Being productive with small units of time

I wrote recently about time management issues and how although I don’t have much spare time to achieve things I am creative about how I use my time, so MOST of the time manage to achieve quite a lot everyday. It never feels like enough of course, so I am constantly trying to think of ways to be more productive.

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Most of the time these are very small things that can make a huge difference. By making a few small changes to the way you do things you can start to tick more things off the never ending ‘to-do’ list.

I’ve ordered my shopping online for years but it is only recently that I have switched to ordering via the Morrisons App on my Smartphone. Compared to some, this App is very easy to use and easy to navigate. It also has a really useful feature where you can add on items you’ve forgotten with ‘one-click’ without checking out again. This has made a big difference becasue I have done away with any form of shopping list as I just add things onto the order when I think about it – I could be in the bath, waiting for the children to come out of school or anywhere really. It takes seconds and before I know it I’ve done the shopping.

In a similar way, I have taken to using other useful Apps to save time (and money in many cases). I order a lot from Amazon, loo rolls in bulk, birthday and Christmas presents, things we need for the home and I often order them at random times, including the middle of the night when I am awake with one of the children. The point about the Apps is I order things and tick them of the list at the point I think of them. I don’t have to find other time to go somewhere or make a list to remind me to action it at another point in time.

I carry my laptop everywhere. As daft as this might sound to some people, those of you who have family and work to juggle will identify with this. I have discovered that this can actually give me some extra time in the day to reply to emails and carry out other work tasks. The little ones will often fall asleep in the car, and I’ve even been known to pull off the road to park to reply to something urgent when this happens. It doesn’t matter if I get two minutes or twenty minutes, it all helps.

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I use my smartphone a lot and I email myself reminders of things I need to do if i can’t complete them at the time. I never feel I will just remember everything as there are so many things flying through my head all of the time so this helps. I also use my smartphone to draft articles or reports I am writing and send them to myself to save time.

I don’t sleep much because I try to cram so much into a day and although I have written about the horrors of sleep deprivation and I don’t doubt the negatives of this, I also really struggle to understand how some people manage to go to bed at 8 or 9 pm – how does that work? When do you get everything done?

I involve the children in tasks around the home, and I have written about that before but I also engage them in things where I need to be. So, as an example if I have washing to put away upstairs then I take the little boys up with me and they look at their books or we put a nursery rhyme CD on and sing whilst I put the washing away. The result is that they have had fun and I have got something done I needed to.

My main overall approach to achieving lots in a day is to regard every ‘spare’ minute as an opportunity to get things done. This might sound as if there isn’t much time to relax and that is true to a large extent but I am the type of person who can’t relax when I can see so much to do around me, so by being more productive, I then feel that I can relax afterwards.

What is your approach to getting things done?

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7 comments on 'Being productive with small units of time'

  • Yes to the 8 to 9 bedtime. How DOES that work? I’ve been trying to get myself to go to bed at 10 for years and I just can’t do it.

    I think your favorite tip of mine is online shopping. In the last few years I’ve become a walking commercial for Amazon. I hardly ever go in a store besides the grocery store.

  • Taking your boys with you and singing nursery rhymes while sorting washing is a great idea and I’ll bet the time goes quicker too! I ‘timebox’ (as Michelle at The Joy Chaser recently wrote!) and write things down to do. I literally allocate time slots in my diary for tasks and if I haven’t finished it, too bad. I move on to the next thing. Sometimes it means things don’t get finished but if they’re important, I go back later. The most important thing is that I’ve got through my list! #ShareWithMe

  • I love that you carry your laptop around every where you go I might have to start doing that what a great idea. lol :) I don’t sleep much either but it is starting to show big signs of wear on this body of mine. I need to find better time elsewhere to get everything done or I will be a zombie I am sure of it soon. lol I like to get things done as soon as I think of them so i don’t forget. My head is already full of too much but I am a huge fan of priority list and working through them before I get to relax and do anything other than whats write down. Thanks for sharing your productive routine with time on #Sharewithme

  • I know what you mean about there never seeming to be enough hours in the day. I try and go to bed early because the baby often has me up for the day at 4am but I never seem to manage before 10 at the earliest and it’s usually even later! #ShareWithMe

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