, if you have to pick your kids up from school at a certain time – that’s a great place to start/end a new block. If your kids go to bed at a certain time you’ve found another good anchor for your blocks.

 

If you don’t have any events to anchor your day around, anchor around your blocks around meals. I know in the summer our days can be more flexible and, maybe you truly don’t have anything planned at all. If this is the case, you can make your blocks between breakfast and lunch, lunch and snack, snack and dinner and dinner and bed. This allows you to still cut your day up in meaningful chunks and has a nice transition time attached to it. 

 

Below I’ve given you an example of my (current) time blocks. You’ll notice that some are longer than others but each one starts at a certain anchor. I’ve listed the anchors that end my block next to each one so you can see examples of what I use to chunk a typical day.

 

5:00 am-9:00 am – drop Arianna at school 

9:00 am-12:00 pm – pick Arianna up at school

12:00 pm -2:00 pm – kids go down for nap

2:00 pm  -4:00 pm – kids wake up from nap

4:00 pm -8:00 pm – kid’s bedtime

8:00 pm -11:00 pm – my bedtime

 

You can make each day the same or have different time blocks depending on the activities you have going on. The above listed is my typical Monday-Friday blocks which changes on the weekends. These blocks are now starting to transition again this summer as my 3.5 year old is starting to drop a nap and my 1.5 year old is moving his nap up. Be fluid and flexible but allow the anchors to guide you when you make your day. 

 

Related Post: How to Fit Self Care in Your Day 

 

How to Time Block in Your Planner

 

There are a few ways you can distinguish your time blocks in your day so that it makes sense in your planner. I often will make a template of my time blocks on an extra large post-it and keep that in my planner for reference. I also use a Plum Paper planner which I LOVE! You can customize the planner to actually say Morning, Afternoon and Evening instead of hourly time which fits perfectly with how I structure my day. 

 

You can also color code each time block with a different marker or colored pen or use Washi tape to separate it! If you use a bullet journal, you’ll have total flexibility to set it up in anyway you want! Be as creative (or non creative) as you choose!

 

Here are some great and fun things to make your planner pop!

 

 

 

 

 

What do you put in time blocks? 

 

When I first fill my timeblocks for the week, I start with all of the things I can’t change. These can be appointments I have to keep, meetings I am in, kid’s activities or drop offs or events I am attending. This allows me to see the day at a glance and I can adjust what goes in the other blocks accordingly. 

 

Make sure that you also have one event in your day that is where you are working on a goal of yours. This could be 15 minutes planned out to declutter your closet, 30 minutes at the gym, or 20 minutes to read. Plan that in advance so you know that, no matter how busy things get, you’ve scheduled a little time out for you. 

 

You’ll want to add in another time block with a habit that you are working on. I suggest just picking one habit each week and then adding to it. For my morning time block, I simply write ‘morning routine’ down but in a separate place in my planner I write down all of the tasks that I want to get done in that routine. 

 

Related Post: Creating an Evening Routine for your Family (podcast episode!)

 

It’s smart to batch out the rest of your time blocks. Have a lot of errands to run? Put them in the same block! Phone calls that you need to make? Do them in the same chunk of time!

 

By batching out your tasks, you’ll spend less time doing them and take more action and actually get things done!

 

One of the biggest tips I can give you if you are going to give time blocking a try though is to NOT put too many things in each block. Each block should have 3-5 things maximum for you to work on. This way you know that in that period of time you need to get things do and can time manage yourself. Since you know that the next block is starting soon, you’ll have urgency that helps you procrastinate less!

 

Time Management for the Work at home Mom

 

So what does time blocking look like for  a work at home mom? I wanted to share with you what a typical day looks like (when all naps and stars align!) so you can get an idea of how many things I put in each block and how I structure things!

