EFFICIENT SYSTEMS ARE A LIFESTYLE
Say what?! Wow, that must be a boring life, you’re thinking, right? I mean, what are you, a giant computer walking around? Well, no, that’s not exactly what I’m talking about. (Though I have heard AI is taking over the world, so maybe that’s coming…?)
I’m going to go on a limb here, and say most people don’t do things the most efficient way all day every day. We all waste some time coming back to things we should have finished the first time, double-doing because we don’t have a way to do things once, and running in circles because we’re trying to manage way too many things with way too few resources. Especially if you’re a mom with a business.
But imagine if you could actually squeeze a little more time out of your day by rearranging a handful of items on your to-do list, or by simply patterning your days better. I’m not talking a “morning routine.” That’s a great start if you’re doing it, but I want to show you a way to have the REST of your day go smoothly.
First, though, I have to tell you this - don’t try to over-control things. We’re not working on your day to make it so rigid that you can’t bend with the wind. There’s no snapping in half, OK? That’s not going to help.
So let’s list a few ways you can get some efficient systems into your life NOW, to start freeing up your time and easing that pressure you’re feeling.
GROUP LIKE TASKS
This sounds obvious, but I can guarantee you’re missing some of these every single day. Let me tell you a story. The other day I was SO IRRITATED with my husband because the dog food was running low, and I knew I wasn’t going to have time to go buy more in the next couple of days. I had to analyze a little bit about why it pissed me off. I finally realized, it’s because, for me, the obvious thing is to keep a mental tally of where in the bin the food level is, and when it gets to a certain point, I make a note and the next time I go to Walmart (yes, Wall-mart specifically, because it’s the cheapest place to buy the Dog Chow in our area) for anything, I grab a new bag before it is completely out at home. I had been traveling so I couldn’t see the food bin getting low, but I knew he had just been to Walmart the previous day, and didn’t buy the food! The root of my irritation was that he wasted time (and money) because he didn’t group the errands together, and cost us an extra trip to the store.
What YOU need to realize from this is - where can you take things from your life and do them in a different order? Each time I leave the house, it’s at least 30 minutes of time. If I can run 3 errands on that one trip, I’ve saved myself around an hour of wasted time. Where can you make this simple change like this in your life? This is a non-computer ‘system.’ A pattern for you to follow to create more efficiency in your life. This doesn’t ONLY apply to running errands, but this is one of the most common time-wasters.
WRITE YOUR TASKS DOWN
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one - but when you think of something you need to do, WRITE IT DOWN (or add it to your phone task list, or your project management app, however you track your tasks.). How many times do you have to think about doing something before you actually get it done because you’re forgetting about it in the meantime? It happens to everyone. True-story, it even happened to me the other day. I teach my clients, as one of my biggest rules, not to write ambitious things on their task list because it’s a huge time waster to have to re-figure out what you meant. I was so tired from traveling over the weekend to a speaking engagement in LA. When I’m tired, my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders. I sat down Monday evening and looked at what I still had on my list, and found the word “hot” staring back at me. What in the world did that mean? I did waste time wracking my brain dumbfounded. Then I laughed at myself for breaking my own rule. It wasn’t until mid-day on Tuesday that I finally figured out what I had meant. Moral of the story is, write down what you need to do, and in a clear and concise manner. Don’t waste time having to come back and re-think it through.
THE BEST WORK-LIFE BALANCE SYSTEM IS MEAL PLANNING
Put down that resistance wall! I’m serious! How much time do you spend having to think about what you’re going to have for dinner TONIGHT? Then, do you have the ingredients? Do you have to run to the store? You’ll save so much time and energy if you’re planning your food needs for a week or a month at a time. There are so many ways to do it, I’m not going to detail it out in this post. But I promise you’ll save time, brain-power, trips to the store, and even money! You won’t be sorry.
These are three non-computer systems that will get you started in your efficiency lifestyle. Remember, don’t try to control everything, you’ll go crazy. Add in these little things as you’re going along. Baby-steps are the best steps when you’re changing yourself.
Tell us in the comments below: What other ideas for creating efficiency in your life did you think of as you read these starting points?
Jessica is a certified life, business, and success coach, turning chaos into order and creating resilience. She's a mother of 4 kids, 20 chickens, and 2 dogs, nature lover, book devourer, chronic student, and over-zealous volunteer in the community. She is super passionate about helping women succeed with their individual dreams - and giving strategy and automation to their business to make it run on autopilot!