Do you ever feel like you whittle away five minutes here, ten minutes there? I sure do!
You know, checking Facebook, looking for a recipe on Pinterest then getting side-tracked, going to copy your child’s math test and deciding to check email, only to realize twenty minutes later that the math test is still not copied?!
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168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam is a great book that helped shape my perspective on time.
The subtitle says it all: “You have more time than you think.”
Laura cited multiple surveys and studies which showed that many of us perceive that we don’t have time to do the things we want to do, but the reality is quite the opposite.
She said our basic problem is this: “we don’t use the time we have well.”
In the book, Laura shared a super simple productivity secret that you can use today to transform those five and ten minute slots. Because we all know that as homeschool moms, we have lots of those slots in our day. Could we use them with wisdom and find ourselves getting much more accomplished, all without adding extra hours to our day?
Now you may be thinking that this is just common sense. But I’ll bet that most of us organize our to-do lists either in planners by the day or in categories of life. For example, you might have a list of things to accomplish in your role as homeschool parent, then a list of home responsibilities, then another list of volunteer activities, and so on. This makes it difficult to capitalize on chunks of five to ten or thirty minutes. It’s much easier to pull up Facebook than do think about how we could be productive.
The super simple productivity secret is this: Create a list of activities or tasks (even enjoyable ones you feel like you never get to do!) that you can accomplish in specific time increments. Smaller tasks might take five to ten minutes. Longer ones could take thirty.
Keep this list handy and when you have a small gap of time in your day, see what you would like to get done.
If you are waiting to pick up your children from an event, how could you productively use those ten minutes of waiting in the car?
When you’re sitting at the doctor’s office, you might have more like thirty minutes to delegate. What do you say you never have time for that you could do then?
How about in those ten minute gaps between helping child #1 and child #2 with their math assignments? Don’t fritter the time away!
Here is some inspiration to get you started.
5 minute ideas
- respond to emails
- find recipe on Pinterest for dinner
- put dinner in the crockpot
- add lists to your bullet journal (think Christmas ideas, birthday ideas, goals, vacation plans)
- dialogue with your child about a book they’re reading
- look on eBay for curriculum you need
- copy new Trello boards for the week
- send a handwritten note to a friend
- text your husband with a sweet note
10 minute ideas
- order groceries online because I don’t go shopping (and you shouldn’t either)
- read a chapter of a great book
- tidy up an area of the house
30 minute ideas
- listen to podcasts while making dinner
- listen to audio book while driving around for errands
- take a nap
- learn an instrument
- read a chapter in a book
- take a walk
I’m going to start using this productivity hack from 168 Hours and I’ll let you know how it goes.