Monday, July 22, 2013

10 Tips for Getting a Million Things Done in One Day

I am frequently confronted with a million things to do in one day. Sure, I’m exaggerating, but the feeling of overwhelmedness is real and it might as well be a million things because there is nearly always more to-do’s on my to-do list than is humanly possible. Thankfully, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more efficient. Maybe I still don’t get a million things done in one day, but I spend less time wandering through the house muttering to myself and eat less chocolate in an attempt to calm my panicked soul. Below is my ever-changing advice for getting a million things done in a day.

1 Have a list/s. Keep lists handy of what MUST be done and what COULD be done. Update these regularly. Don’t let the tyranny of the urgent control your day. Focus.

2 If you can take care of something in less than a minute, do it now, don’t put it off. You know you won’t do it later and it will nag at your soul each time you see it. For instance – filing something, putting shoes away, depositing a dish in the dishwasher, hanging a coat in the closet.

3 Never go upstairs or downstairs empty-handed. Most of us have piles waiting to be put away on a different floor or our house – don’t travel so lightly.

4 Handle mail only once. File it, recycle it, respond to it, but don’t leave it lying on the counter clogging up the works.

5 Return messages when you get them. E-mail, text, phone. Don’t waste time trying to remember to get back to someone – do it now.

6 Do what needs to be done. You may not “feel” like doing it now, but odds are you won’t feel like doing it later. Get it done now instead of letting the guilt of not doing it burden you.

7 Bundle your errands. If possible save them all for the same day. Don’t run out for one thing – make do. Most likely you don’t NEED whatever item you’re longing for, so save it until it’s convenient and make do without it.

8 Don’t nag your kids. Post a list of what you need done and follow through on consequences of jobs not being done. Be very clear on the importance of their work. (HINT: you need serious consequences like no ride to wherever it is they want to go, shutting down the computer, etc.)

9 Get up when you wake up. Most of us (who aren’t teenagers) wake up with the sun, we glance at the clock and roll over to go back to sleep. Your body wakes when it is finished sleeping. The rest that follows is fitful and consumed by weird dreams. Get up and get moving when your body wakes up and you’ll discover hours of time you never knew you had.

10 Log on to e-mail, facebook, twitter, etc. only once (twice if you must) a day. It’s the biggest time-suck there is and you know it. 

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