 

5:00 am-9:00 am 

  • Prayer and bible time
  • 1 Work Task
  • Breakfast and morning chores
  • Workout and Shower

 

9:00 am-12:00 pm – pick Arianna up at school

  • Daily Cleaning
  • Phone Calls
  • Morning Walk
  • Errands or Play Date (my 1.5 year old is still home with me and the 3.5 year old and 12 year old are at school)

 

12:00 pm -2:00 pm – kids go down for nap

  • Lunch 
  • Reading Time 
  • Outdoor Play/Chores

 

2:00 pm -4:00 pm – kids wake up from nap

 

4:00 pm -8:00 pm – kid’s bedtime

  • Snack and Playtime
  • Answer emails/clerical tasks for the home
  • Make Dinner
  • Evening Chores and Routines

 

8:00 pm -11:00 pm – my bedtime

  • More work tasks
  • Live calls, coaching and training
  • Planning for tomorrow
  • Reading for me!

 

As you can see, I don’t have a ton of things planned but, every day I know what to work on during that block and can be specific for what calls, errands or tasks need to be done when I plan out the next day. 

 

Time blocking is a great time management strategy to help moms get more done without feeling overwhelmed!  Post your typical time blocks in the comments and PIN this to read again later!

 

how-to-time-block

 

 

 

More Time Management Tips for Moms

Simple Steps to Make Your Morning Easier

How to Set up Your Week to Be More Productive

How to Schedule Your Day as a Work at Home Mom

How to Fit Self Care Into Your Day

How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom 

Digitally Organize Your Prayer Time to Become a Prayer Warrior

Create a Morning Routine in 3 Easy Steps

 

More Resources to Manage Your Time as a Busy Mom

Ultimate Productivity Bundle 

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman

Organize Your Life with Trello

 

 

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

 

It’s important to have a productive weekend so you can have a productive week. This allows you to get more set, set yourself up for success and feel like stressed. Systems and routines allow you to live less stressed life and give you freedom to get done what matters.

 

I intentionally take one day off a week. I started this practice 2 months ago and am so thankful that I did. Prior to this, I was just go, go, go and didn’t rest, felt myself pulled by my to-do list, and was starting to burn out again. I knew the feelings of burn out, I had been there before. 5 years ago, I left teaching to become a full time entrepreneur and work at home mom because I felt the same feelings start to creep in. Now that I’m running my own business and family, I decided I needed some preventative measures to make sure that I was still taking care of me.

Hence… my Saturday’s off. I decided to take Saturday ‘off’ so that I could really just do what matters. The only work that I do on Saturday is what I just feel like doing, no pressure or to do list. On Saturdays if I don’t want to do laundry, house cleaning, or other ‘mom duties’, I don’t. I don’t really make too many plans unless it’s something we really want to do. Oh… and I take a nap.

 

I really love my Saturday nap.

 

But in order to make my Saturday rest day really work for me, I needed to make sure that I had a system for being very productive the rest of the week so I could relax, guilt free. And once I decided that I was going to schedule out a day of rest, it became so freeing. The week started to go more smoothly because I knew that I had a day to chill coming up, I didn’t feel guilty anymore about letting myself decompress, and I just started to laugh and enjoy our family time more. I learned to use my weekend to set my entire week up for productivity and keep it moving.

 

I chose to have my rest day on Saturday rather than Sunday for a few reasons.

 

On Sundays since we go to church, I still have us on a schedule to make sure we get out of the house on time. My husband delivers the newspaper as a side job right now so, he works Sunday mornings and I want to make sure I can give him rest time when get gets back at 6am before we go to church. Sundays are also my day to set my week up for success.

 

I may do some grocery shopping (though I often like to do that on Saturdays. I actually really like grocery shopping because I love to coupon and it’s a hobby for me and on Saturdays I get to go without kids!), I’ll meal prep so that I can save time during the week, and I’ll work on organizing my week, my planner, and other work tasks that I need to have a super successful and productive week.

 

Related Post: How to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less

 

 

productive-weekend

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend

 

There are a few things that I make sure to do over the weekend that help me have a productive week. I tend to spread them out over the weekend but you can create a schedule that fits best for you. You may have a busy Saturday and want to use Sunday as your prep day or you may spread it out – it’s up to you!

 

Tips for a Meal Prep System

 

The #1 thing that I suggest you start your Sunday with is meal planning and preparation. I actually have a system where I make the meal plan on Friday, shop on Saturday and cook on Sunday so that I don’t do it all on one day. This saves me time and decreases the overwhelm that I can face when it comes to getting it all done. 

