Sometimes it’s hard to get back into our new schedules and being productive again.
Here are some tips that I hope will help!
1. Prepare mentally. You will be more effective with some forethought. The night before your week starts or on your morning commute, begin to picture the day and what you need to do to get it started. Planning is the key to being more organized and that can mean large or small elements. So, lay out your purse, keys, phone, etc. the night before. Make your lunch (or lunches for others) and set out breakfast items. Ask yourself what would make your attitude better the next morning? A run through the park first or a good breakfast or just some time to read. Stay positive and you will accomplish so much more.
2. Do the hardest things first. This means, whatever task is the hardest one for you, get it over with first. This is a great cure for procrastination! Once you get it out of the way, you are protecting your whole to-do list for the day. This one principle really helped me when I was a stay-at-home mom. I tried to get all my chores done before nap time. Then, at nap time I could rest or do projects and then I was available for the girls the rest of the day. I also worked at night after they were asleep so that I was ‘present’ for them during the day.
3. Work quickly. I like to hear the news when I’m in the kitchen but if I turn off the TV, I can get through my work in half the time. So, find out what makes you work more slowly and get rid of it. The time you save can be then used for so many wonderful parts of our lives: God, family, hobbies, etc.!
4. Zero in on the most important. No matter how long your to-do list is, make sure you work on the 1-3 most important items on it. Otherwise, you may waste time on things that aren’t as important. For a stay-at-home mom, I would say making sure the family has healthy meals for the day would be a top priority. You may prefer going to the park rather than the grocery store, but by the end of the day, they are still going to need to eat!
5. Watch the e-mail trap. Set times for checking your email or you could be looking at them all day. Only about 30% require an immediate response. Delete any mail that isn’t important immediately; put into files those you need to look at later and then work on the immediate ones. Another trap is looking at buying sites and ones like Pinterest. These are fun but is now the time to look at them?
6. Stay focused and don’t interrupt yourself. In other words, when you are working at your desk or in your house and a thought comes to your mind as “what’s going on in Facebook”, don’t stop your work. Making appointments, texting friends, placing online orders, making phone calls are all things we think we need to do but…they can wait. Keep on task, finish and then go to the next item. I have to keep a written list by my computer of things I need to do as they pop into my head. That way, when I’m finished working, I can then get to them and haven’t forgotten them.
Manna from Heaven
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16