As part of the Time Management series, I wanted to share some productivity tips for bloggers, as many of you asked about this. All of these won’t work for you, but hopefully you can find two or three to implement and save yourself time and effort!
1) Create a Computer Time Budget
Just as I found it helpful to have a time budget for my daily activities, so I’ve found it so helpful to have a time budget for my daily computer times, instead of just saying, “I’m going to spend four hours on computer and blogging work each day.”
I currently have my computer time broken down into the following specific blocks:
45 minutes on substantive writing
1.5 hours posting time-sensitive deal posts
30 minutes on email
15 minutes on Facebook/Twitter
15 minutes on a writing project
45 minutes extra — placing online orders, reading blog posts, extra projects
I don’t always follow these time blocks perfectly. Sometimes something comes up which requires I spend extra time working on a technical issue. Or occasionally I’ll have a conference call scheduled. So I’ll shift some things around in order to accommodate these extra things.
But having my computer time all budgeted out, instead of just getting on and doing whatever seemed most pressing, has helped me to get a lot more done in a lot less time. In fact, some days, I’m able to get everything done on my list — with time to spare!
2) Do One Thing At a Time
I know, I know! Multi-tasking can be a very efficient way to do many things. However, when it comes to most computer work, if you want to get concentrated work done in an efficient manner, you need to shut out all the noise and just focus on one thing at a time.
If it’s your time to email, work on emailing. Go through your emails in order of priority and don’t stop until your time is up. If it’s your time to write blog posts, only work on drafting blog posts until your time is up.
If you’re used to trying to post or email while you have a bunch of applications open and constantly dinging at you, you’ll likely be surprised at just how much work you can get done in a distraction-free 20-30-minute concentrated block of time.
And once you get in the habit of doing one thing at a time, you’ll learn where your fizzle out point is when you need to stop and take a break or stop for the day in order to come back to it refreshed and energized. Personally, I’ve found that I do best by working in 20-30 minute blocks and then rewarding myself with a short 5-minute break to check email or Facebook. If I’m working on an in-depth project which requires a lot of brain power, I’ll often set the timer for 20 minutes and work on it and then set the timer for 15 minutes and worth on cleaning up or doing laundry.
3) Tame the Email Monster
A) Eliminate Unnecessary Emails
-Go into your Twitter account and change your settings so that you don’t get notified when someone follows you.
-Go into your Facebook settings and change your notifications so that you don’t get emailed when anyone does anything but replies to one of your posts or sends you a private message.
-Unsubscribe from all email lists which you don’t actively read the emails and benefit from.
-Turn off notifications when someone subscribes or unsubscribes from your YouTube or email newsletter service.
-Set up a very comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page which answers a large number of questions people routinely email you about. Put this in very conspicuous places on your site including smack-dab in the middle of your Contact page. While plenty of people will disregard this, I promise that it will at least cut down on some of your email load.
-Have a search button in a very obvious place on the sidebar of your blog. This encourages people to search for that post or recipe themselves of emailing in to ask you for the link.
B) Don’t Feel Obligated to Answer All Your Emails
State on your Contact page that you aren’t able to answer much of your email. This frees you up from feeling obligated to answer every email which comes in.
C) Keep Your Inbox Cleaned Out
I shoot for having less than 10 emails in my inbox at all times. If they are in my inbox, it means they need to be dealt with within the next 24 hours.
When I check my email, I deal with emails immediately. I either respond, if I have a minute and only a sentence or two is required in response, I archive them if no response is necessary, or I file them in my “To Answer” file in Gmail if a response is necessary but I don’t have time to respond at the moment. Once a week, usually on Saturdays, I try clean out the entire “To Answer” file so that it’s completely empty.
This system works well for me as it helps me to not be bogged down with a lot of emails not requiring an immediate response in my inbox. And it ensures — most of the time, at least! — that nothing highly important gets overlooked or lost in a sea of emails.
By the way, if you’re going to take the time to answer a question in more than a paragraph or two, consider turning it into a post. Then, you kill two birds with one stone — you answered an email and you wrote a post!
Related: Amy shares more tips for keeping your inbox cleaned out.
D) Set Up Canned Responses
I love Gmail’s Canned Responses feature and I highly recommend using it. You can set up responses for emails you often receive and with a click of a button insert them straight into an email.
For instance, I often receive emails asking for my address or how to start a blog. I have a canned response all set up for these questions, so I just click the appropriate Canned Response and it automatically inserts it and in a couple of seconds, the email is pretty much answered.
E) Enable Send and Archive
This is another cool tool in Gmail. You can change your “Send” button to “Send & Archive”. Instead of having to push send and then go and delete the message, you can do it with one click, saving yourself a couple seconds per email. When you are responding to dozens of emails each day, those little seconds add up! See how to set up Send & Archive here.
I’ll be posting Part 2 on Wednesday. Stay tuned!
**Update: This giveaway is now closed.**
Win a free Windows Phone 7!
Would you like to try out a Windows Phone 7 for free? These phones were just released and Microsoft is giving one away to a reader here this month!
To enter, just leave a comment on this post sometime between today and November 29, 2010. Tell us your favorite tip for getting more done in less time as a blogger or in any other facet of your life.
After November 29, 2010, I’ll choose and notify the winner. See the official rules of this giveaway here.
This giveaway is brought to you by the new Windows Phone 7. Less MIA. More PTA: Learn about Windows Phone online and see it in person at local T-Mobile stores today.
photos from Shutterstock
I really like keeping notebooks around for ideas. It doesnt cost much and it helps me later on when I am bored or uninspired to give me new ideas
Doing more for less means delegating more responsibilities to the kids so my time can be used more productively.
One way we do more with less is with leftovers. Especially during Thanksgiving time. An example would be using ham for lunch sandwiches and using the leftover turkey for quesadillas or my favorite turkey and tortilla soup! Phone looks great!
Turtle Mom says
This phone would help keep me organized so that I can do more with less!
Jose D says
I do more with less when I shop on Black Friday for presents I will give on Christmas!
Sometimes I give myself a time limit and that helps me get things done quickly. For instance, I have one hour to do as much laundry as humanly possible and I’m not allowed to stop or sit down until that hour is over. I’ve found that this helps me cut down on wasted time.
Limiting time online saves me heaps of time.
Dele O says
Doing more with less sometimes means reusing grocery bags, or buying the recyclable types and using those. Saves the environment and saves the grocery stores money, which in turn saves you money.
m and ms are probably my favorite more with less candy. i use them to decorate cakes, i use them in counting games with kids, and they just taste good
Erin Morris says
One of my ways to do more with my time is kinda sneaky. My kids LOVE it when I let them play chef. At first it was quite a chore for me with them getting under foot. But now my 8, 9, and 11 year olds have picked up quite a few skills like searing meat, scrambled or fried eggs, baking cookies or cornbread. They actually help me get dinner ready faster, and have helped me out so much in a pinch. And I’m, of course, tickled pink that we’re bonding, they’re learning, and everybody’s happy!
Turtle Mom says
I am trying to do more with less by entering to win wonderful giveaways!
My grandmother taught me to “save steps”. During chore time around the house, always have something with you to be returned or replaced as you move from area to area and room to room.
Sarah C says
I’m not a super-duper blogger, so it isn’t really critical when I turn off the computer for an afternoon. Not having the option to be able to immediately look something up or be distracted with neato blog posts allows me to focus on those things that I really need to deal with.
Southern Gal says
I try to use an egg timer whenever possible. That way if I’m tempted to turn it off and keep going with whatever it is I’m doing, I usually have an “accountability partner” who will not let me rest until I quit right now!
Dele O says
doing more with less could mean budgeting and adhering to it. It allows us to save properly and spend wisely
I do more with less redundancy by syncing my files using Windows Live Mesh.
Dele O says
Doing more for less is all about doing dishes before, during, and after thanksgiving dinner. Saves a lot of time the next day.
P.S. happy thanksgiving
More for less: Host a get together with your friends and have a clothes swap …exchange your don’t-likes and never-worns for things you can use. Everybody wins!
I have to agree with the earlier comment. I have to get off this stinkin’ computer. I could spend an entire day on this thing if I let myself.
This might be a little too simple, but I do more with less by always having my laptop with me. Nowadays, since I’m in college, it seems like everything is being moved online, from turning essays in to math homework. It definitely helps me do more when I have free time and I have less stuff to carry around!
i love giving out coupons as presents. Like ill watch your kids for an hour or help you clean your house. they are cheap and effective. so everyone is happy
Turtle Mom says
Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for people who pour their hearts and souls into blogging! I am especially thankful for the phone giveaway as I am in desperate need of a new one!
Doing more for less means buying a gently used car that’s been cared for and maintaining it carefully for another ten years.
One example of me doing more with less is carpooling with friends to school (when I don’t take the train). Being college students, we’ll save all the money we can and it’s so convenient that I have a group of friends that all live pretty close! It’s fun to see each other in the mornings, ha and eat breakfast on the go. It’d be so awesome to win!
Dele O says
Doing more with less means keeping your cars as long as possible especially when they are paid off.
christy r says
My tip for getting more done in less time is planning Crock Pot meals ahead of time. I also stock up when there are sales in order to cut down trips to the grocery store.
Little Rock Mommy says
Great tips! I do anything and everything. I make lists so I don’t impulse buy. I match up sales with coupons to save more money. And I always watch out for the freebies!
Turtle Mom says
I do more with less by baking from scratch and cooking meals instead of grabbing fast food or eating out. It not only saves money, but it’s also healthier.
I get more done by using the Microsoft Outlook junk filters to see less spam.
I do more with less by running with a local running club instead of paying for a gym membership.
Doing more with less means creating a tight budget and sticking to it, avoiding impulse buys, and saving for rainy days. And staying out of the malls!
Dele O says
I do more with less by using awesome phone apps. There are many useful, fun, and creative apps out there that help make life a little bit easier to manage.
Shelby M. says
I do more by sleeping less. It is amazing what you can get done in the morning without distractions.
Heather D says
I don’t have a blog as of yet…but I do try to get more done with less. The crockpot is my all time favorite kitchen gadget. I try to create our menus for the week using the crockpot. Not only is dinner ready when I get home, but there are always leftovers that I can take to work the next day. It saves me time and money that I get to spend with my family.
Candy Foote says
I don’t have a best tip. That’s why I’m on here! I love your site!
Thanks for all of the info you share.
i like to do things little at a time to maintain keen and detailedness.I just recently strted blogging im learing step by step but not in hurry….it’ll take 6months or 1 year to be productive ……..no problem some late is better than never.i follow the same for cooking and house chores but there is no compromise with kids meal time and study time.I just keep alot of concentration on them
I am loving aluminum foil as an insulation material these days, helps me shape cakes, and keep things warm 🙂
The best thing I can do is make a list of must happens, and nice-to-do items. Setting my priorities helps me not fall behind.
Love all the new series you are doing! I try to stay off the computer during the day until I get other important things done.
Smockity Frocks says
I would love to win this phone!
I have been staying off the computer between 8am-8pm. I really have to work fast to get all my blogging business taken care of now. This practice has eliminated a lot of wasted time because I know I have to get the important stuff done quickly.
Erica Best says
i do more with less when i use coupons they help so much and it hard sometime. But it help when u use then with a store sale and u cant save so much money it makes me so help when i do more for less.
Barb Miller says
I have been enjoying your blog very much. I don’t honestly know how to blog or how it works. I’m just learning to text message.
My more for less: Bake family goodies instead of buying storebought. Make extra and freeze for later. Do the same for meals: cook more, freeze extras.
Dele O says
I’m all about doing more with less by using free tools such as the Google calendar to organize my day, week, month, year…need I go on!!!
I get more with less by doing comparison shopping using Bing.
Dele O says
I do more with less by spending my time wisely with family, friends, and loved ones.
Since I’m in college, when I need to be more productive, have the perfect little spot in the corner of the library that I always go to for focusing on my essays and assignments. It really helps!
Jen Clemmer says
You can do anything in 15 minutes . . . the oven timer is a blessing in my house!! It helps me stay on track and to move on the next thing so I don’t get occupied on one task!
I rely heavily on google calendar to be my memory. I throw many small details and reminders into it and know that I will be emailed on time.
I’ll be able to get more done with less by consolidating my devices when I get a Windows Phone.
I love the tip about focusing in time blocks, because truly you cannot multitask efficiently. Thanks for your suggestions about Facebook notifications; I definitely need to do this. The temptation to head on over to Facebook is too great once I get a notification!
Samantha R says
I make lists – every Sunday I go through my week and plan out what day I am going to clean what and when to do errands.
The thing that has helped me be more productive above all else is to turn the TV off.
Jenny M says
I try to make a list while I have my morning tea or coffee at the counter. As good as I am about remembering all the little things, I often find that when I make the list I dump that storage space in my brain and make more room for focusing on what needs to be done. I can focus on the task at hand and then quickly get to the next one on the list. When I dont make a list I run around and quietly chant the list over and over in my head distracting me from the work I’m supposed to be doing!
the good ol library always has books but they also have craft books to help give u ideas on how to make presents 🙂
I’ve been kind of tight on money lately ad so have my friends so we have all been going to free art/music fairs and festivals instead of going to the movies and restaurants! It’s more fun with less money!
It would be great to win!
My tip for having a productive day around the house is to put my tennis shoes on in the morning and don’t take them off until I have everything I need to accomplish done. I am more productive when I have my shoes on, and when I catch myself sitting down on the couch to rest and starting to kick my shoes off, I’m reminded that I still have more to do! And the best part? Getting to prop my shoeless feet up when I’m done!
I do not have an active blog but I try to keep myself and my 2.5 year old on a schedule daily (i.e. certain amount of time for breakfast, story time, lunch, t.v., outings, etc.). Also, while my toddler is busy doing something that she can do alone, I do things like clean something, search the web, prepare the next activity, etc.
Jordyn Lessenberry says
My favorite tip was eliminating unnecessary emails. I have a problem with subscribing to anything and everything that relates to my life, but unfortunately, I hardly get the time to read them. They just end up in my Inbox, which then makes your tip on keeping my Inbox clean hard to achieve. Thanks for all your tips. I’m going to try to follow one of them in hopes to eventually do all of them. Have a great day! Mahalo!
Erin H. says
My husband and I share google calendars to stay organized and maximize our precious time.
By using Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook, I do more and do it quicker.
i love the advice on allotting computer time because i am on here way too much doing nothing but surfing
Amber @ Classic Housewife says
I really could stand to implement some of these tips for myself! I nearly choked when I saw 15 minutes for Twitter & Facebook. (I know I spend a LOT of time on Twitter and Facebook.)
Today I’ve really *felt* how distracting it is to have all of the apps open while trying to focus, so I’m going to pick that as my favorite tip and start working on that right now. I need to pick one thing and focus on it alone for the next twenty minutes. Thanks!
I am a multi-tasker. I usually am doing something else (like cleaning) while I’m talking on the phone.
I stay organized with Microsoft OneNote, which helps me do more with less time.
Tracy Harper says
My calendar is my time saver. Everything goes in my calendar/planner as soon as I’m aware of it. It saves me from trying to figure out later when something is taking place or is due. Everybody knows if it’s not on mom’s calendar, I (we) don’t know it exists. LOL.
Gmail + filters = sanity! Setting up those filters has made a world of a difference in my life.
Dele O says
Doing more with less sometimes means working on the go. Which is where my laptop and a good smartphone comes in handy. Go windows phone
I follow your plan of “do this one thing for 10 minutes” or whatever, and then break for a few minutes to work on something else. It helps keep me focused instead of winding down and losing concentration.
Denise Wilson says
I don’t have a blog, however, I try to stay on top of things by making lists and sticking with it! Not always easy to get things done with the kids distracting me, but I try to get them involved to help me. 🙂
i love looking at forums to decide how i want my blog formatted.
Sarah m says
Just started getting serious about my blog. Your post couldn’t have been more timely!
My best time management tip is to get off the internet for most of the day. I get so much more done during that time, and then when I’m actually on in the evenings, I get more done online because i don’t want to stay up so late fooling around. I don’t always follow advice but when I do, it works swimmingly.
Chris P says
I don’t have a blog just yet….but I am a homeschooling mom. What helps me save time right now is my dinner co-op. I cook one night of the week for my family + 2 other families and deliver a hot, nutritious meal to their houses. Then on 2 other nights of the week, dinner shows up at my doorstep!
I am working on starting up a professional blog so this was a great article.
I think the thing that I need to do the most is to set up a schedule and to focus on only one thing at a time.
I wish I had a tip to share, but I’m still working on implementing these things.
Rosanna Root says
As a mom of two little ones under 2 years old – I find that I have to just focus on the little things and just try to enjoy this time with my babies. Much easier said than done though. 🙂
Heather Chandler says
My son is now old enough to play in the tub with me in the room but not having to hold him. I get much of my emailing done using the laptop and wifi while he plays boats. This helps me limit my computer time.
I love the idea of a time budget. I’ve been doing something similar for about a year now, without actually calling it a budget… but I will figure out how much time I have to work with perhaps two hours until naptime is over, and then assign times to each activity I want to get done in that period. For example: 1/2 hour e-mail and blogs, 15 minutes cleaning in the kitchen, 15 minute phone call to my mom, 1/2 hour packing for the upcoming weekend trip to grandma’s, and 1/2 hour meal prep. It really helps me to get more done, when I know I’m working against the clock.
Krista White says
As a new mom, I find myself with so much to do, and not enough hours in the day to do it. I think the best time saver I have found is to not stress the small stuff. Concentrate on just a few key items that you want to accomplish every day, and just do that. When you are done, you’re done, give yourself a pat on the back, and put your feet up!
