I’ll admit it – I love me some TV watching. I love plopping down on the couch, snuggling down in a blanket and vegging out for hours on end. I love Netflix binging and I love watching whatever schlock we have taking up space on our DVR. I love all kinds of TV too – sitcoms, dramas, histories, biographies, dog shows and even a little reality TV from time to time. I am well aware that television and reality TV in particular is rotting my brain, but there is something about the fact that I can check my brain at the door that I just love.
Now that I have started this post with what amounts to a love letter to television, I understand that I may not be the best person to be giving advice about productivity. The thing is, it’s because I’m constantly walking the line between accomplishing what I set out to do and slipping into the abyss of time-wasting that make me the absolute right person to give this kind of advice. So with a better understanding of where I’m coming from, here are a few things that help me get the job done:
1. Make a plan
I’ve said it before, a to do list is your friend! If you start each day with a clear vision of what you hope to accomplish, you will be so much more likely to make it happen. There is no way you can live a productive life if you don’t know what you’re working towards and your to do list helps give your day direction.
2. Develop a routine
I consider myself fairly “go with the flow” type of gal. That being said, with two kids under the age of 2, I wouldn’t get anywhere if I didn’t have some sort of a routine. I’ve got our morning routine down to a science so that I can have myself and both the girls dressed, fed and out the door in about 45 minutes. If I didn’t have a routine to follow, we’d be all over the place and it would probably take me twice as long. Routines take the guesswork out of your day and they really do save time, not to mention that having a good routine is pretty much essential when you’re raising children.
3. Embrace the art of multi-tasking
This is one that it took me awhile to learn and I would say that I’ve only gotten good at this fairly recently. Multi-tasking is this amazing little thing that allows you to accomplish multiple things at once and then at the end of it, you get to cross a whole bunch of crap off your to do list. Kind of amazing-face. My favorite things to multi-task on usually involve our almost 2-year old, Adele. I’ll clear the dishwasher and throw in a load of laundry while we’re practicing her ABC’s. Or we’ll pick up toys while the cookies are baking. Whatever it is, killing two birds with one stone always feels great.
4. Treat yo’ self
This one is such an important motivational technique for me. Sometimes I literally have to bribe myself to get things done. It sounds kind of lame, but it works for me. For example, I’ll tell myself that I can watch an episode of Top Chef after I clean the kitchen and if I fold the laundry while I’m watching. Or I can have a Diet Coke after I vacuum and dust the living room. I fully understand that it seems silly to have to bribe oneself to do what needs to be done, but honestly, these rewards are one of the biggest reasons I get anything done at all.
5. Eyes on the prize
When it comes down to it, the art of productivity boils down to desire. What do you want more? Do you want to lay on the couch and do absolutely nothing from the time you get off work to the time you go to bed? Or do you want to actually do something with your time? What kind of person do you want to be? Do you want to be a person who is content just biding their time, or do you want to be the kind of person who is out there creating something amazing and making connections. Keep your eyes on the prize and know what you want and it will help you make the decision to veg or not to veg so much easier.