Regulars amongst you will know, there is a whole lot of love for lists on this page! If you too are fond of head emptying your head and processing all the ‘noise’ into a list, this post could be for you, or it could be the gentle nudge you are looking for to sift through the virtual Post It’s in your head and make some space for other thoughts.
• Switch ‘To Do’ to ‘Must Do’, you will be surprised the difference vocab makes in spurring you onwards.
• Set yourself a weekly task list, aim to complete 3 tasks per day rather than overwhelming yourself with a mega list that terrifies you into yet more procrastination.
• Set a buzzer on your phone/ watch/ alarm clock for say 15 minute intervals when doing tasks such as housework, not only will your natural instinct to ‘beat the buzzer’ kick in (yes, even you who thinks you are not competitive, you will find yourself competing), but you will be quite surprised how much you can achieve in 15 minute bursts of activity. Rope the kids/ other half in too…there could be rewards involved!
• Timetable your tasks for maximum efficiency: sounds like clap trap, but think about it for a moment; is there really any point in washing the floors at the weekend when your home is full? Enjoy your weekends! Try to eke out every last drop of ‘spare’ time in your day (step away from the smartphone) for example, kids in the bath/ shower? Whilst they are washing themselves squirt some loo cleaner around the rim, give the sink a quick wipe over (this is why Nicholas brood do teeth before washing, otherwise it’s kinda heartbreaking to watch the toothpaste smears reappear instantaneously!). Going out for the day/ up to bed, make sure you switch the Staff on and come home/ downstairs to clean laundry and clean dishes.
• Find a method that works for you: Evernote is a big hit here as it auto synchs all tech over the Wi-Fi connection at home (tablet, phone, PC). Notebook – list it out, tick it off. Calendar – never miss an appointment again *don’t forget though if you update your phone/ tech calendar, update your paper one too or confusion and missed appointments happen.
• Reams of letters home from school? Make like Mrs N and take a photo on your phone for reference, that way if the paper copy migrates to the recycling pile, gets doodled on or just vanishes into thin air you still have the info to hand. Worth remembering that the schools will often have copies of the letters sent home on their websites if you misplace.
• Papers, papers everywhere? Sift through and see what you actually need to keep on file. Either keep the papers neatly filed away or get rid of the paper mountain by scanning and storing on your hard drive (shred the original). Switching to paperless billing and banking is not only good for the environment but good for your head too as you are inviting less clutter in in the knowledge that everything you need is stored in chronological order online and can be reached with the click of a mouse. If you prefer to stick with paper, the sense of achievement when the file pile is dealt with is ridiculous and definitely deserving of a brew in celebration…just try not to let the pile build up!
• Kill the task that refuses to die! Sounds brutal, but, if a task has been lingering for more than 3 weeks on your list you need to ask yourself: 1) is it important? 2) can I delegate it? 3) can I delete it without consequence? If you answer yes, no, yes, then pull your finger out and do it!
• Set reminders on your phone or mark on your calendar: not just appointments and events, but also for things like payment due dates, birthdays, MOT expiry, insurance renewals (don’t fall foul of auto-renewing, kerching! there are no prizes for loyalty these days), vehicle servicing, boiler servicing, tax billing, lease renewals…you will be surprised how many things are whirring away in your subconscious!
• Clear the virtual clutter: look at your desktop: are there masses of shortcuts on it? Do you use all these shortcuts regularly or could you delete a few of them? When did you last empty your caches? Run a full virus scan lately? A regular sift through will speed up your machine and keep it fully protected. If you haven’t already, make sure your machine is set to run regular scans and updates. Whilst on the topic of tech, have you got virus protection on your phone and/ or tablet? If not, make sure you download free protection from a site like AVG – particularly if your tech leaves the house regularly, uses free Wi-Fi when out and about and then synchs up at home with other tech.
These are just a few ideas, some of which you may already be using, if you have any super useful tips you’d like to share with us, please do let us know!