Lisa @ CT Coupon Chic says
I love the tip on blocking out your time and how you break up the minutes/hours to do certain tsks while online. And the one about finding your fizzling point….I am definitely used to multitasking and end up getting much less productive work done. Thanks for this article!
Susan Sharp says
I have my 4-year-old daughter practice her scissors skills on Sunday mornings while I clip coupons. She has fun learning her skill & I have an extra set of hands to help clip.
Courtney S says
Thanks for this awesome info! Would love to win the phone!
Sticking to and using my to-do lists effectively has made a huge difference for me. I try to add a blog task or idea to my list right away and force myself to stick to the priorities I laid out that day. Sometimes just giving myself a goal makes a huge difference.
h. rae says
These are good, sensible ideas! A full mailbox does create stress! I didn’t know all the trick to gmail and will have to try them!
Brenda Prentice says
I think my favorite tip is to do only one thing at a time. For some reason, I had never even remotely thought of doing that. I guess I just figured since I try to do at least 2 things at a time in running my household, I should do the same on the computer. Now that I think about it, this actually hurts my graphic design business and the friends that I try desperately to keep up with. They both get cheated.
Amy @ Raising Arrows says
Great thoughts! I do all of my promoting (Facebook, Twitter, etc) at one time of day and then usually shut those down after that. That has helped tremendously! (still trying to make the one-touch email work for me. *sigh*)
Denise Taylor says
I would like to try the Windows 7 Phone
I make a list and try to accomplish at three “doable” things on that list each day such as washing a load of clothes, answering emails or food prepping for the next few days. At the end of the day, I know that i hae at least made baby steps in getting things.
I’m not a professional blogger, but I do have a personal blog. I’ve found that it’s fastest to write the blog posts (maybe a few at a time), then go back to add pictures and format.
Kristina at Balancing Budgets and Babies says
I think the most helpful thing for both blogging and personal is the time budget envelope system. Thank you for this wonderful and much needed (for me at least!) series.
I am able to manage my time more efficiently by sticking with tasks until they are done. This may be harder for someone with children that need attention, but I have found that by giving one task my undivided attention I am able to finish it in much less time than when trying to tackle my entire ‘to do’ list at once.
the comments people leave me on my blog give me future ideas for blog entries
Turn off the TV — saves a lot of time. 🙂
Faith Still says
I would love to win. I have to take breaks. I can’t blog everyday.
Robin Wagoner says
Thank you for sharing the canned responses & the send & archive features! What fantastic tools for any busy techno junkie 🙂
Andrea Hardy says
I try to save time by dealing with it right when I get it.
Kristi Winings says
I set up “templates” that I save as drafts for memes or other posts that always have the same format. When it is time to do my next post requiring this format I actually copy/paste it from the draft into a NEW post, leaving the old “draft” in my list of unpublished drafts. This way the template is not altered and is available for next time but it saves me the work of having to upload the same pictures and type out the same information each time I post that particular meme, giveaway or gratitude post.
I limit my blogging time to 15 minutes with my morning coffee. Granted, my blog isn’t anywhere near this one. Nor do I post daily, I often save and return later.
Lenetta @ Nettacow says
I need to work on this more, but I like the rule about if it takes ten minutes or less, do it now! I have a lot of little things that pile up if I don’t follow that rule, and it really makes a difference! Thanks for the chance!
I’m a student, so my favorite tip for getting more done in less time is to write down everything in a planner!
My tip for getting more done is to tame the paper monster with file folders so that I don’t waste time trying to locate lost items.
tonya cherry says
Best Tip. Hmmmm Be flexible, Give yourself a vacation day. That means a day free from your diet, schedules, appointments ect. Plan well, Like the several suggestions of time management we have been reading here. stick to your plans even when you don’t feel like it. And PRAY without ceasing!!!
Set expectations and delegate! 🙂 and give thanks for all help provided.
Cook once, eat twice~
Crank out posts after proofreading just once. I used to proofread about 4 times, but that takes up too much time and it forces you to fix sentences, etc.
I do more with less moolah by making the hubby his lunches. He misses all you can eat Mexican, but loves my sandwiches!
Amber Moorman says
Making lists and trying to always plan ahead
I plan meals for the following week on the weekend, and try to load the dishwasher as I’m cooking instead of waiting until we’re done eating.
To do lists!!!
Em D says
I didn’t know about gmail’s canned response feature- super useful!
I have a personal family blog and also work at home doing social networking, etc. for my dad’s business. I’ve found, weirdly, that one of my main sources of stress is the feeling that I should be doing something else. When I spend time with my daughter, I feel like I should be working, when I’m working, I feel like I should be making dinner, etc.
So it’s not really time management, but I’ve developed the habit of consciously telling myself that I’m doing the best thing I can do at the moment and to let everything else go. It helps a lot!
Also, I write my Bible memory/meditation verse on my shower door in dry erase marker and use my shower time to pray and meditate since I’m rarely alone otherwise! (I have a 3-month-old and a 21-month-old)
Logan's Mommy says
Carrie Skiles says
The time management posts are great! Thank you! I don’t have a blog, but to stay organized in my everyday life and with work, I make to-do lists and always have my planner with me. I would be lost without my planner!
Karen Weinstock says
Writing down a schedule helps me to be more organized.
Dana Vernon says
I am definitely not as organized with my time as I would like to be. I have found out that making a list really does help. The list serves as a gentle visual reminder of what needs to be done. I also know that I could really benefit from a computer timer as well. It’s very easy to get distracted and spend too much time “surfing.”
Lori Collins says
I try to do most of my computer work when my 3 month old and 3 year old are napping and the 5 year old is at kindergarten. But I work 2 to 3 days during the week, so it kinda varies.
Katie Fleck says
We set up my one of our spare bedrooms to use as a dual office for me/homeschooling room for my 4 year old daughter. I’m right next to her so I can be engaged and help her with whatever workbook or project she’s doing, while at the same time attempting to keep on all of the HOT deals! So far, it’s working really well. But, at times it’s still difficult to balance everything. It’s a work in progress. Thanks for this opportunity!
Marla Yeatts says
I have to write things down to keep myself organized. I keep my calendar, notebook, pens, and Post-It notes (thank the Lord I got about 40 of them for free a few months ago) in the corner on my counter in my kitchen, right were I’ll see it daily. I LOVE lists! I make lists all the time; grocery lists, to-do lists, packing lists, gift lists, etc. And my calendar is a precious item in my house to see what it happening with everyone in our family. Reading this blog keeps me organized as well. Finding greats deals, reading about time management, and realizing that I’m normal as a mom keeps me going as well! Thanks!
Kendra harris says
To get lot’s done in limited time, stay organized! This is always my top priority.
Scheduling posts definitely helps me do more with less as a blogger. Post its help with everything else!
Kathy D says
I try to make sure to do the things which I dread the most first because I’m a big procrastinator, then the rest of my day is more enjoyable and I’ve gotten done some of the biggies on my to-do list.
Hope I win 🙂 Thanks for all you do Crystal. Loving the time management series.
I make a Weekly To do List on Sundays. I try to make a basic schedule of what needs to happen at home and for blogging during the coming week. I am thinking about coming up with a more scheduled approach – especially before we have kids.
I have found that if I have a To Do list, then I’ll get stuff done because I want to be able to cross it off!
Definitely my most used time saver is lists. I keep them all together in a notebook in my purse.
I like to make list!! But I have found that I try not to put so many things on my todo list. If I put lots and I don’t complete all of the task than I feel like a failure!! I try to keep it simple and try not to be super mom!!! Not everyone is perfect or live in a perfect world! What I tell myself daily!
Michelle M says
recently I’ve tried to make my to do lists more realistic so I have two lists 1- the several things that I for sure need to/want to do that day and then do them
2-the list of things that I would like to do that day, but we’ll see how the day goes
I am not a blogger, but I find that to get more things done in less time I have to plan ahead and do things as they pop-up. I can’t procrastinate otherwise nothing ever gets done and I feel overwhelmed!
Rachel Tungate says
My favorite time saving tip is meal planning. Without it, I would not only be spending a lot more each week, but I would be wasting time every day trying to figure out what to have with the ingredients on hand.
Keep it simple 🙂 And I love google calender. Reminders for the day come up on my phone.
I have to make a to do list and stick to a fairly rigid hour by hour schedule to keep myself on task.
setting a time limit works great for me helps keep me focused since I know that I have a limited amount of time for each task.
I am always struggling to find enough time in the day to get everything done. Time just goes way too fast. I would love to have a new phone like this to try to organize my life!!
I keep a running list of topics and links that I want to mention and write about for my blog that way I have reference materials all in one place. It helps me to write with purpose and saves time. I also have a monthly plan for posts and try to schedule a few things a week ahead of time. I have two children under 5 so my time is stretched pretty thin most days when I try to work and take care of them at home. Every little bit of time savings really adds up for me.
Thanks for the giveaway! I love you tips for getting lots done. I try to work on things whenever I get a spare time, but I find that having a “rest” time each day keeps me from getting overloaded and burnt out!
Shannon N says
When I have less time, I prioritize the things that are most important – my son comes before the pile of clothes yet to be folded!
I keep track of all my task – meal planning, grocery shopping, things to do, and bill payments in a basic spreadsheet and carry it with me everywhere. This simple thing has saved me so much time and money.
The calendar plug in recommended on Savvy Blogging really has helped me keep on task better. Thank you for taking the time to share what works for you.
Okay, so this is goofy- but I work in segments and play this mental game in my head to keep me moving even when I’m exhausted. I give points for certain tasks…like 5 points for making my bed, emptying the dishwasher, etc. (point per plate, etc.) So then I’ll make myself “earn” 50 or 100 points before I do something, like eat, or even less depending on how much time I have. I know it sounds really weird but it motivates me to move quickly with limited time. 🙂 My husband thinks I’m totally weird!!! 🙂
Leah C says
I try to get as much done/organized the night before so that the morning is less hectic!
Emily Casey says
I have a 3-month-old baby, so time is scarce.He likes to be bounced in his baby bouncer, but I have to bounce him with my foot to keep him happy. That’s when the laptop goes in my lap and I write!
Mrs. Leonard says
I think I may just be the Queen of List-Making! To make sure I don’t forget to do something, I add it to the list. I also prioritize my list (numbering items) so I know what is most important. It saves me time and I feel accomplished when I cross something off!
Kim Campbell says
Great tips…love reading your ideas
I know this sounds a bit silly, but I need to have a lot of things to do – literally keep myself busy in order to actually get something done. Otherwise, I start to slack off when I don’t have too much to do, and I don’t get anything done!
sathiya sankar says
I am a working mom and I found out that laundry was a daunting task that used to take a whole saturday to get done.
Since I come home and cook a meal every evening I multtask. By the time cooking is done I have my laundry done as well and I do this twice a week or may be thrice.
This has helped me spend a lot of time with my 5 month old.
With two children its a wonder I find any time for myself at all. To manage my time I find keeping a calendar with post-its are crucial to the smooth running of my family. With every event and appointment color coordinated by priority, I find myself very efficient in both my professional and personal life.
I hope you can all get ideas from this and possibly even try your own color coordinated calender.
Good luck everyone!
Heather Garcia says
I am a public school teacher and when I get home from a long day at work my own children are already starving. I always hated being rushed to throw a dinner together. Instead I prepare my meals the night before. Example, Monday I come home from work and eat the meal I made Sunday night. After the family eats, I start preparing the meal for the next day. I am still only cooking one meal but it has really helped me be more efficient in the kitchen.
Nina c says
Email. Keeping it small though your 10 is impressive I need to get down to that.
I try to make to-do lists and schedule tasks on my computer to keep me organized and to save time.
R Francis says
Writing everything down! Lists and sticking to them!! The best way to get things done is to STAY HOME!!!!
Hi Crystal. I am new to the money saving adventure and your blog and emails are the best! I appreciate your time management on the computer recommendations, I am not a blogger but I work at home as a financial manager and I can use those ideas. Something I thought I would share is an article I read about a week ago which referred to the pickle jar theory. The main point was determining the 4 or 5 large tasks you want to achieve in a day and then fit it the other items around it. By placing the large items in the “pickle jar” first, they are more likely to be accomplished.
It’s pretty straight-forward…to save time, just turn off the t.v.! It is the biggest time-waster there is.
Kimarie @ The Cardamom's Pod says
Because I have 9 kids, I try to do as much as I can “assembly line” style. We line up all the plates in the kitchen for serving, we have a system for sorting and folding laundry, and the biggest time saver is to have charts and routines for kitchen work – everyone has their assigned task. It isn’t perfect, but when it works, we get so much done in so little time!
My biggest time saver is to get things ready for the morning after my children go to bed. This way there are no distractions and when the morning hits and everyone is up and getting ready to leave the house it is less stressful!
Thanks for this great series! I’m getting more and more organized each week.
I turn my phone on silent, almost all day every day. I return phone calls in one time block, instead of allowing the phone to slowly eat up my time. I also text people instead of calling when possible, especially when I just have a quick question or answer for somebody, because that saves me from getting tied up in an unexpected 30 minute phone conversation.
My biggest way to stay organized is a plan at the beginning of the week. I homeschool and babysit, so I need a day by day plan, and it needs to be at the beginning of the week. Life is so much simpler that way!
sally mcquaid says
I steal a few minutes for blogging whenever I can. I love to work on them on my lunch break at work. I have one whole hour with little interuptions at my work computer to write blogs. When I get home I add any photos, do any minor editing and then post.
Love the tips, love the phone!
Angie Bailey says
My time saving tip is something you have already talked about many times. Freezer cooking saves me time whether it’s a casserole, chicken in marinade or muffins for breakfast.
Wow! This post was very helpful to me as a business owner. I am the co-owner/director of a homeschool co-op and we have been blessed with some amazing growth! The administrative work takes a lot more time now and I forwarded this post to my co-owner so that we could apply some of these tips for us to help save time. My favorite tip is the FAQ page and opening a gmail account to send and archive! I am looking forward to accomplishing MORE in LESS time!!!
I’d love to win the phone!
I am a working mother and grandmother, I sqeeze a few minutes in to blog every chance I can get. I usually try to blog once in the morning and once in the afternoon and then I do everything else in the evenings.
Jamie Salvucci says
I love lists and schedules to keep organized and on track. I love to use my ipod touch to help with this.
Thanks for these tips. I’m always trying to find more time to blog, spend time with family, clean, shower, etc… 🙂 Thanks again!
Keri Smith says
I try to plan my day the night before. I get my lunch ready and think about what I want to wear so I am not wasting time trying on 3 or 4 outfits in the morning. I am also big on lists. I cross off as I go and it makes me feel like I am getting something done. thanks~
If I didn’t have my phone I wouldn’t get as much done as I currently do! My entire calendar of doctor’s appointments, what my preschooler needs to bring to school, etc. is all on my phone. My grocery lists are on my phone down to the store I need to get what items from, then it will give me options of coupons available and email them to my inbox and all I have to do is press print. It’s nice to be able to get some things done while sitting idle, even as little as that does happen! My phone also keeps my children entertained when I am talking to someone or running to the grocery store to grab something for dinner. So without my phone I would be lost and very unorganized!
How to get more done in less time? I write a list and than prioritize. I want to bake cookies, wash dishes, and start a load of laundry I need to figure out what order will save me the most time. Prioritizing is key i’m learning!
I try and work on projects for 15 minutes at a time, especially things that I don’t look forward to such as cleaning garage, folding clothes, etc. Doing these tasks in small increments of time help me get through the dreaded chore easier.
I try to bring my day planner whereever I go so that I may update it, add items to my shopping list (when it comes to mind), jot down things I need to do, write a quick thank you note. I also try to always bring something with me so that if I have a few minutes here and there I use them wisely and take care of either couponing, clipping, organizing coupons, grading school work, etc..
I make a list of what needs to be done. That way, I can move from one task to the next without wondering what needs to be done.
I think with anything in life, know that it’s ok to ask for help! I think as moms or employees, we tend to think we have to do it all ourselves, but 2 people can usually get more done in the same or less time!
Your tips on time helped me immensely. I have never given thought to actually time myself on each , i.e. email. facebook etc. and then go on to the next but once I did the progress was amazing. So thanks to your article I learned to organize how I manage my computer time. It has made a big difference.
Melissa@ The Sassy Saver says
I am working on decluttering and streamlining. so far it has been the biggest thing that has saved me time. It is baby steps but it is every day progress!
thanks for this post Crystal! you are inspiring as always!
I like having a specific “To Do” list!
I love how on tumblr you can queue entries to keep consistent blogs without spending tons of time to maintain a blog.
Jill W says
Setting a timer is a great idea. I can be working on the computer and look up and 2 hours have gone by. Knowing what you are doing with your time also give great direction and helps me feel like I will get more done. However, being able to be flexible with that time is also a plus.
To stay task oriented use a schedule, set limits to get things accomplished then move on to the next task. Reward yourself with some free time to do anything you want after you are finished.
Elizabeth Stevens says
I get up early before the kids and give myself an hour and then when they go down for their nap I give myself another hour or two. I find it easier to keep my computer time a separate part of my day so that my kids aren’t trying to compete for my attention.
Megan W says
I keep a small post it on each day in my planner (I like to physically write things down). As I think of something to put in my blog, an email to send, etc I write it on the corresponding post it. It goes on whatever day it needs to be done by.
I love these tips – I can really use the email ones!
I simplify my life by not adding more to it.