 

However you decide to do it, make sure you plan out your meals for the week. We keep it pretty basic and have a rotation of 2-3 breakfast, lunch and dinner options each week. My husband doesn’t mind eating the same thing each day and it’s easy to be predictable with the kids.

 

Related Post: Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

 

I’ll spend some time doing some basic preparation like cutting up fruits and veggies, making salads, cooking up rice, steaming veggies, browning some ground turkey for quick lunches, and boiling some eggs.

 

I then make sure that I have listed out what’s for dinner each week so that I can check the fridge and see what I still need to get at the store. I try my best to make our plan from what we already have to save money and not have to go to the store as much.

 

Honestly though, I cannot stand cooking dinner. I struggle so much with thinking of what to make and it was becoming super stressful. This month I’ve started using the Theme Night System from my friend Elisa at Meal Planning Blueprints. This allows me to sit down one time and create a monthly meal plan. I thought this was going to take way too long and be a waste of time but it’s proven to be a game changer! You can check out theme nights here!

 

I suggest even packing out as many salads for lunches in tupperware as possible (even if you stay home) because then you can grab and go instead of preparing things. This helps a ton if we decide last minute to go to the park, or meet up with friends because the food is ready to go. It also prevents me from running out of what we need or knowing what i have to stop for. These are the ones we used in the picture below!

 

meal-prep-bento-box

 

 

 

Weekend Cleaning Routine

 

Even though, I have a cleaning routine where I do a little cleaning each day so that it doesn’t pile up that doesn’t mean I don’t do anything on the weekends. Often, after my Saturdays off, my house needs a little more TLC since I probably didn’t do as many dishes or pick up as much. What I have now just come to accept as a mom is that my house will probably always be covered in stuff, things will be out of place, and everything will just be sticky.

 

Related Post: The Best Digital Cleaning Routine for Moms

 

But just because my kids will always make a mess, doesn’t mean that I  won’t try to make it just a little more clean and tidy. I also find that when the clutter builds up, my anxiety peaks and for me ‘outer order leads to inner calm’ so taking time on Sundays to clean up really helps.

 

 

My suggested Sunday system includes laundry (I do 1-2 loads each day so that it’s easy to put away so my Sunday laundry is normally the same), sweep and mopping the floors, vacuuming the playroom, and doing a Zone clean up.

 

 

We do a Zone Clean Up as a family after church on Sundays where everyone is in charge of a room or area (My 11 year old or husband normally does a zone with my toddler). I put on a 15 minute timer and everyone is in charge of putting away things that don’t belong in their zone. This really helps all of the out of place items to find their way back home and means that I”m not the only one picking up the books that have been on the floor for 2 days and everyone walks around (you know what I’m saying!). If you’ve never done a 15 minute pick up, read about how it can change your home here!

 

Before I go to bed on Sunday, I make sure that I’ve done my typical evening routine and an additional 15 minute clean up. There is nothing more exciting for me (I know this is going to sound really nerdy) than waking up on a Monday morning where there are no dishes in the sink, my kitchen table is cleaned up, and the clutter is gone. It’s really my favorite way to start the week and having a productive weekend is the first step in having a productive week!

 

 

 

Organize Your Weekly Calendar and To Do List

 

The last thing that I do to set my week up for success is make sure i have a plan in place. Often, people ask me how I can be so productive and get so much done and, while I have some hacks that help, one of the things that helps is that I always take the time to plan.

 

I took a training with the Franklin/Covey system once that really changed the way that I planned. I learned all about the power of weekly and nightly planning and have since been implementing it for years. It’s what I do in my life, what I teach the moms that I coach and what I teach in my e-book and course; Design Your Day; Time Management for the Busy Woman 

 

time-management-cover

 

On Sundays, I take out my planner (I use a mix of a paper planner from Erin Condren , google calendar, and Trello) and look at my week ahead.

 

I start with putting in all the dates of things that I cannot change like doctor appointments or meetings. We use a family calendar in the kitchen so these things always get written on their first and then transferred to my digital system.

