“Katie, I don't know how you do it. How do you seem to accomplish so much?“
That was a reader question, but one I've also received from friends and acquaintances. I usually answer with a Scripture verse:
Faithful is HE that calleth you, WHO also will do it. (I Thessalonians 5:24)
Those 11 little words hold a powerhouse of Truth! In this season of life, as in every season, I can do everything the Lord has called me to do, because I do it in His strength, and through His enablement.
And through his enablement, I have also begun to realize there are a few things I do (almost) every day that help me to prioritize and be more productive with my time.
Here’s my list, not necessarily in order of importance:
1. Pray before getting out of bed
Regardless of how I feel about the day (good or bad) before my feet hit the floor, I pray for God's blessing on the day and for those I will get to impact for him today.
2. Take a Shower
I’m a grump if I don’t take a shower before the day gets started. It seems to give me a gentle wake up and allow me to get my thoughts together for the day.
3. Put my Makeup On
It’s amazing the difference this makes in my energy and productivity. When I am well dressed and put together, I feel more professional and it gives me energy.
4. Get my Cup of Coffee
Oh yes! Anyone else like this? My Hero gets the coffee going while I am in the shower, so I can face the world with coffee in hand (generally chilled as it is so hot here.)
5. Start my Diffuser
I love to have a pleasant smell about the house. As we start our homeschool morning I love the calm, homey atmosphere the essential oils provide (find out how to order your own here). I also enjoy having the diffuser running while I work. Here are some of my recent favorite essential oil diffusing recipes.
6. Take Time to Brain Dump
Either at night before I go to bed or first thing in the morning, I write down everything I need to do that day or feel like I need to do. Getting it all out of my head onto paper is such a great way for me to be able to focus undistracted on the task at hand. It also helps me feel productive as I can see the things I cross off as the day progresses. I don't have a fancy planner for this, just a notebook that fits in any bag I have and allows me to keep a running list.
7. Track my Goals
Each month I try to focus on a monthly goal, personal or business. Every day I check in on this and chart my progress on the white board, the spreadsheet, notebook, or wherever I am tracking it. This helps me keep the goal in the forefront and provides daily accountability. I also review my long-term and yearly goals about once per week.
8. Read My Bible
As a daughter of the King of Kings, spending time in God’s Word feeds my soul, refreshes my focus (often challenges my attitude), and encourages my heart. One of my favorite devotionals is Streams in the Desert by L.B.E. Cowman. I love the poetry she includes.
9. Hug My Little People
Yes, happy hearts, happy faces, and full love tanks mean getting things done around the house is much easier on us all.
10. Kiss My Husband
The kids make all kinds of faces and comments, but they really love it, and so does Hero. It's important to our productivity as a team (both in family and business) that he and I are on the same page. Kissing long and often really helps soften the rough edges of our teamwork and unites us.
11. Clean Up the Downstairs Living Areas
We do a quick clean up of our main living areas a few times a day. This helps keep our home fairly tidy and makes it easy to do a quick clean sweep if/when the doorbell rings unexpectedly. It also helps me think better when the area is mostly presentable.
12. Do a Load of Laundry
Doing a load of laundry from start to finish every day helps us to stay on top of the laundry and never get too far behind. We just graduated Flower from dishes to laundry as her main household responsibility, so now I have a happy helper, and it is going even better. Plus Sunshine loves to “help us” pass the laundry from washer to dryer.
13. Take My Vitamins (including essential oils and chocolate)
I take a few different vitamins every day and there are certain essential oils that I use daily. My body can tell a pretty obvious difference when I forget to take them. I feel off and in I have less energy. I also generally indulge in a piece of chocolate when I start my evening work hours after the kids are in bed. It helps me look forward to work (even more) and gives me a little boost as I get started.
14. Plan my Work
I like to have my work hours defined, some call this time blocking, where I know what I am working on when, or on what day of the week. That way it is easy when things come up to add them to the list for the day I work on that, so I can stay focused on the task(s) at hand for today.
15. Do the Hard Stuff First, in bite sized pieces.
If the goal is big or extra hard/complicated, I do that first to get it out of the way. If it's a long-term project I start with the deadline date and break it up into pieces working backwards from the due date. I give deadlines to each piece, and crossing them off as I go.
16. Get a Good Night's Sleep
For me, this means 7-8 hours. It doesn't always happen during the hours most people sleep, but I do sleep 7-8 hours. Less, I can “get by with” for a limited time if necessary. But, I am old enough to know that my day and my productivity levels are SO much better when I have enough sleep.
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