It was the book, Free To Focus by Michael Hyatt, that taught me how to use simple hacks to help my productivity.
He had all these shortcuts on his keyboard, especially for repetitive tasks, so instead of typing fresh text every time, he could type ACC and his full account name, number and bank would pop up. Or instead of typing that an email has been received and will be responded to by the next working day, he would have the text already on draft or a clipboard to easily copy and paste.
These things seem small but they save a lot of time, especially for high achievers.
Although Hyatt was more about workplace productivity hacks, I figured that since principles are parallel, I could definitely come up with a few hacks that would help my ‘fruitful stay-at-home mom’ ministry.
While I have a few domestic hacks of mine, I wanted to hit the ‘streets’ and get more from other stay-at-home queens I mentor.
Now, let’s dip into our big bag of hacks in order to save time, cut the slack, and help our productivity right at home:
Queen Debbie works with what she calls the 15 minutes formula. In her words:
“I make use of small bits of time. Most times, we don’t have large blocks of time to accomplish all the tasks on our to-do-list. We can break them into smaller tasks, set a timer for 15minutes and fit it into the day’s routine. For instance, if the big goal is to arrange the pantry, set a timer for 15 minutes and see what gets done within that time frame. Also, it’s good for chores that keep getting pushed down the list for lack of big block of time.”
She also says:
“I learned to do tasks related to the part of the house you are in. For instance, you can tidy up/clean up a kitchen drawer while cooking dinner. Quickly, take 5 minutes after brushing to clean up bathroom sink and shelves. Clear up clutter on kitchen counter while cooking, and so on.”
I love this!
We may not have 2 hours, but come on, we all have 15 minutes. And hey, who doesn’t have 5 minutes to clean the sink right after brushing.
I quickly took my camera crew to Australia where I asked Queen Dami how she manages the home front, especially without a domestic help. For her, planning ahead is her key hack of all time.
“I never go to bed without planning the next day. This is a routine I have developed over the years. I love to wake up to a list of tasks to achieve, including activities relating to my husband and kids.
Planning the next week’s meals every Friday morning and going to the supermarket on Friday during my lunch break, also saves me a lot of time.
My Saturday early mornings are then dedicated to cooking. I start cooking as early as 3am for the coming week and freeze. This way, there is no major cooking during the week. This has really helped and it really doesn’t feel like a chore but more like a routine because it is part of the plan.”
This is so good! What gets calendared (i.e. planned out with intention) gets done.
I wanted to hear from a pregnant mom of a toddler (phew), so I talked to Queen Oge. Moms of todds, hear directly from her.
“Since my daughter doesn’t roll in mud during playtime, I don’t change her clothes at every instance. At most, we change just once, probably when the weather is hot. That way, I cut down on the amount of child laundry I have.
I also try to do laundry daily since the clothes are small and hardly so dirty. This way, I get to save myself the long hours doing bulk laundry might take.
I also try to make out time in the afternoon to take a nap, even if it’s for 15mins, in spite of what my schedule is, instead of swiping across social media or watching TV. I find that this short break energizes me to carry on better and stronger for the rest of the day, especially when my husband comes back from work at night and wants to spend some time with me. I’m not cranky, extra sleepy, tired, or whiney from doing lots of domestic work.”
This is so liberating. Power naps are powerful, especially for a woman already working hard 24/7 “baking a bun“.
My ‘camera’ then moved from a preggo to a brand new mom with a 6–week old baby. She used the one word we moms need to use a lot more – “help”
Hear Queen Faith from Finland:
“I try to do my productive work when children are asleep to avoid distractions, then I batch the more domestic work to when they are awake, so we do it together.
I also don’t do most things daily, I do some once a week, like laundry, since I have no help.
I try washing the bathroom and toilet minimally everyday too, maybe wash the basin today, floor tomorrow, and so on. That way, I don’t wait till it’s extremely dirty.
I also find that maintaining the cleanliness is easier than spring cleaning so in some cases, I do my best to maintain it by cleaning the small parts that get dirty. This helps me spend less time cleaning and I can focus on other things.
And I ask for help when hubby is around once in a while.”
Ah, Faith was right on the money when she mentioned help. We, stay-at-home queens, should ask for more help from our husbands, extended family members, and our single friends where possible.
The last person my camera zoomed in on were moms of older kids.
Queen Seun says:
“I get the things I need for the kids ready a night before, including school things. I have older kids so I get them involved in house chores like tidying up their room, washing their dishes, sweeping, mopping and cleaning windows.
I also prepared a timetable for house chores, grouped the chores into days – some daily and some once or twice a week. Everyone knows what to do per time and that saves me time.”
Queen Amaka from Addis Ababa had this to chip in:
“I arrange for my children to prep and serve breakfast themselves. My 6 and 2 year olds do theirs mostly. Breakfast options are fruits (peel and grate carrots, chop watermelon, rinse apples, juice orange), cereals (homemade granola is great. Bake oats with honey/date syrup, nuts and seeds), muffins, bread, boil eggs (if you aren’t comfortable having them cook, boil the eggs the night before and have them peel in the morning). I set all these up for them to help themselves to breakfast.
I also let them do their own cleaning, wash their bathroom, clean their room, wash their dishes, put their clothes in the washing machine, spread it and fold it afterwards.”
Wow, I feel so empowered just reading all these tips and hacks from moms around the world. I hope you get a thing, or 10, from these tips that’ll help you save time and then stay fruitful, productive and joyful right at home.
Do you have any personal hacks of yours?