the mommy schedule small image

The Mommy Schedule

2 Quick Techniques to Getting Things Done as a Mom

I’m a mom of two beautiful little girls both under two years old. My sweet baby nurses often and my toddler is rambunctious and busy, as any typical 23.5 month old is. But I am more productive now than what I was when I did not have children. Why?

How can it be that I get more done now with two kids, than I did when I had no children, or even just had my first daughter. Impossible you think? Not at all.

As moms the ability to manage your time is critical. And I truly believe we improve that ability with each blessed addition to our family. Somehow the graces come from above that helps a mommy manage it all.

But of course not every day is perfect. Some days I am thankful to take a shower and we eat protein shakes for dinner. But more often than not, things are getting done well in the Whitford household.

Want to know what works for me and how you can do it too?

1. Big Rocks 1st

You may have heard of the analogy that your time is like a large container which you fill with rocks, pebbles and sand.

The rocks are the most important things in your life. They take up the most time. Examples include your marriage, your kids, your faith and your health.

The pebbles are the smaller things, but not as important. Examples include your friends, your hobbies (blogging), or extracurricular activities.

The sand, those are the least important things. Such as getting your nails done, having an immaculately clean house or finally organizing your closet.

But so many times we have our priorities upside down. We fill our container with all our sand first and then our big rocks can’t fit. It looks a bit like the image below.

Do not prioritize your life like the container below:

Setting your priorities incorrectly

I neglected my health and crashed

Once I realized I needed to take care of the big stuff first, everything else fell into place. There were a few weeks where I sacrificed sleep (big rock) for blogging (pebble), and it took a huge toll on me. After a week of sleeping only 4 hours a night, I crashed.

I became sick, couldn’t hold down food and didn’t come near my computer.

I realized I couldn’t burn the candle at both ends. And living off 4 hours of sleep consistently was a terrible idea.

When I put my big rocks in my container first, I had space for the pebbles and the sand to fit in too. When I get more sleep I can workout and think more clearly. So when I do have my 1-2 hours of blogging  day, I am SO MUCH more efficient!

When my container looks like the one below, my life runs smoother.

Prioritize your life like the container below:

Setting your priorities

2. Focused Times

Secondly, I either use my Post It note schedule, or I use this simple method below.

Creating my to do list or schedule for the week needs to be simple and visual. Fancy apps and reminders work sometimes, but when I need to get things done, simpler is better.

I see my day in a series of blocks. And I determine what I can accomplish in each block depending on how much quiet time I’ll have.

For example, my typical day consists of the following time blocks:

  • Before the kids wake up
  • Morning
  • Nap time
  • Afternoon
  • Dinner
  • After the kids go to bed

I blog and work during two of those time blocks (before the kids wake up and nap time). If I try to write a blog post during other time blocks, I’m less efficient and become more frustrated.

The morning is reserved for cleaning the home, playing outside, working out, breakfast of course, and play dates.

In the afternoon the little ones take priority again. And when my husband comes home early from work, another quick workout may be done.

Dinner is family time. And the last time block, after the kids go to bed, is reserved for time with my hubby. If he wants to read a few blogs, I’ll be on the computer next to him discussing ideas. But otherwise we use that time for watching a tv show, chatting about our days and reading the daily mass scriptures.

I made a printable for you to use if you feel this schedule method will work for you too! The key is to have a goal during each of those time blocks. And to focus when you get there. Use the ‘Top 3 Must Dos’ at the top of the schedule to set your goals for the day.

Don’t go down every bunny hole and chase every shiny object. Close down Facebook, exit out of Pinterest, and concentrate on the task at hand. 🙂

Comment below if you like the Mommy Schedule!

The Mommy Schedule

What if the Mommy Schedule is too Simple for You?

If your kids no longer take naps and the Mommy Schedule does not work for you, my flexible Post It note system can be adjusted to your life. I use it whenever I have really intense weeks and need to get a lot done!

Post-it Notes Organize and Schedule my Life with Post it notes - Super Simple Hack!

