Life Hack: Habit Stacking

As most busy mamas, I attempt to “do all the things” pretty much on a daily basis.  When I start to feel overwhelmed, I do have a few tips that seem to work for me.

I heard the term “Habit Stacking” after reading the book Atomic Habits. You can find out more here.   It made total sense when I heard it explained.  It’s not simply multi-tasking.  I feel that sometimes we feel overwhelmed because we are doing too much at once and not really enjoying things.  However, when you make conscious choices of who, what, where, why and when you are spending your time on, things start to fall together a little easier.

He explains it more in a sense of cues, and moment by moment, like pour your tea, read your book, write in your journal…combine the things that you need to get done anyway, but chunk them together.  I took it a step further…

If you’re feeling like you never get to do anything for you, or that you have too many things going on, I suggest you shrink your daily “must do” to about 5 or 6 things.  From there, are any of them able to be combined?

For example, this may be a list for me:

1.) Meal prep.

2.) Spend time with girlfriends.

3.) Unwind & enjoy some delicious tea.

4.) Clean the house/chores.

5.) Read more books.

6.) Work on business training.

Taking a look at the list above, I could be negative and just cross off #2 because, helloooooo, I’m a busy mom with NO TIME!

Wrong. 

The truth is, we all have the same amount of time in a day and the glorious part is, we get to choose where we are spending that time!  Of course there are obligations and such, but overall, you are in charge people!

So a better way to look at the things I’d like to do is asking myself, is there any way I can mix some of these together, so that I actually get some things accomplished and feel great.  In the list above, I decided to join my friend Cathy at her house for a Tastefully Simple Freezer Meal Workshop.  While I was there, I got to catch up with her, meet someone new and as an added bonus, I got to try some amazing Chai!   Y’all know I love me some tea.

As for reading more books, I consider audiobooks reading as well.  Nothing beats a a good book in my hands, but again, as a busy mama, instead of using #notime as an excuse, I find the time.  I listen to audiobooks (and podcasts) while I drive in the car, grocery shop, clean the house, fold the laundry, do the dishes, walk the dog…I mean really any time I can.  I choose not to watch TV, I choose to spend most of this time reading or listening.

Working on business training, through mastermind groups or watching videos, I set aside time to focus on that (instead of TV) or if possible, I’ll do some light housework while listening too.

Another example of habit stacking would be acknowledging your wants/desires.  In this case, we wanted to be outside, eat lunch, and work on some business.  We stopped at our favorite burger joint and went to a park. Bradley was content as there was a little playground, so we could also enjoy time with him.  It was honestly a win all around!

I think more than anything, when you are optimistic and see the glass as half full, your mood shifts.  You’re in the “I get to” mentality vs the victim “I have to.”  You realize that you do have time, you just have to really think about how you’re going to spend it.  Now I totally don’t structure my days 24/7, but if I can take the time to plan them out 80% of the time, things run so much better!

PS I told my friend Cathy she was even better at habit stacking than she realized! She was making money with her side hustle (Tastefully Simple), enjoying girl time AND making meals for her family.  #rockstar

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Focus on the wins and celebrate ladies.  We really can do it all!  (Not all at once, but if you put your mind to it, anything and everything is possible!)

What are some ways you already habit stack, or is it something you may consider? I’d love to hear some different ways you are choosing to spend your time wisely!

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