One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

INSIGHTS

5 Tips to Get More Done in a Day

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One of the Most Common Questions I get — especially on Sensational Sunday Posts — is how am I able to get so much done in a day.

Just this week MO asked,

…How do you do everything that you do in one day?

And Amy said,

How much do you actually plan out your Sundays? You always seem to get so much done that I wonder if you make a list or just let things happen.

I guess it’s time to share my secrets.

I invented a device that slows down time.

Really!

I did!

And I use it every Sunday.

It’s called a…

CAMERA – Catch All Moments Everyday Regardless of Activity.

This CAMERA slows time by making you stop and acknowledge what you are doing when you are doing it. It also has this amazing power that lets you peer back in time and reminisce moments you experienced during the day. All this leads to a sense of accomplishment and gratitude giving you motivation to wake up the next day and start all over again.

I’m sorry. I’m not sure where all that came from. I was trying to be clever, but honestly, I’m only partially joking. If you’ve seen my Sunday posts you know I take a lot of photos of some pretty mundane things:

laundry,

eating,

cooking,

playing a board game.

I do this to not only communicate what we did that day, but to try to express that it is the little things that matter in life, at least in my opinion. I’m sure if you took a moment to take a quick photo of everything you did in a 24 hour period you’d be quite surprised at what you actually accomplished.

Sundays have become a special day in my house. I literally grab the camera and document everything we do specifically for my posts. We also consciously try to do more to prepare for the week and reenergize the family. So, in all fairness you are only seeing a tiny slice of my life on a day that I specifically set out to accomplish as much as possible.

All of that being said I thought I’d still take a moment to share my overall thoughts on getting more done. If you haven’t read, Ask Roni: How I Stay “Organized” HA! take a moment. It will give you a bit of insight into my overall philosophy that I think actually helps me accomplish more. Go ahead, click here the tips below will still be here when you get back.

OK, back? On to 5 Easy Ways I Get More Done in a Day

Wake Up Earlier

OK, this is a no brainer but I’m going to assume there actually are other people in the world like my husband. He can easily sleep until noon on Sunday, then around 4PM he almost always says something like, "Wow it’s so late! Where did the time go?"

Really? I’m been up since 6 AM, ran, made breakfast for the kids, cleaned up the living room, paid some bills, put kid #2 to nap, played cards with kid #1, responded to emails, started the laundry and ate lunch all while you were sleeping. Of COURSE I get more done in a day than you. Geesh!

Do NOT Turn on the TV

I’m not anti-TV. Really, I’m not! Actually if you follow me on twitter you KNOW. All I do is talk about Revenge and Once Upon a Time, oh! and The River! I watch Food Network more than anyone else I know, and I can’t fall asleep unless the Science Channel is on in the background.

I like me some TV BUT I rarely turn it on in the morning and if I do, those are always the days I accomplish a heck of a lot less. There’s just something about the background TV noise that makes me less productive and slow.

This counts for kids shows too. Cartoons are just as big of a time suck as the morning news. Shut it all off or don’t turn it on in the first place. Start your day with the radio or nothing at all! Getting something accomplished first thing sets the tone of the day. Watching the news does nothing but put you in passive mode.

Involve Everyone in Everything

You can argue that kids slow you down but if you think of it as killing 3 birds with one stone, you get more accomplished with them then without them. Yes, I said 3.

I’ll use our laundry adventures as an example. Every weekend we do the laundry. I could let Little Guy watch TV while I sorted and started. Instead we do it together while trying to make it fun in the process.

Now instead of getting the laundry done, I’m getting the laundry done, spending time with my son and teaching him that chores are a part of life.

3 Birds – 1 Stone.

I could also do all the folding in the basement while the husband watched the kids up stairs. Instead I bring the laundry up and we fold it in the living room together while watching TV and spending time together as a family. Again, instead of getting the laundry folded, I’m getting the laundry folded, spending time with my husband/family and watching TV.

3 Birds – 1 Stone

I do this with everything from emptying the dishwasher to making dinner to cleaning the bathrooms. Sure, there are some times I just focus and get something done alone but more often than not, I involved the family somehow. Recently, it was assembling a stroller. Now that was funny. lol Click here to see the story.

Make Plans but Be Flexible

So Amy asked above if I make plans or just let things happen and it’s a little bit of both. I always go into a weekend with few goals and activities in mind but then I play it by ear. I find this approach works best for me because if I over-plan, then without fail something will happen throwing us (me) off schedule. Then everything is "ruined," I get depressed, sit on the couch and do nothing.

It’s happened.

Instead, I say to myself…

"Boy, it would be nice to go rock wall climbing on Sunday or if it’s nice out we’ll take the kids to the park. I’d love to get a run in too. Maybe we can grab dinner out or I can make sauce in the morning and we’ll have pasta."

So I give myself options and if something doesn’t workout I have something else to fall back on without feeling like I failed or the day was ruined. This helps me stay positive and motivated which helps me get more done by the end of the day.

Disconnect

You may not believe this but I’m a bad phone person. The husband often asks me why I even bother having one at all. It’s true. I disrespect my phone.

I do it on purpose.

