Staying On Task

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I chaperoned prom (at the high school I used to teach at) this weekend and had  a blast! Here are some photos….

prom 1

{After I had my makeup all done.}

photo 1

{All dolled up!}

The Struggle….

One of the things I have been struggling with is time management & staying on task. My productivity for the first few weeks of my new job was terrible. I felt overwhelmed and, at the end of a long day, often felt like I wasn’t getting much done, though I felt like I had run a marathon! (It doesn’t help that since having a child four years ago, my brain cells er, memory has slowly diminished!)

One of the things my new employer encourages us to do is to develop a strict daily schedule. While that sounded really great in theory, I found myself “flying by the seat of my pants” most days and was paying for it. This past Friday, I put my plan into action. And to my surprise, I felt more productive and accomplished, and was quite successful in my daily tasks!

What are some things that you can do to make your life more productive, whether you’re a working from home momma, working outside the home momma or just someone looking to make their days more productive?

I want to share some of my favorite apps, items, etc. that have assisted me in becoming more task-oriented and less-stressed in my daily life.

Creating a Daily Schedule (and sticking to it!)

I find that creating a simple daily schedule on excel has really helped to keep me on task. I break it down by the hour and record EVERYTHING I plan to do that day. While we all know life happens sometimes (and that may mean I don’t hit EVERYTHING on my list every day), at least I have a plan and that helps me stay focused on the goals for each day.

Work Schedule

{A photo of my work schedule I created with Excel, since I work from home.}

Utilizing Apps/Websites

I utilize a TON of apps and websites to help me in my daily life. Many of them help with my diminished memory, but some do assist me in organization as well.

  • Outlook Calendar – I use this to track appointments, meetings and events. You can simply add an event on the date & time you need it, and set multiple reminders that will beep at you. If you use an iPhone, it can sync and beep at you on the go, too!
  • MailBox – This is the latest and greatest for email organization. It allows you to load multiple email addresses, organize emails into lists to save, and also lets you determine varying times for you to answer emails! Basically, it allows you to keep a de-cluttered email inbox which can lead to lower stress (in my opinion!). 🙂
  • Reminders App – I use this pre-loaded app on the iPhone for grocery shopping. It lets me add/create multiple lists, and when I have added each grocery item to my cart, I can check it off of my list. Then it disappears, which lets me know I have the item in my cart. You can use this app for MANY tasks, but it is definitely a favorite of mine when shopping.
  • Online Timer – when working from home, I use a timer to let me know when it is time to move to the next task. 🙂 There are plenty of free online timers online or on your smartphones!

One app/website I want to try – RescueTime:I just found out about this website on twitter. Its goal is to help diminish online digital distractions. I am interested to see how it works!

What are some things that make your day more productive? Feel free to share in the comments below! 🙂

Blessings,

Comments

  1. I use an excel sheet that I modified into a calendar. I keep this in a three ring binder. I can easily carry the binder in my bag with me to see my clients and to court. Very little of my time is scheduled out and is schedule as you go. So, I am constantly needed to check my calendar. Also, in the binder I have a section for each of my families that has contact info for anybody possibly associated with the family, present and past. Also, all information necessary to answer any question on the fly.

    I love to make to-do lists at the beginning of the week. It feels so wonderful to check items off!! 🙂

  2. i have nothing, and this post has officially inspired me to get something going. i mean, i put everything in my apple calendar so it immediately syncs with my phone and i always have my list of things to do with me… but there is no time management. i could get lost in the middle of the day for two hours and completely fail to finish the list. i kind of like Katie’s idea to modify a spread sheet into a calendar. i may start there 🙂

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