Today I'd like to share with you my 5 tips to stay productive with a baby.
Babies are beautiful but they come with a lot of responsibilities. Your time is simply not yours anymore (well, till they go to bed). As an overachiever. I could beat myself up if I haven’t crossed off my to-do list by the end of the day. When Sasha was born I struggled to adjust to this new routine when I could hardly get anything done. The first few months were a productivity nightmare. The unpredictability (and bossiness) of a newborn was driving me crazy. Over time I have managed to set a routine and things started to get better. Now I know what time she goes to bed, how long she will sleep and when I will have precious 45 minutes to get some work done.
I'd like to share with you five tips on how to boost your productivity with a baby that I've learned in the last year.
There are a lot of advice about how to be productive. You need to eliminate distractions, keep the place clean, look at baby animals (yes! that's a thing!), etc. We all know that but how to get things done when you have a baby running around? This clearly needs a different approach and general advice won't cut it.
[ 1 ] Create a routine and sync your habits with it
If there is a magic word that helps me walk through motherhood with my head up high it's Routine. I can't emphasize enough how important to establish a schedule with your baby. I'm not talking about a strict minute by minute military-style schedule, but more of an outline of your day. There are certainly different styles of parenting but living "day by day", putting down your baby for naps at different times and being constantly "on-demand" isn't my cup of tea. Of course, there are situations that require special attention and moving things around, but in general, I know what time my daughter goes for a nap, what time she eats and when we go for a walk. It allows me to make plans accordingly and make my life so much easier than the first month when I had no idea what to expect in the next 30 minutes.
[ 2 ] Plan Ahead
I shared last year the concept and awesomeness of a Bullet Journal and still stand by it. When a routine is established, you need to have a plan for a day. I'm a fanatical planner. I usually write lists of things to do for any occasion and having such a huge satisfaction crossing items off my list. We all know that as much as babies and toddlers can be energetic and unstoppable they all have to go for a nap during the day. Either it's 30 minutes or 2 hours, but it's there and it's precious. Use it smartly and have a plan even before you put a little one to bed. If you don't plan it, you might find yourself wondering around doing some unimportant tasks and the time of quiet will be done before you finish anything. Bullet Journal is a great way to stay on top of it.
[ 3 ] High chair is your best friend
I can manage to do a lot of things while Sasha is awake and playing, like some house chores or take pictures. On the other hand, as soon as I grab my laptop and try to work, she runs over and starts
terrorizing pull down my clothes. And in moments like this high chair comes to the rescue. I've come up with so many games on a highchair (will write a post about it soon). Either it involves paint, food or a basket of differently shaped balls - it surely will keep your baby occupied for 3 minutes (and for 10 if you are lucky). The secret is also to have a bunch of games handy and rotate them with first signs of boredom (I'm sure you won't miss those). As a result, we have an excited occupied baby and a happy parent who gets a few minutes to breathe and get the work done.
[ 4 ] Meal prep
As intuitive as it sounds but that's something I realized I need to be doing. Days with babies get so busy that you won't have time to cook every meal. Take out 3 times a day is also not an option if you are trying to stay healthy and want to know what is exactly in your meal. Try the meal prep! Cook a bunch, put into containers and just heat it up when the time comes. Preparing baby food can be also useful. I don't have time to steam/roast/boil veggies and blend them 3 times a day. I also believe that homemade purees are healthier than bought in the store. So I found a solution! I've got small airtight jars and would prepare a mix of veggies for a few days in advance. When it's time to eat I could just pop one portion out, warm it up in hot water and the food is ready in minutes! I also came across the pouch station and it's incredible! Saves tons of time for you and your needs.
[ 5 ] Take it easy
Over the last years I've realized one very important thing. Not getting it all done doesn't mean that you are lazy. Perhaps, the expectations you have for yourself aren't realistic? I know what it is to be ambitious, but we are also moms and don't have all the time for ourselves. Set your goals high but not so high that you essentially prepare yourself for disappointment. And always remember to take pride in what you accomplished. After all, to satisfy the demands of your tiny adorable human is a full-time job. And I'm sure you are rocking it!
I hope you found my tips helpful. What do you usually do to be more productive with a baby running around?