Before I had my son I was the type of person who was super organised, got most or all of everything ticked off of my to do list and also found the time to just relax, it was bliss! I felt on top of the world. However things didn’t stay so productive when I had my son. Let’s face it, your priorities change and caring for your baby takes first place on your to do list. I love my son but I started feeling like I was losing control for a while and felt overwhelmed and stressed and was finding everything else in my life to difficult to complete. It was taking a toll with my mentality and was causing more issues than good.
As soon as my son got into a good routine I was able to get a grip and get back into being able to clean, cook, work and look after my business. I am so lucky that I am able to work from home and spend more time with my son but it can be a real challenge, so being organised and setting myself up for a productive day really helps. Here are some of my tips on how to have a productive day with a baby.
1. Sync your routines
Babies do eventually fall into a routine that works for them. Once this happens scheduling tasks gets a lot easier! Do work when your baby sleeps or is happy to amuse themselves. This leave you time to still play and care for your baby when they need you. If your baby needs more of your attention one day just let it be. They will sleep eventually and you can get your work done then. There are tough days where you feel like you don’t get much done, but just remember you are raising the next generation, you are doing the most important job and the other stuff can wait, even if it means you have to stay up late working that night.
2. Write/review your to do list the night before.
Before you begin to work for the day you need to have what you would like done in writing. This puts it fresh in your mind and when you wake up you will have already digested what needs to get done and you will be ready to get straight into it.
Figure out what is the most important task and make that the one task you have to get done. A productive day doesn’t necessarily mean you get a lot done it means you got the most important thing done. When writing your to do list put that one task you have to get done at the top and then follow it up with the next 2-3 most important things you would like to have done. Focus on one task at a time and once you complete your first task you can then move onto the next. If you are feeling ambitious and you have a well-behaved baby that day and there are tasks you would like done but they aren’t that important, just slot 1-2 of them in at the bottom, and if you have time you can move onto those, if not just put them on your list for the next day but closer to the top.
4. Set a good morning routine
The night before, set out the clothes you are going to wear and visualise how your morning routine will go. A good way to set yourself up for a productive day is to get ready for the day and just focus on that before anything else. This signals to your mind that the day has begun and it’s go time. A good morning ritual is to get up the same time every day. Once you’re up get your baby dressed and fed and then shower yourself, get dressed and do your hair and makeup. I find you get so much more done when you are feeling and looking good (even if you are just staying at home). Once you’re up and ready open up the blinds and windows; it’s amazing what light and fresh air does for your soul. Have a healthy breakfast and coffee (if you need it) and visualise how your day is going to go.
Having a morning ritual such as getting up half an hour before you know your baby will wake to have some ‘me time’ is really energizing and will get you motivated! Doing some yoga, having some prayer/devotional time or simply listening to your favourite playlist is a great idea! You could also go for a walk with your baby in the pram, just do something to get your mind active and soul happy.
5. Vanish distractions
I find that having a clean home helps me work better. Keep the house tidy as you go, clean up the clutter the night before, it will make you so much happier when you wake up! When you start to work turn that TV off, Get out of your social media accounts etc. If you find you work better with background music on do it! But don’t have it so loud you get distracted and start thinking you’re in the video clip.
Set time slots for tasks and don’t focus on any of the other tasks until that one is done. If you have emails to do set aside a time every day to do that and then don’t go through them again, if someone really needs you they will call. If you love going through social media and it helps you wind down, do it when you have some lunch. Adapt your day to your surroundings. If you work from home, make sure to set a work schedule, but keep it flexible incase your bub is having an off day.
6. Get out and about
Go mobile! Use a laptop and go to the park. My baby loves observing new landscapes, getting outdoors and into fresh air is also great for your mental state. If you have family or friends near by who would love some baby cuddles take them over there, bring your laptop and get some work done.. It’s a win/win. Who doesn’t love baby cuddles?
7. Take breaks!
In your to do list write: take a break! You don’t want to have a burn out where you get so overwhelmed and can’t do anything else. Step outside into some fresh air, go out for a coffee, have a stretch and dance, play with your kid, have a bite to eat. Some days I have to actually get out of the house for a good 15 minutes to half an hour to just re-focus, don’t get too comfortable in your break though! Set a timer on when you need to get back to it.
8. Reflect on your day and remember what’s most important
At the end of the day take a look at your to do list. Cross off what you got done and celebrate! You achieved that, go you. Life happens, baby’s get sick, sometimes they refuse sleep, sometimes they don’t let you put them down. If you only get one important thing you wanted completed that day, that’s totally fine! Highlight what you need to do the next day and start at step 1 again and just remember: A productive day doesn’t necessarily mean you get a lot done it means you got the most important thing done.
When your bogged down with a million things to do just remember to focus on one thing at a time, if that means settling your baby for that extra half hour or having to go for a drive so that your baby can sleep that’s all good, don’t think about everything else just focus on that one task. When you have a baby your mentality on what is most important changes. If you can put your work as second, then everything else will fall into place.
If you found this helpful please like, comment and/or share. Good luck and I hope you have a super productive rest of your week!