"Don't make the process harder than it is" - Jack Welch
I believe by doing small tasks today, we save time doing them tomorrow. This is the philosophy I try to live by, so matter how tired I am at night. I always try to do small tasks ahead of time so I'm already organised when I wake up each morning. It helps me to feel ahead of the game.
I hope you find these tips useful as life takes constant attention, and I think we can all do tasks in short bursts to keep our lives ticking over nicely.
1. Get Ready for Work the Night Before. Routines are really helpful to us humans. One routine I try to live by is to get ready for work the night before. It really helps with the stress levels!
Pack your briefcase or handbag with everything you need so you don't have to do this process in the morning. This saves time and means you'll have more time to sleep in, exercise, meditate, shower and eat a healthy breakfast without the stress of last minute 'to do's'.
2. Prepare lunch the night before. I've realised trying to find healthy food at lunchtime when working in unfamiliar locations at my customers homes or offices is sometimes tricky. I love cooking extra food at night, so I can take leftovers for my lunch the next day, be it a soup, a stir fry, chicken curry with rice or simply a gorgeous nutrition-packed salad.
I pack snack packs too - little zip-lock bags with Tamari almonds, and sometimes a little container of yogurt, mixed nuts, lemon juice and a dash of cold-pressed olive oil, and fruit. (Health experts say almonds are a natural relaxant, and eating a few before bedtime will help you to relax and drift off to sleep).
There are 3 benefits for getting organised the night before:
1. It saves time and energy in the morning trying to decide what to take for lunch and preparing it;
2. It saves money; and
3. It saves your time during your lunch break by giving you time to relax.
TIP: The night before, pack leftover food into a container and pop it in the fridge. Get out a plastic bag, and fork or spoon and put this in a plastic bag. Leave this on your kitchen bench - ready to take the next day. This will remind you to take your lunch out of the fridge the next morning.
As always, wash dishes (or stack dishwasher), and put everything away before bedtime so your kitchen is ready for the next day. You can even go one step further and take out your dishes and utensils ready for your breakfast - setting up everything you need for your breakfast process so you won't have to do that in the morning either. (I learned this one from my Dad - a man with six children who knew how to multi-task!).
3. Check Emails 3 times a day:
1. In the morning (when you get into the office)
2. At noon (before you have lunch)
3. At night (before you leave to go home).
By doing this, you give yourself uninterrupted, focussed work-time between those 3 time slots. Checking work in progress items, 3 times a day also helps you to process action items that need attention immediately (or delegate on the spot), and communicate changes in projects or appointments (by email or phone).
This helps you to feel more in control and relaxed when you leave your work space.
This also applies for checking your paper in-tray, and paper action items. If you can remember the words 'Morning', 'Noon' and 'Night' - you can remember to do this process.
4. Leave the office to eat your lunch to give you a break from your working environment. Even 20 minutes out of the office - to sit, eat, walk or talk will help you to refresh your mind and energy levels.
5. Ask for help instead of struggling with an issue. There are so many people out there willing to share and to help us when needed. You may be surprised at how helpful and kind people can be to help you solve a challenge. Reciprocate the offer when you can.
Start a list of tasks that you don't like doing. Add to it regularly. Think about outsourcing these tasks to free up your time - to a service like our GO Concierge Service to get things done while you're doing other things - to make your life easier. You'll be amazed at the feeling that being organised brings.
6. Get dinner ready as soon as you arrive home, so it's cooking while you attend to other 'to do's', such as checking personal emails, doing homework with children or exercising.
Once dinner is cooked, this should be 'time out' time. You need time away from everyday 'to do' tasks and this down-time helps you to relax. Have a glass of wine. Discuss the days events over dinner with family. Watch some TV (something stimulating hopefully), and then take time to read something inspirational before bed. This helps us to wind down and drift off to dreamland.
I hope this helps you to manage your day to day life-tasks more easily.
I'd love to hear your comments about how you get yourself organised before each day or a specific event. Share your comments here...