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Learning how to get more done in less time is an amazing goal to have. But it’s not a magic switch you can flip. All of these are tips that will work together so start with one and then get consistent with it. Then add another thing to do to help you get more done in less time.
The problem trying to do the complicated organization systems that want you to do too much all at once. You can’t logically overhaul how you do something and expect it to stick. It becomes too much work and you quit.
Evaluate What You Are Trying To Do In A Day
Most of the time when you start to feel overwhelmed you are jumping from one task to the next with no real goal in mind.
Your expectations are for you to run a marathon but in reality, you can only run 5 miles.
Write Down Everything So You Can See It Infront Of You
You need to be able to SEE what you want to get done. Sometimes it’s easy to get too far in your head thinking that it’s possible to do all of these things. But in reality, you are expecting too much.
Really. I want you to write it down, type it out, or voice to text it in your phone.
Get it out so you can see what you are expecting out of yourself each day. Then take a step back and look at the list. How much of that is necessary?
I use this example a good amount but it’s perfect in so many ways.
When I first got married I tried to keep up with making all of these multi-course meals with a stupid number of steps. I grew up with a mom who loved to cook (don’t love it but I will) so I just brought that reality with me. Then I realized something. Any time I made those meals I wasn’t getting much of a response from my husband.
Do you know what did get a “yummy” or “delicious” from my husband? Burgers, pizza, and tacos! Three of the most basic meals you can do. So why am I going to put a lot of time and effort into meals that he didn’t love and I didn’t care to make?
Because it was what I thought I should do and that it was also the norm.
The point here is don’t waste time on things you don’t have to or what the important people in your life don’t care about anyway.
So go through your list of to-dos and make sure it’s REALLY what needs to be done.
If you’re not sure ask the people around you.
Cut Out What Isn’t Necessary
Find your list of things that don’t need to be done and cut those babies out of the pile.
Thinks like making complicated meals or DIYing something when you have the budget to buy what you want.
This one might step on some toes. STOP doing the things that SEEM important or good but really arnt.
Things like watching the news or watching YouTube videos about the world’s problems. You know what you believe right? So watching those videos and getting stressed or upset about something you can’t change isn’t doing anyone any good. Yes be informed but once you know how you feel about something or got the information you need. Stop and move on.
Including the time-wasters like scrolling on social or watching episode after episode of your favorite show. YES, relaxing is totally fine and necessary. But if you want to really get a lot done at home. Those fun time-wasters have to go.
Learn To Say No
This is a hard one but truthfully you can’t do it all. Some days you have to stick to what is on the schedule and say no. You might get some quiet responses on a phone call. Or even some snotty attitudes. But sticking to your commitments is far more important.
You might also be wondering how to decide what to say no to…
The truth is only you can decide. But you also need to listen to your gut and God when it comes to what you are called to do. Sometimes you have to base it off of the right thing. Not what you want or what’s popular.
If you do find yourself in that kind of situation. Stop and think about your response before you come right out and say it. Sometimes you can make something go over better if you say it in the right way.
Think Strategically About What You Want To Get Done At Home
When do you work best? Are you mentally awake but not physically ready to hit the day at a certain time? Let’s be real, not everyone has a perfect body and it needs time to wake up and get out all of the snaps, crackles, and pops.
What about the reverse? When is your mind at it best? What would make the most sense to do in those hours?
Think about the times that make the most sense to do what you need to do each day.
In the morning my mind and body aren’t ready to hit the day running. So I do think that don’t take a lot of work like doing the dishes, start the coffee, do a quick straitening of the house. Then sit and read my morning devotions.
By then I am feeling a little looser and ready to do more tasks.
Use Every Single Minute
Here is where some people get tripped up. If you are microwaving your coffee for 40 seconds. Put 4 dishes away that are sitting in the dishwasher. Cooking something for a meal. Go put the clothes from the washer into the dryer.
Letting the dogs outside for the 50th time today? Again use that time you are waiting to bring them back in to do a quick sweeping of a room or get a chore done.
See what I mean. Think about the actions you have to take an get those little things done in the in-between moments.
People make laundry out to be the biggest chore on earth. But it is one of the best tasks to use as those “in-between” moments I talked about a few seconds ago.
One time I timed myself folding a load of laundry lots of small things in it. That load only took me 6 minutes to fold. Six minutes. Sure maybe you are don’t like it but you are wasting more time dragging your feet then just getting at it.
What Do You Have To Do At A Certain Time
This might not be something that “has to” be done at a certain time but do you have a daily routine that you like to follow.
Personally, I like to get a shower not long after I wake up and do the animal feeding and chores mid-afternoon.
Do you have appointments that are scheduled? All of these little things have to be accounted for to help you get more done each day.
Use Tools That Work With Your Brain
Your brain was meant for coming up with ideas, not holding them. So trying to remember a lot of things is going to be really hard and cause a CRAZY amount of stress.
