10 Tips to Help Parents Stay Productive
I am a Virgo- and therefore my life is all about trying to achieve order and organization… even during a recent family excursion-being the slightly anal about cleanliness and orderly type of person that I am-I had to make sure that everyone’s shoes were lined up in the closet, all the clothes were neatly tucked away in the drawers and that our toiletries were symmetrically placed on the bathroom shelves. I know, I’m slightly pathetic– even on vacation I wasn’t able to let go of my obsessive need to bring some semblance of structure to the hotel room we inhabited. I couldn’t just let the damp towels lay on the floor, or the crumpled up pajamas, stay draped over the chairs…
I’ve always been told I should start my own cleaning and organizing service and while I’d love to, I can’t! I’m simply too busy trying to organize the chaos of my own little nuclear family. Between the jam-packed wall calendar I’ve got tacked to a large cork board in my kitchen, and bits of scrap paper literally tucked into every nook and cranny of my home-office I’ve always felt there had to be a better way to organize all the information my kids rely on me to regurgitate to them at a moment’s notice. And with 6/20 being World Productivity Day?! The recognized day is a good time to take a moment and reflect upon how productive or unproductive you actually are- I figure now is as good a time as any to get some Productivity Tips from Johan Gunnars, CEO and Co-Founder of Simpliday.
Don’t say yes to everything. While many people set high productivity standards for themselves, it’s necessary to be realistic about your time limitations. It’s okay to say no to requests from others—or even from yourself—and not feel bad about it. Instead, be proud of what you have accomplished and confident in the tasks you’ve chosen to prioritize.
Use your commute for less intensive tasks. Many people consider the daily commute as valuable productivity time. While that’s true, this time doesn’t have to be spent taking care of your most stressful tasks. Instead of answering work emails or crunching numbers, use the commute to check off less intensive tasks that still make you productive, such as brainstorming play-date ideas for your child, calling your mother to say hi, listening to a podcast you’ve been wanting to tune into, or even using this time to relieve some stress by singing along with the radio!
Live by your organized calendar. There’s nothing that helps you stay productive better than an organized, beautiful, and functional calendar. Seek out a calendar app that reflects your personality, doesn’t bore you with a grey and lackluster interface, adapts to your life, and allows you to easily move appointments, send meeting invites, link your emails or Facebook events, and see your list of reminders all in one place. The right calendar app will ensure that you’ll never miss an event and can take pride in your completed tasks.
Evaluate and eliminate time and money wasting relationships. Ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of marketing emails, texts or calls you receive? How about the acquaintances whose invitations you keep declining? By assessing your email inbox, friendships, and commitments, you can easily declutter your life by unsubscribing. Remove yourself from any pesky or irrelevant retail mailing lists and focus on spending your time with those you truly want to spend your time with.
Quit multi-tasking. It’s difficult in this day and age to tune out all of the distractions and focus on the task at hand. Social media, a buzzing phone, happy children begging to play, emails constantly arriving, a never-ending to-do list, or even “worker’s block” all make it tempting to jump from task to task. By putting your phone in the other room on silent, taking your email offline, or pre-arranging play dates, nannies, or a convenient nap time, you can convince yourself to quit multi-tasking and focus on one task at a time. In the end, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish!
And Keep reading for a few more of MY nifty tips to help you and your brood get organized for the summer and get the many details of your harried life under control and dare I say- manageable!
1. Create a master checklist. Write down all the summer supplies you need, all the clothing you need to buy and any other tasks that need to get done. Make sure to cross off the item once you ( or another member of your family) has completed the task!
#2 Have a family calendar. This will be the nerve center for all events trips and important school and after school related data.
#3 Create a hub which houses all art supplies and related kid paraphernalia– ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE MOMENTS WHEN YOUR KID SAYS HE CAN’T WRITE A BIRTHDAY CARD BECAUSE HE “CAN’T FIND A PENCIL”
#4 Set out everything the night before to avoid that day camp morning rush. Plan your outfits, lunches, have slips signed, even get the breakfast dishes set up for the morning and always have your coffee pot on a timer.
#5 Create a dinner menu on Sunday night that will take you through the week and let your kids pick one night that is kids choice night aka ( order PIZZA IN!)
So what are you waiting for; eliminate those pesky scraps of paper that are littering every crevice of your office, coat pockets and handbags and get organized!