One of my favorite sayings that my mother-in-law uses is “If you want to find the fastest and easiest way to get something done, ask a lazy person to do it.” I do not think of her being lazy, on the contrary. I think she’s brilliant when it comes to finding ideas to get a task done more efficiently. We recently bought an inflatable pool (our “COVID pool”) every night we let the water out by pulling the plug. As you can imagine gallons of water comes rushing out and floods our front yard where we have had trouble growing grass. My mother-in-law suggested siphoning the water with a hose. BRILLIANT! The water comes out slowly and we can put the hose on areas that need to be watered daily and then walk away.
There are things that we must do in life to get ahead personally and professionally. Not all things are fun and easy. We just need to put on our big girl/boy pants and get them done. Maybe we should not do them with a lazy attitude, but we can make sure that we are doing them in the most efficient manner. Here are 5 simple changes to make that will help you get things completed more efficiently.
- Make a daily to-do list the evening before– Most to-do lists resemble a huge mountain that needs climbing (mine even grows as I am climbing). Break down the list into daily tasks to make it more manageable. Be sure to even add the smallest thing to the list so you can see your progress. I know I get much satisfaction from putting a line through a task once it is completed. Making your list the evening before allows your mind to rest and get prepared to dive in first thing in the morning.
- Do the hardest/most important task first – If you have not read “Eat That Frog!” by Brain Tracy you should. He goes through 21 ways to stop procrastinating. He stresses doing the hardest thing on your list first. Having this task out of the way allows you to free your energy to focus on the other items on your list.
- Set up a system – Having a system in place ensures consistency and efficiency. Knowing what to do and how to do it brings clarity, focus, and control.
- Focus on one thing at a time – Multitasking reduces performance and increases the risk of mistakes being made. Studies have shown that because of this, multitasking increases stress levels. Focus on completing one project before you begin the next one.
- Start saying Yes! – Because saying NO is so hard, begin saying YES! A few months ago, our founder, Mackey, had us do an exercise where we said YES to making more time for what gets us closer to our goals versus having to say NO to doing things that can get us off track. Let me tell you, my energy shifted quickly. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulder when I said YES out loud. We need to stay true to ourselves with our time and energy.
Now that summer is here, and the world is starting to open, you need to get out there and enjoy it! Make one change per week and see how it makes you feel. I guarantee you will start finding a few missing hours of your day.
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