There are many experts out there that talk about the topic of productivity. I am not one of them. However, I am a mom of two boys, have a full time day job, and have the things on our homestead to attend to. For me, implementing a few simple strategies makes a world of difference.
I wanted to share with you the Top 7 things I do that help me to get all the things done I need and want to. These helped me so much because I was able to devote specific times to each thing and keep it all out of my head. This allows my my mind to be consumed with more important things than what I need to get done as well as being more present with my family in the moment.
7 Tips for Getting Things Done
- Develop tiny habits throughout the day that help you go towards your goals you want to meet. A habit is something you don’t have to think about, it’s something you just do. It is a routine so you do not have to use any brain power to remember it. An example might be brushing your teeth at night or making coffee in the morning. You probably have never had to write down to do these things right?! That would be silly, as I am sure they are built in habits that most people have. If you want to drink more water for example, then think of ways to make that a tiny habit by attaching it to something else you already do. I made a rule that I have to drink a whole glass of water before I have my first cup of coffee. This worked for me because I LOVE my morning coffee and will never forget it. The first week I had to leave a sticky note on the coffee canister to drink the water, then after awhile I threw the sticky away because it was a habit! You get the idea.
- Plan ahead for as many things as possible. You can do this for all your family appointments (dentist, hair cuts, etc.), for birthday cards/gifts, and the one that I think has the biggest impact is meal planning. See my blogpost on how I meal plan by creating a reoccurring meal template for the month and change it with the seasons. The idea again here is so that you do not need to think about these things constantly. You have a time set aside to plan in bulk and then its done.
- Purchase house items in bulk when possible. You can do this by shopping for items in bulk at a place like Costco or by ordering items in bulk from a subscription service. There are some out there that argue subscription services are bad for the earth because of shipping pollution. I am not sure I agree since it reduces my frequent trips to the store and the delivery truck is delivering any packages to my neighbors at the same time. Similar to car pooling. Either way you decide, purchasing items in bulk can save you a ton of time.
- Incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Do your best to implement a few simple steps in each of these areas: good sleep, less stress, good nutrition, getting some sun outside, lessen your toxic load and move around. Each of these things are deep topics that folks have written entire books on. It’s easier said than done but when you figure out how to incorporate some or all of these items into your life, it really does help with your energy and feeling your best so that you can get things done and so that you can enjoy your free time more as well.
- Keep a to do list that is reoccurring and a to do list that is ‘one and done’. I have two reoccurring lists. One is ‘weekly’ and includes things like: do laundry, water inside plants, cut kids nails, pay bills, etc.. The other is ‘monthly’ and includes things like: Place online orders, schedule appointments, etc.. Then I have a ‘one and done’ list which is all the things I need to do today, this week, or this month. Once I do these things I won’t need to do them again. This would be things like: turn in paperwork to kids school, plan vacation, or get quotes for contractor. I also have a list for things that are not important for me to do/commit to now but I might consider doing them later at some point. You are probably wondering why in the world would I keep this many lists!? For me, a big part of reducing stress is getting things out of my head. Once it’s written down I don’t need to worry about remembering to do it. I know I will do it at the appropriate time.
- Limit things that waste time. Yes, I am talking about social media & tv time! Before you freak out, I am not saying get rid of it! I believe there is a time and place for entertainment. By just reducing or being more aware of how much time you spend on it will help you to have more time, which means more time to get things done OR just more time to do something fun for yourself. We all need more of that!
- Get really good at saying No! It may surprise you but I say no to many things. This includes no to taking on too many projects, no to enrolling my kids in too many extra curricular activities, and sometimes this means saying no to invitations to parties from friends. Community is really important but so is taking care of your family and so I protect the time we have together. This doesn’t mean we are secluded from the world by any means. We spend a lot of time with family, friends, and our wonderful neighbors. It just means we are selective with what we say yes to in order to not feel like we are constantly busy.
I hope you found this helpful. Let me know what tips you have for getting things done below!