Ways I Found More Time in My Day

Ways I Found More Time in My Day

A few simple changes that gave this mom more time each day.

By Lauren Hartmann

Getting up Early
I am so not a morning person. But since I'm also not a night owl and was finding myself too tired to turn out quality work at the end of my day (i.e., when my brain was already totally fried), I decided that I was just going to have to figure out how to make myself become a morning person. My husband happens to leave for work early in the morning, so I started getting up with him before the kids were awake. He would make me a latte to enjoy while I worked as motivation, which definitely helped. Before I knew it, I was enjoying one or two uninterrupted hours by myself every morning – and it was bliss.

Working out with My Kids
Taking my kids for a walk, having an impromptu dance party or doing online workouts and inviting my kids to join in with me. These are all ways I've found to get my fitness on with my kids and it's created so much more space in my day. Working out with kids is the ultimate in multitasking, because you're having fun and playing together while also getting in some aerobic activity and happy-making endorphins at the same time. I still enjoy a good solo workout too, but working out with my kids has become something I really enjoy and the fact that it frees up a little bit of extra time in my day is a great bonus.

Inviting My Kids to Help with Chores
Things like doing dishes and sweeping floors aren't the most fun tasks ever, but unfortunately, they are a necessity – at least on occasion. Some days it seems like I spend half my day cleaning or simply just putting things back where they once were to create some semblance of order. It's incredibly time-consuming. My kids are still little (one is only 9 months old), but that doesn't mean I can't include them in some of these tasks. My 3-year-old loves helping out with cleaning tasks. If I give her a rag and some vinegar cleaning spray, she will happily set about wiping up every surface in our home.

Having a “Uniform”
It might seem a little bit boring, but having a "mom uniform" has made a huge difference in the time it takes me to get ready every day. I've pared down my closet to include only items that I really like and that are practical for my life as a mama. I've also come to realize that neutrals are my favorite and so easy to mix-and-match, so I tend to stick with those. Jeans, a top and some variation of a cardigan is my go-to ensemble, and I can add accessories or a fancier shoe if I feel the need to spice things up.


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Sneaking in “Me Time”
It seems counterintuitive, but pausing in the midst of a chaotic day to take time for myself makes a huge difference in my productivity for the rest of the day. Too often I was finding myself harried and stressed, running at a million miles an hour. And in the end, I was frazzled and not really doing anything all that well. Taking a little break to do something just for myself – something so small as watching a short TED talk, or enjoying a quiet distraction-free lunch while my kids nap – gives me a much-needed recharge. That feeling of refreshment carries over into my day and makes me much more able to take on other tasks.

MORE: What Today’s Working Mom Looks Like

MORE: Can You Really Balance It All?

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