People seem to have this impression that I get SO MUCH done each day. Well it isn't always like that and it is also that I am more vocal about what I do than others are. I bet that if you made a list or took a picture of what you did in a day - you would be surprised.
Today I decided to list my TOP TEN things I do NOT do to get more out of my day.......
(sorry - there are NO pictures today). I will do pictures tomorrow!!!!
1. I do NOT bake (what is the point? Whatever you make - you feel obligated to eat so it doesn't go to waste. No one expects it in our house and no one NEEDS it in our house. I still have about 15 pounds to go on my SLOW weight loss program, baking is time consuming, it is expensive - hey do I need to go on about this? If I do crave some baked goods - just as simple to purchase cookies or whatever. Yeah - not like Mom used to make - SO WHAT!!!!!! - it's been so long since I tasted Mom's baking - how could I compare???)
2. I do NOT cook. OK - I do cook - but not much. Everyone is on their own for breakfast and lunch in our house. Everyone eats at all hours of the day so why should I waste my time making a meal. What I do cook is SIMPLE - no sauces, no gravies, no time consuming multi-process meals with huge PREPS and HUGE cleanups. No one appreciates it - why would I bother!!!!!! We use the grill/BBQ a LOT!!!!!
3. I do NOT clean. OK - that is not quite true. I do have a cleaning lady every two weeks (a promise I made to myself when I was a kid!). I like a clean house, but I am NOT particular. Again - who cares if there is a smidgen of dust or the baseboards need cleaning. I mean really???? Who cares?????? And who notices that stuff anyway???? I do pass the vacuum OFTEN - more often these days cause there is a lot of toing and froing at our house. How long does that take??? TEN minutes at most. And tidying up the kitchen is a breeze if you don't have messy preps to take care of!
4. I do NOT decorate. By that I mean - I do not fuss with curtains, fancy pillows, or knick knacks. The more you have - the more you have to take care of it. Keep it neat, keep it clean, replace, repair or whatever. If you have to replace - then you have to decide what to do with the old, if you have to repair - you have to find the time to repair.
5. I do NOT watch TV (or movies for that matter). I gave this up over one year ago. And I'm still alive!!! Yes I know one can multitask and do hand work while watching TV, but I would get too comfy and then fall asleep. And then one show leads to another. And it is so easy on a BLAH evening to sit in front of the TV and veg the ENTIRE evening. And then there is the keeping of up of all the comings and goings of the new shows, actors, and all the gossip. Nope - just don't go there.
6. I do NOT surf the internet. Now I do surf the internet, but I do NOT spend hours doing it. I try to go for the information that I need and yes - I will get caught up sometimes, but really - how boring to be surfing through all that crap out there! Get what you need and move on!!!!
7. I do NOT iron clothes, sheets, pillowcases, towels - you get the picture!!! Wash n wear - got to love that!!!
8. I do NOT spend a lot of time on my appearance. OK - I am NOT the most attractive person in the world and perhaps I would be more appealing if I wore a touch of makeup - but appealing to whom??? Not like I am trying to find a husband and not to say that I can't look pretty for the one I have, but really - will it make a difference at the end of the day? NO - to me a person's attractiveness is their sense of humour, their respect for others, their knowledge, - well you get the picture!
9. I do NOT play games. Wait - yes I play Scrabble, but I play my turn and then wait for the others to play. I think I am currently playing six games!! But I can grab my iPad (cause I love to play Scrabble on my iPad) and just before bed or while I am having lunch - I can play. And sometimes while on vacation or waiting for something - I have one other game I love - WordJewels. And that is only because I am trying to learn new words for Scrabble.
And last but not least........
10. I do NOT over analyze. Depending on what the situation is - I do research - sometimes more, sometimes less and then I make a decision and I LIVE WITH THAT decision. No regrets. You can spend so much time researching and then worry about what you have decided. Waste of time. In most cases - we go with our gut feeling so why waste time looking at the other options.
WOW - you would think that I do NOTHING!!!!! But that is not true. I guess when I adopted my mantra - PRIORITIZE - FOCUS - WIN - I have eliminated a LOT of unnecessary STUFF from my life. Stuff that really does not add to my enjoyment of life. Yes - there are others to whom the things above are very important - then I say they need to do those things. For me - they are NOT important. Each to their own.
Now here are the Top 10 Things that I do to improve my productivity......
