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.
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:
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.
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.
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.