Alexa, play “Level Up” by Ciara… Now that you’re having a one-woman dance party in your house (or at your desk), it’s time to take the R&B queen’s advice. Here I’ll count down from 5 to 1 (Ciara would want it that way) of some accessible, relatively hassle-free (but yes some effort required) ways to level up your day-to-day. These tips should free up some time and mental capacity so you can elevate from survive to thrive!
5. Create a uniform for yourself
Deciding what to wear every day for both yourself and your children can become overwhelming, both from the daily decision making as well as shopping and laundry. Styling myself was an area I decided was not worth the brainpower so I started wearing essentially a rotation of black jumpsuits (my favorites are Smash & Tess) on a daily basis. They are comfy, classic, and versatile. I also wear the same earrings every day (simple drops from Kate Spade). It eliminates any extra time I need to spend making the jewelry decision. I also threw out all my random styles of socks and bought all the same kind, so that matching socks is quick and easy. This all adds up to extra time I can use for other (more important) things like creative thinking, strategic planning, or just being present with my family.
4. Outsource your dinners
I don’t think I’ll ever be the kind of mom that spends a lot of time menu planning or grocery shopping – it’s a lot of work, time, and effort that could be re-allocated to so many other things. This is why we exclusively utilize meal services for our weeknight family dinners. For the grownups we exclusively eat HelloFresh dinners and for our daughters (2 year old and 7 months) we order Little Spoon. Having these boxes just show up at my door without having to research recipes, watch TikToks , or walk up and down grocery store aisles is worth the extra investment for these services. Plus, with HelloFresh you’re still cooking the meal yourself (so you can still feel accomplished), plus they are oh-so-yummy (all in our tummies).
3. Reduce your digital distractions
This one requires discipline and a bit of Marie Kondo-ing. This week, every time an Email comes into your inbox that is from a brand or organization that you don’t absolutely LOVE or intend to buy from imminently, scroll alllll the way down and find that unsubscribe button (it’s required by law to be there!) Email clutter can pile up fast, and with it, the overwhelm and anxiety of feeling like you need to take action on everything that comes in. I have a folder called “Things to Buy Someday” and I file 1 email from a brand that catches my eye in there (usually the one with the promo code for signing up for the email last) and then I unsubscribe. When I get a gift card, or have some extra moolah, or someone wants a gift idea for me – I go to that folder and shop from my makeshift wish list.
2. Maximize your commute
If you’re an Austinite, you know the traffic is just part of life we’ve all come to accept. The commute from my home to school drop-off takes at least 20 minutes (during which time we typically listen to Ms Rachel on YouTube or singing Baby Beluga and Mr Golden Sun- naturally) – but once I head from school to my office, it takes around 35 minutes for a 10 mile drive up I-35 (totally annoying but part of it). Maximizing this time is essential to me feeling less angry about traffic and more productive and knowledgeable on a daily basis. You can go to ListenNotes.com and search for topics you are into and then filter by length to match up with your commute. If podcasts aren’t your jam, use the time to make phone calls – this is a good time to call your grandma or mom or dad (you’ll be glad you did!)
1. Do whatever it takes to get good sleep.
I can’t talk enough about the importance of sleep – both for you but also your entire family. When my first daughter wasn’t sleeping consistently, we hire a sleep consultant who taught us some small tweaks to her routine that would make a big difference (and it did). For moms reading we started following all the Moms on Call recommendations (especially super loud sound machine) and she’s slept like a log every night since (and in turn, we all have!) My infant has done the same since she was 2 months old. For mama, I have made my bed into the ultimate haven of great sleep – and the investment has been totally worth it. The entire sleep experience, for me, consists of literally every component being curated. I have blackout shades, a weighted blanket, a $200 Purple pillow, an eye mask, lavender essential oils, a fan blowing right on me (I need to be cooler than cool – ice cold), Melatonin gummies, fancy sheets I bought from an Instagram influencer (they were worth it!). Yes this is all a little much, but waking up refreshed and ready for the day makes me a better executive, a better mom, and a happier human. If you’re barely surviving, much less thriving, just focus on sleep and you’ll be on another level up.
Don’t feel like you have to do all these things to level up, just pick one to start doing today! Would love to know what you chose in the comments or message me on Instagram.