Previously I shared about how to improve your efficiency in the work place. I know many of my readers work from home, whether through a company, direct sales, home businesses, or by being the CEO of their own household (hats off to you, mama).
I mentioned that I’d share this post, because improving your efficiency at home is so similar to improving your efficiency in the work place.
Just like last time, these aren’t in any particular order at all, but here are my top 4 tips in this area.
Cut the Clutter
First of all, for the love of all things, please CLEAN OFF YOUR SURFACES. Okay, I don’t know about your house, but imagine you’re going through the same thing I am so I thought this needed mentioning. In our house if there’s a flat surface somewhere, it’s bound to get covered. Clearing our spaces help us clear our minds.
It’s hard to get anything done when you walk into a room for something and we’re distracted by something else that needs tending to, like a pile of mail, a stack of clothing, a book out of place, an armload of toys, etc.
Only surround yourself with the things you LOVE, and make you happy to see. For us, this meant storing away some heirloom pieces rather than displaying them, because honestly, they didn’t bring us joy.
Very specifically clear off your kitchen counters. We all need to eat, usually even more than once a day, so why not keep the kitchen environment one that you can work in easily?
We did away with our microwave a few years back, and I am SO happy about the counter space it cleared up. I can say 100% that I do NOT miss it a bit. I know there are the over the stove ones now, but that’s just not for me. I also put most of the appliances away in a cupboard, just so I can enjoy the simplicity of cleared off counter tops.
I’m not a master here, but I have a couple tricks that really do work for us, and have worked for the people I’ve suggested them to.
Don’t turn on the TV unless you’re going to sit and watch it. Don’t just have it on for background noise, it’s too easy to get sucked in, 3-5 minutes at a time. It doesn’t seem like much, but I encourage you to set a 5 minute timer and see how much you can get cleaned instead, or how far you can read in a book. I bet you’ll surprise yourself!
Turn off the notifications on your phone. If you can, only turn on the Wi-Fi when you’re going to use it. I’ve been turning my phone on silent at night, and not turning the ringer on until we have a break in our school day. Most days this works fine, some days I miss oodles of texts and phone calls. So I need to readjust my system to ringer on/Wi-Fi off.
As a mom, I’ve limited the amount of toys in our living room. Even the kids can’t play well when they’re overwhelmed and distracted with too many options. We have lots of toys in totes in the basement that we switch out every so often.
Use your break times wisely
If you’re taking a break in your day to check social media, SET A TIMER. Now for a blogger & homeschool mom like me, this is tough, because I want to just.keep.reading. Really. I want to read all the things. Every bit. I don’t want to miss a thing; and somehow even though I know the internet is bigger than I could imagine, I think I can still tackle it all in a day.
I’ve finally decided it’s okay if I don’t know every new trick for teaching, or score every free printable that we *might* use in our homeschool. It’s okay if I read a friend’s blog a few days after she actually published it. It’s okay.
Cleaning Breaks: I set timers for all sorts of thing, especially for cleaning. My kids are so used to this they don’t even complain anymore. It goes like this “Okay guys, we’re doing a 10 minute cleaning break!” I set the stove timer for 10 minutes, we all clean our tails off, and it’s done. Things look amazing, in 10 minutes! It very rarely takes longer than that to clean our main living area. Often times we’re done before the timer. The kids’ bedrooms usually take 30 minutes, but that’s because of all the teeny-tiny Lego pieces. Specifically those blasted clear ones! Who thought of those? And why do I keep letting the kids buy them at the pick your own section of the Lego store?
Have a clear goal in mind
This is an exact copy and paste from my last post about efficiency. No need to reinvent the wheel here.
It’s hard to work towards something when you don’t know exactly what it is you’re working for. It’s too easy to get distracted and start doing something else. Make a quick list of your top 3 priorities for the day and keep plugging away until they’re done.
Give these quick tips a try and let me know if they helped!