Before I even start, let me just say that I love this one! It’s not like it’s a new idea, but it’s definitely one I should be using daily. It’s easy to get distracted or perform tasks less efficiently than you could, or just work on things (say, cleaning the bedroom. Or weeding the garden.) for a longer period of time than you need to.
This tip comes from the blog Living Well Spending Less, in a great post entitled 10 Tips for Getting More Done Every Single Day. Ruth lays out some great tips here, especially (in my opinion) for stay-at-home or work-at-home moms. So check it out!
Staying true to my strategy thus far, I chose one tip from the post, and it was “Set the timer.” Ruth says:
“Setting the timer can be one of the best ways to motivate yourself. For instance, if you give yourself only 30 minutes to tidy your house, you will most likely get more cleaned in less time than if you weren’t racing against the clock.
Limiting your time on seemingly endless tasks like email and Facebook helps a lot too. If you only have 15 minutes to sit at the computer, then you have no choice to prioritize. Likewise, setting the timer helps accomplish tasks you might normally procrastinate, such paying the bills. Telling yourself you only have to do it for 45 minutes is powerful motivation to get it done.”
So basically I love this strategy and I hereby endeavour to use this simple tip to help me with everything – like she says, even time-wasters like Facebook. Today I used it for work. I have estimated times for each task in my To Do list, and I used those times to set limits for myself today as I worked from home. I checked clients’ social media accounts more quickly, I gave myself half an hour to write something personal, I was super-efficient checking my email and as for the tasks where my time estimate was way off? I either gave myself a more realistic limit based on how long it had taken so far, or moved on to something else and changed the estimate in my To Do list for when I have to do that task again in the future.
And of course I LOVE this for cleaning and chores! I can clean anything for 5-10 minutes!
Tomorrow I’ll prep my smoothies for the next week. I’m a bit skeptical and there are dry goods, liquid, frozen fruit and fresh veggies that need to go in there so it’s four different things to prep, but we’ll see!
Check out the Pinterest board for this series.
Image credit: S Sepp (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)