We are we are all given the same 24 hours a day, yet some people seem to get more done than others. How is this possible? Honestly, I believe it is just a trial and error of finding the right hacks and tricks that work best for your family and for you, which saves the most time possible.
Here are a few of my time hacks that I have adopted into my schedule over the years. These have been the biggest changes in my daily productivity.
Listen to Audiobooks All of The Time
If you don’t listen to audiobooks, get to it. I’m serious. I know it takes some getting used to, but listening to books really helps you learn and read more time. Plus, it also makes boring tasks such as laundry or cleaning the kitchen a lot more enjoyable.
I use dictation apps for my phone to write articles, get ideas down quickly, and even send text messages or emails. Of course, all of the dictation software for your phone is not as accurate as the ones for your computer, but I feel like it is about 75% accurate. This means that I usually just do a quick read through to clean up my text.
One blogger, Jon Morrow, was born without the ability to use his hands, so he uses dictation software and specialized computer gadgets to run his multi-million-dollar business. It is outstanding how much he gets done with dictation software.
See also: Must-Haves for Writer’s Productivity
Find Resources for Your Weaknesses
The internet is full of wonderful resources, especially free resources. I am able to find and fill the gaps of homemaking or motherhood that I do not excel at. For example, I do not enjoy cooking or meal planning or coming up with preschool crafts, activities, and homeschooling lessons.
Instead of feeling like a failure in that area, I use what other talented people put freely on the internet. Here are some links to my favorite (and free) resources:
- Six Sisters’ Stuff Freezer Meal Plan
- Life as Mom Meal Plans
- Free Planner Printables
- Easy Preschool Science Lessons
Have A Checklist For Everything You Do
Most jobs will have minimal checklist, even for the simplest things to ensure nothing is missed. This is a big thing in safety procedures, such as flying the airplane or operating a big rig. The people that operate these machines are experts at what they do, yet they still rely on the checklist to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Use this strategy for your own household. Put a checklist anywhere you need it.
For example, you can tape a small checklist in your car that you run through every time you go somewhere. Mine looks like this:
- Do I have the kids’ shoes?
- Did they go potty?
- Do I have snacks and water?
Obviously, my list is geared towards my toddlers who cannot manage to remember their shoes, socks, jackets, and water by the time they get in the car. Obviously, for older children it would be something like this –
- Do I have my homework assignments?
- Do I have my lunch pail?
- Do I have my after school activity equipment?
You can even do this for each room of your house. Have a small list inside the cabinet of the bathroom which was everything that needs to be cleaned each day and everything that needs to be cleaned each week.
This allows your brain to go on autopilot, and it is also a helpful learning tool for other members of your family. When my husband offers to help clean, he doesn’t realize that the bathtub does need a quick wipe down as part of maintenance cleaning.
Making a checklist allows your brain to not think so hard when you’re completing the task, which will allow you to get your job done faster. It is as if your brain says, “Okay, I can stop focusing on what needs to get done, because I know I will not forget anything – there’s a list.”
Create A Schedule and Practice It
Make a list of things that you want to accomplish when you wake up and things that you want t0 accomplish before you go to bed. When you first make this list, you are going to fail at doing everything on the list. That is because you need to train yourself.
It is the same principle as training your children. You don’t expect them to get it right away, so don’t put those expectations on yourself. So many times, we give up on ourselves without allowing ourselves the proper amount of time to train and get into the habit.
Make that list and train yourself first to look at every morning. Do your best to get everything done on the list. Then after a month, evaluate how you’re doing on my schedule. Are you accomplishing most things on the schedule? Does something need tweaking? Perhaps you need to wake up earlier, or you need to move some your morning items to the night before. That is what the beauty of a schedule is– you can customize it to your needs and your ability.
Remember that different phases of your life will have different schedules. When you first have a newborn, your morning schedule might be as simple as put laundry in the washing machine and make sure that you eat. And you know what, that is 110% A-OK. No matter what phase of your life you’re in, it is okay to have a schedule that only has two items on it. You can gradually increase your list as you get better at following your schedule.
Share your favorite hacks for getting more done each day in the comments.