1. Multitask - instead of watching TV in the evening - I now listen to audiobooks. I need to be very focused in order to listen to the book and I find that hand work allows me to stay focused on the book. I prefer to listen to the books on my iPad, but that is not always possible (the library has a better selection on CDs). I like to listen to one CD per evening. So a book with 8 CDs takes a bit more than one week. So far this year with audio books and paper books - I have read 34 NOVELS.
2. Keep work surfaces CLEAR. If you have to first clear off your work area - you WILL find something else to do that takes less work. This can be your desk, your kitchen counter, your kitchen table, your ironing board, your sewing table. Whatever - KEEP IT CLEAR!!!!!!!! While sometimes when I stop for the day - I do not clean things up (I am lucky that I do not have to) but then I will continue the next day on that project.
3. Define stations for the things you love. If you love hand work - then keep all the stuff related to that hand work EASILY accessible. Keep in a bag, keep it by your chair - wherever. DO NOT remove anything from that bag for any reason OTHER than working on that project. If you do - it will likely not go back and then when you want to work - you will have to find what you removed and that wastes time!!!! Many people say that they do not have a specific space and have to tidy up all the time. HEY - if it is IMPORTANT to you - then you WILL find a space. I DO NOT care what the husband says - or what the husband likes - we are all entitled to OUR own space for OUR priorities!!!!!
4. Make lists - I have a list of books I have read (easy to go back and reference - especially now that it is on the computer - well 2011 at least), I have a list of things to do in general, lists for the projects that need to be completed by the end of the year, lists of quilts to be quilted for customers, lists of things to do TODAY, lists of errands that need to be done outside the house. By making lists - you are COMMITTING yourself to getting the stuff done. It also helps you to combine "like" things together. Especially when you do errands - if you need to go in one direction - what else needs to be done in that direction. You save time (and gas) by not having to go back again the next day!!!!
5. I try to be efficient in what I do. If I have stuff to go upstairs - I will put it at the bottom (or top) of the stairs. Then when I go up or down - I take that with me. And I really really try to put it away right away. This is hard especially when things do not have a home. I hate making decision about stupid things!!!! When I am waiting for my bagel to toast in the morning - I can fill my water bottle. Little things like that can save a HUGE amount of time.
6. Get organized!!!! I can't say enough about this one. If things have a home - it is a BREEZE to tidy up. Honestly - I wish I had started this when M was a baby. Life would have been so much easier. But my brain was so muddled after her birth - I couldn't get my life together!!!!! It's only taken 15 years to get back on track!!!! If you know where things are stored - then you tend not to over buy, you will not waste time finding stuff (OK - there are still a few things that allude me - but I am much better!!!)
7. Keep some time for myself. Actually I am quite selfish with my time (in case you haven't figured that out by now). I do help others - don't get me wrong. I think I am over generous in some cases, but that is besides the point. If I did not have time for myself, I would resent all the things I do and then I would not enjoy anything!!!!
8. Keep a sense of humour! I cannot stress this enough. Life is just too short to dwell on the bad - there are more good sides to people than bad. Have faith in them - even when it is hard (are you listening M?????) Keeping a sense of humour also helps to diffuse a lot of problems.
9. Stay healthy. Yes - this is not always easy and I am fortunate in this case. But I have worked hard at trying to stay healthy. How many mornings did I drag my butt out to the gym in the cold, how many kilometers have I put on the bike - blah blah blah. But I feel so much better and more energized!!! Except for the fact that my blood pressure is dropping - borderline LOW yesterday 91/60. That probably helped me be tired yesterday!!!! Along with that is the food (you know - no baking) and trying very hard to drink at least 1 litre of water every day.
10. Be positive! This can be very hard at times. But look around you? Who gets more done - the person with the positive attitude or the person with the negative attitude???? We can complain until the cows come home but what do we accomplish???? Nothing!!!!! See my point. Get out - get active - your brain and your body will want to do things!!!!!
LIFE IS TOO SHORT to be caught up in all the riff raff of STUFF (both material and mental). Get rid of the baggage and get on with living!!!!
Well there you have it!!!! Why I am as productive as I am!!!!! None of the above is easy, but it comes to what is important to each of us. Pick one or two things that are important to you and focus on that. When that is in order - then pick something else. Before you know it - you will be doing only those things that are important to you and leaving the dull boring things to someone else or letting go of them. I also find that we tend to hang onto things because "everyone else does it" - TV is a big one there or "we have always done it". It can sometimes be hard to break the mold - but start small.
On that note - I have LOTS to do today.
Have a great day!!!!