My Top 5 Productivity Hacks
It's a constant rat race in this neck of the woods (always makes me think of Al Roker), whether it's kids, work, activities, school or just the general "keeping up" that fills our days. I struggle to find balance (can I get an amen!) and some days (especially that this point of my pregnancy) I just want to lay down. If I could fold laundry horizontally, our laundry would be on point. However, I have found a few other ways to keep my productivity up, and I figured I'd share them with you. Disclaimer: meal planning is not involved. ;)
1. EMAILS: I'm not sure if you can relate, but I get so many junk emails. Not like spam, but like 7 Old Navy sales, 15 blogs, and probably 37 Alaska Airlines messages in an hour. Seriously though, it makes checking email such a chore. SO... I started unsubscribing to 5 a day, and guess what! It really simplifies things. It makes checking emails & responding a much more streamlined process, keeps me focused (because who can pass up 40% at the Gap, especially when you need nothing) and only took me a couple weeks to weed out all the unwanted emails. I no longer have to spend 20 minutes of my day sorting and deleting email, and I know if I have 40 emails, it's all relevant. A quick fix that really pays off!
2. ONE THING: I think I've talked about this before, but it's SO important. I have a to-do list that I keep on my desk, but I make sure to pinpoint my "one thing" for the day that is an absolute. If I do anything productive with my day, it has to start there. Once I finish that task (whether it's finishing up a project for a client, changing a lightbulb in the hallway or putting something in the mail), everything on top of that is a bonus. Prioritize to be productive!
3. AUTOMATE: We started paying bills automatically a few years ago and it's totally changed my life. It's one less (or 15 less!) thing to handle and keeps me out of trouble more often than not! We have most of ours set up through bill pay, but there are various ways to do so. I highly recommend this as it saves me so much time and brain damage! We try to automate as much as possible...things like diaper delivery (hello Parasol! 20% off with this link!), hair bow delivery (my favorite auto-delivery!), and scheduled tithing, saving ect makes these tasks virtually invisible. Which means more time for things like online shopping, bachelorette watching and wine drinking. Need I say more?!
4. OUTSOURCE: This has been huge for us and something that we are willing to make sacrifices for every month! We have very busy schedules (as does everyone!) and outsourcing things like house cleaning, order packaging, yard work, seasonal treatments and even simple house projects like painting can be worth hiring out for. A housecleaner has changed my life, and everyone I know who has one says the SAME thing! It's such a relief and well worth every penny we pay! Consider what takes a lot of your time, whether or not you love doing it or it's a chore and what kind of sacrifices you have to make in order to hire someone to do it for you. Once broken down, it might just be worth it! Often times, time is money!
5. RUNNING LIST: I picked up this one from the ever so wise Shay Shull! I keep a running list of house updates/projects/cleaning and try to check things off the list whenever I have a few minutes. Something as simple as "vaccuum bedframe" or as time consuming "organize linen closet" can get put on the list and it keeps me from forgetting what I need to do, but releases me from the burden of thinking I need to do it when I see it. It's easy to get distracted when you're running around the house (especially spring cleaning!) so keeping a list lets me focus on one task before moving on to the next. Currently on our list: Dust top of entry way door, Organize master storage closet, new dining room chandelier, go through clothes (collin & kendra), and touch up paint in master bedroom. Totally random things, but a little guidance goes a long way!
These are a few of my productivity hacks, things that keep me moving and help me to not let things go completely upside down! Ultimately, you can't do it all and you do have to pick what you're focusing on what what you're letting go of. Having 3 kids has forced me to let go a little bit, release control of some things that used to be really important to me (no dishes in the sink, yeah right!) and really focus on what's important!
If you have any of your own productivity hacks, please share them! I'm always looking for more!