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5 Hacks For Working Parents To Make Your Week More Productive

04/21/2017 04:24 EDT | Updated 04/21/2017 04:24 EDT

Fact: you will be more productive and work smarter than ever before once you become a working mother.

I didn't believe it at first either, so I can appreciate your skepticism, but more studies are proving this is so.

working mum

The idea is backed by a proven economic theory: scarcity creates value.

The idea, in economics anyhow, is that when there is low supply of a product, it can demand a higher price.

It's the same with our time.

We all only have 24 hours in a day (yes, even Beyonce). And, for us mamas (and involved papas, too), much of our time is consumed by our little people -- caring for them, feeding them, and everything else they may demand of us. Plus, we just love spending time with them.

It's a lot to do and if you're working eight or more hours a day outside of the home, there's substantially less time to do it all.

With less time available, your time becomes more valuable.

This means you'll be more careful with how you spend your time, and you'll want to find new ways to increase your productivity so you have more time left over for the things and people that matter most.

Here are five tried and tested productivity hacks that can make your work week more productive, less stressful and more enjoyable.

1. Share the load

You may want to have it all, but it doesn't mean you have to do it all. Instead, find ways to share the load. If your partner isn't naturally inclined to help out, assign them specific duties. And, once you've done so, fully accept the job they do.

Sure, you can do it better or faster, but what will you sacrifice if you waste your time perfecting something your little one will likely mess up in a few minutes?

family chores

2. Create a weekly dinner (and lunch) menu

It's a near impossibility to choose and make a healthy meal when surrounded by very hangry little humans screaming for food. So, make things easy by planning a weekly menu. I have a roster of healthy, tested meals that I rotate through regularly.

Added bonus: creating a weekly menu also keeps the grocery bills respectable and produces less wasted food.

3. Plan your outfit

How many mornings have you screamed out in frustration that you don't have anything to wear? Nothing can destroy your confidence than not feeling good in your clothes. And worse still if those clothes don't fit right.

But, who really has time in the morning to assemble the perfect outfit for the workday ahead? I'm usually begging my girls to get on their socks, so I don't. Instead, I plan my five outfits ahead of time - everything from tops and bottoms, to jewelry and shoes - that will be appropriate for the meetings and events I have planned for the week.

4. Make use of Sundays

Sundays are best spent lazing around. But, if that relaxation will leave you overwhelmed each of the next five days, you may be better served to use some of your Sunday to prep for the week ahead. Since we're both morning people in our house, the first hours of Sunday we're abuzz with activity. While Frank gets our laundry sorted, I'm chopping and prepping ingredients for our weekday dinners and lunches.

family food prep

5. Calendar check-in

Early morning meetings, late night conference calls, and daycare and school pick up times, the work week, especially for dual-income families, can very quickly become a logistic nightmare. That's why it's important to take a few minutes to review your calendars with your partner. Talk about what is coming up and create a game plan to make sure everything gets done.

Take it one further and schedule in reminders to get certain tasks done (e.g., pay bills or call doctor), so you don't forget about them later in the week.

So, there you have it, five productivity hacks that will help make your work week smoother going. Are there any productivity tips I missed? Be sure to let me know.

This blog was first published on lisadurante.com, where you can find other strategies to create a life that works for you as a working mama.

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