How productive do I want to be?
The word, productivity, can be a bit scary, It conjures up images in my mind of of Orcs with whips. Well, maybe not quite, that word doesn’t give me any warm fuzzies either.
My dad often refers to me as a free-spirit… That might give you a clue to my native attitude about the scheduling aspect of productivity.
I used to think that schedules and productivity aids would make life rigid, but over the last 20 years I have been schooled.
Sure, I still need down time to just relax, but I’ve learned that a good schedule can facilitate that.
Does “getting organized” make my life more stressful?
Maybe for a bit. When my kids were little we made a chart and scheduled out all of their chores and schoolwork. We made note of mealtimes and free time and quiet time. The first day… Oh wow! yeah, that was stressful, because we were starting new habits. The schedule was great, but it was like putting on a shoe that didn’t fit! Eventually the schedule began to work for us as we changed and as we tweaked the schedule in places to work for us. As long as we focused on improvement and not perfection, the schedule eased the stress in our lives and we got more done with less confusion and chaos.
As a working mom, I’m the manager of my work and our home – it’s time to improve productivity in both areas.
I don’t actually like being in charge of other people, to bad, that’s my job as a mom. I am the family manager as well as the manager of my business.
So here we go. This is what I’m doing at home to get us back on track:
I’m making a list of all the things around the house that need to get done:
I’m assigning those chores:
- That will make sure they get done.
- I won’t be the only one doing them.
- I’ll have more time to enjoy my family.
- We will have a sense of community and shared responsibility.
- My kids will continue to learn life skills and good habits.
I will schedule:
- My work time.
- When chores must be done and by whom.
- Who uses the computers and when (we home school; computers are an essential tool)
- More time to read to my younger children and have them read books on their own as well.
- Quiet-time (we don’t have naps anymore), this is a good time for me to pursue projects that I am interested in.
- Time to get out and move.
- Special times together and with friends.
- Saturdays for evaluating our calendar, schedule, chores and projects.
Working from home, I need to be sure that I’m utilizing work hours effectively.
I get up early and work before the kids get up, that has been working well. However, I need to improve in my ability to stop my work when it’s time to, and leave the rest for the next day. I am working on some areas of improvement to will help me be more productive in those early hours.
- Using my Android Apps the night before to prioritize according to due dates.
- Getting up at my alarm, not 15 minutes later.
- Focusing on projects which need to be done at the computer during those hours.
- Leaving tasks that can be done on my Android throughout the day (in snatches of time).
- Making a master schedule which includes:
- Client projects.
- Developing my websites and blogging.
- Research and skills development.
- Marketing my services.
How am I going to get all of this done?
Over the past week, I’ve been researching productivity apps with an eye toward making sure they are compatible with Google calendar. I need to be able to:
- Work from my Android.
- Make task lists.
- Schedule tasks.
- Print lists when I want to.
- Share lists and projects.
- Organize my projects and ideas in a way which makes them easy to retrieve.
- Tag items related to home and related to work.
- Set reminders for my tasks and projects.
Google Apps seem to fit my need.
I installed Google Keep and Google Inbox. I am already using Google Calendar with my husband, and my phone says I have Google cloud, so now I just have to figure out how to use that with our wireless printer. My primary motivation to go ahead and give that a go, was this article, How Google stealthily built a GTD suite of aps.
I ran into GDT as I was on the hunt. It is a productivity system (Getting Things Done). You make lists of all the things you need to get done as they come to you (on paper, on phone, anything). The trick is keeping a hold of those lists long enough to process or schedule the projects and tasks on them. Many apps will help you do that, but I think that this suite Google apps is going to be a great fit for me, so I am giving it a trial run of a few week. I expect it to be the one I stick with.
Here is more on GDT, in case you were wondering.