Sunday, September 23, 2012

How do you get so much done?

I get that question a lot. I even recently was lured back to a job with "we want you back because you just get sh*t done!" her words, not mine, but I have heard it before. And more and more I am realizing that I have to be aware that I can get a lot done but I do have a limit and I need to know where that limit is and back off when I get close to it. For example I was offered another part time job (that would be 3 part time jobs for anyone who is counting and no that does not count mother/housewife as one of them) and I had to turn it down. It would have just been too much. I was a little sad but relieved and proud of myself for saying no.

Here are some tips for getting more done.

Well ok first a disclaimer. I do not do all these things all of the time. When I do life is easy and fun. When I let some things go it all falls apart. And there is always one aspect of my life not getting enough of my attention. Maybe because I am out of time but maybe beacuse I am avoiding it but ALWAYS.

Another disclaimer, I only have 1 child and she is pretty easy. She typically puts herself to be by 7pm.  I say typically because the past 2 nights have been a battle ending in her sleeping on the floor in the hallway. 

1. Plan ahead.
I am a crazy list maker. I plan meals, our family schedule, projects I am sewing. I have lists for them all, and when I do not ...well lets just say you could end up with peanut butter on a hot dog bun and some pickles in your lunch.

This current list, in blue are the things I want to get done today. The rest are longer term goals that have not yet made it to the today list.

I also have a little pad of paper with all the days of the week where I plan our meals.

By Monday morning I try to have a schedule up with all our meals and what everyone is doing all week. And yes there are only 3 of us, but being organized is always helpful.

These are my September sewing goals. Some are done, some are in progress. I have actually managed to do some projects that did not make the list (the stuff for my mom). And I am sure that some things will get bumped to next month. It is what it is. But I do have a looming deadline. My stuff will be back at HomeGrown 10.1.12!

2. Ask for help / delegate
I am getting better at this. For example today is Team Weeks clean up day! Everyone in the family gets jobs and we have to get them done before we get to go out and have fun.

Another one is when you are at Publix and they offer to help you out to the car, let them help! Especially if you are alone with your kid(s). It is safer for you to focus on the kid and let them get your groceries in the car. Plus they offered! Take any offer for help you can get, it can be a step to actually starting to ask for help.

3. Take a break!
Sitting on the back deck sipping wine with my gal pals Friday night saved my sanity last week. Dates with the hubby are nice too. And I drink lots of coffee. I usually write during my coffee break, but at least it is a break from whatever else I was doing. 

4. Sometimes good enough is just that, good enough.
I am not Martha Stewart.  She created unrealistic expectations. I do not have a staff and unlimited financial resources. I am already out of grocery money this month and have to be creative with what is in the pantry. (see 1. Plan Ahead and laugh at me for this)

5. Only say yes to things you actually want to do as often as possible.
Last week M's Kindergarten teacher asked me if I could make a banner for the classroom, since I am so artistic and all. I should have said no, except it sounded fun! And like something I could do.  Here is how it is looking so far.

It says "Let's take a walk!" it is for their exploring communities unit. They will be doing walking tours of our town. Fun, right?

6. Be regimented about many things and flexible about several things.
Maybe the reason M is so easy to get to bed (normally) is b/c my husband has been a serious stickler for bedtime her whole life. Notice I say he is a stickler for bedtime. M and I have just followed his lead and I have to admit the fact that we all get enough sleep is part of what makes our lives run more smoothly.

As for being flexible an example is that one of M's friends wants us to come play at the park, so we may get as much work done as we can and then head to the park ;) Some things are more important than having a perfectly clean house.

7. Just do it!
Sometimes just forcing yourself up off the couch, or away from the computer, is all you need to create forward momentum. Just get up and get started you may be surprised how much you can get done in even a small amount of time. But you have to focus. Do one thing at a time until it is done. Especially when your kids, husband, whoever are not there. Since once they do show up you will get interrupted.

I hope this helps you get a little more done today or tomorrow and going forward.

Peace Out.

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