10 Ways to Be More Efficient in Your Life

Maybe it's my German heritage or my smidge of OCD. Probably, it's both. I don't hate it. One way this combo has helped me in life is by making me what I call efficient. I tend to see problems and love to solve them. This makes me a great life coach and therapist. It also affords me more time to sit back and relax. I am a big believer in rest and relaxation versus running around frazzled! In fact, now that I think about it, I'm efficient because I'm lazy! Or, because I want more time to be lazy.

In order to satisfy both my German need for order and my desire to be lazy, here are some ways I have made my life more efficient:

  1. I'm a big fan of lists. I make lists for everything. I also love crossing things off of lists. So satisfying. I know, what a dork! Life Coach Jennifer Dawn taught me a great way to prioritize my lists using ABCDE. A=these are things that work toward our vision. This may be for our work or for our family life. Maybe it's writing a blog post or maybe it's making sure the family has a healthy dinner. B=the things that will get done anyway. The kid's doctor appointment or that business call, etc. C=things that can wait. Maybe it's laundry or some shopping or sending those emails. D=things we can delegate and E=things we can eliminate. I think Instacart is a great way to delegate grocery shopping. I might eliminate cooking dinner every night over batch cooking for the week on Sundays. Or I might have the older kids take a night that they do the cooking. And I might eliminate screen time one night a week or one full weekend day to make space for other things.

  2. Before I leave the house, I think about errands and stops I should make. Is there anything I can group into my trip out? Can I get gas on the way to Target? Can I make an Amazon return drop on my way to work? I map out the route in my head for getting these errands done in a way that doesn't have me zigzagging all over town, or coming home just to have to run out again.

  3. I clean up daily. I make things routine. Each morning is pretty much the same. It starts with coffee and ends with exercise and shower and then emptying the dishwasher which gets run every night. In the evening, I come home, go through the mail while standing by the trash. Anything that doesn't go in the trash or recycle gets put on the stairs for me to file when I head up later. Everything gets put in its home as soon as possible each day. I like to say: "everything has a place and everything in its place."

  4. I make a grocery list as I notice we are out of things by telling Alexa or I put it in my phone. Then I use Instacart for delivery each week.

  5. I use Alexa for reminders with the kids. Instead of us nagging-do you have this? Did you do that? We have Alexa do it. She doesn't quite have the same nagging tone, but water bottles, musical instruments and homework seem to leave the house more often when they should.

  6. Multi-tasking isn't always more efficient. I do believe in pairing things when I can, where it makes sense. I'll listen to my favorite podcasts while driving or mowing the lawn. I'll clean up the kitchen as I'm cooking. But mostly, I try to focus on one task at a time. I find that I end up far more productive that way.

  7. I set chores to days of the week to remember and stay consistent. Tuesdays the cat litter is changed. Wednesday the trash is gathered and put out. Fridays is grocery day. Saturdays is cleaning day and water the plants. Each kid has a laundry day. Sundays sheets and towels are changed.

  8. I declutter regularly. Typically, if we buy something, we get rid of something. Toys, clothes, food containers, papers, etc. I'll ask: Do we need it? When was the last time we used it? If it's been a year then it's probably time to toss or donate. Am I keeping it out of attachment or sentiment or because it's essential? Instead, maybe I can take a picture of it instead or make something out of it that would take up less space and still be meaningful.

  9. Commit to timeframes. If I need to do something I'm less than motivated about I promise myself I'll spend 10 minutes on it and up to an hour. This helps with work-related items, exercise and cleaning. I set timers to help me stay on track.

  10. Plan! Setup a calendar with everything. Holidays, birthdays, kids days off school and half days, all appointments. Set reminders. Sometimes I set one for a day before and one for 30 minutes before the event. Setting up these systems and habits can feel like a lot of work on the front-end, but you will gain more time on the back-end.

Imagine not having to stare at piles and feel stress, or dread the amount of laundry you have to face because you ignored it for too long, or be maxed out because you forgot that important appointment and now have to reschedule and juggle even more things. Putting things off only means you have added more time and more drudgery to the task later on.

Remember that being more efficient will save you time in the long run. It will help declutter you mentally and ultimately, make you happier as you find time to relax more and have more fun. Now I'm down for that!

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