HOW DO I DO EVERYTHING AND STILL HAVE TIME FOR MYSELF?
I first answered this question a month ago when I talked about the importance of routines.
We explored the importance of basic systems in your household and how they can help make everyday tasks simple and easy. Just the way we like it!
But aside from routines, we can also look at the way we do tasks, specifically the tasks we take on.
Look at the way you do tasks
This involves exploring the process, including how long the task takes and what steps are involved to complete the task. Are they difficult? Is this the best way to do it? Am I over complicating the process? Do all the steps of the process add to the overall outcome? If I removed a step would it make a difference to the outcome? Is there a way to streamline it and make it easier?
For me, adjusting one simple element in my cleaning routine made a significant and positive change to my overall productivity. From using commercial cleaning products from a supermarket, I switched to Norwex and it has truly saved me. Or, it has at least reduced the amount of time I spend cleaning that I need to do by half. Now, this doesn’t mean that my house is less clean because I’m doing less physical cleaning, but it does mean that it doesn’t take as long for me to clean as it did before. And when I clean it, it stays cleaner for longer. So, by simply changing my product, my house has been easier to maintain.
But I know changing how we do things can definitely be overwhelming.
ORGANISING SYSTEMS INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
I will say, I’m all about systems – thinking smarter and making sure that everything that I do is done in the most efficient manner I can do them. It was drilled into me as a child. I can vividly remember going on walks with my Dad in the evening, just chatting. My parents were small business owners and conversations would frequently come back to the same concept, “Think smarter, not harder. Work smarter, not harder.” He said it and lived it. I remember he told me about his plans to retire at 50, and he did. I hold so much admiration and respect for my father.
But as much as this approach to life has been embedded in me, I still find it a challenge to work smarter. I like ‘busy work’ and find it really difficult to stop. Over time, however, I’ve taken the time to look at any repetitive tasks I do over and over again and find ways to simplify them and reduce the amount of time I spend on them. So, whether that’s creating a spreadsheet, creating a form template, doing the laundry or switching to a digital calendar instead of a traditional diary or wall calendar, find the smarter option.
Adjusting the way you do tasks goes right down to the minimalist wardrobe challenge – reducing the amount of clothing and items that you’ll have to wash, dry, and put away. It also means looking at the types of clothing that you buy and picking pieces that don’t require ironing or specialist cleaning – reducing one step instantly.
PRODUCTIVITY THE TASKS
So, anything that I find time-consuming, especially on a weekly basis, I look at it. And look at it critically and in depth. I look at it and ask myself, “Okay, how can I make this easier? How can I make this more efficient?” and just by simply doing this, I can usually find a way to streamline the process, reducing the time it takes to complete my to-do lists for the day.
And if this still sounds a bit complex or a little bit far-fetched for you, it might be worthwhile giving me a call, or giving a professional organiser in your local area a call. We can walk you through strategies and different ways of thinking. One of the key strengths of any good professional organiser, after all, is our problem-solving skills.
So, if you’ll let me, I’d love to help you solve those problems. It won’t always be easy and you won’t always find an instant solution. But together, we can find a system that works just for you. A system that will last. And a strategy that will give you the best gift of all, time.
Remember, think smarter, not harder.