 

After those dates are in, I then plan out what tasks I want to accomplish that week. I create a list of personal items, business items, and projects (around the house and for work) that I want to complete. I break them down into 20 minute tasks so that I know they are manageable and easily can be accomplished in a day, rather than over planning myself and getting frustrated when it doesn’t get done. 

 

organize-trello

 

I then go into my planner and actually assign 3-5 tasks for each day. I split them up so that I Pick 1 personal task (call grandma, put pictures in frames etc….), 3 work tasks (write blog post, create images, email clients….) and 1 project task (brainstorm ideas for birthday party, work on mother’s day scrapbook etc….).

 

Assigning those things to a day BEFORE the week starts allows me to know what is going to happen and have a plan. This way, when it’s nap time and I get to work, or I have free time after dinner and want to work on a project, I’m not wasting time thinking about what to do, I can just take action.

 

Trust me when I say that if you set up your week for success you WILL be able to get more done, feel more accomplished and actually take a day off to rest and not feel the mom guilt! You can have a productive weekend for a more productive week!

 

I challenge you to start using this system (or one that works for you) to take more control in your life!

 

 

 

 

More Productivity Tips for Mom

How to Find More Time to Be Productive as a Mom 

The Ultimate Checklist for a Productive Week

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Morning Routine for Work at Home Mom 

 

Productivity Resources for Moms

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman

The Ultimate Productivity Bundle

Organize Your Life with Trello 

Erin Condren Planners

 

 

 

How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom

How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom

Finding Time to Workout as a Busy Mom

Finding time to workout as a busy mom can be super hard. Taking care of ourselves and focusing on healthy living is something most moms struggle with. We feel guilty about taking time to exercise. Our time and attention is pulled in a million different directions. The to-do list becomes so long that taking care of ourselves doesn’t always seem like a top priority. We’re tired and don’t always have the energy to do it. And honestly… we just sometimes don’t feel like it.

The reality is, exercising can be tough enough when you don’t have kids but, adding kids to the mix can make prioritizing your health and self-care even tougher. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.

 

 

workout-busy-mom

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

Self Care Activities for Mothers

 

I know that it can be super hard to create the time for you between the real like stress and the guilt but can I tell you something?

 

You matter.

 

Yup, you matter more than you realize and more than you’re willing to admit.

 

Because if you take the time to actually acknowledge how fabulous you are, you’ll have to admit that you haven’t been treating yourself the way you deserve.

 

You’ll have to admit that you’ve put yourself on the back burner and that you need to get back to it.

 

But taking that time to workout a few times a week (I currently work out 5-6x a week for around 30-40 minutes) does more than just get your heart pumping. When you leave a workout, you feel accomplished. You feel proud and you are reminded that you are worth that effort.You are better when you fill your cup and when you do, you can be a better mom.

 

There is a reason that on airplanes, you are told to put on your oxygen mask first. It’s because if you’re a panicked mess, there is NO way you’ll be able to help someone else. And it’s the same situation in life. If you aren’t taking care of yourself and have little energy, poor health, low self-confidence, and just feel generally bad, then that trickles down to your family.

 

Related Post: 4 Benefits of Healthy Living

 

I find that when I am exercising regularly (which I do now and, though it’s taken years, is now a habit that I hate to miss in my day), I am happier, I snap less at my kids, I feel good about myself, I have more energy, and am just a better mom.

 

The thing is, and I’m going to toss you some real talk right now, your kids deserve a happy and healthy mom. None of us can guarantee how long we’ll have on this earth but, don’t you want to spend as much time with your kids as possible? And wouldn’t you do anything you could to make that happen?

 

If you can say yes to that question, you need to find a way to fit exercise into your life and take care of your health. For you, for them, for the grandkids you’ll hopefully get to be around for, and the pictures taken of memories that you aren’t hiding in because you hate the way you look. The self care matters for everyone!

