I’m a Mom of two, wife, domestic engineer (aka housewife), craft blogger and Project Manager for a Software Implementation company – I’m a do-it-aller just like many of you!
1) I write ‘to dos’ and ideas down that pop in my head.For example, one of my new years resolutions was to organize my house, which is a huge undertaking! So I broke it down room by room on a spreadsheet to determine:
- What I wanted to do to each room.
- When I would do it.
- Then I broke it down in the spreadsheet so I could think through the materials I’d need and include the cost, so my dear hubby could include it in our budget and I had my shopping list.
- Then I went shopping with my list and got everything I needed to get the task done for the month. (I get annoyed when I get in the middle of a project and have to stop and go to the store – I just lose momentum).
Here is an example of what I’m doing this month, you can download this template and use it as your own (the greyed areas are calculations). To read more about how to break down your goals, check out an article I wrote and published on TypeAParent.com “How to Make a Resolution and Keep it!”.
Yep, I’m Type A…I can’t wait to finish this month’s project and show you guys!!!
Another example of how I write things down: I definitely have crafter ADD! I’ll have an idea, write it down and I can have 5 more before I get to the first idea. So I put together another spreadsheet, just like the one above, for my Craft Blog and when new ideas pop up, I look at the spreadsheet and evaluate when I want to get it done and shift things around if I want. This again lets me determine what I’ll need to complete each idea so my next Hobby Lobby or Joann’s trip is a little more focused (and I can print coupons )
By doing this I can stay focused on what I want/need to get the project done and ensure I have everything I need to do it!
FYI – Google Docs are AWESOME! I have all of my lists on Google Docs so I can view and edit from my computer downstairs, the one upstairs, my iPhone and even share with Ben who can update the lists I share, like the grocery list – super handy! And I can get daily notifications of what documents changed . Wonderful for us Type A people.
2) When I have tough problem/idea I need to figure out, I do another easy activity while I work out how I’m going to approach the tough problem.
Whenever I get stuck on a problem/idea or need to approach something/someone in a manner that requires delicacy, I have to reflect on the situation or perspective of the other person.
So, I step back and do something easy, like fold laundry, take a walk, unload the dishwasher, paint a wall – something that is almost second nature and a calming activity. And while I’m doing that activity I’m working out the tougher problem in my head. Before the easy task is done I usually have the tougher one solved, if not then I do another easy thing (my house is always in need of dusting or sweeping).
After I have the solution worked out in my head, I’m able to handle it much quicker than if I focused/dwell solely on it.
By doing this I’m getting two things done at once!
3) I don’t watch a lot of TV, play video games or have a lot of noise going on around me.
The only TV programs that I watch every new episode without multi-tasking is “Desperate Housewives” and “Once Upon a Time” – DVR is our friend. When the kids are asleep we’ll turn on the TV, but while we are watching the shows I’m usually working, surfing the web, catching up on Facebook, Twitter, or playing with Pinterest.
When I’m trying to solve something, I don’t have noise (TV, radio, etc) – there is enough chatter going on in my head trying to figure out the scenarios, I don’t need more noise.:)
By removing/limiting the noise I can focus. It also comes down to, for me, what’s more important; the stuff I do that impacts my life and family or celebrity gossip TV shows?
4) I work from home. Because I work from home, I have very little distractions. No one dropping by to chat about their weekend or interrupting work with stories about Bob in Accounting (made up name), office gossip etc. I’m able to go through my checklist of things I need to get done, respond to emails, attend conference and client calls and give 100% focus to each during normal working hours.
I also don’t have a commute; when the kids head off with Ben to school, I head upstairs to work and eat breakfast. I also don’t go out to lunch. If I were to evaluate how much time I save working from home, just on lunch and commute alone, that is at least 2 hours back into my day, plus, I can do those easy household tasks while solving tough work situations!
Note: I’ve been working from home for 8 years now, for my personality, it works. Working from home isn’t for everyone though: I have a good friend who tried it and she ended up going back to an office environment because she really enjoyed the office atmosphere.
My opinion, with any combination of these, anyone can get a more done.
I’m interested in your feedback: How do you get things done? Has this little slice of my neurotic behavior been helpful/interesting at all?