I have a magnetic dry erase board that I write the things I have to do on. I put a magnet next to each thing as it gets done. That gives me a little motivation to keep going, and if a task is repeated daily, I can just remove the magnet at the end of the day.
My favorite tip? Don’t try to do too much, and don’t beat up on myself about not getting everything done. Cuts down on guilt, which slows me down considerably. 🙂
Love the posts!
eliminate things that don’t have to be done!
Set a time limit. Don’t look up and realize you’ve wasted, ahem, spent two hours on surfing randomly. If you know you only have 20 minutes, you’re much more focused on what you really NEED to do.
Lindsay L. says
Making lists before bed helps me SO much!
Jenny Martin says
Just starting to really get organized with both my time and household. Thanks for letting us know how it works for you.
Jessica W. says
thanks for this. I used to be much better organized with my time. between being a FT student, homeschooling, and working 40 + hours a week (as a single mom nonetheless)… we have recently relocated, and I am looking for a job and have been feeling led to blog. your posts all have come at a timely manner and are helping me to try and get focused again, add a routine to my life and guard it well.
for anyone who struggles with time management issues I recommend reading “Ordering your private world” by Gordon Macdonald… this was required reading at University, and very helpful and encouraging.
Why is it that when we make a menu plan we eat out more, our grocery bill is higher, and we have more waste. I often find when if we don’t choose that evening something we are in the mood for we don’t eat what’s planned. I think maybe a “meal list” of things that we can pick from and see if we have them on had might work better? Has anyone had this problem too?
amber waldenville says
i try to do housework at night so i have more time for blogging when i’m fresh in the morning
My biggest tip for doing more in less time with regards to the Internet, is to have a junk email address where freebie offers, etc. can easily go and not clog up my personal email.
My husband and I are good at procrastinating, so we recently made up a “just do it” rule…so now the dishes are getting done and the laundry isn’t piling up and our house is beginning to be less cluttery. We’re not perfect, but this is helping us realize we need to grow up and take care of ourselves and our household.
Rebekah J says
Definitely a rough draft schedule and menu of the week ahead helps. I might now follow it to the T but I have a plan that helps guide me along and keep me focused. The menu might change but if it’s planned at the beginning of the week, I know that I’ll have everything on hand for any of the meals that I have down on paper.
timer, most definitely. If I only have to do something I dislike for a certain amount of time I will do it more consistently
Wendy Hunter says
Here’s an oldie but goodie concept, divide & conquer! I divide necessary chores between my three children and myself, things that are age and skill appropriate, of course. It helps our household, it helps me, and it helps them learn useful skills and how important it is for everyone to work together as a family.
Meal planning saves hours each week, not to mention the financial savings as well!
Routine, routine, routine is my best time-saving friend. I’m an unstructured person by nature, but having a cleaning routine, chores routine, homeschool routine, errands routine is so helpful. And with 7 kiddos, 4 of them teens, flexibility is also key. :o) When one calls b/c s/he is locked out of the car or needs to be picked up earlier than expected, going with the flow of *that* day’s requirements. Resume the routine when you can and where you can.
I did not know about send and archive! Thanks for cluing me in to a quick time saver!!!!
Brett Marie says
I’m a stay at home mom to a 2 year old and 10 month old. To ease the morning routine my husband and I try to spend 15 minutes preparing things at night – breakfast bowls/spoons/etc on the counter; sippy cups with juice/water/vitamin drops in the fridge; snacks packed in snack cups; diaper bag stocked; and the house picked up. Spending 15 minutes at night saves me a lot of time and stress in the morning when things can get a bit chaotic ;). I’m also able to leave the house quickly if I should need to take one of the littles to an emergency doctor’s appointment.
Leah T says
I like to make sure I don’t leave things for the next day. Some how this helps me stay ahead of my 3 kids.
I set an intention for the next day when I go to bed each night. This might be one or two things I really want to accomplish. I start the next day with those intentions in mind, so I have a goal to reach for every day. This way I always accomplish something. A second time saver is the Crock-pot. I try to use it once each week, which totally frees me up just before dinner time.
My kitchen island can easily become the paper monster! I try very hard to sort the mail when I get it and put everything away instead of just throwing it in a pile.
Niki P. says
My favorite tip is do one thing at a time. I find if I am trying to do too much at once, I just end up doing everything very inefficiently and getting easily overwhelmed. I am much for efficient when I focus on one thing at a time.
Setting a timer and working on it for that set time helps me to get it done and move on to the next thing.
I have a family blog. I have no tips for blogging – other than avoid pictures at all costs (I don’t follow this advise). However, I have a great laundry item that saves me several moments in every load: zippered mesh bags for socks. I have one hanging on each of our laundry baskets and all dirty socks are placed in the bag upon removal. The socks are washed and dried in the bag, then all in one place for quick matching and no Dryer Sock Monster.
Alison Armstrong says
I try to prep all my meals in the morning so I don’t have to quit what I am doing in the afternoon and spend a lot of time on supper.
I’m actually very bad at setting a computer time budget. My problem is I get sucked into new blogs I find by clicking, before I know it I’ve just spent 2 hours on the computer and not accomplished my task. I could certainly use some help here… Maybe the Windows Phone 7 will be just the answer. (;
Kelley Love says
I will definitely set a computer time budget from now on – great idea!
I always seem to spend more time on the computer than I mean to, so for me, setting down a computer time budget is the most helpful advice. I may have to put a timer next to the monitor!
I love my online calendar for coordinating all the family’s schedules, and having it send important reminders for tasks & appointments. Sunday is prep day in our house too…everything that can be prepared for the week must be done by 6pm Sunday! If it doesn’t/can’t get done, then it gets listed on a wipe board until someone tackles it (preferably at least 24hrs before it has to be done!)
Mandy Mallicoat says
My planning calendar and a daily docket. I make a list of 5 things extra that I would like to accomplish through the day and it is a real motivator. I also try to get at least two loads of laundry done each day, by starting the 1st load when I wake up, putting it in the dryer at some point in the morning and then putting it away as I take my youngest up for nap. I then repeat for the afternoon. I have also made up a house cleaning list and do things on a two-week rotating basis cleaning only Monday through Friday for no more than 45 minutes. In the end a lot of things don’t need cleaned weekly.
Amanda Ranta says
Make lists! I make lists constantly: things to do, things to make, things to buy at the grocery store… and stick to ’em!
I could not make it through the day without my old fashioned to do list.
Planning is the key for me. Making a list of all the activities that I will realize during the day
I work outside of the home and blog sporadically. I prep meals on the weekends to save time during the week.
My day planner from Graceworks! Everything goes in there, and when I stick with it, I get so much more done!
Kasey S says
Love all the ideas especially the email ones. Gotta try it tomorrow.
I like to set the kitchen timer before I start a task. It gives me a set amount of time and encourages me to keep moving to finish before the time is up.
Heather Sheffield says
I always get organized for the next day by doing a lot of prep work the night before. It saves me so much time!
Sarah Hill says
Holli Litrenta says
I’m not a professional blogger, but I have a personal family blog. I also am struggling with time management lately, I have a almost 3 year old and an 8 month old. I just can’t seem to get anything done. I’ve recently started trying to ask and delegate for more help from my husband. I always feel like I need to do it all, but I just can’t. Being willing to receive help humbles me and also makes me feel less scattered!
My favorite way to get more done in less time: dump everything in one big pile- I use my bed. I go through my home and bring everything to my bed that does not belong in that room. I then have my home picked up. Next I wipe everything down from top to bottom, dust, and sweep (we have no carpet). The majority of my house is clean and I then sort the items on my bed by room and within minutes have everything put away.
Robyn Guest says
I don’t blog but I try to allot 15-30 min increments to get things done. Clean a certain area, check email, make grocery lists, etc.
Erin Ringwald says
I’m a list fan. Keeps me on track
I make a list of things that I need to accomplish during my computer time, and then I sit down and check them off one-by-one. When I’m done my list, I log out and get up from the computer before I can be lured into mindless web surfing. I also try to finish all my non-computer activities first and make it a kind of reward, during my daughter’s nap or after she goes to bed for the night. That way I don’t spend time on the computer that I want to spend with her & my husband, running errands, or getting things done around the house.
I live by my planner and “to do” sticky notes! And as far as cleaning…our rule around the house is “clean as you go, not as you went”. Ha! Don’t know if that makes sense or works for anyone else, but it’s magical for us. My husband and I are neat freaks and want to help teach our kids to be organized and clean for when they are on their own one day!
Jeff Dupont says
Does it work with Verizon Wireless?
Blaire Ruch says
I clip coupons while watching tv/movies.
Or as my husband drives the car.
I try to accomplish a little here and a little there (like cleaning). That was I get things done, but still get to spend tons of time with my little guy!
I utilize the notes and task list feature on my phone to document those many little thoughts that pop into my head during the day. Then at the end of the day, before I start shutting down … I review those notes and tasks and develop them further. I also have found that setting a daily to do list the nite before in my calendar with reminders for critical items has helped me.
Love these tips!
I’ve started trying to find one small thing to do that won’t even feel like I’m cleaning or tidying. For example, while breakfast is cooking, I might wash a few dishes in the sink. Before leaving for work, I might pick up just 3 or 4 things and put them back where they belong. Just little bits and pieces add up to keeping things looking a little neater…which makes it easier when it is really time to clean or “do” the dishes.
Routines are most helpful for me: if I have a routine to go through upon first waking and another just before bed, I not only make sure I get everything important done, but I save quite a bit of time as well.
I now clip and organize all of my coupons at me son’s swim lessons. I can still watch what he is doing and keep up on the current deals I want to catch.
Tia H says
I do not blog, but when I am nursing my baby (while the 3yr old and 2 yr old are napping), I write down all the store deals I want in one notebook. That way, no matter what store we are at, I have my list!
Dana @ Budget Dietitian says
Thanks for the tips. I started my blog 3 weeks ago and am still trying to figure this whole thing out. I laughed when I read your comment about 45 min to answer email b/c I have only gotten 2 emails in 3 weeks! 🙂
I find that stopping unneeded emails is AWESOME!
Stephanie P says
Multi-tasking and Lists are a must in my house…the list reminds me what needs done…but ususally I am cleaning, caring for my daughters, and keeping up with the world all at once. Having a laptop in our kitchen has helped make that flow much better….though there are times the computer just needs shut down 😉
To save time, I try to keep a list of daily repetitive tasks and actually do them first. I also find I get more done when I shut off my computer.
sorry…make use of all available free time. Use time waiting in the car for the kids or at practice/lessons to catch up on computer time.
I keep a planner exclusively for my blog. When a thought comes to mind on an idea for a post, I jot it down in my planner. I also jot down things to do related to my blog and cross them off when complete. If I don’t get them done in the current week, I write them down again the next week until it gets done.
I use my phone calendar to schedule everything (with alarms set). I’m a very forgetful person. I also find that scheduling posts when I can helps me out with blogging.
Michelle R says
I keep my to do list in a notebook. That way if something doesn’t get done one day it can be added the next. I also have it handy if I need to look back and make sure of any follow-up if something isn’t received.
mitch j says
to help myself get things done quicker i make a short list of 5 things top that i need to do. it helps me stick to what i need to get done.
Pat Couty says
Online calendars and screening phone calls (answering machine) helps so much!
To get more done in less time I use my google calendar to schedule EVERYTHING. I don’t just schedule appointments; I schedule everything. I put in library book due dates, each errand has a slot, important coupon expiration dates are logged, etc.
Kerry Fritz says
I keep an address book, calendar and stationary supplies in the car. While waiting for kids to get out of school or other activity I make appointments, complete bills and write cards.
Sharon d says
My best tip for getting things done and keeping organized is to list the ten most important things I want to accomplish. I then put in 1-10 order of importance and feel happy if I do the top 4.
I keep a list of things I want to blog about so I don’t forget and sit and waste time in front of the computer trying to remember!
Taylor Durkin says
I keep a very detailed calendar on google calendar that sends me reminders. its so helpful!
barb heflin says
i do alot of research on my family history as a hobby and i find alot of sites i want to research but dont always have time so i email them to my self then when i have time i will work on each site about half hour to hour on each one then switch to the next one. this is usually done at night and weekends and i also do my cardio on my excersize bike and watch tv at the same time.
I’m an obsessive list writer, so writing a Tomorrow’s To-Do list really helps keep my day organized
Melissa R. says
I am a stay at home mother of two young girls and constantly feel overwhelmed with things that need to be done. My number one thing to do is set aside certain days for specific housekeeping chores. Such as, Friday is laundry day – aside from my hour of picking up the house, I spend the rest of the day washing, drying, folding/ironing and putting away clothes.
Angela B. says
More done in less time: having my mother-in-law visit! I have been way behind on filing (like nothing from 2010 was filed…) and she totally caught me up! Wish she lived closer than 3500 miles away!
shannon morales says
I have recently revolutionized my laundry. I have a small space to fold laundry and it seemed I always got overwhelmed with all the piles of clean laundry for a family of 5. So, now I wash jeans, pajamas and underwear on Monday and then shirts, socks, towels, etc on Thursday. That way, I have less piles per person and I don’t feel overwhelmed folding the clothes. I also set my washer on a delay start so the first load is done in the washing machine about the time I wake up, put in the second load. This way, all laundry is clean and dry around 9am and I still have energy to fold it. (I also moved the three boys clothes into the laundry room, so I put it away as I fold it).
I wake up early….before the kiddos…to have my quiet time and gather my thoughts/plans for the day. I stick to a general framework for my week. By doing this, most things get done on a daily/weekly basis as they are now ‘second nature.’ I tweek my routines during sickness, holidays, or having another baby:) Thanks for hosting a great giveaway!
Make a list is imperative – without it I can’t remember what I need to do. Planning ahead definitly helps, but sometimes that is hard to do. Whenever I can I try to multitask and get several things done at the same time.
I love lists too.. without them i am clueless.
Stacey Carter says
Plan your meals a week in advance and then always plan at least 1 “quick” dinner that is not on the schedule so if your car breaks down and you get home 2 hours later than planned you always have a go to meal. (I keep chicken strips on hand for 1 of my quick meals.) Then I can have dinner on the table in leass than 10 minutes for the night when our lives have exploded!
Anna Lewis says
I am a mother of two and my husband just started a career in the Army. I am trying to organize my time better by creating a more realistic daily schedule. Not only am I getting more done but I feel happier at the end of the day! Thanks for this series!
Laurie L. says
Plan ahead! I try to always know what I’m going to fix for meals, and have a couple of “quick fixes” around just in case something comes up. I make “to do” lists, which are really more like goal lists for me but at least they help. There are some great ideas in some of these comments though that I’m going to have to implement! 🙂
Lynn in MD says
Lists! Whenever I can make lists, I find that things run MUCH more smoothly!
Sara @ ThrivingMama says
I have to say – my running wipe off sheet of ideas is a great time & idea saver since my toddler has limited my computer time. Being able to easily skim my email and social networks over my phone is great too.
I make it a point to make sure my work around the house is done and I have spent quality time with the kids before I dive into my time on the computer. It’s so easy to get caught up in emails, freebies, etc., I want to make sure I’ve accomplished the important things first!
My best tip is to just do it. Most of the time I get bored dstracted or whatever and if I simply do what I have scheduled things fall into line and I have more time.
Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef says
i find i get the most done by planning & setting goals for myself (i.e. work on this paper for 2 hrs)
Kristina Ashton says
I would say that my best tip is meditation and prayer. If I am reading and following my lists all day long, I begin to get burnt out. I often stop and spend at least 5 minutes breathing deeply while talking with God. I try to let my train of thought ramble over all of my blessings. After I finish, I feel much more capable and less pressed. Suddenly, I can focus on and finish my tasks much more deliberately.
Jill Brett says
I always have a small notebook with me for down time in line at the grocery, at the bank, at the post office, etc. I can jot down lists or thoughts or to-dos on my notebook and use this “waiting” time as useful time. Thanks!
Don’t forget that though having a plan is an excellent thing to follow that there is also wisdom in changing it when necessary. How to tell when? Still trying to figure that one out.
prathee chandar says
I’m an MBA student. So, most of the time, i won’t have enough time to do things i want to do. So, i try to change my study atmosphere.
After the class, team meeting, partner study and then go to any nearby book store. This new atmosphere refreshes my mind.
Carrie Solomon says
I give the same crafty gift for pretty much all baby showers and weddings. It makes gift-giving more time effectivem, more enjoyable and stress free.
Honey Smith says
I would have to say planning ahead and leaving off the tv, & computer (I am not a blogger).
I love lists and breaking things up works great too!
more done in less time? hmmm. lists work wonders for me so I don’t have to commit brain power to remembering what it is I have to do. Recently instituted a rotating menu plan for the week – monday is burgers, tuesday is mexican, wednesday is leftovers, thursday is pizza, friday is breakfast, saturday is soup/stew, and sunday is pasta. Amazing how much time this saves me in trying to figure out what we are going to eat. My other weekly rotation is a cleaning schedule – certain cleaning for a certain day so I don’t have to think about when I do it and it’s broken up into managable time frames. Monday is vacuuming, tuesday is dusting, wednesday is bathrooms, thursday is swiffering the floors, friday is for grocery shopping. Working for us at this point!
Jennifer C says
I pick one task and stay focused on it until it’s completed. I’ve learned that multi-tasking too much just takes longer in the long run. I work better if I stay focused on the task at hand, complete it quickly and move on to the next task.
My favorite tip for getting more done around the house is to turn the radio ON and the television, or other distractions, OFF!
