My Top 3 Tips for Getting Stuff Done

Feeling like you’re always behind, stuck going around and around in circles, and never really getting anywhere or finishing anything? Here are three of my top tips for getting stuff done:

1. Keep Your To-Do List Short

You need a plan for your day, otherwise, you’ll most likely just end up running in circles. However, if you try to bite off more than you can chew in a day’s time, you’ll end up overwhelmed from the get-go.

Set yourself up for success by creating a short to do list for each day. I suggest no more than 5-7 items on your list.

It’s better to only plan to do four things and to actually accomplish three of them, then to make a list of 47 to-do items, and a only get a few bits and pieces of some of them done.

2. Make Your Daily Goals Measurable

When you make your to-do list, be realistic. Don’t write down “Clear out clutter in the whole house” or “Clean house” or “Find a new job.”

Break things down into bite-sized, manageable pieces and be specific. For instance, instead of writing down “Clear out the clutter in the whole house.” Set a goal to spend 30 minutes clearing out the clutter in one room. Instead of attempting to clean the whole house, make a goal to vacuum two rooms, do a load of laundry, and clean the toilets.

Not only are specific, measurable goals much more concrete, they are also much more manageable. The thought of cleaning the whole house is overwhelming, but knowing you just have to vacuum two rooms, finish a load of laundry, and clean two toilets is much more achievable. Plus, when you set measurable goals, you know when they are accomplished.

3. Use Your Minutes Wisely

If you want to have more productivity and efficiency in your life, you need to become the master of your minutes. If you find yourself with a short two-minute window of time, don’t just twiddle your thumbs. Do something. I’m always surprised at how much can be accomplished in a few minutes’ of time.

Things You Can Accomplish When You Have 2-3 Minutes’ of Free Time:

::Write a short thank you note or email.

::Clean the sink or toilet in the bathroom.

::Switch a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer.

::Pull out dinner from the freezer.

::Make a healthful snack to munch on instead of grazing on high-calorie, low-nutrition snacks.

::Take your vitamins and drink a glass of water.

::Do 25 sit-ups.

::Do a quick clean up of a room.

::Read a short story to a child.

::Text your husband to tell him you love him and appreciate him.

::Read 2 pages of the book you’re currently reading.

::Make a quick phone call.

I’m sure you all could come up with a thousand other ideas for how to wisely use the little cracks up time that pop up throughout the day. Don’t let those little time slots slip by unproductively–it’s amazing how much they can add up in your favor!

Want more productivity tips? I highly recommend reading Amy’s ebook, Tell Your Time.

The principles in Tell Your Time have revolutionized my life and time management–and how I view time in general. And when I consistently apply the principles in it, it is amazing the difference it makes.

You might also want to get a copy of my ebook, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life.

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  1. says

    If I dread doing something, like cleaning the bathrooms or the kitchen, I’ll set my kitchen timer. I tell myself that 10 minutes isn’t that long and challenge myself to get as much done as I can. When the timer goes off, I can stop. It looks better than it did before. Of course, I usually keep going until it’s clean because getting started was the hardest part. So, I guess you could add an extra 5 or 10 minutes to that.

  2. Elizabeth says

    I love getting things done while on the phone. It’s a great time to put away dishes wipe down the bathroom, do a quick clean up, fold laundry and dust!! Then you don’t even realize you are doing such a boring task!

  3. says

    One of my favorite “two minute” jobs is cleaning just one shelf of my refrigerator. I always clean one shelf every day (Monday is the top shelf, Tuesday is the next shelf, etc.) All the leftovers get eaten and I don’t have to clean moldy yuck that stayed there too long!