I am not naturally a neat, on-top-of it housekeeper. After three years of being a stay-at-home mom and working hard to change myself into the decent homemaker I want to be, I’ve discovered some very helpful tips for increasing my productivity.
- Give up the things that waste your time. For some this might be TV. For me, this was Facebook. What in your day is contributing to idleness? Why not re-evaluate by fasting from it for a few weeks? Get creative. For me, this also meant deleting the Facebook and Pinterest apps from my phone.
- Wear comfortable athletic shoes. I used to be the “barefoot at home” type, but I realized that the slight discomfort of walking this way was subconsciously holding me back. Now I put on my athletic shoes, and suddenly I’m energized. The spring is back in my step, literally, and I’m ready to go. It takes quite a few steps to put my house back in order with preschool-aged children at home all day, so the right shoes make a big difference.
- Discover podcasts. This is for those of you who have an iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes on a desktop computer, or even an android smartphone. A podcast is basically a radio program on demand, usually about 30 minutes in length. There exists a vast library to choose from, including sermons, books, and continuing education on almost any topic. I’m currently listening to essays from A.W. Tozer’s Pursuit of God, a blogging podcast called How They Blog, and sermons from two pastors I follow. I also listen to the Bible with the Bible.is app for my iPhone. I put my ear buds in and press play, and I am thoroughly entertained as I scrub toilets and fold laundry. In fact, I even look forward to these tasks (sort of) because that’s my podcast time! It’s a great way to multitask. And I’m learning and growing too!
- Work against the clock. I’m not sure what this says about my motivational style. but setting a timer and telling myself I only have 30 minutes to clean up gets me going. I will get 50% more done as compared to aimlessly cleaning without a deadline or goal.
- Get up early. I know this isn’t a fun one to hear, but I am so much happier now that I get up early. Seriously. I start my day at around 6:00, spend about one hour getting breakfast, coffee, and spending time with God, and then get to write for my blog until my children wake up. They’re late sleepers, which is perfect for me. I used to sleep in, and I was always tired. Now I get up early and feel rested and energized… weird. The truth is, I get more tired at night (in a good way), go to bed earlier, and sleep much better as a result. It’s SUCH a win for me. Try it. For more on this, check out Crystal Paine’s awesome Make Over Your Mornings eCourse.
- Develop a routine for daily tasks. This may happen naturally over time, but it’s also helpful to get out paper and pencil and plan what you want to get done each day and week. Don’t forget to schedule in some flexibility!