I find that by singing along to the radio while doing household chores not only makes the time go by more quickly, but also makes it easier for me to concentrate on whatever it is I’m trying to get done! I usually can’t concentrate if I have a t.v. show in the background…but music really seems to help me concentrate!
Justina Sivacek says
I would love this! 🙂
Mrs. B. says
Staying off the computer as much as I can!
Thank for entering us. 🙂
I work outside the home and have three children. It is important for me to organize at night for the following day. The children also follow routines. Their chores are so much a part of their daily routine, they don’t even realize they are doing chores!!
Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship says
I allow a lot of my info lists to stay UNorganized – just copy and paste whatever you need to keep – affiliate links, your own post links, PR contact info – and use the CTRL+F (find) function in your doc to get at what you need without ever having to bother with columns or other formatting.
Mary S. says
It sounds a little counter-intuitive but I always get more done when I schedule time for myself each day. 20 minutes or so to plan for the next day and 5 or 10 minutes for me to do something for myself (have a cup of tea, read etc). I find I get far more done if I take the time to create a plan of attack and if I am not completely frazzled.
Janina Kihlthau says
LISTS, LISTS, LISTS!! They’re what keep my organized outside the home at work, and when I get home too!
multitask- while waiting in line for coffee, think about things to tackle on the to-do list!
Once my kids are in bed, I sit down then & write what’s on my mind from the day, before I veg out in front of the TV:)
I try to get things done before the kids wake up in the morning.
Jeffrey Liu says
I try to prioritize and on some days only do things that I deem essential enough on the Internet.
Instead of trying to do everything everyday. Break down your tasks and divide them up for different days.
Here’s an easy but helpful time saver for my family. In my walk-in closet (we don’t have a laundry room just the washer and dryer behind bifold doors), I have four baskets: one for whites, darks, colors, towels. That way I don’t have to do any sorting. I just grab a basket and pop that load of laundry in; easy! It’s funny too, because my daughter learned to sort her laundry when she was four years old! Hope this helps!
Katie Ellefsen says
I try to follow the same basic schedule each week–grocery shopping the same day, do a majority of cleaning another day, have one day where we don’t plan much of anything so we can focus on a bigger school project. It sounds simple, but trying to keep to a basic weekly schedule helps me be sure nothing slips through the cracks.
I try not to schedule too many things in any given week and use a calendar to keep track. When I am home, I try and catch up on things I have on my ongoing list. I do my grocery shopping/errands after dinner when my husband is home to watch the kids which saves me time.
Lists help me save time and stay organized.
Also, a repeating 4 week menu plan. I can deviate if I want, but I don’t have to use up time and energy thinking about what to make each day.
I like to type out a schedule for your family in half hour increments so we waste less time!
I like trying to push myself during timed spurts. For example: I’ll put on some music and see how much cleaning I can get done in the kitchen in the space of 2 songs. Often, if I don’t have something else more pressing to move onto right away, I’ll just keep going until I get the task finished because the initial challenge served as a momentum builder.
Charity Boozier says
I get more done in less time by teaching my children how to help. In the beginning this seems like it takes a lot of time, but over time, they become so helpful. Then as adults, the concept is that they know how to pick up after themselves, clean and keep a home.
Write lists of what needs to get done. It helps me stay focused without getting distracted on things that aren’t high priority.
I liked your tip about not trying to multitask. I am guilty of that I’ll start of doing one thing which will make me think of something else and then something else and will end up overwhelmed with multiple unfinished projects.
My timer! I set it for everything laundry, time outs, cooking, 15 min cleaning sessions and more!
I always try to multi task. With the laundry room so close to the kitchen it is easy to do laundry while cooking. The computer is also in the kitchen so I can read a blog, do a quick email, watch/listen to news videos while cooking and doing laundry. I also iron in the kitchen so that can be combined with other kitchen activities. The only thing that always needs my undivided attention is my Bible study time. I sometimes have to remind my husband not to interrupt unless absolutely necessary. 🙂
Liz Rude says
I keep separate email accounts, one for all the spam/obligation emails, and another for all my personal email. It works out well for me!
fairy dust says
Even if I can’t get completed posts done ahead of time, which I try to do, I can set up drafts. Instead of making notes on paper or in a word processing program, I make the notes right in my draft post, then I’m pretty much set to flush the ideas out and finish the post.
leslie sorrells says
thanks for the archive tip on gmail. that is valuable and i just cleared my box pretty quick. As most of my blogging is about something that is time consuming to begin with i have found myself not blogging for long periods. now i have alotted time for myself when no one bothers me. i set my alarm two hours early and get my wake up time and my business going! it has allowed me to get so much more done when i am not interrupted or tempted.
Making a list that I plan out what I would like to accomplish in a day or a week. I get joy crossing off each item as I complete them.
In general the best way for me to get more done in less time is to not think about any of it too much. Just focus on what I am doing a move on to the next task. When I begin to think about my long list it seems to slow me down.
Laurie Kovacs says
Always know what the task is ahead of time. If you go into it without a plan you’re easily distracted.
This is awesome! I’ve often wondered how much time a blogger spends doing this amazing work!! I use lists a great deal but I really like how you’ve organized your time. Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to part 2.
I throw a load of laundry in the wash machine on my way past the laundry room in the morning. Move it from the wash machine to the dryer on my way up to put my daughter down for naptime. Then from the dryer to my bed when she wakes up. Then after putting her down for the night I fold it and put it away. It takes 5-20 mins at a time to get one load of laundry done a day. Plus I never forget to go back and do it because I’m on a scheduled routine.
Sarah rivers says
I love the idea about the auto responses. It will help save so much time. I also like the idea of budgeting your online time.
Multi-task, use lists, don’t procrasitnate and don’t get side tracked! I’m aweful at getting pulled in a different direction!
Could use the phone. 🙂
Sarah J. says
Make a list of your top three priorities and when your done with those add up to five more priorities.
When I have tasks I need to get done, I’ll set the timer for a certain amount of time that I want to dedicate to them. That way I don’t get distracted by other stuff. Sort of a “beat the clock” kind of mentality 🙂
I like to print off weekly chore charts so that I can keep track of what I need to get done. I feel like a kid, but it is refreshing to go and mark off each square as I get the things done!
Mike Burton says
Being a busy dad I am always doing multiple tasks as there isn’t enough time in the day. I use my phone to keep track of my busy schedule but I wish it was more intuitive to use.
Kara Gates says
This is very simple, but with being the only bread winner in our family it is hard to balance friends, life and my job. I like to go running in the mornings, have my quiet time and then put a mini to-do list on a chalkboard in our kitchen that I finish before work. I can only do the things on the mini list each day. (Keeps me from trying to do too much each day and getting stressed).
What great ideas!
I have a junk email for giveaways and samples that I sign up for. I also have a set time for the computer and always try to get blog work done 1st thing in the morning so I can spend the rest of my time on FB or reading other blogs.
I find that if I keep everything organized and write to- do lists. It helps me to get things done faster.
I get more done in less time if I do it right the first time. If you can’t find time to to do it right the first time–how are you ever going to find time to do it right later. This goes for every aspect of our life. I want to handle things well with our relationships, with our vocations, and with everything that is important to us. In essence I try to make the time I do spend count for the glory of God.
Terry Y says
I am a list person – write it down then cross it off! I also started using something called HomeRoutines on my iPod Touch and that has helped.
I try to write ideas down in a notebook and then follow through on them when I have more time.
Lisa Goyette says
I clean houses for a Living , so when it’s time to clean my own i approach with the same structure as i do when i am working.. not talking on the phone etc… also lists i am a list person and when i write them and stick to it time is saved..( although i dont always stick to it =)
Sarah M. says
I’m always on the scout for a new deal so I’m getting more and more e-mails. I’ve learned to skim the content rather quickly, cutting down on the time I spend sifting through useless info. I also delete any that do not have a relevant subject that I care about.
Kim W. says
I make a list and then write numbers to prioritize that list. I then have everything planned in the correct order.
Barb Miller says
I usually cook extra food when I prepare dinner. I use the leftovers for dinners when I’m short on time.
jennifer makaravage says
i am heavily involved with my daughters head start. im on the parent committe, policy council, and the state delegate for our county! my days are so crazy its hard to keep track with meetings and volunteering and my cell phone is soooo out dated it doesnt have the fancy reminders, internet, video, and calenders like the new phone. plus im going to be doing alot of traveling and staying in touch with my daughter is very important to me!!!!
I am not a blogger, but I use a to-do list with 3 columns : Daily, Weekly, and General. Keeps us all running & focused.
I clean 15 minutes in one or two different rooms each night. I’m amazed at how much I can get done in 15 devoted minutes! This helps keep things picked up and I don’t feel like I’m spending my whole evening cleaning. It also helps not feel like I’m sinking in the pit of cleaning:)
Katherine Sedgeman says
Even though I subscribe to a few frugal bloggers and I am now a grandmother not only a mother, I love your blog best of all. I find just the right deals and pertinent information to not only my life but I often forward on some of your articles or deals to my daughter-in-law. Keep up this great resource for us grandmothers also!
I just bought a new day planner for 2011 so organizing the days, weeks ahead is a must! I like using a daily to do sheet as well and I love to read blogs such at these and the magazine Real Simple for other readers’ great ideas!
I keep a running list of ideas for posts. This is my biggest “hang up” and the list helps me stay focused.
Andrea Gunnell says
If I focus on all the things I get accomplished rather than focusing on the small things I don’t find time for I am more productive. When I feel a sense of accomplishment I am more motivated to work hard. When I start worrying about the small things I don’t get done I get discouraged and that turns into less productivity!
Amy Petersen says
I make lists every morning while I am having breakfast with my kids. Then I cross them off as the day goes on. I don’t always manage to get everything done so I just add it to the next day.
What a great post! Your time management posts and Amy’s book have been such wonderful blessings. I really like how you budget your computer time. I’ve found that making lists help me to be more productive. With my current season of life (I stay home with 3 little ones and am pregnant), I have found that shorter lists (and reducing my expectations) has actually helped me to be more productive (and less stressed). You have also inspired me to simplify and reduce our clutter, so that we can live more meaningful lives. Thank you!
Melissa H. says
I get the whole family involved in the household chores. I have a chore chart for my boys (ages 5 and 8). They make a little bit of money for each chore, and I have one less thing to do! Plus there is an even better reward- teaching my children the value of honest work, which in today’s world is rare.
I take the company vanpool to and from work, which saves me time on my commute. I use this time to read all my ‘junk’ emails (which often have deals that come in handy), catch up on my magazine reading, or just socialize with my vanpool friends.
I have learned as a blogger that I’ll get more done if I don’t get distracted by…ahem..entering giveaways and reading other blogs during blogging time. 🙂 I try to have actual blogging time during the kids’ naptime. If I want to relax and surf, I (usually) do that in the evenings.
Jill M says
Make a list! I have to write down what I want to accomplish to help me focused on one goal at a time.
I multitask my day by bringing my mail with me when I go to school to pick up my daughter. While I wait in line I open the mail, sort it and discard the trash. THanks!!
To Do Lists help make sure I get everything done on time!
Nick P. says
Create context-based todo lists — that way when you are at your computer, your todo list only for things that you can do on your computer — not things you need to do in your yard or errands you need to do. a la GTD.
Courtney McIlwain says
I make a list of all things I have to do. I try to keep my house as organized as possible so it makes life easier
I make a list and prioritize it in categories. Then I set aside time to get things done. I also try to remain flexible, as life happens!
Make a list and focus on just one thing at a time… especially on the computer it is so easy to get sidetracked on webpages or in emails. After I complete the list, then I can waste away time… if there is any extra. 🙂
I write a to-do list each night. This way I won’t forget what needs to be done and I can prioritize daily. As for blogging, I carry a simple spiral notebook and write blog posts while I wait for my kids during their activities. Then, I can come home and type them it, editing while I go.
I am in love with my planner…and I make LOTS of lists!!
I get as much sleep as I can fit in with an infant. It makes EVERYTHING easier and I can get so much more done if I’m not lacking greatly in sleep. Tackling my to-do list becomes much more realistic and manageable!
I don’t do it as much as i should, but I have found using a timer set for a certain amount of time helps me to focus on that project and get it down quickly.
emily burkhart says
Making list is a must! I divide my house into 4 sections 1-living room, 2 kitchen/dining, 3 bathroom, 4 My bedroom I take from 5 to 15 min every day in each room. Even if it is just a little it cuts down on the amount of cleaning I need to do over all. Also delegate, you do not have to do everything!! I give my six year old a few responsibilities each day, making her bed, getting herself ready in the morning, setting out her homework after school, helping to clear the table. These things are very small but save me a ton of time put all together!!
Kristy Villalobos says
I have my husband take my son out of the house, so I can get things done quickly without being called on every few minutes!
I love to have the children listen to books on tape while they play lego’s or other toys. They need to read the books for school anyway so having them do 2 things at once has been a life saver that way I can be free to help the younger children with their school or organize our home!
Delegate! Thats my best tip for getting more done. Family members ALL need to participate in household chores and meals (planning, shopping, prepping, making and clean up). Don’t try and haul the whole load at work. Be able to say “I can’t” if it truly won’t fit in your workday and delegate what you can. Delegate doesn’t have to mean to a person – to an automated system, to an outside source, to a program even.
Would love to try a new phone!
Patty Cerney says
I use the timer on my phone for so many things. Everything from helping me not burn the brownies to how long my daughter should shower for. Otherwise, I lose track of time and that is wasted time.
Making a list is the only way I can do it!
Christy Brittain says
1. Get the kids (and hubby) working with me! 2. Turn on some music for motivation. 3. Take time every so often to make lists to re-prioritize what’s important and what’s not.
I am not a blogger but I do work full time and I have been married for a little over a year. To get things done quickly at home, I make lunches the night before work for my husband and I, and I also plan dinner for the next day as well and clean up dishes from that night. I like to do tasks in sections.
I always try to plan my day the evening before so that I’m mentally prepared to tackle those projects!
Stephanie matthews says
list making is a way that i am able to stay on top of my to do’s!!!
Organization- Sometimes it may seem like you don’t have time to organize, but without it many things take longer. With things in their place, and room to work; the simple tasks go faster.
Having a very basic, flexible schedule. Prioritizing what must get done vs. what can wait.
I like to carry a small notebook with me so I can jot down ideas when I’m on the run, away from my computer. Then as part of a morning routine, they get integrated into my tasks list that I keep in Outlook.
shannon schneider says
The thing that saves me the most time is writing to-do lists… Sounds simple… But doing this helps me remember what I need to accomplish that day and keeps me on-task all day long.
I make lists and try to group things that go together to eliminate bouncing back and forth – either from store to store, room to room, etc.
Chantelle Grubbs says
When I have a chunk of time, I sit down and prepare many posts and schedule them for preceding days…. by doing this I can know that fresh content will be added to my blog every few days, even if I’m not there to do it on that actual day!
Holly Norton says
A trick to getting more done in less time? Assign your husband and/or children some responsibilities. That way, you are not doing every single thing and more things get done in less time!
I take a nap. I find when I’m tired I do everything more slowly and less efficiently. When I take a short nap, I can work much faster and more efficiently. Even with the time lost sleeping, I still accomplish much more than if I had pushed through the exhaustion.
I have two email accounts one for personal stuff and the other for when I fill out surveys and sweepstakes.
I also do the one thing at a time idea. As a senior in college, I easily have about ten things to do in one night, and I’ve found out that setting a certain amount of time for each thing with a 5 minute break in between, will get stuff accomplished faster than sitting there trudging through it
Thank you! I really like the ideas here, and it seems like such a help not to be bouncing around applications!
Kendra Brown says
I make lists each day and prioritize them.
I love to have my 3 year old help me with my laundry folding. Some days, it really doesn’t save a lot of time, but I get to spend time with her while her sister is napping.
If you have kids, start them doing chores early with you. Tell them when they get old enough, they might be able to do them alone. Seriously.
I sort laundry, grab hangars, and do toilets, dishes, cooking, and e-mail at the same time. Any down time can be used to make progress on another, less time-sensitive jobs, like billpay, picking up around the house, answering e-mails, etc…
Michelle Langley says
I set up an alternate email address for “junk mail”. All the sites that I have to register to to access and print coupons or get good deals get registered under an alternate email address. Then I know that those aren’t time sensitive emails.
i don’t blog, but I’m struggling as a single parent of a 5 year old and 3 year old to keep up with the cleaning. So I’m using a printable calendar found at http://www.justmommies.com/articles/home-organization-plan.php I don’t know anything else about the site, but I love this printable calendar!
faith s says
my name is Faith and I’m not a blogger I make a list for everything all the time on paper
Sara Hazen says
write down things that I would like to do during the day while I’m on the bus- and then check off the things I got done while I’m on the bus on my way home!
JK Topp says
I write down my ideas, etc. of what I want to post so when I sit down at the computer I know exactly what I am doing.
I write a to do list for the week, this helps me to get everything done but without the stress. I also put important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, appointments and general notes in my blackberry so that I have a reminder just in case something slips my mind.
I am just starting as a blogger. Thanks for all the tips These will be very handy. Please enter me for windows phone7.
I watch the show “Help Me Hannah” on PBS and I heard a very useful rule from Hannah… “When you see something that needs to be done, do it NOW. Don’t put it off till later, because you probably won’t go back and do it.” I’m the worst about making a mental list to pick this or that up or straighten this area LATER. But, really, if I just take 1-10 seconds to do it right when I see what I need to do, the job gets done, the area looks better, and I FEEL GOOD because I see instant results.
