As you are well versed in ways to be more productive in the mornings and through your daily work routine, it is time to consider how to be successful during your personal time as well as all the challenges you face. When it comes down to it, is downtime truly “down” time? When you arrive home, are you able to actually relax? You may feel overwhelmed with dozens of tasks in order to take care of your home, family, pets, and any other daily necessities.
This third installment of the productivity blog will focus on making each of those tasks seem more enticing, creative, positive, and most importantly, productive.
Three out of every four employees have a family that includes a spouse, children, or both. It is important to note, however, that many corporate workers have very limited free time during the week. It is important to take into consideration how many employees have to commute to and from work. U.S. commuters spend nearly an hour traveling round trip on average. An individual who works a regular 9 to 5 will typically not pull into their driveway until 5:30 or later on any given day.
Upon returning home, many family-oriented employees must prepare dinner, eat with their families, assist their children with their homework, clean up the dinner mess, and get the family to bed on time. The process is exhausting and leaves no room for error or unplanned occurrences. With all that must be accomplished in a few short personal hours at home, the question naturally arises: “How can you be more productive?” With the help of these tried-and-true tips, you can make the most of your personal time by being prolific in your daily routines.
At-Home Productivity Boosts
Plan dinner ahead (the night before). Planning ahead is often neglected by working individuals, but the truth is that it helps to ensure you have what you need in your pantry (or refrigerator) when you need it. This will eliminate the need to make unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
It is important to organize all the necessary items per location in addition to planning out your family’s meal. The dry items should be arranged in a container within your pantry, while the cool items should be arranged in the refrigerator. Ensure that the dinner does not require any frozen ingredients. It is recommended that you dethaw it (at a slow speed) the night before when planning the following day’s itinerary. Preparing everything you need for the next family dinner can allow you to spend more time enjoying your family rather than deciding, prepping, or planning at the last minute.
Simplify your cleaning routine. It may initially appear that you are being instructed to cut back on your cleaning around your home, but this is not the case. Instead, reduce your time spent on each cleaning task in your home. Each activity should not exceed ten minutes. Encourage your spouse and children to participate and lend a hand where they can. As a result, you can divvy up the chores while your family participates in a shared activity as a whole. In addition, it reduces the amount of time spent on each chore around the house.
Avoid electronics during dinner or other family routines. Instead of accessing your social media during dinner, refrain from picking up your mobile device. Put it on silent or airplane mode to prevent you from picking it up during family activities. The dinner table (or a movie) should be a time for your family to spend time together without outside distractions.
The purpose of this is to encourage discussion about the day, whether it was good, bad, or neutral. Before everyone sits down for a meal, create a storage bin or basket for all mobile devices to go into. After everyone has gathered around the table, seal the bin up and explain to your family that it will be a “No Phone Zone” until dinner is over and clean-up has begun.
Plan family-oriented activities and follow through accordingly. It is one thing to plan a family activity to enjoy together, such as a movie, a walk in the park, or a night out on the town, but it is not always so easy to follow through, especially when everyone in the family has different interests.
Identify family activities at least one week in advance and establish clear boundaries for everyone’s participation. Time management is essential. By doing so, everyone has sufficient time to mark the calendar and inform others that they will be unavailable during a designated time period. Make sure you adhere to your plan regardless of the circumstances. There are only two exceptions to this rule: when someone becomes ill or if there is an emergency in nature.
Employ time/activity management apps. The use of sticky notes can result in a cluttered environment. Also, it is not always a priority to enter activities into your digital calendar, so some events that occur at specific times may be neglected unless someone in your household has the memory of Ken Jennings. As an alternative, try using an activity management app available for Windows, iOS, Google Play, or Apple App Store. Homelife can be made a bit more manageable and achievable by using this helpful little organization tool. The following are some examples that may spark your interest:
- Google Tasks
- Remember the Milk
Create short, simplified to-do lists, daily. The tendency to make extensive lists of everything that needs to be done around the house is universal, but what is often overlooked is dividing those lists according to the daily tasks rather than on a general basis.
Create short daily to-do lists of the tasks you can accomplish by the time you go to bed in order to achieve more in less time. The result of reducing your list down to the things that need to be accomplished on a daily basis will be that you will actually be able to accomplish more than if you have a seemingly endless list. You should work on one item at a time on the list and do not hesitate to ask your family for assistance if you require it. In addition to fostering family bonding, this will also relieve you of one more task on your daily to-do list.
Focus on production. Simply put, when you micromanage your tasks into accomplishing more, you will achieve more. As Tim Ferriss put it, “Focus on being productive instead of being busy.”. Dispel the myth that you must remain busy at all times. Focus your attention, energy, and efforts on completing tasks. The result of this will be maximum production at home, during your spare time.
As the term suggests, productivity refers to the amount of output that exceeds the amount of input. Any individual can keep himself or herself busy. You should strive to increase your productivity on a daily basis. To accomplish this, you should itemize tasks, plan ahead, make lists, and simplify your work. If you follow these specific productivity booster tips, you will be able to accomplish a great deal, despite being constantly on the hamster wheel of life. As you progress, you will be able to accomplish anything that you once thought impossible. The only thing you need is a little bit of focus.