Sunday, June 12, 2011
10 tips to help you do everything
Lately I have been asked a lot in real life and in emails and things how I manage to do everything I am doing. I usually don’t view it as doing a lot, but when my sister listed it all I realised I guess it is. The things I am doing include
- 2 blogs
- Studying to become a financial planner
- Wrote my book – 365 Ways To Make Money
- Set up the website for that book, which I will reveal later this week
- Renovate my house
- Look after my 2 kids and do everything being a mum entails as well as 95% of the cooking, cleaning, general housework
- My little challenges like Sell 1000 Things, $40,000 in 6 Months and $100 Christmas
Thankfully part of these things are almost over, such as my book and website are done, but now I will need to promote them and do whatever my publicist has planned.
One of the reasons I do so much is my mind literally never stops. I will dream about a blog post I want to write which means when I wake up I just need to take a few minutes to type what I dreamt and it is done. And the dreaming doesn’t happen a lot because I am also pretty much an insomniac and have been since I was 13. I realise that doesn’t help you, but when you are awake in the wee hours of the morning may as well put the time to use.
I know that is counterproductive to getting a good night sleep and I have tried many techniques even medication to help me sleep but nothing has worked. I get sleep when I need it but I definitely do not get as much as we are supposed to need.
Also, whilst I am doing all of these things they are all taking longer than they need to. For example if I was just studying and not doing my book and blogs I would be qualified right now. As it is, I have stretched out the time I have done my course in due to these other commitments, which frankly, I enjoy more than study.
By multi tasking in many ways I am shooting myself in the foot. The renovations on our house have dragged on, my study has dragged on and my house is not always tidy. It is simply impossible to do everything at once.
I would like to say I have always been an organised person with a perfect routine and everything has always been done a particular way so it is easy to find the time to do things, but I am not. When I do follow my routine and things run smoothly I get a lot more done, but I do not always follow it. As I have taken on more things/projects I have definitely become more organised but I have a long way to go before I am as organised as someone like The Planning Queen.
Despite all that I do still get a lot done, well, I think I do. Here are my tips:
1.) Get organised – You need a routine or some semblance of a routine at least. You need specific places for things so you are not hunting all over your house for paper work etc. This will save you a lot of time and the routine will ensure you are more productive as you know the set times you have to do things in, making you less likely to waste it.
2.) Do not try to do everything at once – Choose a time for everything and stick to it. I have started getting up when my husband leaves for work so I have an hour or two to write posts, check emails and work before my daughters get up. This leaves me free during the day to play with them, clean up and cook. I am able to focus on them and our house because I have already done my work and the time for working has passed. In the evenings after they go to bed I do some more, but whilst they are awake I try not to work.
3.) Schedule posts – When I started blogging I had no idea I could write a bunch of posts then select the time for them to go up. So I used to write then put up the posts whenever I did it, when I could have done bulk post writing sessions, scheduled them in and not needed to think about writing posts for a while. Now I know this, it is much easier.
4.) Focus – It can be hard to focus on one task when so many other things are happening in your life. Try to focus on the task at hand and it alone. Since my mind goes 100ks/miles an hour I keep a notebook with me (or my phone) to jot down any thoughts I have that are not about what I am working on. By making a quick note I can focus easier on what I am currently doing. If I don’t write it down the thought rolls around in my head until I do something about it which means I am not focused.
5.) Work when you are freshest – Often I am best either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. I can tell when I first get up which time it will be that day. By knowing and utilising the times I am more awake and focused I am able to achieve more.
6.) Learn to say no – Looking at my list it would appear I do not know how to do this, but I do. I only do things I want to do and try to say no to everything else. We no longer go to the things we feel obligated to if we just don’t want to. Our time is too important to us to spend it doing things we don’t like. Obviously there are occasions where you need to suck it up princess and just do it, but there are lots of things people tend to do because other people expect it but it does not really need to be done.
7.) Do double up tasks – Sometimes you can do two things at once. For example if you are cooking dinner you can cook a double batch and freeze half for later. This will drastically reduce the dinner preparation time another night meaning you have basically done two things at once. Another thing I do is often my challenges overlap or serve two purposes such as my sell 1000 things; I am de-cluttering, adding money to my $40,000 challenge and selling 1000 things so that challenge covers 3 things I want to do.
8.) Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it – There are only so many hours in a day and only so much you personally can do. If you can’t do something, don’t feel guilty. Do what you can, only take on what you know you can accomplish and congratulate yourself on the things you achieve.
9.) Recognise your accomplishments – Often we focus too much on what we haven’t done which will get you nowhere. My husband delightfully pointed out recently I could have been qualified by now if I focused on my studies more. I then delightfully pointed out to him that I have just finished writing a book which was not in my plans when I started studying and I chose to finish that first. That is a big achievement in itself and I am still finishing my studies within a reasonable time frame.
10.) Outsource – if you can afford to outsource something that you don’t mind someone else doing it can be a great way to achieve what you want to achieve whilst still get other things done. You do not have to do everything yourself.
Hopefully these tips will help people a little and also as you can see from the start, whilst I do a lot, it all takes longer than it should.