I get a lot of questions about how i get things done. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard. I work a lot, and often at times of day when other people do not like to work, like the middle of the night.
Most of the time when i sit down to start working its 7pm and the kids have just gone to bed – it’s a hard time of day to start working because by that point i’m pretty exhausted from the days activities. Sometimes I work a little during the kids rest time in the afternoon, but that only lasts 45 minutes and i usually have something else pressing to do. It can be incredibly stressful when you see your tasks piling up and your time whittling away.
So i fall back on a strategy i’ve used since as long as i can remember – it worked when i was a teenager studying to get into college – it works now that i run a business – and it worked for all the things inbetween.
I give myself the first 5 minutes.
I use them to calm down, focus, get my head in gear, strategize and plan my tasks.
Generally it looks like this: When i’m getting ready to work – whether it be at night or during the kids rest time – I go make myself a coffee, and i sit at my desk and drink it quietly. I clear my head, take deep breaths, and think about the tasks that need to be completed. I prioritize and make an ordered list of what i want to accomplish. Then i begin. As i work i cross things off my list, because it registers a success. If something doesn’t get done, i leave it on the page ready to look at the next day.
It’s such a small thing – 5 minutes. But it makes a world of difference. There’s no point in attempting to work when you aren’t calm and in a good headspace. It can be hard, i know – since when you are time crunched it’s tempting to simply rush at it and throw yourself into a random task just.to.get.working – but interestingly enough i’ve found that method to be significantly less productive than taking a few minutes to think, plan and calm yourself.
So try it! If like me you find yourself with a small amount of time, and lot of work to do – try using your first 5 to declutter your head, refocus and plan out your time. I promise it will be worth it!