10 Simple Ways to Get More Done Every Day
I’ve heard moms around me say it and I know I’ve said it plenty of times: there aren’t enough hours in the day. Typical mom life. Of course, it doesn’t matter how many hours make up a day if you aren’t using them to accomplish your goals.
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We can all get sidetracked, distracted, and delayed. Some days, it seems like the world is purposely throwing hurdles in my way to test my focus and slow me down. I combat days like those with this list of tried and true methods for getting more done every day. Stop drowning in mom life and get stuff done!
1. Establish Real and Specific Goals
You have to know what you’re trying to accomplish! Take a moment to think about what your immediate goals are– for the day, the week– and then consider your larger, long-term goals. Looking too far ahead can be daunting, and you don’t want to end up mentally putting things off, so think about a 6-month goal instead of a 6-year goal.
One you identify what you want to get done, it’s time to figure out what needs to get done– and in what order. Divide your goals into two categories:
1. Goals that are important to you
2. Goals that are important to your business
List #1 would be your personal, lifestyle priorities, such as spending time with your kids. These are the things you want to accomplish to keep you sane, happy, and healthy. They are what matter to you most emotionally.
List #2 might be sitting down to go over finances, meeting with a distributor, or any of the other tasks that you need to make time for this week or this month in order to keep your business on track.
Both lists are important!
3. Set Deadlines
You need deadlines to make sure these priorities don’t fall by the wayside.
Determine a limit for how much time you can spend on each task, or a day that they absolutely must be completed by. You can base this off a client’s actual deadlines, or use your priorities list to remind you of what you would like to come first. But remember, this also means you will need to hold yourself accountable!
4. Create a Checklist of Things That Need to Get Done
I’m a very visual person, so I find that nothing helps me more than to actually see what I need to finish each day. Before I dive into anything else, I write a numbered checklist of tasks on notebook paper and tape it to the wall above my computer in my workspace. Instead of getting overwhelmed by how much needs to get done, I focus on one number at a time, going down the list.
Crossing items off gives a sense of accomplishment that motivates me to get to the end of my list. Be realistic with how much you can get done, and confine the list to only the most pertinent tasks for today and today only. Then add one more to challenge yourself!
5... And Go!
Set a timer as you begin an item on your checklist. Did you know that not only is there a timer on your phone but if you Google "Timer" one will pop up that you can set. Just like that. Set it for 20 minutes and tackle one thing on your list. You’ll want to work faster knowing that you are “on the clock,” and seeing your results will help you plan more efficiently for the days to come. It’s easy for me to say that I can draw up a proposal in an hour, but my estimations don’t include getting interrupted by my children for snack time and look-how-dusty-my-keyboard-is time. Most cell phones have an easy-to-use stopwatch timer built in. Turn that on and get going. See how long things actually take you so you’re aware of how much you can actually accomplish in a day.
6. Turn Off the TV
My life changed when I stopped watching cr*p tv. Long gone are the days hours watching people fight with each other endlessly. (Instead, I just read about them from my favorite funny comedian Katy Casey @ Love & Knuckles!)
Anyway, speaking of distractions, watching television is a good way to zap your time and focus. When you’ve got a full list of tasks to complete and goals to meet, watching TV will likely only get in the way. Save TV time for when you need a break from beating so many deadlines. DVR was made for busy people like us who need TV shows to run on our time, not primetime, and Netflix will wait.
7. Involve Your Family
Recruit the little ones to help in more ways than one:
- Let them hold you accountable for deadlines. Are you following through with the rules you set for yourself? We can negotiate with ourselves to get out of things, but it’s not so easy to cheat deadlines when you’ve asked your 8-year-old to oversee your completion of checklist #1-5 by dinnertime.
- Complete tasks. You’re not the only one who can empty the dishwasher or fold the laundry! Delegating can be family time too, right?
- Keep you on track. Let your family know that you are in grind mode and should not be disturbed for the little things if they can help it! Essentially: “Please don’t ask me to watch a movie with you tonight! Help me keep my deadlines!”
8. Wake Up Early - YES I MEAN THAT
I get some of my best, most efficient work done when I push myself to wake up early. It’s quieter in my house (and the world in general) which is half the battle of staying focused. It also gives me more hours in the day. Yes! Conundrum solved.
Meditation is like the WB-40 of getting more done every day. Try meditating to figure out your goals and priorities. Download some guided meditations. It's no secret this meditation is my favorite. A meditation session at the beginning of your day can help you enter into the focused mindset you need by helping you set your intentions and concentrate your energy.
You will feel unbelievable after you finish meditating and that there is nothing that can stop you!!
You can try it by sitting in silence in a cool, dark room, or letting a Youtube video lead you through the process. There are different types of meditation, depending on what you need help with that day: concentration and focus, relaxation, anxiety relief, falling asleep, or even learning to trust your intuition.
10. Celebrate Successes– Even the Small Ones!
It feels good to get things done, and sometimes you just need to take a minute and really feel the accomplishment. Just as you give yourself deadlines, plan out ways to treat yourself when you reach certain checkpoints. These little celebrations are something to look forward to– besides being successful– and reminders that you can, and should, be having fun along the way!