Lately I feel like I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. When my I read the post on Musings From a SAHM about feeling guilty about not getting it all done, I found myself really identifying with Erika’s guilt and frustration. I also gave her some advice, and realized I should share it with all my readers, too. Please note, I’m still working on practicing what I’m preaching here
When you’re a SAHM or like me, you’re off work for a stretch of days at a time, you start off the day with so much time ahead of you. You just log in to check your email, then you log in to twitter, and before you know it, it’s 5 pm and you have no idea where the whole day went, much less what you’re going to have for dinner. The laundry still sits in a pile and you can’t really say what you’ve accomplished. Sound familiar?
Here are a few strategies I’ve come up with or put to use to have a more productive day.
1. Set a timer. Allow yourself a reasonable increment of time to work on the task at hand, then when the timer goes off, do a chore or other must-do task. For example, I’ll allow myself 20 minutes to list my giveaways on linkys or socialize on twitter, and when the timer goes off, that’s it. Twitter is closed, and I go put the dishes away.
2. Put your blinders on when using the Internet. What I mean by this is it’s so easy to set out with a purpose, like listing your new posts on your Facebook page. That should take like 2 seconds, but when you open your Facebook page, you have some messages. You read those first, click on a few links, find a great giveaway to enter, and then what was it you were supposed to be doing again? A 2 second task just ate up 20 minutes.
If I come across something interesting or a link I want to read, I bookmark it for later and continue with my original purpose. That way I’m not missing out, but I’m not letting myself be distracted either.
3. Have a daily blogging to-do list (I’ll share mine in a later post). These are all your essential daily items like publishing a new post, responding to comments, checking your twitter feed, etc. Make it a priority to work through the list early on. I saw a great post at Seven Cherubs about cutting up a cereal box into squares and making a morning routine to-do list by writing a chore on each square. Put away each square as you cross off your tasks. Having a visual reminder is a great incentive, plus I love that it repurposes the cereal box!
4. Triage the things you want to get done each day. I sort tasks into several categories – MUST get done, would like to get done, and can wait for later. Today my MUST get done’s were grocery shopping, calling about a billing error, calling our realtor, and doing a load of laundry. These are basically the annoying tasks that I’d procrastinate and ignore if I weren’t purposeful about them.
5. Multi-task when possible. For example, I like to read and comment on other blogs. This is entertainment and supports other bloggers, but I also consider it a blogging task because I find it increases traffic to my own blog too. Win-win! Or I’ll run on the treadmill while catching up on TV shows.
Do you have any other strategies, related to chores, blogging or otherwise? Feel free to share in the comments. You can also read more of my blogging tips. Now if you’ll excuse me, my timer for writing thist post just went off