Have you ever had a few extra minutes before the next thing but didn’t think it was enough time to do anything or didn’t know what to do so instead you surfed the net or played a game on your phone or just did nothing? That’s not to say it isn’t okay to sometimes do mindless activities or do nothing at all, but if you’re short on time and need to be as efficient as possible, the very best strategy you can possibly employ is to take advantage of those small bits of time.
When I get up in the morning and head to the kitchen, there are usually a few dishes from the night before and my husband’s breakfast dishes. For some reason, I always think it’s going to take a long time to get the kitchen back in order. In reality, it usually takes less than five minutes! But instead of taking five minutes and cleaning up the mess, I decide to wait until I have more time! Dumb! The kitchen is usually the messiest part of my house so if I take those five minutes right away and clean up the dishes, the house usually looks great and that makes me feel great.
Folding and putting away laundry is another task that doesn’t take as long as you might think. Just the other day I was in between things, had only a few minutes and headed to the computer to kill time. Then I remembered the laundry and decided to go ahead and do it. Less than five minutes and it was done.
So here’s a fun exercise for you to try – when you’re starting a task, set the timer and see how long it actually takes. I’ve done that for lots of things, including my weekly chore list. I’m always surprised about how much less time things take than I think. And there have been a few tasks that took longer than I expected. That’s also good to know.
It’s also helpful, if you’re anything like me, to have a list of those small things already made. Then when you have those extra minutes, you don’t have to figure out what to do. You just look at the list and pick one. Here are a few examples from my personal list:
- Put trash can liner in garage trash can;
- Scoop kitty litter;
- Refill pet water;
- Shred papers;
- Put license stickers on Jeep;
- Clean cat door;
- Put new insurance cards in truck;
- Shake entry rug;
- Schedule dad’s birthday dinner;
- Activate new debit cards.
If you keep your list handy and mark things off as you do them and add things as you think of them, you’ll be surprised at how much you get done. And I don’t know about you, but getting things done makes me feel GREAT!
And finally, here’s an awesome quote about this subject: “When you add up all the what-I-did-instead-ofs, they always equal zero.” (Andy Stanley, The Best Question Ever)