A few weeks before my mom’s birthday I was getting the details about us coming over to their house for the get-together. Which dad had planned a few weeks before and forgot about. 😂 He says to me ” I wish I had your memory” all the while I am literally clutching my planner.🤣
When you take the time to plan things out and write them down. BUT also look at the plan regularly you are reminded and it almost feels like you are remembering but really you are just being reminded often.
So learn to use something. It doesn’t have to be fancy. But whatever you use find something that your brain naturally wants to work with. If you have to fight to use it you won’t stick to it or get much done if you are dragging your feet about using the tool.
Here are some of my favorite tools to plan things for different reasons.
Clever Fox Advanced Weekly Planner – Check It Out On Amazon
This planner doesn’t have hours marked which I love to use for time blocking. BUT I do love the layout because the planner has you choose your top three tasks for a different area of life. Which is great when you have very unpredictable days.
While time blocking is great sometimes you have outside influences who love to interrupt. Stopping the time you had planned to get said task done. So this planner helps you SEE what you need to get done and you just keep trucking down the list as you go.
Living Well Planner – Visit Website
This one is a very detailed planner that is perfect for people who might be feeling a little worn down and need almost a guided experience. I think the tools you need to use will change as your life situation changes.
I also wrote a full blog post about the living well planner which you can read here.
If you like digital here are a few options Trello is my go-to planning tool for digital because you can access it on all devices and while on the go. It also makes it easy to organize the tasks that you threw into a list last week because you were waiting in the check out trying not to roll your eyes are the chatty person in the line in front of you.
Timers Or Other Motivation Tools
If you are someone who is really competitive then giving yourself a set amount of time to do something will help you a lot.
Something else that is key to staying focused is time blocking. You can set a timer if you want but you might also need to use a planner that has the hours marked for each day like the Living Well Planner.
Using timers or a planner with time blocks is so powerful to help you see if what you are trying to get done in your day is even logical.
Don’t Drag Your Feet, Be A Big Girl
This section is tough love. But to get more done at home you have to just get at it. Don’t think about this chore as something you hate so much. Think about it as something that has to be done. So how can you make it as enjoyable as possible without being too distracted to yourself? (chough… like playing your favorite TV show)
Do Necessities First
This is HUGE! Sometimes it’s the important things and sometimes it’s urgent. The problem is I can’t tell you which is which for you. You have to be the one to decide in the moment.
If there is nothing that is pulling at me for the day I ask myself what would make my day feel accomplished if I got only these two or three things done. Then I start getting those things done. Make sense?
Make It Easy
Whatever you are trying to do. Whether it is getting more done in your day or a habit you are trying to start. Make it super easy to do your work, task, or habit.
If you are trying to start drinking more water, fill your water bottle the night before and sit it in the fridge.
If you are wanting to read your bible more, leave it on the coffee table. Not on the bookshelf. Even the littlest things will help
Set Your “Clock Out” Time
When it comes to work or even doing household chores. Choose your “off the clock” time. Now I realize when it comes to meals and such that might sound like a bit of work. But for everything else have your time to relax and have family time.
This helps keep you from being in work mode all the time. I have workaholic tendencies and if I didn’t give myself time off I never would take a break. It is productive but that sure isn’t healthy.
You are able to have time that basically gives your mind permission to relax so you’re not feeling like you should be working when you’re not working and the reverse is also true.
Common FAQs on how to get more done at home.
How to make my day 10 times more productive?
I am going to start with a question. Should you? There comes a point when you can be so obsessed with getting more done that you need to pump the breaks. I am all about getting more done but not at the expense of your health or family. Or your sanity if we are being honest.
There are times when you can push yourself so hard that you will lose your happiness or you will burn out. Build a life you want to live not one that is built around you checking items off a list.
Now with that said. Here is my shortlist of tips that will help you be more productive.
- Create a plan for every day down to the hour.
- Cut out things like TV and any other time wasters that will distract you from your goals.
- Use a planner that works well with your life and how your mind works.
- Get so clear on your goals that every step you take brings you one step closer to that goal.
- Get enough sleep. Yes getting up earlier will give you more time but if you are not mentally sharp. You will not be productive.
- Cut the foods that are bad for you like high in sugar and high levels of gluten and carbs.
- Take breaks from long tasks like writing or working on the computer.
How to start a productive day?
Personally, I don’t think your morning list should be too long. If you make your morning routine 28 steps long you won’t remember them all or stick to them. But if you chose 3-5 things you want to do every morning then you will be far happier with the results.
- Keep it simple.
- Sleep the amount of hours YOUR body needs. Not what other people say you need.
- Write your plan for the day in a planner or on a piece of paper.
- Brush your teeth, shower, and make yourself presentable. (the key here is to get your body out of the same state you where when you where sleeping)
Keep in mind that getting more done at home takes time. You have to train yourself to be watching and thinking about the next action you’re going to take. If you start to slip just correct it and keep moving. Don’t waste time beating yourself up or feeling bad.
When it comes to feeling like you have to do “all the things” or you’re a total failure. Remember you are the only one who knows what you planned to get done. No one else knows the 57 other things on your list that you didn’t check off.
Do what you can and if you did your best then you should sleep like a baby.