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How to Get Things Done When You’re an Exhausted Mom

We often think of homemaking as cooking, cleaning, and taking care of our kids. But in reality, there is so much more involved (finances, work, errands…).  And it can be exhausting!

As a blogger and stay-at-home mom to a toddler, I know it’s difficult for me to balance homemaking and work.  So I can only imagine that things will get more difficult when the next kid comes along!

But there are some tips I picked up along the way of becoming a child therapist and then a blogger.  These tips really help me to get more done when I use them, despite how exhausted I feel.  I hope you get something out of these tips and that they act as a helpful reminder for you.

Tips on How to Get Things Done at Home

Make to-do lists (but be careful)

You might have a bunch of thoughts going through your mind of things you need or want to do this week. I find that if I don’t add items to my to-do list, especially tasks that I really don’t feel like doing, I continue to push them off.

So take 5-10 minutes and throw down everything you need or want to get done this week (or just today) on a piece of paper.

You are likely to get 3 things done in a day. When you make your daily to-do list too long, then you’re less likely to get even 3 of the items on your list done. So try to stick to a rule of 3, unless you have multiple small tasks.

Consider “batching”

Next, prioritize the items on your to-do list, and group smaller related tasks together. Then, do what is called “batching.”

Set a timer for a designated amount of time (about 25 minutes is good) to focus only on that one task or small group of tasks. Then, give yourself a 5-minute break before doing batch work on another task.

I use this technique whenever my daughter is napping to help me get as much done as possible during that precious time.

Reduce distractions

Reducing distractions while you are working around the house can help you get more done. One way to do this is to avoid looking at devices or watching television.  Instead, set aside a designated time to do these things.

You can also use your breaks in between batches to succumb to distractions. But be sure to use a timer during breaks so you don’t get too distracted.

Avoid multi-tasking

There’s a myth out there that multi-tasking is a productive way of functioning. In fact, many job postings state multi-tasking as a desired skill.

However, multi-tasking can actually slow down productivity and momentum and interfere with creativity.  So try to focus on one task at a time.

Schedule special time with your child

We all know how important it is to spend quality time with your child, but with work and keeping the house in order, this can often fall by the wayside.

By making quality time with your child a priority and a habit, you’ll relieve yourself of a lot of mommy guilt.  And the easiest way to do this is by scheduling it, especially if you schedule it for the same time every day.

Do some mealtime planning

There are several ways that you can make mealtimes easier for you.  For instance, you can cook only super simple recipes, make large meals for leftovers, sign up for a meal planner, make freezer meals, or make meals during the weekend for the rest of the week.

With the power of Pinterest, we have so many tips and resources at our fingertips to simplify mealtime for us.  The hard part is getting yourself into the habit of using them.

Keep yourself organized

While we’re on the subject of planning, let’s talk about how important organization is in general.  When you have a system outlined for you, whether it be for grocery shopping, rewarding your child, or cleaning, it’s a lot easier for you to know what to do and then actually get it done.

Think about something that could be so much easier if you just did some organization around it or came up with a system.  If you can invest even 20 minutes a week on organization, it’ll go a long way and save you lots of time and effort.

P.S. If you’re looking for a way to organize a reward system for your child, check out my free Reward Chart Bundle.

Work on balancing work and life

It can be so hard to leave work at work and to avoid your emails while you’re at home. But carrying your work life and stress home with you can affect how much quality time you spend with your kids and how you interact with them.

It can also exhaust you even further and keep you from getting things done at home.

So it’s important to find the right balance between work and family/life by setting limits and boundaries for yourself.

Ask for help

Sometimes our spouses or others just don’t do tasks the way that we want them done.  But to avoid over-exerting yourself, it’s important to ask for help, even if it means things won’t be perfect.

Also, we often place expectations on ourselves, such as “I’m supposed to be the homemaker, so I should do the dishes, not my husband.”  Placing too many expectations on yourself can cause burnout and exhaustion.  So sometimes it’s necessary to push these expectations aside and ask for support.

And don’t forget to be clear and direct when asking your fellow caregiver for help.  Don’t just assume they know what you want (even if you’ve asked several times in the past).

Take care of yourself

In order to avoid exhaustion and be able to take care of your children and spouse, it is crucial for you to take care of yourself.  Therefore, it’s important to invest even 5 minutes a day on self-care (without feeling guilty!).  Not sure how to do this?  Check out some of my favorite self-care ideas here!

Also, remember that nurturing your relationship with your partner or spouse can be essential to relieving your tension and, thus, taking care of yourself.

As wonderful as being a mother is, it certainly can be challenging and draining at times.  But I find it helpful to remember that we, as mommies, all have our unique struggles and that no mommy has it all together 100% of the time, no matter what things may look like from the outside.

If you want more tools to help you get things done and feel less overwhelmed and exhausted, check out this Parenting Super Bundle, which available for only a limited time (affiliate link).

What about you, Mommy?  Do you have anything in particular that helps you get things done?

Disclaimer: Although I was a therapist before I became a stay-at-home mom, I am not your therapist or your child’s therapist. Reading this post does not enter you into a client-therapist relationship with me. The content in this post is meant to be used as a general guideline and has not been individually tailored to the needs of you or your child. If you are in need of therapeutic services, please seek the support of a mental health counselor or behavior specialist.

References: My information comes from years of training on Applied Behavior Analysis, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and other evidence-based techniques.


6 Comments on How to Get Things Done When You’re an Exhausted Mom

  1. Thanks so much for the great tips! I often fall into the trap of multi-tasking and end up running around in circles. I love the rule of three – so much easier to focus on fewer tasks at a time. Work-life balance is definitely a struggle for me… being a part-time work from home mom and a part-time stay at home mom, it’s often difficult to switch back and forth!

    • Thanks so much for reading, Polly! Yes… Since I’ve begun implementing the rule of 3, things have just felt much better. I feel so much more productive once I’ve finished those 3 things, as opposed to having a long list in which I rarely accomplish everything on it. And with the rule of 3, you can always add on one more thing after you’ve finished… if you’re up for it. Thanks again!

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