Become a Planner and List Maker to Improve Productivity
Research shows writing down your goals makes you much more likely to achieve them.
Likewise, creating a written plan for anything – and breaking it down into bite-size chunks that are more manageable – helps you improve productivity and be more efficient.
Create a Plan for Cleaning—Every Day?
Assign housecleaning roles & responsibilities (just like work “roles”) for each family member, that are age appropriate. Then, break each activity down into five parts (M-F), that should take about 5 minutes a day. The goal is for each family member to have no more than 30 minutes of “house work” per night.
Next, take this plan and turn it into a chart you put on a whiteboard, chalkboard, or even just a piece of paper stuck to the refrigerator with a magnet. Each night, the family member signs off on their required tasks. By the weekend, you should be able to just enjoy your time without worrying about catching up on cleaning.
Make a Priority Plan for Each Week & Stick to It
Do you have a problem with procrastination? When you get that under control, you will be surprised at how much time you “find.” Often, when we procrastinate, we not only don’t get done what we intended – and need – to do, we get behind. Furthermore, it seems like the more we try NOT to procrastinate, the worse we procrastinate until we find even the prospect of catching up overwhelming.
Put an end to procrastination through prioritization.
Develop a master list of important goals for the week. From there, break them down into daily tasks that allow you to meet the goals by the end of the week. Next, create three lists every morning. These will be “Must Do,” “Should Do,” and “Nice to Do.”
Make yourself do those things on the “Must Do” list first, before working on the “Should Do” list. Finally, move on to some of the fun things.
You’ll work faster and more efficiently on the vital tasks if you know you must get them done before moving on to the things you want to do. Of course, you’ll find you don’t always get around to the “Nice to Do” list. Yet, you will be more productive and your “Nice to Do” items can always shift to the weekend without resentment. Whereas, if you need to do the “Must Do” things then, it won’t be much fun at all.
Plan Weekly Meals Ahead of Time and Shop One Day a Week
Believe it or not, I still have friends who grocery shop every day—or nearly every day. Can you believe it? Of course, you can! It might even be you. I know it has been me—probably too often! However, this is not only a major productivity buster; it can be frustrating, irritating, and overwhelming.
Time to cut out this bad habit right away! To make meal planning and grocery shopping much more efficient, figure it out in advance and get shopping done one day a week, ideally on Sundays after lunch, when you are relaxed and not starving.
To help, check out http://www.thescramble.com/. It’s awesome! Answer a few questions, and they give you five healthy meal recipes for the week. You can accept them as-is, or add personal modifications. Then, they'll create a complete grocery shopping list – for all the recipes – so you can knock out your shopping for the week at once, quickly and easily.
Plan a Month’s Worth of “Fun Time” to Make Sure It Happens!
With all this “planning,” you might think there will be no time left for fun. However, that’s not the case. When the “other stuff” gets done efficiently and thoroughly, it leaves you more (or at least some) time for doing the things that refresh your mind, heart, and soul. You just make them a priority – and plan for them – too!
Come up with at least four family activities for the month. Look in the newspaper or city magazine to see what’s happening that might be enjoyable for everyone and decide what you want to do. Then, add it to your schedule. Plan the details of who, what, where, and when and add it to the calendar. Make those four group outings a “Must Do” because spending focused time with your loved ones should be a priority too.
And don’t worry – you’re not taking the fun out of these outings or activities by planning. While you ARE mapping out the details to make sure your time together happens, when it does, you can be flexible with exactly how the plan gets carried out - still being spontaneous and going with the flow a bit too. On the other hand, with all your responsibilities handled and out of the way – courtesy of your new planning efforts – you’ll find you get to enjoy your “spare time” activities more as well!