 

i-am-that-girl-quotes

 

 

How to find time to workout as a busy mom 

 

When it comes to working out, you need to decide what you need and how you want it to happen. I personally, haven’t stepped foot in a gym in years and love working out at home. Some people need to leave the house to get that extra motivation to get it done. Determine the type of person you are, be okay with it (because you don’t have to be like anyone else), and come up with a routine that fits that.If you need alone time and want the gym to be your sanctuary, then go for it!

 

I coach and talk to so many moms that tell me they’d love to workout at home like me but really need to get out of the house, have interactions with people, and get time alone. If that’s you… go for it! Find a gym that has a daycare included so that you truly can feel at ease. It can be pretty tough to find childcare for just an hour or two to go to the gym each day but, if your gym has a daycare center then you’re kids get interaction, which they need, and you get the time to workout. The first place I’d recommend checking out is your local YMCA. Not only do they have great rates but you can get family packages, which includes childcare, classes, swimming and something for the whole family.

 

If you’re going to leave the house to workout, make sure you pick a time in the day that works and makes the most sense to you. You don’t want to go when you’ll be cutting it too close to nap and fearing cranky littles or the dreaded car nap. We have a 2-hour chunk in our mornings that is our only time where we can leave the house to do anything without someone napping so if it were me, I’d make sure that we left for the gym then.

 

Get yourself prepared the night before so that you don’t waste any time. If you know that you have 2 hours to hit the gym after one of the kiddos naps but before the next nap (which is our schedule), take 5 minutes the night before and lay out your workout clothes and pack your diaper and gym bag. If you bring bags for the kids with activities for them, make sure they are packed along with any water cups and snacks. This way, as soon as the kids are up and your window to workout begins, you’re not wasting 10-15 minutes packing things up.

 

Related Post: Morning Routine for Exhausted Moms

 

If you can pack the bags when they are sleeping, you can get it done super fast since you’ll have limited distractions.Make sure you also sleep in your workout clothes to save a step and have any shower stuff packed. Many gyms have showers you can use so, you can grab a quick one before you pick up the kids and be on your way! This diaper bag would be perfect for the gym since it’s big enough for both your stuff and the kid’s stuff!

 

beachbody-on-demand

 

 

How to Workout at Home with Kids

 

Working out at home is my jam. I get to wear whatever I want, get all sweaty and not care, try moves I would never do in public, and get my groove on to some great dance workouts all while looking pretty embarrassing. I also don’t have to worry about commuting or taking the kids anywhere and can be flexible if they are fussy.

 

That being said. It’s not easy. Getting my daily workout in at home takes planning and a system that it’s taken us a few months to really get the hang of. But, once you get the routine it can also be fun.

 

My kids LOVE workout time and a tantrum normally happens on the weekends when I go to workout in our home gym alone since my husband is home. I get to be an example of health to them and they get to join if they want. I always invite my 12 year old stepson to workout with me and, though he almost always says no, the other day he asked if I could help him train for basketball and my heart swelled up with excitement.

 

My first suggestion is to find a workout you love. I use Beachbody On Demand (get a 2 week free trial here!) and have for the past few years. I used Beachbody workouts to lose 70 pounds before I had my kids, the 50 I gained with my daughter, during both my pregnancies and currently using it to stay healthy and drop the baby weight after my son.

 

 

21 day fix pregnancy

 

 

Related Post: 80 Day Obsession for the Breastfeeding Mom

 

There are so many workouts out there that you can pick but, here is the thing… if you don’t love it, you won’t do it. In the past few years, I did some soul searching when it came to workouts and decided that just because everyone else was trying the newest workout, didn’t mean I had to. I love to stretch out of my comfort zone and try new things but, if I don’t like doing a workout, I just pick something else.

 

Now, at first you might not like any workouts because working out isn’t the most fun all the time (particularly when you’re out of shape), but I guarantee there is something out there for you! When I was pregnant and my goals were different, I did some home dance workouts or yoga because I knew it would make me feel good. Find what lights you up, challenges you, and makes you happy and I swear, over time exercising will become a part of your lifestyle.

 

You can also find something that your kids love to do can include them. Another reason that I love Beachbody on Demand is that they have a kids channe! My toddler loves doing the dance workouts with me, climbing on my back for pushups, and kickboxing is her fav! Your workouts with them may not be as hardcore as before, but remember DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT!