Of course this rule doesn’t apply to ALL things, but for little jobs it sure does work! 🙂
I found a lot of useful information in your article “More Done in Less Time”. I particularly like the hints in the “Tame the Email Monster” section. I plan to put them to use as I am sometimes overwhelmed with my inbox. Thanks Sharon
I limit myself the computer. I hate taking too much time from my precious children! I turn off the computer everytime I’m done with a session, that way I can’t get distracted.
Is it cheating if I reiterate one of the above? In an effort to be less stressed at work (and home!) I started following tip C and I can’t even begin to explain how fantastic it is. Just seeing the (mostly) empty in-box gives me such a thrill.
My best tip is to plan ahead. Homeschooling, house hold management, and mothering all require organization and careful planning. Thanks for the chance to win the phone!
Melissa Garza says
Thanks so much for the great deals. Perfect timing for me if I win, am really needing a new phone but having to wait until just before Christmas to get one.
I’d love to win, my cheap flip phone is breaking and I’d love to have internet access!
Just having a plan saves so much time. That’s what I do to get more done
I really try set limits in every aspect of my life and what doesn’t get finished goes to another day. This helps me keep my family a priority instead of “chores”… including the internet.
Josh Durham says
I didn’t know Gmail had such great functionality. So, the tip I am taking away from this is: start using a Gmail account! Thanks!
sticking to my schedule of only spending certain amounts of time for certain things is the biggest help to me in getting things done more efficiently–thx for the giveaway!
Lori Jarvenpaa says
I sure could use a new phone! thanks for the great tips!
Set aside time every day. Otherwise, it falls off your radar and you lose readership.
Stay focused! I tend to waste time if I don’t make a list and then determine to work on it until everything is finished (that’s the hardest part! 🙂
To save time I limit my time online. Also, I say ‘no’ to several activities that would take away from our family time. I know these sound like simple suggestions, but they really make my life stress-free & protect our family time together.
I try to clear out the clutter every week or so. It causes less stress and is less stuff for me to clean/keep track of if I just throw it out or recycle it.
i always make a list of what needs done with the most imporant stuff at the top of the list
Megan Knowles says
1. Make a list
2. Delegate when appropriate. It is OK to ask my husband to help w/ dishes!
Rachel R. says
For blogging purposes, I’ve found TweetDeck to be a time saver.
My schedule rules my life, not that I’m not flexible where I have to be, but I have a devoted 30 minutes each and every sunday evening after the kids are in bed and I’ve had my shower. I take that 30 minutes to make the weeks schedule and plan our dinner menu(once every every sunday, not every week cause we plan two weeks at a time)…I find by MAKING that time and sticking to that schedule as closely as possible I feel more fufilled and more gets done.
Make a list and stick to it!
Rebecca Dula says
Great ideas. I try to limit my internet time to early in the morning while the rest of the house is sleeping or on my phone while I am waiting for school to get out or waiting for an appointment.
Marci B says
I give my each of my twins a dusting cloth, then tell them to play Cinderella. The dusting gets done and I can vacuume while they are busy!
I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but I involve my toddler in all of my household tasks. The tasks take a bit longer than if I did them myself, but I know that having him by my side keeps him from all the creative distructions that I would have to clean up in addition to the normal chores. So 30 minutes putting clean dishes away is certainly less time than 10 minutes putting clean dishes away and the 30 minutes I would need to clean up the spilled potted plants and scattered cat food dragged across the house!
I schedule blogging time after the kids are in bed. It’s just too hard to concentrate while they are all running around the house.
I really could use a new phone! Mine has about had it. This would be an awesome phone to have!
Melanie M says
I also use a timer! When it goes off, it’s time to move on!
I save time my being organized , got all of my most useful websites favorite placed and use roboform
Sweet- these are great tips that if used would help me maximize my computer time. Thanks
I try to save certain mindless tasks for the times I have to be on the phone for long periods of time. (For example, ironing while using my bluetooth handsfree device). That way I “kill two birds with one stone,” so to speak.
Saundra A says
I make lots of list. It helps to make a to do list and try to stick to it.
i’ve set up folders in my gmail for things like facebook, so any messages/comments that people post to my facebook page go there. since facebook is more of a “fun” thing for me, having those types of messages go into a folder that i can tackle when i have time is great.
Free Fun in Austin says
15 minutes on Facebook?? Are you sure you didn’t leave off a zero or two on the end of that number? Guess I’ll have to work on that one….
I don’t really have a good tip, since I tend to a distracted time-waster. But I do write my posts at night and schedule them to post during the day, so at least it looks like I’m working during the day, when really I’m out playing with my kids.
Have a certain day of the week where you do things, like Monday for cleaning, Wednesday for bills, Thursday for errands, etc.
I’d love to win for sure .. Planning is a key for me .. I also like to do house cleaning in same day of every week .. It helps when I cook main dishes on Sunday then add sides during the week .. Combine errands .. Discipline about your daily scheudle .. these are some tips .. Good luck
Terri F says
What great advice! I really need to work on cleaning up the e-mails I receive. I just need to find time to do it! 🙂
Setting a timer or an end time for a specific task helps me to be more efficient and focused at getting things done.
plan out what you know has to get done during the day and then you will find that you have more time for the incidentals.
jodi a says
I am a mom of 3 boys so I make sure that I always have my lists with me and have my coupons in my car.
Sarah H says
This is pretty obvious and common I’m sure but I’ve found that a simple to do list for each day helps me out immensely!
my favorite tip…enlist help! I expect my kids to contribute to our household chores as members of the family. They don’t get paid for these chores, just as my husband and I don’t get paid. We are privelaged to have a home and we will take care of it TOGETHER 🙂 After almost 10 years of cleaning the bathrooms, etc., they are getting pretty good at it!
Liz V. says
In the car I’m afraid is where I get most of my free time – I will call home and leave numerous messages about things to do or check into on the drive in to work. I also listen to books on CD because I don’t have time to read when I am at home!
when I think of an idea for a post, i jot it down in my notebook, then go back and expand on it when i have a few minutes
I guess I make time “budgets”. Especially with cleaning. I map out exactly what I want to get done for the week, how long each task should take, and then organzie what I’ll do and when. It’s amazing how much more motivated when I’m crossing things off of the list and getting more accomplished than I had planned!
Michele C. says
Routines and to-do lists are the biggest things that help me get a lot accomplished. This way I don’t have to think about EVERYTHING I have to do, much of it can be done on “automatic”.
Sabrina Lawrence says
I would love to try this new phone!
I block out a certain time of the day that I can be on the computer. Once the time is up the computer goes off.
I love babywearing while I’m doing safe chores like sweeping, vacuuming, and dusting. It gives me and my little one plenty of snuggle time while doing something I don’t like doing otherwise!
I’ve just recently cleaned out one of our email accounts. It had piled up to the point that I dreaded checking it! It’s so helpful (in Gmail) to be able to search for emails from a certain sender, and then select them all for deletion. Labels are awesome, too. If I need to see something related to our DVD club, I just check the list of labels and it shows when there’s a new message. No more searching through all those emails!
And gotta love how you can select “Mark all as read” when dealing with emails where you really only need to read the subject line. Ah….wonderful.
Like many of you, I am also a list maker. One thing that really helps me is to use a large notebook instead of a small one. I draw lines to make four quadrants and then put my things to do for the week: Home To Do; Office To Do; Meal Planning; Other. Then I just jot down things as I think of them so I don’t forget. Then transfer over the things that didn’t get done to next week’s list.
I’ve heard many people say that writing it down helps you get it out of your brain so you don’t stress over it – this really helps me. And you have an accomplishment of marking things off!!
Thanks for the giveaway!
Idaho Jill says
I make use of my yahoo calendar. As I remember things that need to be done on the weekend, I set it up on the calendar ; then set it up to be emailed to me Sat. morning. I don’t have to have pieces of paper everywhere, and it stays in my email until I finish the tasks. It works for me 🙂
I use lists, email and phone pop up reminders to help me stay on task. The trick is to not just ignore them and get them done.
Stash Blackwood says
Whether it is my business, my household, or my tennis game. I have learned the importance of prioritizing my TO_DO’s. When I get the essentials done, I have the ability to knock out the rest without the stress and worry, that something won’t get done.
Amy Lacey says
One of my best choices for time management was to de-clutter my house! When you have less “stuff,” you have less to clean, wash, find, and take care of. Less work means more time saved!
My husband really needs this phone. Thanks for the giveaway! 😉
I would love a phone like that! I’m taking a lot of notes on your time management series because lately I’ve not gotten anything done. Seriously!
I would love a phone like that! I’m taking alot of notes on your time managment series because lately I’ve not gotten anything done. Seriously!
One of the major things I do is actually not having a cell phone! Those things do EVERYTHING these days and it is easy to get caught up being on your cell phone instead of doing things that matter. However, I am signing up for this giveaway because I would like to give this to my mom and dad. They use their phones instead of a land line and don’t have internet at home because they can’t afford it. I would love to give this to them as a Christmas present! Thanks!
I use lists and reminders on my phone to keep me on track.
Robin Y says
Pick me! Pick me! 😛
Jilian D. says
I make lists and prioritize the tasks in order of size and importance. I find that when I have a few minutes in between important bigger tasks, I can knock out the little tasks and get much more done!
Stacy @ Delighting in the Days says
My best tip is to let go of perfectionism! I have left my blog without updates for long periods of time because I didn’t think I write everything in the exact way I wanted to. Same with tackling projects at home.
I am learning it is best to do a little rather than nothing at all 🙂
I didn’t know Windows had a phone!
I have to keep my priorities in check. If I don’t take time to have my quiet time with God in the morning, the whole day seems crazier. If I allow Him to be in charge of my day instead of me, life goes so much smoother. I also need to allow time for my family. When it is all said and done, these are the things that will really matter the most to me. The rest of my to do list doesn’t seem so burdensome when I am focused on why I am doing it and have a thankful heart.
Melissa Hatch says
I love all of your tips for staying organized and having a routine! I find that the computer is my biggest time suck. I am going to try to have specific times to do certain tasks and see if it helps me get what I need to done in a reasonable amount of time. Thanks!
Jennifer Hallier says
I try to get as much done the night before school so I don’t feel rushed in the morning when the kids are up and I need to “push” them to get ready! I also own a daycare, so I try to get as much done during the naptime. My time is limited…I could really use something to help me get through things quicker!
I get the whole family involved in organizing their stuff. That way there is more time for everyone and everyone is learning valuable time management skills. We all do the task(like or back packs or lunches) together and block out the time….We actually have more time for fun things to do and we also get to spend time doing menial but necessary tasks together. L:iving by a schedule is not restrictive but frees us up alot.
I’m a total list maker! I write down everything I need to get done, and then group them in order of priority. If things are on the lower priority, I take a look and see if I REALLY have to get that done, or if it’s something that I can let pass for awhile. (And yes, if I’ve done something that I forgot to write down, I’ll add it to the list and cross it off. lol)
Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂
Josh Tennis says
Anytime I go out shopping I make a list of what I need or at least some idea of what I am looking for. That way you have at least a general guideline to work off of. Otherwise, I spend way to much time and money!
My tips are
1 make a list what you want to do
2 do the most important thing first, in order to finish most of the things that i want to do when you don’t have enough time.
3 mark it after you finish each of the tasks
4 have a good habit to keep it going, don’t just do the list one day and stop the other day.
Hope I will win the phone, my current phone is really old now.
I like to plan tomorrow’s day activity the night before. Like packing what I need in my bag and what to wear so I won’t forget things and rush in the morning. On top of that I like to write my do list on my white board in my room as a reminder what I need to get done. I found that to be more effective than writing my do list on my computer or somewhere digital.
Melissa Carlisle says
I do my best to work in blocks. Work on X for an hour and then take a short break doing something I enjoy.
Thank you for these post – I am really learning a lot about time management, blogging (I really like the information on blogging with Amy) and how to handle a blog. I really think my best time management tool is to only check facebook and my email only three times a day (morning, noon and night).
I love being able to subscribe to just feeds that I need/want to read. It’s amazing how much computer time you save when I only have to open my google reader and everything is there for me… instead of me individually going to each website!
I just write things down and try to stay ahead of things. It seems more rushed when I wait until the last minute to get things done!
Amy h says
Staying organized and making lists help me out immensely!
Candice Storm says
I save time by doing OAMC and freezer meals.
Amy Miller says
When I’m going to one part of the house anyway I try to take something along that needs to be put away!
Would love this!!
I do my couponing errands on the weekends while my kids and husband take naps. It gives me time to get out and do my shopping without missing family time.
Mary Lavook says
I love the idea of winning a free phone. Thank you!
Norwex cleaning cloths
Wendy Boyd says
I have a rotating calendar of events which keeps me in check. For example, Monday is “bank & post office day”, Tuesday’s are my grocery shopping days; I schedule ALL dr.’s, dentists, vision, school appointments for Thursday afternoons (unless they are SICK :), Wednesday and Sunday is for church and that’s it…I absolutely do not schedule anything out of sequence, if it needs to be done it can picked up the next week. And of course, my Outlook Calendar is preloaded with these tasks so it takes the worry out of forgetting :)…..Enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us!
I like setting a timer and doing as much as I can before time is up. Works for big jobs too, that you just can’t make yourself get to because you know it’s gonna take forever!
As an adult with horrible ADD I find that multi-tasking is not an option for me or I get incredibly overwhelmed and then get angry at myself for not accomplishing anything. I take one task at a time. I make a list the night before and I number the list in order of importance and complete one task at a time. I used to beat myself up if I didn’t complete the list but now I realize that I’m not a kid anymore with unlimited energy (I’m 54) so if I can accomplish one or two things on the list I consider it a good day.
Elizabeth Lara says
“My time” is from 4:45am til 6:00am daily. It’s so hard b/c I’m not a morning person at all. I have 2 little ones, so this is when I get time alone.
I daily use the good, old-fashioned write-a-list-&-check-it-off method to organize my time & work efficiently.
Stephanie Hacker says
Since I read your post about time management, and saw something about ‘praying for God to multiply your time’, I have done that every morning, and I can’t believe how amazing that works!!! Our mornings are much smoother and we get ready for our day in less time! I pray for Him to multiply the time I get to sleep as well, and I feel more rested in the morning!! I have a 4 year old girl, a 6 month old baby boy, and work 50-55 hours a week, my husband works 55 hours a week on 2nd shift, so I don’t get much help from him, so any minute multiplied is absolutely precious to me! Even if I am not chosen for the Windows phone, I can’t thank you enough for the idea to pray for God to multiply my time!! It has truly done wonders!!
I get more done by planning a menu for the week. I find if I sit down and figure out the whole week at once, it is much faster than trying to figure it out on the spot each evening. Thanks for the chance to win and for this series – great info!
I always go through my mail right when I get it and take care of stuff immediately so I don’t have to go through it twice
Sam in AZ says
While my kids are taking their naps which is normally 1-3 hours, I use this time as my computer time to check blogs and my emails.
love your blog!
John Graham says
The segment on taming the email monster was great. So much of my time is wasted every day because of unnecessary emails. Great tips throughout though!
My time saving tip is basic menu planning. Simple, yet so helpful.
I give myself a “sceen-time” allowance just like I do for my kids.
Brandy Fisk says
I do work while my son is asleep or at school.
I try to get a lot done during my toddler’s naptime. As far as exercise, I often do an exercise program that can be incorporated when I’m playing with my son. Basically, incorporating things in everyday situations is ideal for me.
I create deadlines and impose a mild but annoying penalty for not meeting deadlines.
I like the ‘canned’ email response idea. I didn’t realize that gmail had that. I will have to look into it.
I totally agree with “shutting out the noise.” At work, people can be the largest distraction so I let myself plug into my Ipod for an hour to an hour and a half in order to focus just on work and keep the other distractions away. I will even ignore phone calls and return them when my time is up.
K. C. says
My best tip is to learn to say no. Don’t feel guilty that you can’t do everything. Say no for your kids too. They don’t have to be involved in every single activity available to have a wonderful happy childhood!
Restrict yourself to a certain amount of time on the computer (using a timer!!!). It can be a major time waste-r otherwise!!
Virginia Kuhn says
I try to clean my bathroom while the boys are in the tub playing after I’ve washed them- since I’ve gotta be in there anyway, might as well do something productive! 🙂
I make lots of lists! There is something so very satisfying about checking something off of a list 🙂
My tip is to have a list of the things that need done.
I read while I’m eating!
I have my kiddos help me. At first, it seems like it takes more time to do things but it is so worth it later b/c they not only learn valuable skills – it takes way less time!
I write things down, so I can go back and write them later instead of feeling like I’ve always got to get to the computer to write out my ideas.
Cricket@ A Thrifty Penny says
What saves me the most time right now is to get my posts written in advance. I set them up to autopost at random times. This way if it’s a busy day I don’t feel that I have to blog because I already have at least one post going up for the day. This also allows me time to make corrections with a fresh set of eyes before the post is final.
Rachel H. says
Routine. I try to keep to the same type of activities each day of the week. I also try simplify as many areas of my life as possible.
I recently added a data plan to my phone and when I am waiting in car line to pick up my oldest I try to clear out as many emails as possible.
School lunches are made and outfits picked out and ironed the night before so there is no rushing around in the morning.
Erin Clark says
I make a top 10 list for the day and try to make it through the list, sometimes I only get one done, sometimes I get all 10!
LeAnna B. says
I try to make a schedule of computer time. Really hard, but I try to only get on after the kids go to bed.