Free Gift: My Super Simple Weekly Schedule

  • Accomplish your goals easily
  • Feel totally in control of your tasks
  • Stay focused on the right things
  • And knock out your to-do list

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  • This looks great! Thank you! When you used it did you print one for each week or laminate it to reuse? I have a 6 month old who doesn’t sleep through the night & hates to be put down and an almost 5 year old. My days always seem to get away from me but one goal per block sounds doable!

  • Hey! Although, I’m not a mom, I needed to read this today. I have a full time job and have recently started blogging. I have been working hard at getting it up and running, that I was sleeping only 5 hours each night, then getting up at 6am to go to work… bad idea! 2 days ago I came down with a terrible cold. I can barely move.

    Anyways thanks for sharing and the reminder 🙂

  • Hi! I am a new mom blogger and the biggest challenge has been trying to figure out when to ‘work’. This post was so helpful to me and I love the calendar! I can’t wait to print it out and test it out, thank you!

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  • I totally use the post it note schedule. I have a 3 month old who is really colicky right now, so nap times are not a consistent length. I use whatever time I can get. As I type this, he’s strapped to me in his Lille baby carrier sucking on his pacifier. You gotta do whatcha gotta do! 😉 I love the analogy of the big rocks and saw that on a TEDTalk a while back. It’s so true! I need to get better at that!

    I LOVE your Facebook group schedule!

    • Heather, thank you so much! My first baby was a bit more difficult. The only way I could get her to take a nap was to have her fall asleep while I wore her in my Ergo. Up until she was 14 months old I was the only person who could get her to fall asleep. Phew! The things we do as first time parents. 🙂 Second time around, it’s much easier! So hang in there, you’re doing a great job momma! Thank you for stopping by and I’m so happy you like the FB group schedule! I use it almost daily.

  • Suzi,

    I like how simple your plan is! The whole rock thing is a great way to view your day. I’m one to focus on the sand and pebbles before the rocks, so I have to change that.

    Today I managed to get a workout in so that was great! I like your idea of working in blocks. I do the same and use systems to help me accomplish my work.

    Since I don’t work before the kids wake up I end up working during nap and after bedtime. It seems to work for our family. My husband works from home also so we spend time throughout the day!

    Great post!

    • Elna, thanks for stopping by! And congrats on the workout – don’t those days just feel more productive? When you take 30 minutes or so and take care of yourself? Since I’ve started doing T25 about 4 weeks ago I’ve felt 100x more productive.

      And block working works well for me as a mom, I’m glad it works for you too! At the start of my day I write down my 1-3 goals and then I know what to focus on when I arrive at my ‘time blocks’. 🙂 Thanks again for the comment!

  • Hi Suzi, thanks for the printable and ideas! Although my kids are older and we don’t need naps anymore, I need to start thinking in time blocks. I think that will help me to organize my time better.

  • This is helpful! I work full time but even still I can draw from the takeaway of not trying to do everything all the time and making sure you shutdown from social media during blocks of the day. It’s something I need to improve upon. I’m always checking my phone and I need to start putting it in a different room to focus on the rocks!

    • Haha! I like that idea – remove the temptation completely! 🙂 It’s so addicting looking at my phone every time it makes a beep. To be truly productive, all the social media outlets need to be shut down. Thanks for commenting! 🙂 And good job running a blog and working full time, wow!

  • Very useful tips. I have similar aged kids to you (2 years and the other 9 months, I’m a stay-at-home Dad) though my daily schedule blocks are different. The kids wake up so early that I don’t have time before they wake. Nap time is a very important block for blog productivity, and I have to resist them temptation to clean the house or do other menial tasks at this time. Staright to the computer with coffee in had. After they go to bed at night is the second most important, the only issue being that I am sometimes too tired at that point to be very productive. Therefore, I often use that time for more brainless blog related duties, like updating social media, tweeking blog design, etc. A big thing for me was learning to multi-task, like cleaning the house and playing with the kids or exercising at the same time. Thanks again!

    • Nick, love your comment! I too multitask the things I can while playing with my toddler. She’s often incorporated into my workout as extra resistance to my squats! 🙂 can’t wait to check out your blog! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • I don’t know if it will work. I am poking at different systems and strategies to help manage my time. I’ll let you know when I try this if it works for me Thank you for this post… It has given me some other ideas.