 

 

 

 

You can always workout at home during nap time if your kids still nap. I choose to do it when they are awake because I use nap times to work but, you can make that your time to take care of you, grab a shower, and then get to all the other tasks. The cleaning and laundry can wait… your self care cannot!

 

How to Workout with Kids

 

My first tip is to find an area of your house that is the most conducive to you getting the workout done, not being frustrated with interruptions, and sets them up for success. I tend to do more bodyweight exercises than weights because, when I do have to use our gym and bring the kids in there, they are ALL over the place. On those days, I put my 9 month old in the pack and play and my daughter plays with her kitchen set or easel that I’ve left in there but, since there is so much more to look at and touch, it’s normally more of a headache for me.

 

I choose to workout in our playroom on most days. Their stuff is there, they can watch a TV show, and it’s baby proofed. That does mean I have to pick and choose workouts that fit in that space and don’t have weights but I”m okay with that. It helps to keep them contained so grab a good baby gate or pack and play so that you know that they aren’t trying to escape or eat little things off the floor!

 

How to Keep Your Kids Busy so You Can Workout

 

Next, figure out how much time your kids can hang before they don’t want to play independently anymore. My kids (2.5 years old and 9 months) have a sweet spot of 35 minutes. If I do anything longer than that, someone is fussy or needs more attention from me, so I try to average a 30-minute workout.

 

30 minutes is also about the time of one kids show so yes… this is when they get to watch TV. The baby could care less about TV but my toddler loves it so, during a workout, she gets a show. I do try to do my best to limit the amount of TV she watches and besides working out and when I do her hair, we keep a mostly tech-free day.

 

There are some super cute shows out there that don’t include too much sass (my biggest pet peeve with shows today!) and the kiddos love! If you’re not sure where to start, head over to this link and try a free month of Amazon Free Time Unlimited – it has SO much for them to do!

We love;

  • Little Baby Bum (Netflix)
  • Owlegories (Amazon Prime)
  • Super Why (Netflix)
  • Daniel Tiger (Amazon Prime)
  • Doc Mcstuffins, Nellie the Princess Knight, Sofia the First and anything about a girl show isn’t just a damsel in distress
  • Sesame Street (PBS)
  • Word Party (Netflix)

 

 

We could go on about some other shows we love but I always give her two choices of what she wants to watch and, if I’m being real, this keeps her attention long enough for me to workout in the playroom and her not to attack or take all of her brother’s toys so he gets fussy.

 

Oh, and I have to toss in a disclaimer because maybe you’re rolling my eyes at the fact that I let them watch TV so I can workout. You need to take care of you too mama, your kids are fine with a little TV while you do so, let go of the guilt, and stop judging any mom who does things you might not *drops mic*

 

How to Prepare for a Workout at Home 

 

The best tip I can give you for working out at home is to be prepared before you begin. I always make sure that we have a few things handy.

 

My 2.5 year old is recently potty trained so I make sure she tries to go before I workout. I also keep the portable potty in the playroom so, if she has to go she can go there. But be careful… one time I did not stop my workout to empty it and my 9 month old pushed it over… ONTO ME during my pushups.

 

I also make sure all the toys are there for the baby and he has plenty of things to chew on, bang together, or build.

 

Also, make sure you get the milk cup filled up and have a snack ready so that you don’t have to stop. I workout pretty much right after breakfast and it never fails that my toddler will ask for a snack at least once during my workout.

 

You’ll also want to make sure that you pick the right time to workout so that you aren’t dealing with too fussy of kiddos. My son normally naps at 9:30 so I aim to workout at 8:15 am which gives me enough time to workout without him being fussy because it’s too close to nap. On the days when he gets up early and his nap is at 8 or 8:30, I put him down first and then workout with just me and my toddler.

 

Adjust your expectations

 

There are times when working out either at home or in the gym just doesn’t go as planned. Kids need things. Life gets in the way. You may have to stop and modify and hold your kid during that last set of squats, let them play horse with you while you do pushups, or sing “if you’re happy and you know it” through the last 10 minutes of your kickboxing workout.