I know myself and I know how easily I can get caught up in whats happening online, on my blogs or in my inbox so I purposely "forget" my phone or shut it off or let the battery run out. I’m sure there’s a HUGE percentage of you nodding your head in disbelief saying something like, "I can’t live without my phone." or "I could never do that." or "I need it for emergencies."

Blah blah blah

You don’t need it, you WANT it and there’s nothing wrong with that but don’t tell me you can’t get anything done during the day if you are constantly checking email or texting or doing whatever.

Step away from outside distractions a few times a week and focus on something. Really focus and you may be surprised how much you can actually get done.



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I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 23 comments so far.

    Elaine

    February 9, 2012

    This is such a good post, Roni! I loved some more insight in to your life. The biggest one I struggle with is getting up early. I know that I always feel so much better when I do get out of bed early, but just making the effort to do it is sooo hard! We’ve tried (with success) one weekend day to get up early and one weekend day to sleep in. I also find it’s easier to get up if I have an appointment I have to go to, as opposed to just getting up for the sake of it.

    Mindy

    February 9, 2012

    Great post! I couldn’t agree with it more. I love the idea of getting the whole family involved. I am going to start that now while my son is super young. It seems things change when you have a kid, everyday tasks become opportunities to share :)

    Mo

    February 9, 2012

    Roni – thanks for the follow up on that. There are days I get together with my sister and she is amazed that I have cleaned the house, done the laundry, paid some pills, made a casserole, cooked some chicken and fish for the week, got in my workout and organized the garage all before the crack of noon. I love the idea of taking the pictures, should be doing that more, especially when I have my son on the weekends (which is limited with custody). You have so many great memories of the time you have with your kids – and I know you adore those moments!!!

    Keep Smiling – have a great week!!!

    MO

    Amazing post! All of it so true. Love your camera acronym. I realized recently that I really accomplish a lot more than I give myself credit for. Last weekend I was bemoaning that it was already Sunday and I had accomplished so little that week! I was down on myself that the house had been somewhat messy most of the week. When I really thought about it, though, I realized that I had worked 40+ hours, listened to an entire audiobook while commuting, worked out 6 times, tried 4 new recipes, photographed them all for the blog (including my first foodgawker worthy photo), written 4 blog posts, done 4 loads of laundry, cleaned the house, paid bills, gone bowling with friends, attended two church services, and so on. What!? And I thought I accomplished nothing? I just need to stop and realize what I had accomplished and give myself credit for the little and routine things. I couldn’t agree more about the less TV thing. My household doesn’t have TV, and we’ve never looked back. I do occasionally wash something on Hulu, but it’s not a daily thing.

    Melisa @ Achieving Equilibrium

    February 10, 2012

    Thanks for all the tips! I’m guilty of the not getting up early enough – need to work on that. I find the same thing with the TV – if it’s on I’m distracted and accomplish a LOT less. Hope you have a great (and productive!) weekend :)

    Ana

    February 10, 2012

    I think I will be practicing your 5 points!!! They are easy and fun!!! Thank you!!!

    You are so right. I guess if I took a pic of everything I did in a day it would resemble your post (well, sans kids!) Great tips! Have a great weekend!

    Kathleen

    February 10, 2012

    These all make sense and are very doable. Thanks Roni! I still think you are extra productive on top of the things you’ve explained… I suppose a 6th that kind of wraps up all you’ve said.. is get started. I think once you start accomplishing things.. you do get on a roll and don’t get sucked into any time wasters. Great reminders!

    BigTickles

    February 10, 2012

    Great tips. I got 3 able bodied boys so who can pitch in more – he he.

    On another note, when I tried coming to your site today it said resource limit reached. Not sure if you are aware of that error showing up. I just waited a minute and refreshed and then it loaded.

    Toodles!

    cheryl

    February 12, 2012

    I always kinda laugh when I read these “I get so much done during the day” pat-yourself-on-the-back posts written by women who don’t work outside the house. I have done dozens of marathons, hundreds of triathlons and many century rides, open water swims, two Ironmans all while being a single mom with a teaching career. Oh, and attended school somewhere in there too to get my second master’s degree. I can’t think of anything easier than being able to stay at home with my kids and cooking healthy meals and blogging…not so difficult. I was running around so much I never had time to gain weight to have to LOSE it, that’s for sure!

    cheryl

    February 12, 2012

    I forgot that I also coached elementary kids cross-country for seven years. oops!

    roni

    February 12, 2012

    Cheryl – I’m not so why you have to be so hostile and turn this into a stay at home vs work outside of home issue. My Sunday posts are not meant to be a pat on the back they are meant to celebrate my family and inspire others to get up, get out and do things themselves.

    For the record, I worked outside of the home while training for a marathon and moving. Now, I organize and host a conference I have paying clients and yes, I blog which is my job. I now CHOOSE to stay at home because I want to and I’m lucky enough to WORK for myself.

    I always kinda have to laugh at comments like yours. I can only assume you stumbled across my post not being a regular reader and then feel the need to leave a mean spirited comment thinking you know me and my situation.

