Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Getting Your Work Done, Part 2

I've still been thinking about how to get your work done. Work is never-ending and time management can be a problem, especially for people who work for themselves. (And stay at home moms do. Nobody is standing around making sure I'm doing my work!) So a few more pointers. 

photo courtesy of franky242/freedigitalphotos.net

1. Don't sit down.  I've been thinking about things that help me get my work done and one thing I've noticed is that I don't sit down. I don't mean that literally. What I really mean is that I sit with a purpose. When I sit down I am sitting to do something. I am sitting to practice piano. I am sitting to read to the boys or play with them. I am sitting during quiet time to write. I am sitting because I set aside that time to rest. I am sitting to eat. Do you see what I mean? I'm not sitting on the couch when I need to be cooking dinner. I'm not sitting and watching tv when I need to playing with my children. Stay moving. 

2. Challenge yourself to just "one more thing." If you just keep moving you can get so much more done. Think "one more thing." You can always do just one more thing. Write those 500 words, read that book to your baby, fold a load of laundry.  Or set a timer and work for ten or fifteen minutes.

3. Write stuff down. I love a list. And I really like crossing things off the list. So I make a list.  I don't list many of my daily things, like practicing piano (although I do track it) or getting ready for the day or reading my Bible. I would write down daily things that I was struggling with doing consistently. 

 I write down the days we are doing preschool, the cleaning for the day (it's so big that it's nice to cross off and it changes daily), if we have any errands, if I am doing something for someone outside our family, etc. A list will help keep you focused. Maybe you do need to write down three important things. If you are having problems spending time with your kids, put it on your list. Or keep track of it every day. Maybe you need to put "cook dinner" on your list if you are struggling with that. Find where you need to focus and make your list help you. 

4. Plan ahead and prepare. For example, a few weeks ago we were going to clean the church at 4:30. Justin was going to meet us there when he got off work. So during quiet time I thawed and seasoned my meat, and formed hamburgers. I peeled and cut up potatoes for fries and left them sitting in cold water.  And I cooked the bacon for our burgers. That way when we got home I could just turn on pans and put the food in.  No stressing about how long it was going to take or debating stopping for food on the way home. The hard work was already done.

Fix the diaper bag the night before. Pick out everyone's clothes the night before. Lay out the preschool work before you need it. Prepare: most of the time you know what you are going to be doing. 

5. And one last note. All the work will never be done. Never! Just yesterday, we got a crazy amount of work done. And while I was cooking dinner and playing with the boys I kept seeing things that needed done. And I just overlooked them. I am one person. The work will still be there tomorrow. 

Don't worry about finishing your list or having the perfect house. Just do what honors God and blesses your family. And remember, "only God gets His to-do list done." 

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