How is your productivity progress? Are you getting ideas? Where did you start? Or maybe you haven’t had a chance yet. And that’s ok. I’m just excited you all are here and are willing to learn. Please go back and check out the first two posts (see below) and get started.
How To Be Productive At Home
1. Choose a habit to get the ball rolling.
2. Decipher which things need to get done every day.
3. Get out a calendar. What are things you have every week? For me, we have open gym for the kids on Mondays, a ministry team call on Tuesdays, Bible study on Wednesdays, and moms’ group on Thursdays once a month. Then I thought of all the other things on my to do list – writing, accounting, social media accounts, and the list literally goes on and on – and I divided them into categories. I came up with four: writing, ministry, cleaning, business. Each of them got a day. Monday – writing. Tuesday – ministry. Wednesday – cleaning. Thursday – business. I’ll even let you in on my reasons why I chose them.
Monday became writing day because I was tired of waking up on my blogging days thinking “O shoot, I’m already behind”. If I did it first thing in the week, it would be done for the whole week. I wouldn’t have to think about it or worry about it.
Tuesday became ministry day because I was already doing ministry stuff during and after the meeting. It only made sense to keep them together.
Wednesday…cleaning day. We’re all friends here so I’ll tell you that I made Wednesday cleaning day because I knew I would be short on time so I wouldn’t have to get it perfect. Or if I didn’t get to everything I would have a good excuse. Also, it’s the one night my husband always comes home on time and I thought he would notice. Yes, these were my motivators. Not all pure. But true, so I’m telling you.
Thursday was business day. I help my husband run a small business. Thursday was kind of the left over day, but it made sense because we get a lot of emails and I could act on them, where as if I did business stuff on Monday, I wouldn’t have any emails yet. Plus, my husband works on the business on Mondays and could give me jobs to do.
Friday I’m still working on. Week one, I called this free day and I immediately found myself doing nothing. Not relaxing, but wasting time and being distracted. Yuck. But it was confirmation that my plan was working so I carry on. I’m thinking do big projects on Fridays, like run errands, file and sort and shred stuff, do deeper cleaning of a specific room in the house, or work on getting the month’s birthday cards made, or our family year book done. This is probably what I’ll do.
Now your week probably doesn’t look like mine. So you probably want to know more about the motivation behind doing it this way. That’s fair. Let me start first though with why the other ways with the charts didn’t work for me.
I have a hard time changing my focus from one thing to the next. I’m already getting interrupted a million times by my kids. It splits my brain even more to do something for two minutes, get interrupted, then have to go back, but then think of something else, go do that, come back, and…. You know the drill. I would find these little pockets of time all through the day that would be useful but I would think “I can’t anything done in that time” because I knew I couldn’t get my brain fired up in that time. So I would waste it.
By giving everything a day, I changed how I thought about stuff. Instead of thinking “I have 30 minutes to do 5 different kinds of things” and trying to channel surf on my brain waves, I say “any time I have to sit at my computer today, I’m working on this one (kind of) thing. I will keep plugging away as long as I have time.”
And do you know what, it has made a HUGE difference. No more channel surfing. No more trying to remember when I started this or why I didn’t finish it. I just plow through the week.
Some suggestions for success with step #3:
-Keep a To Do List. I have one for each day, and a general one for the week. Sundays I sit down and transfer what I didn’t get done last week to this week’s to do list. I have a place for each kind of day (ministry work, business work, blog topics, etc) and then a general list. The general list I fit it when I can. Mostly I work while the kids are napping. But I can make phone calls while they eat lunch or are playing in their room or we go for a walk.
-Keep a good calendar. I’m still working on this one. But just because I have decided to bring more structure to my days doesn’t mean we don’t have playdates or go to the park. On the contrary, I think we do more of these and I still feel productive which really is an awesome feeling. But the calendar is important. It’s important to look at one place and say “yes this thing is reasonable with what I already have going on” or “no I cannot add one more thing to this day/week”. I am talking to myself as much as anyone on this. A calendar all in one place will help you with dinner prep too. If you look at a day and say “whoa, we have a lot” then it’s a good day for a slow cooker meal. If you look and say “that’s a nice light day” it’s a good day to try something new.
-Think about the size of your house when you plan cleaning day. I live in a 750 square foot home. I can clean it from end to end with kids under foot in about an hour. That’s vacuuming, toilets, floors, changing bedding, wiping sinks and mirrors, and picking up. If your house is bigger, try dividing it into two days. I’m not saying five minutes each day like the charts. I’m saying think upstairs one day and down stairs another day. Or four rooms one day, four rooms the next. But keep it simple. The minute you start splitting hairs over it, you won’t do it.
This one is a BIG step with lots to look at and figure out. Take some time to think this one over. I’d love to hear what are your new “days” for stuff! We’re all in this thing together!!
This post is part of a series. Click here to see the other posts.