 

That’s mom life.

 

But you’re a better mom for just trying to take care of yourself than saying “well it might not be perfect so I shouldn’t do anything”. 30 minutes of your day will go by super fast with you guys just sitting around playing or watching a show, so why not get your workout in at the same time?

 

This week, I challenge you to find 30 minutes or less each day to do SOMETHING active with them. And if none of these suggestions work for you, put them in the stroller and take a walk! Something is better than nothing and DONE is better than perfect!

 

Know that it is possible to workout with kids but you have to create a routine, be prepared, realize it might not be perfect, and do your best. Your kids should be one of the reasons you take care of your body and health, not an excuse not to!

 

exercise-busy-mom

 

More Exercise and Workout Tips for Busy Moms

7 Day Post Partum Weight Loss Plan 

Weight Loss Tips for Mom 

21 Day Fix Extreme While Breastfeeding 

Healthy Transition 4 Week Plan 

 

 

 

Exercise and Healthy Eating Resources for Moms

Keto Meal Planning Made Simple

Freezer Meals for Breastfeeding Moms

Beachbody On Demand (2 week free trial)

 

 

 

Work at Home Mom Morning Routine

Work at Home Mom Morning Routine

Work at Home Mom Morning Routine

 

Work at Home Moms need a good morning routine to set their days up for success. Whether you have a baby, school age kids or high schoolers, having a morning routine as a work at home mom matters.

 

Being a work from home mom is hard. You have to balance your priorities as mom and your priorities as a business owner. You are surrounded by the piles of dishes and laundry and the to do list and emails that overwhelm you.

 

What I’ve learned the past 4 years as a Work At Home Mom is that without my morning routine, the rest of my day is set up for failure. Once I took that time to develop a morning routine that fit, I found that I was more productive, happier and more joyful as a mom, and treated my business like a business and less like a hobby.

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

Work at Home Mom Schedule

 

You need to have a good work at home mom schedule to make your business succeed. When you go into the day making decisions about what you will accomplish as the day goes on and not before, you waste time, get less done and can get to the end of the day being busy but not productive.

 

So what types of things do you need to create routines and schedules for when you’re a work at home mom?

 

  • Morning Routines
  • Work Time Routines
  • Evening Routines
  • Batching Routines
  • Household Chore Routines
  • Kid Playtime Routines
  • Homeschooling or Learning Routines
  • Cleaning Routines
  • Self Care Routines
  • And more!

 

There are so many things on our plates as work from home moms that it’s important to you create a schedule around all of the routines that run your day.

 

Before we dive into a work at home mom morning routine checklist, I want to encourage you to take some steps to figure out your day.

 

Create a list of the things in your day that are TIME BOUND. What events in your day cannot be changed and must be completed at a certain time? These could include school drop off and pick up, sporting practices or events, work calls or meetings, or personal appointments you have. Once you have these on your paper (or better yet, fill them in your planner) then you can really look at your day and see how much time you have to dedicate to your business.

 

If you’re like me, or most work at home moms, you’ll most likely realize that your time is pretty limited during the day unless you have created dedicated work hours. I highly recommend this for all moms who work at home. I’ve been struggling with this as my kids nap schedules change and am looking forward to September when both of my kids will be in preschool from 9-12pm 3 days a week. This will allow me to know that those are at least 9-10 hours that will (most likely) not change.

 

Once you see your time laid out, don’t panic! It might be tight and you may start to wonder how you’ll find time to be a work at home mom but, with a great morning routine, know that you can start your day strong and get more accomplished.

 

 

How to Get Up Earlier

 

It’s hard to get up earlier than your kids most days. My kids wake up between 6-6:30 am every single day (and sometimes earlier). I found that the mornings are my only quiet and alone time before I have to hit the ground running so I need to wake up before them. Whether your kids get up early like mine or sleep in, I highly suggest waking up earlier so you have that time to work.

