Today I am thrilled to have a guest post from Emily at Queen of the Household.
At the beginning of my teaching career, I often stayed late, worked on the weekends, and brought work home in the evenings.
After a couple years of teaching, I finally learned how to get more done in less time. In fact, the last few years of my teaching career, I hardly ever stayed late or brought work home.
Now as a stay at home mom, I use those same habits to help me accomplish more at home. These tips are fairly simple that anyone can do no matter what season of life.
1. Get to work 10 minutes early.
When I taught, I arrived in my classroom 10-15 minutes before my students. That way I was able to get my thoughts together, look over the schedule, and set up any last minute preparations.
As a mom, waking up just 10 minutes before my son allows me to clear my head and have a little time to myself before jumping right into my "job" as mommy.
If you don't already, start arriving at work just 10 minutes earlier than usual. Use that time to think through your day and make preparations before you start meeting the needs of co-workers and bosses.
If you are a parent, try getting up before your children. This allows you to do something for yourself and focus on the day instead of immediately meeting the demands of your family.
2. Do a brain dump.
I have a notebook that I use to "dump" my thoughts into. This gives me something to reference when I can't remember all of the tasks that need my attention.
If there are a million things running around in your head, chances are you will forget them. However, writing your thoughts down is an easy way to keep track of everything.
3. Work on one thing at a time.
Once you have written out all of the things that you need to get done, decide which one is the most important task. If you don't decide what needs your attention most, you may end up going back and forth between tasks working a little on each one, but never finishing any of them.
Sometimes we think that multi-tasking means we are being more efficient, but switching back and forth between tasks, takes more time and energy.
When I started out as a stay at home mom, I didn't focus on one thing at a time. Instead, I went from one thing to the next and was always exhausted at the end of the day with hardly anything to show for it. Now, I try to focus on doing one thing at a time and completing it before moving on to another.
A great book for tips on prioritizing tasks is Eat That Frog by Brian Tracey. It is an easy read with lots of practical ways to get things done.
4. Turn off notifications.
A couple of years ago, I spent an entire day without my phone. I took off all social media apps, and only used my phone for texting and phone calls. Imagine that!
I loved how much I wasn't on my phone that day. My mind stayed focused on my son and what I was doing rather than catching up on social media or thinking about what to post.
After that day, I added a few social media apps back to my phone, but only the ones that I really loved or needed as a blogger. However, I turned off the notifications.
I still see the little red circle with the number of notifications next to the icons, but only when I open my phone. Now, I don't feel pressured to respond to people immediately.
It is great to keep up with friends on social media, but checking your phone each time you get a notification is time consuming. Try turning some or all of your notifications off.
Having less interruptions will free up lots of time, and you will get more done!