Wednesday, June 5, 2013

make every day more productive...

                                                                                                                      (adapted from living well)

i have a confession to make.
the list of things i want and need to do is always much longer than the list of things i actually accomplish.  i can’t do it all.  i wish i could.  i am constantly striving.  but at the end of the day, i’m usually just a girl who drops more balls than i catch. i’m okay with that.
 my new year’s resolution this year was to do less and enjoy more.  there are so many things i want to do that i have a hard time slowing down, cutting things out, and not burning myself out.
this year i’ve made a few conscious adjustments to the way i do things, and it seems to be helping.
i am by no means perfect.  much to my own dismay, my house is not always clean, my laundry tends to pile up, not every closet or cupboard is  organized,  i’ve given up hope of ever parking our car in the garage.
the eternal optimist in me keeps hoping that someday it will all come together.
until it does, here are my strategies for squeezing the most quality time out of every day:
1.  Set your priorities.
 take 10 minutes to write down your priorities and to examine who or what is important to you. keep this list in a place where you can look at it frequently.  the amount of time you spend on things should be somewhat relative to how important it is in your life. don’t waste time on things that don’t matter.
2.  Set the timer.
i have found that setting the timer is the best way to motivate myself to do things that i don’t want to do and the best way to limit my time wasters.
i like to have a clean house but  limiting myself to 20 min of cleaning time a day has made me realize that i can still function even if there are spots on the mirrors.  and more often than not, because i am racing against the clock, i get more speed cleaning done in that 20 min  than i would otherwise.
3.  Take time to regroup
i try to give myself 10-15 minutes each morning to drink a cup of coffee, sit down with my notebook and write down my to-do list.  likewise, i try to take a few minutes at the end of the day to figure out what my plan is for the next day.  knowing what is coming up, what i have to get done, and what i’d like to get done helps keep me focused.
4.  Set small weekly goals.
rather than make monthly goals, which I had always done in the past, set small weekly goals in 4 categories.  each week set one goal in the following areas:  work projects,  home improvement, organization, and family fun. 
5.  Use a notebook
there is something so satisfying about crossing completed items off your list.  or maybe that’s just me.  i use a checklist each day because it helps me stay focused in spite of the billion distractions– phone calls, emails, kids (even tho they aren't really kids)  errands, appointments.
6.  Have the hubby help or even the kids.
i am super lucky in this category.  my hubby loves to cook and he makes a mean dinner. he is also
willing to do most requested tasks and he has a more flexible schedule than i do.  so that really helps me out. also, my kids are grown which is the biggest time saver.
7.  Divide and conquer.
if you have small children at home, you know how hard it can be to accomplish anything while they are awake.  try to split your to-do list into things you can do with the kids  while they are awake and things you need to accomplish while they are sleeping.
8.  Wake up early or stay up late.
i am a morning person, so getting up at 5:30 am doesn’t bother me.  and to be perfectly honest, i love the peace and quiet and alone time i get at that time of day.  however,  i also stay up late usually until 11:30pm  so i do have to be careful on this end not to get over tired and cranky.
9.  Avoid television.
i don't really watch television.  and honestly, i don’t feel like i’m missing anything.  there are so many things that far outrank television on my priority list that it doesn’t seem like a sacrifice.

10.  Give yourself a break
luckily i have a great husband who not only helps out around the house, but helps remind me of our priorities no one can do it all.  it is just not possible.  so try to relax, do what you can, take a break when you need it, and don’t get so caught up in your to-do list that you forget to take each moment as it comes.

Life is short.

Moments are precious.

Don’t waste time on things that don’t matter.

love sent, xo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very well said my friend. My priority now is to see as many friends as possible before my big move. Then finish up packing. xx (pon)