 

If you struggle to wake up earlier, start by setting your alarm for just 10 minutes earlier than you work up today. Do this for a few day or a week and let your body adjust. Then, next week, get up 10 minutes earlier than that. Repeat this for a few weeks or months until you’ve created an early waking habit. Your body will slowly adjust and you’ll realize that 10 extra minutes isn’t that big of a deal.

 

Related Post: Using Habit Stacking to Create Routines that Stick

 

Morning Prayer, Personal Growth and Reflection for Work at Home Moms

 

I always like to start my day in my bible reading and praying. I find that if I don’t spend the first 20 minutes of my day with the Lord, my priorities get mixed up easily and I’m always in a rush.

 

I suggest spending the first 15-20 minutes of your morning for you and your growth. Prayer, connect with God and your purpose, do some personal growth and reflection or a gratitude journal. Starting the morning with positivity helps work at home moms get their mind focused and centered around what matters.

 

Related Post: 30+ Must Read Books for Christian Moms

 

 

After I do reading, I start to jump into my work at always grab a positivity podcast perfect for work at home moms. I like to have a positive podcast playing so that my brain is in a good place and I can get inspired as I work. It helps my flow more than having the TV on, so I suggest you try it! Do your best to keep the TV off and stay away from the news as long as you can! What we put in our brains impacts us more than we realize so choose the right things!

 

Podcasts are great because they are absolutely free and you can tune into whatever you need. If you’re feeling lost in your business or motherhood, you can search and find something. If you’re working on an email series and needs tips, just search and find some free education! I find that positive mindset or Christian homemaking and motherhood podcasts are my favorite to listen to in the morning and I try to keep the business ones for during my work block later in the day.

 

I’ve linked to some of my favorites HERE for you to check out.

 

 

Planning Your Time as a Work at Home Mom

 

It’s important to plan your time as a work at home mom. You don’t want to wake up and then wonder “oh, what should I be working on now”? You want to spend time during your evening routine planning it all out beforehand.

 

I try to pick 1-2 tasks to complete during my morning work hour. I always suggest keeping your work tasks in 20-30 minute chunks and if it will take you longer than that, you need to break it down more. This helps when you are a work from home mom because you never know when an interruption may come up and you can pick right back off where you left off.

 

I use Trello to plan out my work tasks and goals in advance. I follow the 12 week year method of goal setting and I have already predetermined what work tasks need to get done that week. At the beginning of the week or the night before, I assign a task or two to my morning so I know exactly what I am doing. I like to pick a morning task that revolved around writing because that is my most creative time of the day and I need to be able to write without interruption. Determine what tasks you need the most focus for and put them at the start of your day.

 

Cleaning Routines for Working and Work at Home Moms

 

After my 1-2 tasks are complete, I  turn my attention to a morning chore. I don’t like to do any of my cleaning routines until my kids are awake. One of the ways I run my business is that when they sleep – it’s work time and when they are up – it’s mom time!

 

Once the kids get up, we work together to start our morning chores. For us, this includes starting a load of laundry, emptying the dishwasher from last night and making breakfast. I make all of the lunches the night before so that I don’t have to worry about doing that in the morning or feeling rushed.

 

We spend the next 2 hours before school completing our cleaning routines together as a family. The kids then get time to watch a TV show and I get in exercise!

 

It’s so important as a work at home mom to fit in time for you and exercise matters! I’ve learned that working out in the morning helps me feel less stressed and gives me more energy. I do a 30-40 minute exercise program using Beachbody on Demand to stream from my house (grab a free 2 week trial here). While I do this, they play in the playroom and I get to be a model of healthy living! I typically take my daughter to school in my workout clothes and shower when we get home.

 

You can read more about that routine in detail HERE.

 

 

 

 

Mom Morning Routine Checklist

 

I’ve created a checklist for work at home moms to help you focus your day and start it strong. You can download it below and start using it in your mornings. It includes important things to help you create a miracle morning as a work at home mom.

 

More Resources for Toddler Moms 

Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

15+ Indoor Activities for Toddlers

20+ Ways to Teach Handwriting to Toddlers

Printable Toddler Behavior Chart 

Morning Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Morning Routine for Sleep Deprived Moms

Morning Routine for Moms of Toddlers