I have a set cleaning schedule; each room is deep-cleaned once annually. Kitchen is August, then the kids’ rooms one month at a time when school starts, etc. I take Dec. off. Thank you for a wonderful giveaway!
I like to make to-do lists. Seeing what I need to do and being able to check it off is always a good thing!
Emily L. Freelove says
I would love to win the phone, my time saving tip is to install WordPress on your iphone so that you can write while waiting at the Dr’s office, school pick up line, etc…
I get up early! Starting the day fresh and before other things pull at my time helps me get ahead and use my time more effectively. The same hour of ‘free’ time at the end of the day is much more difficult to use well than an hour at the beginning.
Sunday night I plan my week and then I’m not flustered trying to prioritize throughout the week
My tip – Don’t think your children need to be a certain age to help out- Let your toddlers help out however they can! My 2.5 year old loves pushing around the vacuum with my supervision. Obviously he isn’t a substitute for Mommy, but I figure he does probably at least get some dirt off the floor! 🙂 Every little bit helps!
Instead of looking at my commute on public transportation as a hassle, I put the time to good use. I organize my coupons, make lists, read or just zone out and listen to music. If I feel like I had a little “me” time during my commute, I’m much happier giving my time to my family when I get home.
I think having a schedule and a list helps. I like your blocks of time to do specific things.
I use the time I spend on public transportation to go through emails or use social media sites. I bring my laptop with me and sometimes spend that hour responding to urgent emails, sometimes searching for good deals.
I also make a list of things I need to get done and make some them very doable. For instance rather than listing “do errands”, I have “pet store”, “grocery store”, “post office” and cross each one off as I go. Rather than having one insurmountable task, I can be happy if I get through half of them especially if something comes up that I can’t predict. I try to create 3 finish-able things per day!
This may sound really crazy, but I have found that if I don’t sit down when I am working on the computer, I get a lot more done because it reminds me that I need to stay on my toes and on top of my to-do list. So, when I want to check email, or a great blog like this one, I put my computer on the island in the kitchen and stand next to it. I don’t want to stand there for more than 10 minutes, and then I am able to jump back in to the next thing on my schedule. When I wasn’t doing this, there were so many times when I would go to the office to check “just one thing” and before I knew it, 30 minutes had gone by!
@Aimee, I like this idea. It’s so easy to get comfy on the couch with the computer and stay there for a lot longer than planned. I am going to have to try your method! thanks 🙂
The best way to get something done is just to do it. If it is something you are dreading, like scrubbing the toilettes…schedule it. usually a really stinky cleaning job gets done once a week, and is followed by a cup of tea!
#1 – just do it. (Oy am I the world’s #1 procrastinator)
#2 – work in small bits. 15 minutes, 20, or whatever works. Set a timer and just focus for those few minutes. Then, if you still just aren’t in cruising mode, switch to a new task. I find some days it takes me two or three starts before I get my groove going. But eventually I do. And at least I did something productive with those 15 minutes instead of just worrying my to-do list.
Jenny C. says
I swap babysitting with a friend and on those nights, where I’m at someone else’s house (no cleaning to do!) I blog multiple posts and schedule them over a week or two.
Lori Hibbard says
What a great phone! I try and stick to a daily routine and limit activities that are not important…I’m learning to be more productive with each day so that quiet time and family is ranked #1!
If I have alot of “little” things that need doing, such as things to put away, small cleaning projects, etc. I do a “frenzie”! Set the timer for twenty minutes and then zoom about the house and try and do as much as I can before the timer goes off…gets things done and makes it fun!
Making a “top six” to-do list everyday helps me get done what I need to do in an efficient manner.
The best way for me is to make a list listed by priority. As the day goes on, I cross things off my list and re-prioritize if needed.
For me, the key is using time when the kids are in bed at night to blog rather than Facebook!
Lists are always a time saver for me and not “surfing” the net. Just go to what I need and then log off!
while talking on the phone with friends, I try do some light housekeeping around the house.
Set up an online calendar like google calendar to remind you to post and brainstorm post ideas!
The thing that helps me and my family accomplish more is to make lists. Very detailed lists. My children and I all love to check things off when we finish something. My husband and I went out for a long day date one day a couple weeks ago. We left a very detailed (2 page) list of things for the children to do. They didn’t accomplish all of it but they accomplished more than we expected because they made a game out of seeing who could get the most check marks.
sheeba mathew says
Great tips…Mine is to organize and micro-organize every important task for the day. I have a notepad by my bedside wich lists tasks for the day…sometimes it takes time but prioritizing always does work…by teh way i would really love to try this phone…my current one is in shambles and due to be replaced…
When I’m done on the computer, I’m DONE. No surfing, rechecking email “one last time,” clicking through extra links because “it sounds interesting,” etc. I get up and walk away because the more time I spend staring at this screen means the less time there is available for family.
I installed a program on my computer to help me track where my time is being spent. It’s giving me real perspective on how much time I’m wasting, and at what time periods! That way, I can come up with some tangible ways of improving. For example, I discovered (though I’m not surprised) that I’m on Facebook WAY too much. So I’m now looking for a plug in that will block the site for part of the day.
Anyway, the initial program I used is called “Rescue Time.”
Oh – thank you! I need to check that out! I know I spend too much time on FB and on emails . . . gotta get it in check! I would LOVE to spend more time blogging, but I always feel like I run out of time (with taking care of 5 kids and a hubby as well as some other goals and projects)!
On my blog right now, I do a lot of deals and freebies as they come up – can’t really plan ahead for those. I do crafts and recipes posts when I find something that’s interesting, so I haven’t really been planning ahead for those (except for my 20 Days of Homemade Christmas Ornaments, which I’m working on right now and will run in December). But I have a few weekly features that I outline right away on Sunday, and then add to as the week goes on. That way every time I log into my blog, they’re right at the top reminding me to finish them.
Laura Gordy says
I would go further with the time increments spent on social media…it is easy to get lost link-following….I set up a timer for facebook, twitter, etc and when it goes off…I click close!
Divine intervention baby! That, plus writing several posts all at once then scheduling them to show up a day or two later, is how I maximize my blog efforts.
The phone looks cool and the information on timely blogging without losing time is awesome and helpful!
ashley b says
Dry-erase board and to-do lists! Submitting to win a new phone: CHECK! 🙂
I think it helps to make a list, and prioritize what needs to get done. Then work through the list and cross things off as they get done!
Tracey Bridges says
I’m a list maker and try to accomplish as many tasks on my list each day as is possible. I manage alot of my paperwork and return phone calls while waiting in the carpool line. Thanks for the giveaway!
I take advantage of my shower time. As a mother of 2, the shower is usually the only place that I’m alone. While in the shower, I make mental lists of what needs to be accomplished, or start talking through what I need to write. When I was in college, we would hang laminated notes in the shower to help us study. This works for kids and spelling words too!
Lori Rikard says
These are all great ideas. I also setup a junk email account to receive responses from sweepstakes & giveaways so they don’t bog down my primary account.
Would love to win the new phone so I can stay organized on the go!
Lisa Mathews says
I would love to win a free phone! My current phone is very outdated and I would love to have something more modern 🙂
I also make to-do lists, then check off when things are done. Another thing I do is have a set bedtime so I don’t stay up late doing and doing. Getting a good nights rest helps me be productive the next day.
Melissa N. says
i would love to win the phone. i try to check email while i feed my baby to save time.
I have to have lists that I can go by and cross things off as I accomplish them! I keep a notepad in several special places so that I always have one handy!
I make a list of what I need to get done and the approximate times I need out to the side. I sometimes set a timer if I’m at home – otherwise I set reminder alarms on my phone so I don’t spend too much time on something and can’t get the other items done.
Kaui Eiklor says
This series has SAVED my life. Thank you SO much for being so open and helpful!!! I just started my blog so I really don’t have any advice for blogging, but I can say what saves me time with cleaning my bathroom: have a set routine every time you clean it.
I start from top to bottom and it really makes a difference ’cause then I’m not picking fuzz or somthing off of the floor after I’ve already cleaned it. It really only takes me about 20-30 minutes at the most to clean my bathroom (I also have a small bathroom).
I’d so love a new phone! Thanks 😉
mohammed khan says
I would love to win 😉
My tip is too use NotePad or Calander it will help you with day to day things that you have too do
Kristen Brawner says
I like the Eliminate unnecessary emails suggestion. I should spend a little time unsubscribing from the email lists that I never read.
Rhonda R. says
I’m a list person. I always have a master list of things I want to do, but then each morning I prioritize the top 3-5 things and tackle them first. If I only get those things done, I don’t get down because I did the most important.
I’ve recently learned about Feedreader, and now subscribe to blogs via RSS feed whenever possible. I like that it keeps these kinds of communications out of my email, and it’s also much faster to review new feeds than any of the various email options of tried.
Would love a new phone, too!
I would love a new phone! I get more done if I stay up after everyone is in bed.
Erica Cooper says
I make a list of all the things that I need/want to get done. I then number them by “importance”. That way I can keep track of what needs to be done sooner rather then later.
Make your to do list in outlook and sync it with your phone. Prioritize items by due date, and work to accomplish those first. Make sure you don’t procrastinate or wait until the last minute. It seems like when you wait to get things done, nothing goes right and then it becomes a stressful situation. As long as you keep organized, accomplishing goals is rewarding, not stressful.
I also use a timer! It works to motivate children too!!
Angela Schrader says
I know it sounds silly, but making a shopping list and sticking to it will save you time and money! Like you mention, make a menu, find your coupons and go shopping. I have two kids and if I forget something in the store, it drives me nuts to un-load them from the car just to get something I forgot. MAKE A LIST AND BRING YOUR COUPONS!
i like to use lists on my iPhone. You can manage it well and the app that i use records what you accomplished each day on a calendar.
My tip is to give my day to the Lord in prayer. When I commit everything to Him, I just seem to get more done!
Honestly, I think not overthinking what you need to do helps. I’ve been busy working and I didn’t have a chance to take down Halloween decorations and clean, and I’ve been dreading it for *weeks*. On Saturday, I just started doing it, and in a couple hours, I’d put it away and dusted and vacuumed. I’ve got to deal with the upstairs bathrooms and vacuum, and I bet it will be done before I have to start dinner. Once I get motivated and just start!
Susan (Frugalouis) says
I’ve started doing “short posts” in the AM after I read my Bible and before my shower, and then have a “networking” time later when the kids nap. A couple of times a week I block off a bigger chunk of time to do longer, less time-sensitive posts.
Of course, I adapted a lot of what I’m doing now from ideas you shared at Relevant. =)
I try to clean and organize my house everyday.
I would love a new phone!
My tip is to use a planner or calendar to keep appointments, lessons, etc. straight.
I’ve noticed that I get more done when I’ve worked out.
Schedule events/to dos in my phone and set to get a reminder for those very important things.
Also, to-do lists – I updated and revise my several times a day and always leave the office with a fresh list for the following morning.
List making works for me.
I focus on trying to get 3 additional things done during a work day. If anything else comes up, I add it on a list for another day.
I love the FAQ and search bar idea. It seems silly to me for someone to need to email a blogger about basic questions if they can easily look them up themselves.
I love scheduling posts for future times. That way if I am planning to not blog the next day because of something else I am committed to, I don’t stress out. I also have to stay focused on what I am doing or I end up surfing all over the place.
Heather Shaw says
All great advice. I’m trying to build up a blogging schedule right now and I spent some time Saturday mapping out my posts for this week. I have such a great headstart, now I just have to keep the momentum going! I’ve been blogging by the seat of my pants for 3 months now. Now that I’ve got a lot more on my plate workwise…I need to get some organization going.
I’m sure someone has already said this, but using a timer is a *huge* timesaver for me. If I say, “OK, you have 15 minutes to finish editing this post and getting it ready to publish,” then I’m more likely to stay on task and (more importantly) finish! I’m a huge perfectionist, and blogging is a job that is only finished when you say for yourself that it is, so a timer helps me keep a set limit.
Work only when the kids are napping or asleep so I will not be interrupted.
My tip is to keep a notepad handy to write down anything that might distract you while you’re trying to get a project done. I’m always worried that I’ll forget to do something if I don’t do it right away, so having a place to write it down gets it off my mind without interrupting my work. On the computer, I love to use the “Sticky Notes” feature on Windows 7 for this!
I’m new to the whole blogging thing. Actually, I started it because I discovered you can turn a blog into a personal book. So, I’m going to eventually print my blog out and give it to my son someday. I get the most done when my boy is napping or asleep. So, that’s when I usually write.
Jennifer J says
I use a timer when I need to get alot of little things done!
I allot specific amounts of time for a task. When it’s up, I’m done.
jen w says
I try to save all work until kids are sleeping.
I am a nanny, stay-at-home mom, and freelance reporter, so I know all about trying to get stuff done in a timely manner! I find naptime to be incredibly valuable as well! And I would LOVE a new phone! Thanks, Crystal!
I make a list in the morning of the top 3 things I need to accomplish that day, and check them off as they get done. It helps me be more productive by only have a few things on the list.
I have a place upstairs and downstairs where I collect items that need to be put away, that way I can take 10-15min at a time and get things put away b/c they are all in one spot! I’d love to win!!! 🙂
Make a list and stay on task.
Use Sunday as a day of rest.
Sign me up!
The tip: Well, you already hit on my favorite one, which is the canned responses. Love them!
Amy A. says
Love your blog! The biggest and simplest thing that helps me is to make lists for everything!
Sarah in MO says
Thanks for these great tips. I’m thinking about starting a blog soon, and these will help.
Thanks for the tip on keeping your email inbox cleaned out! I’m not a blogger but my inbox is so big that I’m not sure I can ever get it cleaned out. I need to devote a big block of time to getting it cleaned out and then a small block each week to “keep” it cleaned out and organized, thanks!
We have a big family calendar hanging in the kitchen and EVERYTHING goes on this calendar so that we can all look at it and know what were doing and where we are supposed to be. We also use the kitchen timer, like so many others, to help not only the children but also the adults alot certain amount of time to projects to keep us motivated.
Sarah B says
Oh, the canned response feature on gmail is so cool! I’ll have to try that out 🙂
Thanks for all the ideas about cutting down on email time. This is helpful even if I don’t have my own blog.
I make a To Do list each day and I stick to that list as close as I can. When I deviate, I am less proactive, so I try not to do that! Thanks!
Janell Poulette says
I wish I had a time saving tip, but I don’t. I love all your tips! Luckily my kids go to bed at 7pm so I have time at night to get stuff done.
I like to read – a lot! In order to continue doing that, and still keep my home in order, I will limit myself to one chapter at a time and then tackle one room. I alternate this order throughout the day and it works great for me! 🙂
Mr Marks says
I like the freedom that I don’t have to answer all of the questions.
One of the ways to cut down on time is by establishing a routine and a time frame for most tasks around the house. Another way that I maximize time is by using my husband’s iphone(I don’t have one) to download coupons(app) and it save me a lot of time in clipping and sorting and looking for deals. I have also trained my children(2 and 4) to pick up after themselves and that there is a set time for all activities they enjoy and have trained myself to appreciate their help instead of trying to do everything myself. I also try to involve my children in the things I am doing… like when I am blogging my two kids are in their own computers plugging away(the 4 year old on my old laptop(usually on ‘starfall’, and the two year old on his leapfrog, surrounded by ‘diggers’), it gives them a feeling that they too are doing ‘big kid work’ as my 4 year old puts it(of course there are interruptions, but I usually welcome it after 15/20 mins). This way we are all busy at the same time and ready to move on to the next task, like snack, together.
One thing that helps me as a blogger is to quit stalking. You know what I’m talking about. Someone leaves me a comment (or I am on a blog leaving a comment) and then I check out their blog. Which then causes me to read their comments and clicking on those peoples websites and the vicious cycle continues. Many times I find a great new blog but many times I find myself wondering how I ended up on a blog several hours later!!
Kelly Thompson says
I try to prioritize my to-do list so I can concentrate on the most important things first.
my tip is to use the daily docket (download printable) from Simple Mom.
Melanie in KS says
I will say, as a WAHM who homeschools her four children, and has a husband that travels a great deal for his employer, that one of my best tips is to severely limit phone conversations. I know so many at home moms who waste so much time on the phone. And yes, I would be one of these moms if I didn’t limit it. 🙂
Email is much less disruptive as it can be dealt with whenever and doesn’t lead to “chatting” about other issues that are directly connected to the matter at had. In fact, I have such a rule about this that my friends just know I’m not really available on the phone, and if we need to discuss something we have to set a time in advance when I can talk and have the time set aside to do so.
Having this policy in place has helped me to accomplish all I need to in a day, without as much stress and turmoil. Oh, and having a smartphone, like the one in the giveaway is a tremendous help as well, because you can multitask when waiting at an appointment and so on. I’m huge on multi-tasking as well!
My problem is that I don’t focus on one thing at a time! I do the scatter technique and seemed shocked when it doesn’t work;).
I love to use the alarm and timer features on my cell phone for everything from yoga to baking. Would love to try it out on the new Windows & phone.
Waiting for this new phone to save me from my phone 😉
I write myself little notes, and stick them on the bathroom mirror, fridge, etc, I also use my phone LOTS to help with reminders and I write things on my dry erase board that’s on my fridge.
Don’t get caught up in clicking on links on websites and then more link and more links…before you know it all your time is gone!
Of all the many many ways I have tried to be more efficient with my time, the single best way I have found is about the simplest: Getting to bed ON TIME. I am very guarded about getting a full night of sleep. It makes me alert, able, and motivated from the time I wake up in the morning, to get most everything done.
