A few years ago, I offered to throw a shower for a really close friend at my house. I love to throw a good party. Mainly because I really enjoy the planning part of it. Food, decorations, Games, Thank You bags, it's a never ending list of ecstasy to me. However, when it come down to executing these plans, I often find myself feeling overwhelmed.
See I have a a huge problem with delegation. My husband is happy to help me, but I always find myself starting to telling him never mind. " Can you pick up....actually never mind it's easier if I do it. " " It would be helpful if you ... nevermind, I can just do that when I do this."
This day I had work, decorating, cooking, shopping, and a never ending list of other things to do. It was maybe 10pm and I returned form a last minute Target run to a box sitting on the kitchen table. Now this wasn't just any old box. It was a box of the most delicious, scrumptious, flavor packed pieces of strawberry cake that your mouth could ever be blessed to taste.
My sweet husband had gone to the bakery on his way home from work to get me this piece of cake because he knew I had a lot of work to get done. As I sat and ate that delectable piece of cake, I thought about all that I had accomplished, but also everything that I had left. Remember I said it was 10 pm. Thankfully with age comes wisdom. I a few things over the last couple of years of how on how I can be more productive.
Make a plan
Have you ever tried to build a piece of furniture without the instructions? Usually when I try to bypass the instructions, I am humbled by my ineptness. Without the blueprints, my product ends up taking more time, and looks far from what it should be. Plans are just as important when trying to live a more productive life.
Before beginning your work for the day, make a rough plan of what you want to accomplish. When I lesson plan for school, I start with my goal and work backwards to make a rough list of to dos to help me reach my daily goal. Pray over your plan and ask God to bless your day.
Set a time
Along the same lines of the plan, you also need a schedule. For some people, that could look like an hourly break down. For others, it could be broken up by the times of day Morning, Lunch, After Lunch. When you make your schedule, make sure that you include intentional times of rest.
Set Timers for your work periods and your rest periods if that is helpful. I often set timers to help me be more productive when cleaning. I set it for 15 minutes. Then when it goes off, I reset it and move on to the next room. Halfway through your scheduled plan, you can re-evaluate and make a realistic schedule to finish out the day strong.
Lessen distractions - environment
Choose your work environment well. Working in an environment that keeps you on track is really important to being more productive. This is particularly important if you are able to work from home since you will have more control over where exactly you will work. It’s important to create a work atmosphere that is as free of distractions as possible.
For some people, that may mean turning your phone on silent. For others, it could be simply committing to not going on social media or Netflix until a specific task is done Whatever the case may be, create and atmosphere that will encourage you to work harder and stay on track. I love to play some of my favorite indie Christian bands because it gives me a coffee shop feel, but i'm also filling up m spirit.
Track your progress
Some weeks, I have so much scheduled that my day appears overwhelming. I usually stick to the mantra, “It’ll get done. Take it 1 step at a time.” to get through the day. Just this past Christmas, I had a volunteering event, a friend visiting, a party to set up, and food to cook.
I like to physically cross things off of lists so that I can keep track of what I have done. In the beginning the list usually sees daunting, but as I gain more momentum, I also gain more motivation. See what I have accomplished pushes me to accomplish even more. I also love to use different list apps to check things off If I will be in and out of stores. It’s really convenient, and helps me keep track of time.
Ask For Help
Don't be afraid to delegate. Jesus could have done his whole ministry without the help of the 12 disciples. HE didn't need them, but is always our ultimate example of what the body of Christ looks like. We are to support and encourage each other. If you have tasks that can be completed by someone else, don't be afraid to ask for help. Likewise, if you see a coworker struggling, offer help. Ask God to give you strength. I often ask him to stretch time for me since he sees time differently.
Being productive is a really important aspect of stewarding your time well. These 5 tips have made a difference in how productive I am throughout the day. To help you become more productive, I have created this pineapple themed planner just for you! Click the picture to download.