Have you ever asked yourself how you can get more done in a day or how you can be more productive?
If you don’t know this about me yet, my husband and I do a weekly podcast called Fools in Love. I mention this because, along with the blog and my full time job (and being a wife and mom), it adds a few things to my plate.
For the podcast alone, we have to come up with episode ideas, write a basic outline of the episodes, find people to interview and then set aside time to record with them…and oh yeah, we do a weekly Live on the @foolsinlovepodcast IG and FB page. (It’s Wednesday nights at 8:30 EST…you should come hang out with us!)
ANYWAY. When you add that in to creating blog content, it can seem almost impossible to find the time to do anything. And we’re talking about it today because even if you don’t blog or podcast or work 8-5…it doesn’t matter. We ALL wish we had more time.
I have blogged before about the merits of waking up early (you can find that post HERE), so it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of getting up early. Ok, scratch that. I HATE getting up early. But I do it because I LOVE how it makes me feel. Does that make sense? In fact….let’s get this post rollin’ and we’ll call this one #1.
- Wake up early
It’s all over social media, I know, but that’s because it works. I’m less stressed and more accomplished when I wake up an hour before my kids. I’m such a fan now that on the rare occasion I do sleep in, I find myself wishing I had just gotten up at my normal time (5 am). And side note: even if I didn’t have kids, I’d still be doing this because it just gives me so much time to Get. Things. Done.
- Make a list
I’m a list maker. Sometimes I like to make lists and include something super easy that’s almost done anyway, just so I can cross it off. But I used to make a realllly big error in the world of list making. I used to make a big ol’ list of like, 17 things I needed to get done. It took me years to figure this out, but I finally have: those lists don’t work!!!! Seeing a bunch of items that I can never, ever get done in one day made me LESS productive, because I spent so much time worrying about the stinking list! So, now I do what actually helps: I write my lists with 2-5 things on them, and many times even just 2-3 things. And then I feel good and even more motivated when I see those things get crossed off.
Sounds counter-intuitive, right? Because of the demands of what Brandon and I are working on right now, we have to be careful to not overdo it. So when we write out our weekly schedule, we schedule in nights to RELAX. We tend to pick Thursday or Friday nights to keep the computer off and instead spend time together, even if that just means watching TV after the kids are in bed. Because we build in down time to our schedule, we are able to use the work time to the fullest, knowing we’ll soon have time to chill. Also, we ALWAYS make sure to stop working by 9:30 pm at the very latest. We usually shoot for 8:30-9 as a stopping time.
- Include your kids
Obviously, for some things, this will never work. I can’t write a blog post with a kid on my lap. But I can choose to get exercise in by taking a walk with the kids or playing tag in the yard. I can start dinner while the kids “help” or sit nearby at the table and color.
- Decide what matters
So, kind of along the lines of making a list, but still important: deciding each day what the overall goal or plan is. And then learning to be okay with everything else not getting done. How does this help you get more done? Because when you know the main goal, you know exactly where to put your time and you STOP wasting it!! If I know it’s a night where I need to blog, for instance, then I know that I won’t be spending time cleaning up. On a running night, I know that I’ll have less time for making dinner and playing with the kids, so I need to either meal prep, choose an easy meal on that night, or plan for that to be a grilling night (which B handles!). Each day may bring a different main objective for me, but knowing ahead of time what I must accomplish helps me focus every extra moment on that thing.
There you have it! These are literally the things I have incorporated into my life to make sure that I am making the time for my family, my work, and my side hustles. What’s your secret to getting stuff done??