    If I’m wrong please correct me. If I’m not then please don’t bother to stop by again. I simply answered a question that was posed to me on my blog where I inspire and motivate others to reach their goals.

    roni

    February 12, 2012

    Oh and I’m the one patting myself on the back? ummm ok.

    Missy

    February 12, 2012

    Hey Cheryl…. You are SO AWESOME! Good for you. Now buh-bye… *rolling my eyes*
    GO RONI! You motivate me every Sunday to get my butt in gear cause I want to try to get more done than you, lol… how’s THAT for a healthy competition?

    Dana

    February 12, 2012

    @Cheryl – I think today that many of us wear many hats (mother, sister, wife, daughter, student, and on and on). Kudos to you for your accomplishments.

    One of Roni’s many hats is that of blogger. I don’t know Roni but have followed her blogs/websites for about 6 years. I just commented on Roni’s blog a few days ago about how I like it that she is ‘real’.

    Based on your comments, I don’t think you are a regular follower or you would know that there are days Roni posts about not having enough hours in a day to accomplish everything. I enjoy Roni blogging on not just food and weight loss but also life.

    Kim

    February 12, 2012

    Roni- I do work outside of the home and have one kid in college and one in high school. I know, for a fact, that what you are doing right now is so much more difficult than my life. My children and mostly self-sufficient and I am able to keep up with my job pretty easily. I admire you!! (And I am not one to blow smoke!!) I love your Sensational Sundays because, to me, they are inspiring! I, for one will always keep reading because I have learned a lot from you and found some inner motivation as well. I THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.
    Kim

    Lisa (sunnystl)

    February 12, 2012

    Oh this is funny….this Cheryl comes in here to tell you how she feels about your blog… So apparently she takes the time to read your posts???
    Roni your “true ” followers know that you dont just sit around and eat bon bons all day! Some people just simply suck. Plain and simple, WE are ALL Rockstars! Whether we work out of the house, in our house, and and out of our homes! Some people are just Creeps! Trolls who have nothing better do so with their lives than try to bring others down.! Love you!!!!! :)

    Elaine

    February 12, 2012

    @Roni and @Cheryl – In my definition, Roni is not a stay-at-home mom….she’s a self-made entrepreneur business woman who happens to have her office in her home so that she can attend to her family/mother duties while working on building a fairly massive business empire. That’s not to say anything negative of moms that stay home with their children and don’t work/build a business…I’m just calling it like I see it.

    I know plenty of women who work in the home and are lazy/busy, I know plenty who work outside of the home and are lazy/busy. Plenty with/without children who are lazy/busy. The point is not to compare oneself to someone else and make yourself seem better – the point is to all build each other up.

    @Cheryl, I seriously hope you were having a bad day when you wrote that comment. If not, it must be a pretty miserable (albeit busy) life you are leading and I have genuine sympathy for how hard your heart is.

    Lori

    February 12, 2012

    I definitely agree that getting up early helps to kick start the day. When I get up, get the boys fed, the house cleaned, the workout done, etc. I just FEEL good. When I have things hanging over my head I feel stressed.

    P.S Haters are just not worth our time!

    Kelly Eaton

    February 12, 2012

    Cheryl, you are what I call the big B word!! I’m guessing you’re just jealous of all the Roni has accompolished. Roni is an inspiration to all who follow her blog!! Just because she works out of her home does not mean she doesn’t work!! She is working two full time jobs!! Believe me, working at home is way harder than working outside the home. I left my corporate job 11 years ago to stay home with my children
    & let me tell you it’s hard work!! Never a day off, no sick days, no pay. I love my job & I’m happy to sacrifice to be able to be home!! We don’t need your hateful comments or snotty remarks on here Cheryl so take that crappy attitude & go!! 
    Roni, I love your SS posts & I appreciate you!!

    Kristen

    February 20, 2012

    This is interesting…. I do pretty well on all of your suggestions except the unplugging. This is a goal of mine. Can I ask what other chores you have your eldest son help with? My boys are 7 and need to do more. One of our tricks is to do laundry nearly every day. With two boys we have enough dirty clothes for this, so there isn’t a lot of sorting. They clear the table, load their is he’s into the dishwasher, set the table, and help feed the pets. And clean their room except for beds. But they can do more.

    By the way, it would drive me bonkers if my husband slept that late. I run at 6 on weekends, and he takes care of the boys And gets ready for his run while I am gone (same routine during the week, just at 5 am).

    roni

    February 20, 2012

    I try to be consistent with chores. He’ll be 7 in June and he empties the dishwasher, cleans/organizes our mud room, his room, puts away his clothes. He also helps me sweep sometimes but he’s not very good at it. lol

    My husband sleeping in USED to drive me bonkers but I’ve learned to accept it. When he does get up he’s a miserable human being (just NOT a morning person) so I’d rather him stay in bed and not ruin our morning. In return I’m “off the clock” at night and he does baths and bed routines. It’s all about compromise for us.

    Kali

    March 6, 2012

    I feel like there are 2 type of people in this world. Early morning do-ers and late sleepers. Myself, I sleep in until 10 if I can get away with it. I do always wonder outloud how the other type get so many things done but on the inside I totally know that getting up early and not watching tv and texting allows you many more hours in your day. Love this post!