“I’m just so busy!”
How often do you hear that from friends or colleagues? How often do you say it when explaining why you didn’t complete a task or why you can’t make something a reality? Be honest with yourself.
Yes, life is busy–for everyone. We all have 24 hours in a day and we are all busy in those hours. Unfortunately, nobody ever gained any more time by focusing on the fact that she was busy. One actually loses time by stressing about how much there is to be done. Taking action over your time is the key to living a life that is manageable and dare I say, calm(er).
Know What Stuff Needs to be Done
Have a nighttime routine that you utilize to make sure tasks are prioritized for the day ahead. It can be as simple as keeping a notepad by your bed on which you write your tasks for tomorrow.
Be Realistic about What Can Be Done
Marking your planner to “paint the boys’ bedroom” tomorrow from 2-3 pm might not be realistic. Instead, break down tasks as much as possible so that you can realistically cover what you need to accomplish. For example: write “Clean walls of boys bedroom and tape off (then lock the door to keep said boys from taking off all the tape)” from 2-3 pm. If you get that done tomorrow, the next day might look like “Spackle walls and cut in first coat of paint”. The worst thing that can happen when we under-plan is that we end up accomplishing more than anticipated. That’s a big WAHOO in my book!
Avoid Distractions and Get Stuff Done
Try the practice of a Pre-dawn Power Hour when there are no kids or colleagues to distract you. Prioritize must-do tasks during this time.
During your GET STUFF DONE hour, put your phone in airplane mode or turn off notifications or ringer so that others do not distract you.
Schedule a Time to Get Stuff Done
I cannot remember a time when I needed to get something important accomplished and an all powerful voice called out “Hey Lee, I just stopped the time continuum and have given you two bonus hours to do your work while the rest of the world remains frozen!”. I alone have to
make set aside time for what is important. Hence why I schedule just about everything that is crucial to me: quality time with my kids, date nights with my husband, exercise time, blog writing time, time for side projects, time for house projects, time to plan, etc. ALL of it goes into my calendar. And I do my very best to respect the time I have scheduled for these relationships and tasks.
If you’re at home with napping children, calendar in an hour (or two half hours, depending on your needs) when babies are sleeping to accomplish your top priorities. Use your phone (with a pop up reminder!!!) to create a calendar event at the same time every day that says “GET STUFF DONE hour”. If you use a paper calendar, then you’ll direct yourself to that and do what you need to do.
Get Stuff Done Time is Sacred
Do not let others interrupt you–outside of true emergencies.
Stay OFF of your phone. This was already mentioned, but as a phone addict myself, if it’s near me, it will end up in my hands–resulting in less stuff done.
Do not feel guilty about taking this time for yourself. If you don’t give yourself this time now, you’re almost sure to end up failing someone later because you didn’t get what you needed to done.
Be Accountable for Getting Stuff Done
For challenging or tasks that you keep putting off, break down the job and ask a friend or partner to check in with you on a certain date to ensure it gets done. You could even involve money or a favor, but I suppose it depends on how badly you’re avoiding something…
Have the Energy to Get Stuff Done
Feed and hydrate yourself properly.
Take a 5-15 minute walk right at the start of your Get Stuff Done time to allow your mind to transition to a calmer space. If you have kids around you, just pop them on their bikes, in a stroller, or let them play in the yard while you walk laps. I know… You’ll look completely insane walking loops around your house!
Play and self care help us to stay motivated and happy. If you find you’re not finding time to have fun, perhaps even FUN should be scheduled into your days. Seriously, even a quarter of an hour of fun can reset and recharge you for the less-fun stuff.
Stop Being Busy and Start Getting Stuff Done
When you look at people who seem to get things done or people who lead lives like the one you may wish your own resembled, ask yourself if they frequently say “I am so busy!”… Decide today, will you continue to be busy or will you start being productive?
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