I limit my web “surfing”, close the computer and walk away!!
Tara Wilkinson says
The way I get more work done on the computer is to turn on my music playlist. It may sound crazy, but it really helps me focus on the task at hand instead of procrastinating and surfing the web
Shelly N. says
I’d say that keeping a running list of things that I want/need to do is key . . . because sometimes I “forget” in the busyness of a house with little children and distractions what I need to do next. And then also, using a timer to complete unpleasant tasks, or in limiting my time on stuff I can get carried away with . . . helps a lot!
I agree that having lists/planner keeps me on track. I also only keep a small calendar for activities, so once a day is full- that is all I can commit to do that day. Some things have to go to make time for family and “regular” stuff.
My best way to get more done in less time is to get help from my kids. Laundry – my 4yo puts away her own, and is getting better at folding each day
Dusting – my kids each get a rag and we tackle different rooms at the same time.
Sweeping – again, mini broom and dust pan for the ankle-biters.
Christine Bates says
As a mother of 4 kids 2 girls 15 and 8 and my 2 youngest are boys 4 and 6, I am always trying to get more done in less time. My time saving tip is I have the boys take a bath together and after I wash thier hair and bodies I let them play for a little while, and as they play I wipe down the sink and toilet sweep the floor ect… It give them plenty of time to enjoy their bath and I am not just sitting waiting to get out.
Sometimes I just make a list and I also give my children things to do.
April P says
My husband really want a Windows phone!
my tip: Divide and conquer.
As an avid multi-tasker I agree I could accomplish more if I were more focused. Point #2 is my motto for the day, maybe longer if I can do it.
Shawn M. says
I love the idea of setting up a file for emails that can be answered later. I spend so much of my time answering emails that really could wait until a more opportune time for me.
I have my kids (almost 3 and 1) help with chores like laundry, dusting, baking, vacuuming, etc. They love it and we can get chores done & mommy time at the same time.
Kimberly Wilson says
I use microsoft outlook for tasks, the calendar for events and the journal feature to document important information. You can sync it with your e-mail and receive notificiations via e-mail. Keeps me on track.
Shannon Runnels says
I’d love to win. Thanks!
My best tip: simply be intentional and set priorities or the computer/blog will EAT YOU ALIVE 🙂 that is, eat up all of your time and leave you feeling like you’ve wasted your day.
Shannon in Indiana <
I would love to win the phone! My favorite time saving tip is menu planning. A tip I learned from MoneySavingMom and LifeAsMOM. It really has made a HUGE difference.
Dry erase board with my daily list in a central location – eliminates the paper and it is always in the same place!
I try to do little clean ups and pick ups everyday so I don’t have to do a major one all in one day.
I really like your idea to have only 10 email in your in-box at one time. Often times I read an email and then leave it in my in-box. I am now committed to do something with each email I read and no longer leave it untouched. Read it, then file it or delete it.
Katie Walker says
I always make a list! I write down the most important things that need to get done first, and then other less important things and so on. I love the feeling of crossing things off my list, so that’s a big motivator for me!
Like you mention on the computer, I find that I get more done in pretty much all aspects of my life when I unitask!
I use my blackberry, but would love a windows phone to keep organized.
Writing lists was always my way to get more done in those snippets of time when I don’t know what to do first. Now, I use a note-taking program that not only helps me make the lists, but I can share them with others, like a Christmas Gift idea list with my husband! We can be on the same page for errands, etc. This has helped us streamline our household a lot, and without paper lists cluttering up every room of the house!
Rebekah Ulrich says
I leave the TV off! If it is on, I find myself wasting so much time. If I need a break for a while I try to play with my daughters or read a book. I find then I do not waste the time watching TV and I do not waste time thinking about what I watched.
I try really hard to mulitask when i can
Meghan Hobein says
I used the setting the timer tip. It has helped me lots (when I actually follow through with it)
rebekah rummel says
We don’t use the tv in our house – cuts down on noise clutter and keeps the kids busy!
Jessica @ This Blessed Life says
I try to write a lot of my posts ahead of time, when I actually have a fresh idea in my head. Rather than sit around and think of what to write or how to word it, writing it down as soon as it pops in my head usually lets me finish a post a whole lot faster.
This is a great giveaway! Thank you!
Connie Corey says
Write it down- doing so frees us brain space (at least for me!) to do other things!
Emily S says
When I’m cleaning, I set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and power clean for that whole time. Then, take a 5 or so minute break to get a drink or whatever, then do it again. I seem to get everything done faster this way!
My favorite tip is not to multi task. That is true in so many situations.
I don’t have any fantastic tips. I try to put everything in my Outlook Calendar so that I am reminded on my computer and phone. I would love to win this phone!
Thanks for the gmail tips! Would love to win the new phone!
I take 10 minutes before bed each night to organize my to do list in order of importance and highlight any items that must take place by or at a certain time.
Elizabeth T says
My tip is creating a time schedule and trying to stick to it. My schedule starts after 9pm when my daughter is a sleep and I allow my self certain amount of time to look through my facebook, emails, and blogs. Also, if I have any extra free time during the day I take that time to look through a blog, check fb, or email (however I only do this if I am caught up on everything else)
I just recently started using the Motivated Moms planner, and I LOVE it! I’m not getting everything done on my list everyday, but I am getting much more accomplished and working on a more useful cleaning schedule. I have my two boys (age 5 and 9) help with the household chores. They have their own chores that they are responsible for daily, but they also help me with my list when there are things on it that they are able to do. I also make the most of the time I have. I love to read, but don’t always have the time to do so. I try to keep a book handy in the car for the times I’m waiting somewhere, here that is often on a train =), so I can squeeze in a little here and there. If I have work that travels well, I take that with me also to appointments, kids’ practices, etc. to work on things like studying, school work, meal plans and things like that.
Sorry to write such a long response. I’m just very excited to finally be getting things done. I’m sure that will change soon with baby #3 arriving soon! =)
I get more done at night when the kids are in bed and my husband is also working on his own evening projects.
My favorite tip, although I’m not at all a morning person, is to get up early, or at least a little earlier than you normally would. I don’t enjoy it in the least but when I do I find I’ve gotten so much more accomplished than if I hadn’t.
Cindy Whitsell says
I am not a blogger, but I can absolutely sympathize with the whole multi-tasking (or trying). Then it gets overwhelming and all my time is gone. I love your tip on 20 minute increments. I think I will start utilizing my timer to do a little at a time. It sure sounds like I’ll be getting a lot more done instead of the computer taking all my time away and my house looking like a disaster!!!
I do the same as you. I keep my email box empty. That way I’m not doing the same email twice.
Paula Zuelke says
My tip is to have a routine that you do every day to keep the house clean.
I would love a new phone!
I have recently adopted a new outlook. Instead od trying to get “more done,” I ask myself, “will this bring me peace?” If the answer is yes, then I figure out where on my priority list it should go. If trying to cram it all in will only result in me being more stressed out, I have to tell myself to let it go.
Make a list of everything you want to get done in a day/week and then prioritize them. This will help you stay focused on the important tasks!
caroline ling says
how to get more things done in less time?
1) plan ahead. Have a plan, either using outlook or any planner. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EXTRA TIME FOR ANY CHANGES. e.g. If you want to do four things today. Each of them may take 1hr. Then plan ahead and make time to be 1hr and a half, so you can make changes if anyting happened. And you can always bring your laptop or planner with you in case you have that extra half hr, then you can use it to do your blog.
2) use your hand not your mind. Record everything you want to do and put into outlook reminder. Use a help by writing down doesn’t mean you are not smart. On the contrary, you are smart enough to use a tool!
3) Use small time instead of big trunk of time. If you want to blog some big issue and it’s not urgent to finish, take small time to do it. Once you’ve done, you will feel like you didn’t take too much to finish it.
4) Don’t feel frustrated if you didn’t finish your plan. Even though you planed perfectly, it may not go as you thought. It doesn’t matter, as long as you tried your best. Give yourself a break, then you won’t feel so upset when you do next thing. If you can’t adjust your emotion, you won’t work effectively and efficiently.
more things to share, only give you some of my tips here. 🙂
Speaker phone! You can catch up with friends and family while getting dinner ready or doing other things 🙂
Donna S says
One of the best time management tips I have been practicing is to have Actions – @Home @Computer @Errands @E-mail @Calls etc. So when I write a to-do list it is by ‘action’ so when I have 5 minutes for e-mail time I know who’s on my list to e-mail and I don’t forget anyone!
I’m a geek – and a GTD’er – “getting things done”
Limited TV time!
I get up early before we start babysitting our little grandson and do as much as I can. Always an early riser -I blog a little, do dishes etc. -it’s amazing what you can do before any one else gets up in the house. just be quiet!
I use my Outlook calendar to keep me updated with my tasks and link it with my blackberry so I have it handy when I am away from home.
karen scheivert says
I only blog 3 times a day. I do it before the kids wake up, when they go down for a nap and after they go to bed. That way I don’t take away from time with the kids. They will only be young for so long so I don’t want to miss it by being glued to the computer.
Emily Johnson says
Setting a timer is a GREAT way to get stuff done quickly! It’s like a competition with myself. 🙂
Ashley H says
I always love tips on how to manage my time better. Love MMS!
Trish U says
I would love to win! I try to only spend 1 hour on web surfing and then move on. Using a timer really helps!
I use naptime to get stuff done! I also love the idea of closing all other tabs/windows and focusing on only one task. it helps me greatly!
My tip would be to not start computer work until you’ve already accomplished (or set aside enough time for accomplishing) your main homekeeping responsibilities. I find that I am much more productive if the house is somewhat straightened and the laundry and meals are in order. Otherwise, I worry about not having enough time to get those main responsibility type things done.
Cricket@ A Thrifty Penny says
@Allyson, I have the same problem and philosophy! Of course, sometimes smelling dinner in the crockpot can also be counterproductive 🙂
Lisa Ault says
Using lists is a time saver for me.
Felicia Eis says
I get done with more in less time when I set my toddler up doing something like coloring or watching a short movie. Its really hard to get anything done with her running around 🙂
I set up a to do list on my igoogle page right in the middle so that I can see what I need to get done.
I keep an online calender, but also a paper calender that i have right by my computer work station…I jot things down in my phone or in my agenda and then update my online and paper calenders when i get home.
focus on one task at a time. i put a basket & notepad wherever i’m working…if something doesn’t belong there, i throw it in the basket to take care of after i finish my primary task. if there’s another project i want to do, i write it on the list…when i do these things it helps me finish one task intead of starting twenty and not finishing any!
Make a list & stick to it!
Use nap time to your advantage! Cant believe how much I can get done in only 3 short hours.
Karyn Hostetter says
My tip would be to keep the kids busy doing some work around the house. I would save time because they are helping.
Michelle M says
I use my Franklin Planner for work and home as well as plain notebook lists!
I would love to try this phone…:)
CHERYL KUHN says
LISTS, LISTS, LISTS!! They keep me sane and organized.
Lists! I constantly have lists going… They help keep my life and mind organized and accomplish things in an efficient way!
Love to win this 🙂
As a newer blogger, I am always looking for tips like this! I find that the best thing for me to do is actually set a specific time to do something. Since my blog is baking, I actually schedule in a time specifically to bake so that I can’t skip it. It only sort of works, but it’s better than it used to be!
Thanks so much for this great tip on time budgeting! I am in the process of starting my own business from home, and struggle with how to get it all done. But making a time budget and trying to stick with it for the most part sounds great. And then hopefully life won’t seem so stressful in regard to not having enough time at least. =)
Jennifer Ledford says
If I go to bed on time then the next day goes much smoother, if I stay up late – I usually am not accomplishing much, and it throws the next day into hurry and catchup – all day.
Delegate! I have four kids and train them to do various things. It’s good for us all, saves me time, and trains them for their future!
My husband would love this!
Tammy Wilson says
I love the tip about keeping your inbox clean. I honestly cannot stand keeping emails in my inbox. If I need to keep an important email, I will put it in a folder. But my inbox is always empty. Thanks for all of your tips!
Erin L. says
If possible … delegate!
jennifer brown says
While my older son takes a bath in my master bath I fold clothes on my bed (this way I can watch him and he is only a few feet away).
Great post! I always love reading about time management. I find myself needing to not multitask to get things done while online.
I try to follow FlyLady.net’s schedule. It is pretty comprehensive and easy to follow.
Melissa N says
I do something in our house every day, even though we deep clean on sunday’s. It can be sweeping the bathroom, gathering dishes, stuff like that, and it adds up over the week so theres less to do on the weekend.
Jody Purcell says
I only go through papers and coupons and ads once a week. I just stuff them in a drawer, then on Monday, I pull the whole drawer out and start going through everything at once.
Jennifer C. says
I have an “action” and “waiting for” sub-folders in my e-mail. I put e-mails on things requiring more info, items I’ve ordered that I’m waiting for in that folder. Action folder items are things to do soon, but requiring more than a moment of typing or thought.
I make lots of lists. They help me stay on task and prioritize what I need to get done.
A to – do list that is accomplishable and one thing at a time 🙂
I use to think multi-tasking was the answer to getting things done. Now however, I think it only adds confusion and stress to all projects. So now if I am working on couponing I do that alone, and don’t try to cook dinner at the same time. 🙂 I also give my full attention to whatever I am doing, this includes time with my kids. Being fully present.
Rhonda Nale says
Would love a new phone.
Thanks for this blog! So helpful–good solid, balanced advice.
I only put a few things down on my to-do list. If I have several things on my to-do list and know that I will never be able to accomplish all of them, I tend to do NOTHING because I feel overwhelmed and stressed at the start of the day.
Stasia Basler says
I find that cooking using the crock pot allows me to get more done in less time since I don’t have to stand over the meal. It also saves me in dishes since I only have one pot or two if I use both of my crock pots and cleaning them is easy since I have the crock pot liners. I can just pull the bag out and put the pot and lid in the dishwasher. Voila! Meals and clean-up are easy!
Jean Rzepiejewski says
Turn off the tv. Music is fine, but it’s just too tempting to look at the tv when I’m trying to get something done.
I try to balance the other stuff I need to get done with how much writing I do and set a daily limit for the writing. For now, I’m doing two hours of writing. Whatever I get done in that time period is it. Then I have to spend two hours doing housework, cooking, school stuff, etc.
I take advantage of the times when I’m the only one at home.
Michelle Wilkins says
As a blogger(newbie), I find writing posts and updating my blog frequently to be very time consuming. As a homeschooling mom, I have had to choose best over better.
At this season of life, blogging has taken a back seat. To be successful at those roles you deem a priority, you must keep balance.
I learned that when I stop multi-tasking I can get a lot more done. If I focus on one thing at a time, I get it done more quickly and the quality is better too.
Heather Jandusay says
I try to stay on top of cleaning and household projects. Do a little each day.. I don’t wait until laundry is piled to the ceiling. When I have a load, I wash it. Dishes get done after every meal, toys get picked up after being played with.. I am at home all day so it’s easier for me to stay on top of it..
I set a timer in the evening for 1 hour. I have 1 hour to clean up and straighten up, then I can do whatever else I want to do like exercise, bake, or watch TV.
Lists! That’s the way to stay focused and on task! If it weren’t for my lists I would drift and completely loose time.
Tori c says
The only way I can get things done is by making myself a to do list. I separate it into morning & afternoon, out of the house errands, grocery list etc.
Natalie Thompson says
My advice would be to make a weekly list of household chores and try to get one thing done a day. For example:
Monday: clean bathroom
Wed: swiffer and mop flooors
Thurs: clean kitchen
Friday: clean kids rooms and vacuum
Sat: clean master bedroom
Sunday: Day of rest!!!
Hope this helps!
I work from home! it saves me sooooo much time on commuting, and I’m thankful my office is currently allowing this option (though it’ll change eventually =/)
Jennifer Nieves says
I stay focused by listening to music. It helps block out other distractions and keeps me moving right along.
Megan Ernst says
I set a kitchen timer and use that as a guideline when completing tasks around the house.
I use my cell phone to get a lot of pc work done, I get SO much done while say waiting in line at the grocery store or similiar places! It may not work for a lot of people but its a life saver for me! Having 4 kids including a newborn baby I don’t get much pc time lol LOVE these new phones though! Hope I win!! ;0) God Bless
Nony (A Slob Comes Clean) says
The best thing I’ve done (and I started this before I started blogging) was to not let myself turn on the computer until after lunch. If it’s on, it sucks me in. If it’s off, and I know there’s a time when I’ll be “allowed” to get on it, I get so much more done.
My tip is…take advantage of naptime 🙂
Jaci @ Ravings of a Mad Housewife says
I avoid Facebook. I get sucked in to reading status updates and then 10 minutes later I wake up and think, “Did I really just waste my precious nap time reading someone’s thoughts on SunChips?” It’s a little time suck.
Planning ahead is a big time saver. Esp when shopping. If as many decisions as possible are made ahead of time, it really saves time .
I guess mine would be using lists and cleaning the kitchen while I cook.
I often feel overwhelmed by the shear number of emails in my inbox. I have learned to use my email filters to sort and prioritize incoming mail.
I have a basket at the top and bottom of the stairs. I collect items that need to put away for each floor. The next time I go up I take the contents with me and same for going down stairs. I almost have something in my hands going up and down the stairs.
Anna Lagen says
I like the tip about S=seting up canned responses. i will remeber that when I start my own bussiness. Thanks!
make a list of things to do and prioritize according to importance
I love timers! Especially for things (like folding clothes) that I don’t like to do. Also, knowing about how long unappealing tasks actually take to complete helps motivate me to get them done rather than procrastinate. (I can sweep the kitchen and foyer in less than 3 minutes!)
