So you’ve reach the precious spot of time in your day when your children are napping, and sacking out on the sofa is probably the most appealing option. But then as soon as they wake up, you are kicking yourself for not being more productive. I’m totally with you. So what to do? Here are some ideas for making the most of nap times:
Plan ahead. On Sundays, I try to map out my week. Client meetings, errands, appointments, play dates, meals and naps. Yes, I plan what I am going to accomplish each day during my daughter’s nap. That way I am not frantically (and haphazardly) trying to accomplish everything in a single nap (what, you haven’t tried that?!). I am focused and on task, knowing I’ll get to those other things at a later time. Sounds nuts, but it is very effective.
Don’t do the dishes or laundry first. No matter how messy your house is, these things can wait. I recommend doing the absolute hardest thing to accomplish while children are awake. Phone call, tedious paperwork, anything that is nearly impossible when they are running around. And choose just one—be realistic and pick the single most important or pressing task. If you have time leftover, fantastic.
If your child takes multiple naps, designate some naps for working and some for resting. This is the golden stage of naps. Half super productive, half super relaxing.
Do not, do not, do not pick up your phone. Do you really want to fall into a bottomless pit of social media when you could be doing something so much more valuable with your time (even if that means a long hot shower or nap)? I know—mindless scrolling can seem appealing when you are dog tired, but if it’s really that bad, do yourself a favor and crawl into bed.
A caveat to everything above: In the early weeks of parenting, run as fast as you can to the nearest pillow and rest. Forget cleaning, productivity or anything else. Just rest and restore your body whenever you can.