Time is precious, and it’s often scarce. Busy moms are accustomed to juggling work and home, and keeping everything running smoothly. But at what cost? We work hard all day, collapse into a tired heap at night, only to get up and do it all again the next day. Break the cycle with these smart tips to cut the jobs you hate and spend more time doing what you love.
1. Organize And Prioritize
Make a list of all the tasks you complete in a day. Include everything, even the small things like opening post, taking out the garbage, waiting for deliveries, etc. Highlight the tasks that are the most important and get rid of anything that isn’t important. A good way to determine whether a task is important or not is to work out what you’ll be doing five years from now and whether this will make a difference. You’ll be surprised at the things you can ditch.
2. Optimize Your Productivity
Optimize what you can do in a day by keeping healthy. Eat well, drink enough water, exercise, and get enough sleep each night. If these four things are out of balance, it’s likely you’re feeling tired and sluggish, making any tasks take longer.
3. Invest In The Right Tools
Don’t skimp on your household tools. When you purchase a vacuum cleaner, you’re buying more than just a machine. If you choose well and purchase an efficient model, you’re buying time. Even if you save just ten minutes each time you vacuum, over the course of a year this could amount to around twenty-six hours; more than a day. The same is true of cleaning products. Opt for efficient natural products that cut through grease and grime and are safe for the whole family. Sites like www.CleanHappens.com have a good range.
4. The 2-Minute Rule
If a task takes two minutes or less, do it there and then. This is relevant for home and work situations. For example, dashing off a quick email or opening and filing the post. If you put it off until later, you’ll have to make a note of it, remember it, and then complete it, which is likely to take 5 minutes or more. So do those tiny tasks now, get them out of the way, and save yourself some time.
5. Keep A To-Do List
Keep a running to-do list for work and home. Keep it up-to-date and cross items off as you go. This will help clear your mind and ensure things are not forgotten.
If you don’t do this already, it looks like we’re adding things to list rather than taking them away. However, meditating each day is great for productivity. It promotes a calm, peaceful mind and helps with focus and clarity. Therefore, it helps boost productivity and helps your overall well-being at the same time. Even ten minutes a day will produce results. Sites like www.headspace.com demonstrate simple techniques.
7. Cut Your Apps And Tools
In a digitized world, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that new apps will get the job done quicker. This might be true, but if you have too many of them, you’ll spend more time accessing and managing them. Cut your online tools and apps down to a minimum and only use what is useful and saves you time.
8. Turn Your Phone Off
How many times do you access your phone each day to check email, texts, social media, WhatsApp, etc.? If you had a running total, you would be horrified at the minutes (or longer) you waste each day. The best way to deal with this is to unplug completely, even if it’s just for half an hour a day.
When working on a task, whether at home or work, give it your undivided attention. Get rid of distractions such as your phone, social media feeds, and email. Work only on your current project. You’ll be surprised how much quicker you work without the distractions.
10. Time Yourself
For all those jobs you hate, such as accounts, cleaning, etc. set yourself a specific amount of time to work on it. It could be as little as ten minutes. Pretty much any task is palatable when you only have to work at it for a short period of time. Using this method you can chip away at larger projects bit by bit. And what often happens is that you spend more than the allocated amount of time as you get into a flow.
11. Schedule Emails
There’s a temptation to read and action emails as soon as they come in, regardless of what else you’re doing at the time. This is counterproductive and will make you lose your focus. It also wastes time if you’re constantly checking and reading. Schedule times each day when you check emails and switch off your inbox for the rest of the time. Unless it’s a necessary part of your job, don’t check emails at all in the evening. Establish a cut-off point and stick to it. There’s no point in mulling over messages that you have no intention of replying to until the next day. It only results in keeping your mind on work and can contribute to stress.
12. Say No More Often
If you’re the person everyone comes to when they have a problem or need something doing, start saying no. This doesn’t mean you can’t be helpful and caring. It just means that you’re putting your own oxygen mask on first. Establishing healthy barriers will help you focus on your own work, without taking on additional tasks. It’s not easy to do this in the beginning, but it does get easier.
You don’t have to do everything yourself. Getting other people to help will boost productivity. This doesn’t just apply to the office; it applies to your home life too. Get the kids to put away their own toys and give them responsibility for certain tasks.
14. Save Time In The Kitchen
There are lots of ways you can save time spent in the kitchen. Cut cooking times by making twice as much and freezing half of it. It may initially take a little longer to chop and bake, etc. but the next time you serve this meal, all you will have to do is defrost it and heat it up.
And with all this time saved, it will create more time to spend with the people you love, doing the things you enjoy.