Stop ‘surfing’ and just get what needs to be done, done! I can kill a good hour or two, just ‘looking’ around….then I run out of time for the things I really need to do. 😉
Kate M says
My favorite tip to get more done around the house is for the big projects that don’t need to be done every week (ie: vaccumming the basement, cleaning floor boards, etc) assign them one a week per month. That way I don’t feel overwhelmed with having an extra cleaning project and I have 7 days to get it done. I’ll start it at the beginning of the week and do a little each day!
Summer Dearmond says
I loved the tip about a scheduled computer time. I can go to do just one thing on the computer and the next thing I know, an hour or two has passed. It happens all the time. Thanks for the tips.
Jennifer Hill says
I makes lists and prioritize what needs to be done around my house on a daily basis. I also combine jobs in the same area to make things go quicker. For instance, when I am cooking dinner, and waiting on the water to boil, or the onions to carmelize, I clean out the fridge, or reorganize/clean/straighten the pantry of the drawers. If my toddler is going potty, I clean the bathroom up while I am waiting on her to finish. Simple steps like these save me lots of time.
I go through emails and FB clicking on links to follow up on and once I am all done I then check out each page. Tackling them all at once I find that half of them weren’t really that important anyway.
Amanda Biel says
My tip for getting more done is less time is prioritizing!!! Do what’s most important first, even if thats neglecting the dishes for a few hours and playing with your kids! Eventually (perhaps when hubby comes home) you can tend to the cleaqning duties!
Sandy Braun says
I want that phone!
Jen H. says
Just do it! Stop procrastinating. I am a person who procrastinates on something when I know it’s going to be hard to start and take a while to complete. But when ever I finally just sit down and do it, it feels sooo great! I spend all those hours thinking and worrying about it, probably more than it took to actually complete the project. Thank you!!
My tip is only getting into e-mail once an hour when I am at work. It keeps you focused on what you are doing instead of in and out of messages.
Would love a new phone!!!
Missy June says
I so very much want to win a phone!
Getting up before the kids and showering/being dressed by the time they wake up. It does miracles for my productivity.
Lot’s of timely suggestions and tips. Thanks.
My best trick is to not log onto the computer or answer the phone until my goals for the day are accomplished.
Voicemail and e-mail are my best time-management friends.
Ohhhh want it 🙂
I’d never heard of a “canned” response to e-mail, but I like it! When I worked in customer service at a Christian textbook company, I had a file of saved drafts that contained the answers to questions that I received all the time. When I received an e-mail with one of those questions, I just copied and pasted the reply and sent it off. Whenever I finished training a new worker, I would send the drafts to them, too.
I need help with organization and don’t really have any tips! Maybe this phone will help!!
Staying organized with simple lists. I like to spread out my household chores and tasks throughout the week. Crossing off a task on a list seems like I’ve accomplished something even though the cycle of cleaning and working is continuous!
Leah R says
great article! i will try time budgeting! i am not a blogger but my stratigies are mainly work in order of priority, (if i could only do one thing what is it?), multitask, and make lists, i couldnt function without my lists!
I use my Google calendar. It helps me remember everything!
I also only do tasks in 15 minute increments. This helps me stay focused and get things done faster.
My tip is to use the oven’s timer when doing projects….i will set the time for how long I’d like to take on it, and when it beeps, I tell myself, I am done with that.
Would love to win the giveaway!
Teri K says
Canned responses in gmail was my favorite tip – I need to learn more about those.
Jessica (Cupcake Mommie) says
This is really useful. I try to keep up my inbox..I can’t stand when I have more than 10 emails in it!
I’m always multitasking.
I gave up on trying to do the big stuff while my toddler was awake. He’s on a great routine for bedtime, so after I get him in bed, then I tackle the chores he tries to help with but really hinders (like the dishes!). Instead of 20+ minutes with his help, I’m done in 5-10.
Beeb Ashcroft says
My tip for getting more done in less time is actually to do LESS. By this I mean, working a 16-hour day every day or functioning on 4 hours of sleep so you can “Get more done” is counter-productive. You’ll get half as much done because you’ll be exhausted, not to mention stressed out. Set time limits and stick to them so you can have time to rest and sleep. I struggle with this the most, but when I am well-rested I can get so much more done in a short period of time because I’m clear-headed, and not struggling to string a sentence together because I’m so exhausted.
Thanks so much for the giveaway!
Get rid of clutter
I love this post. A great reminder!
I try to write a list of what I need to research on the computer just like a grocery list. I wait until my scheduled time and by then, I have a few things listed and it’s easier to stay on task.
karen nelson says
I set a timer. Could be for 30 minutes, could be for just 10 minutes. While the timer’s tickin’ I make sure I concentrate on whatever task I’m trying to get done, such as clean off my desk so I can find my laptop. The timer keeps me focused and it makes me pick up the pace too.
I try to have the dishwasher or washing machine going while I am doing somethings else that way when I am done the machine(s) are done so then I can work on it next.
Khaleef @ KNS Financial says
As a blogger, and staff writer (for 3 different sites) keeping a to-do-list in Outlook and on my phone is essential. I have to set priorities, and also be willing to let a few things go on my site, if something goes over it’s alloted time.
I have my staff writing responsibilities as higher priorities than my own website. When I get busy, I will wait until Saturday morning to respond to comments (rather than do it every day).
M. Allen says
I am a list maker and I really love being able to have my lists with me and make it easy to update or alter them. I would love to get a blog going but am so new to it that I feel a little (ok – A LOT) overwhelmed in trying to learn all of the dos and do nots. I love this site and use it frequently for saving money. I now hope to use it to make money since I am a stay at home mom of a special needs child that is home almost 24/7.
Prayer for effective time management works wonders. Also, being mindful of your ultimate goals is important. Psalm 90:12. Remember life is short.
Laura Chubb says
PLAN PLAN and have a PLAN! I keep avery detailed datebook with tons of notes in it and then each morning I sit down a do a 5 minute plan of my course of action for that day!
Lindsay Brumbelow says
My key to getting things done is to prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! It is easy to get distracted with things that don’t have to be done NOW. If you keep on track as much as possible you have more time for those things in the end.
I know that I have to get everything computer related done during the day when the kids are at school. As soon as they get home, the computer is used almost constantly for homework and fun.
I just try to split up my week so that each day has certain tasks assigned to it. For example: Monday is laundry, dishes, and groceries. Tuesday is Bible study and sweeping floors, etc. This helps me not to freak out each day about what I’m going to accomplish 🙂
I’m all about To Do lists and running errands all at once so I don’t back track and save on gas!
Making lists and keeping my calendar up-to-date on my Blackberry…I’ve also recently started setting timers for my Twitter updates so that I’m not constantly running myself ragged trying to remember to Tweet!
I never have empty hands when I go up or down a flight of stairs at home. There is always something to be brought upstairs and something always has to come down too!
Tricia Young says
Multi-tasking is a way I am able to use my morning time wisely. We are rushed to get up, dressed, fed, me showered, snack packed, morning chores complete, and to school on time. When I wake up, I immediately put a load of laundry on that is already on top of the washer waiting to go in. I dress my kids, get in the shower (while I shower, they make their beds, pick up their things, and get their shoes on), and when we come downstairs the load is ready to go in the dryer. I start breakfast and switch the load during a free moment. I then continue with our morning of eating breakfast, packing snack (if not done the night before…good time saver), and off to school. The laundry is clean and dry waiting for me at nap time later in the day and I haven’t actually taken any time to do it.
I’m not a blogger, but to get more done in a time period, I multi-task whenever it’s feasible. “To Do Lists” keep me on track.
Kelly Hess says
I pre write a lot of posts when they come to me. THen I save them up for when I need a post!
I shut down the computer and ignore the phone. Works for me.
Setting a timer on 15 or 20 minutes to stay focused on one task, one job, one room to clean, declutter, etc. has really helped me to get more accomplished without getting sidetracked.
Keeping things organized and putting things back in its place when done with it. Trying to get my kids to be good about this as well.
I have a problem with multitasking…
heather harris says
I stopped trying to post on “carnival” days, like Wordless Wed or Thankful
thursdays…I only post when I have something to say now…and usually, I can write a week’s worth of posts in a couple of hours, leaving me to have several days “off” from blogging!
My best trick for getting things done is to open the blinds, turn on the music, close the computer and just DO IT! Its funny how my mind knows this is my productive mode.
pamela james says
I am not a blogger, but I am a single mom that takes care of her aging parents. I cook lots of meals all at once, usually on one of my days off from work. I prepackage them, freeze some for us and take some over to my parents. Cooking one day a week saves me time and clean up in the kitchen!
Jill Martin says
Thanks for all the GREAT info!! Very practical…now I need to put it to use!
I put reminders on my phone so it rings like an alarm to remind me and it bugs me to no end until I do it.
My secret is to keep one master calendar with everyone’s activities on it. Then I don’t miss anything. Also, I say NO a lot to things that aren’t worth it.
Mama S says
Lots of great advice! When I know I have a lot on my plate, which is most days, I guess, I ask the Lord to double my ‘rest’ for the amount of sleep I get (something my dear grandmother used to pray for me when I was in school). I tell you the truth, it works!
Also, asking Him to give me peace about getting done what I can! I’ve learned lately that God wants to help me take control of my priorities, just like everything else.
I’m no blogger, but you guys are awesome that do!
What a great giveaway! Here’s my tip: for those of you who do a lot of surveys to earn money, set a side a chunk of time and do a bunch at once. I found myself losing a lot of time if I just did them as they came in. It’s also good to use a form filler to help you get through those easy questions like age, zip code, etc.
The only way I get more things done in a shorter time is to drink massive amounts of coffee! 🙂
Scheduling your posts ahead of time is a great way to keep from feeling like you have to blog EVERY day. I try to add an extra 15 minutes to my blogging time two days a week, this gives me a few extra minutes to set up posts to schedule or to draft ideas for future posts.
This helps me avoid the “I need to post to my blog” thought that will hang over my head if I don’t. 🙂
Jennifer Kingham says
In the midst of doing my masters program and single parenting three kids a lot of the time due to being a military family, I have found that it is important to start the day off with certain goals for myself and evenly space out those goal throughout the day in order to reach them without burning out. Set realistic goals and implement that plan throughout the whole day!
I think creating schedules and sticking to them as best as possible is key to getting more done in life.
I can always get more done when I make a list of everything I need to accomplish, then try to combine similar tasks and streamline my day!
I never noticed the canned response feature…will have to try that out..wonder if it will work for my mom 🙂 I find setting time aside and focusing on one thing at a time to be the most beneficial tips. Thanks Chrystal.
Kellie Dean says
I always make a list starting with the most important task down to the least important and then start with them one by one.
I maintain a weekend events calendar for my Mom’s Club. When I took over the project the previous person had been writing up a new Word document and emailing it every week. I decided to use a Yahoo calendar with a public link. It frees up much of my time because I can enter events way in advance as I find them instead of having to redo everything each week. I set aside 30 minutes every Thursday to make sure the next weekend is up to date.
Leslie Hickman says
To get more done in less time, I set a timer and race with myself.
I do not blog, but I spend a lot of time reading them. Thank you for all the ideas.
I agree with others, making a list has been extremenly helpful. There are so many little things that need to get done in a day, it is hard to keep track of everything. I do this at home and at work.
Keep a schedule and try my best to stick to it.
The thing I do all the time to manage my time is to multi-task. If I want to spend time with a girlfriend and need to workout, I suggest we get together and speed-walk while we talk. If I want to watch a tv show or movie with my husband after the kids are in bed, I meal-plan on my laptop while we watch.
karin schatz says
I try to give everyday to God and somehow He helps me get so much more done. I try to take bookwork type things with me in the car and on trips to doctors and such so the time can be used for something constructive.
I am not a blogger but spend a lot of time on them and am always looking for insight into time management ideas. With children across country, a dead cellphone….a new phone would be great. thankyou for giving us an opportunity.
Tracy Virden says
What a great read! Thanks for the great tips!
Toni S. says
I do my coupon filing in the car while my husband is driving. The five or ten minutes here & there make a big difference.
We are working on getting a schedule in our house . Would love to get in on the drawing. thanks
My planner keeps my lists organized and lets me check as I go! 🙂
Nicole v says
I like the tip on cleaning out your inbox. Many times I go through my old messages and don’t delete them.
I send out my daily email a by 11:00 am. I use it as my deadline for blogging. Once the email goes out I’m done for the day.
A To Do List helps me. If it’s not on the list I don’t worry about it.
Sticking to my to-do list!
I try to give myself an 1/2 or full hour to do this, then move on to next task…whatever doesnt get finished in that time frame will have to wait until next round.
I make to do list and group things that I can do at the same time together. That way I can multi-task and mark chunks of things off my list instead of individual items.
Amy R says
The best way I accomplish a lot is by staying busy. When we have a lot of free time we tend to feel there is always time to do that later, but when I have a million things to do I have to prioritize and it all manages to get done…most of the time 🙂
To get more done while I’m on the phone, I got a headset and it’s great. Now I have 2 hands free and the children aren’t as noisy because they don’t realize I’m on the phone (they just think I’m talking outloud to myself).
Getting up early has been key for me. I also get more energy to get it all done on the days I excercise. My mind is clearer and more focused.
I make lists and then PRIORITIZE my lists! I may not get everything done but at least I have my thoughts organized and will get the most important things accomplished.
My tricks for getting things done: 1) make a list of priorities, if I’m feeling overwhelmed. 2) keep relaxing music playing quietly nearby. 3) tune out email, Facebook, or any other distractions. 4) when all else fails, turn to a valued friend or family member for a pep talk and/or inspiration. 🙂
One of the things that helps me to get as much done as possible in less time is to make a list. Once I get all of the things I need to do out of my head and onto paper, I can concentrate on the task at hand instead of thinking about all of the other things I need to do.
I admit it. I often “cheat clean”, as my mom and I call it. Kind of a swish and swipe, making the house *appear* clean, without actually using any elbow grease. It works in a pinch, and I am in a pinch more often than I care to admit. 🙂
If I’m multi-tasking, I tend to get overwhelmed and stressed out. However, if I focus on one thing at a time, I’m usually more successful at trying to get things done.
When I can “bank” posts and schedule them to auto-post, it frees me up to do something else with that time.
Jennie Sawyers says
I get more done in a little amount of time when my kids are otherwise occupied. Put on a movie, let them play with a “new” toy, ect…or wait til they’re in bed, quite time without having to worry to much about what the kids are doing is a great way to get things done!
Danelle Ice (Home Ever After) says
I love your tips for getting more productivity out of Gmail. I’m wondering if Outlook has similar features that I don’t know about.
Danelle Ice / Home Ever After
To get more done in less time, I make specific, realizable goals so that I don’t get sidetracked…. which happens very easily!
I do the list thing, too. 🙂 Helps me stay focused and I love crossing off my finished projects…
Jenni K says
I really like the idea of setting a computer time budget. It seems like the computer can be such a time waster. I think setting a time budget would really help me get more done in my day.
Katie b says
I do a budget sheet every month to keep me on track and the envelope system:)
My kids love to help around the house. So while I am cooking dinner they will get a load of laundry that needs to be folded and we will turn folding laundry into a math lesson. My five year old will count all the shirts. Then my nine year old will multiply the number of shirts by the number of pants.
I get things done efficiently by attacking them as they arrive. For example, when I get a request for a check for a group christmas present for a teacher, I immediately write it and send it in to school.
I save time by meal planning before I go the grocery store. My husband and I sit down and set out our menu for the week and make a list of everything we need. This also saves us money as there is less waste.
I try to multi-task all the time, dabbling in working on a little here and a little there, and end up getting nothing *completely* accomplished. My mom recently said, “When you’re feeling overwhelmed, do one thing completely and do it well.” That has helped me so much lately. It’s good to feel “finished” ~ even if it’s just one of your many responsibilities.
Great post even for those who don’t blog!
My favorite tip is to just shut everything off that could potentially distract you from finishing your duty within the allotted time that you gave yourself! 🙂 works wonders for me!
When I have a lot on my to-do list, I tend to get overwhelmed and just give up on trying. However, if I focus on one thing at a time, rather than multi-tasking (at which times I feel especially rushed), I feel I get just as much or even more done than when I would multi-task.
I write everything down that needs to be done- or places that I need to stop and just go at it. If I don’t write them all done- sure enough I forget about it after I am busy all day long.
Multitasking is the only way I know how to get more done in less time – talking on the phone while walking to a local store is a good one. I get in exercise, I catch up with friends and family, and I support the local economy!
As a blog reader, I try to limit myself to only the blogs that I know are benefiting me spiritually, financially, etc. It is easy to get started on a blog snowball and waste many hours. On occasion, I will look over the blogroll of a favorite blog, but try to keep that very narrowed down. It has really helped me limit my time on blog reading and focus more on the important things.
I try to simplify my tasks as much as possible, and not feel like a perfectionist.
I only multi-task when one or both tasks are “brainless” if I am watching tv with my family I will fold laundry at the same time. If I am stuck in a line at the store or stuck in traffic waiting for a train to clear I will process some emails (I have my emails accounts linked to my phone). While I am brushing my teeth I will wipe down the sink/faucets. If one or the other task requires much concentration or attention to detail I NEVER try to multi-task as it ends up taking more time in the long run to fix errors.
plan and organize–I am trying to teach this tip to my pre-teen, who seems to walk in circles eveyday.