Having stacks of papers untouched on your desk or deadlines that get missed makes it hard to feel accomplished at the end of the day. Similarly, having laundry, dishes, and cleaning that you never get to at home can make you wonder why you bother at all.
Constantly running behind whether it’s at work or at home can be defeating. It can easily make a person depressed and irritable to be around much of the time. But there are 5 ways to get more out of your day that can help.
1. Start the Day Before
One of the best ways to get more out of your day is to actually start the day before. Begin by getting into a different routine at the end of the work day and at home in the evenings.
At work, end your day by reviewing what you need to do the next day. Check your calendar so you are not blindsided by meetings or appointments you scheduled previously and forgot about.
If you usually sit around watching television, get out of your chair and get busy instead. Wash dirty dishes and put them away. Do a load or two of laundry and fold it. Set out your clothes for the next day, as well as everything else you will take with you as you leave the house.
When you end your day organized and prepared, you will start the next day the same way.
2. Get Organized
When you picture the life of someone who is very busy, do you see him as organized? Could you put yourself in her place? If not, you may have let your work life or your home slip into disorganization.
It’s easy to do because it happens over time, especially when you are tired or stressed. You neglect doing what you should because you can always do it tomorrow.
But the next day you are tired too so it never gets done. Then, one day you look up and notice you have stuff everywhere. How do you fix it?
The best way is to simply dive in, and remember you only have to do one thing at a time.
Start by sorting papers and paid bills. Put them in folders in a file cabinet or other storage system. Then tackle the unpaid bills or other things that need to be addressed. Create a place for them too until they are due or you have time to complete them.
Get a calendar to help you keep track of important dates and events. It can be a paper calendar or an e-calendar, whichever you prefer.
Create a “To do” list and add to it as you think of additional tasks. As you complete jobs throughout the day, mark them off the list.
Depending on how far behind you are, it could take some time to get reorganized so be patient with yourself. Tackle each area of your work and home until you have everything where it belongs. Once you are finished, you will get more out of your day every day as you move forward.
3. Start a Routine
A routine can help you get more out of your day as well. Figure out when you are most productive, and use that to your advantage. For most people, it is mornings.
When you are at work, only allow yourself a few minutes each morning to check email or voicemail messages. Use the rest of the time before lunch to tackle projects that require more concentration.
If you find yourself getting caught up in social media as you check for messages, set a timer to get back on track.
Use the same philosophy at home. Set your phone down and forget about it to get the most out of your at home time.
4. Multitask When You Can
Whenever you can, multitask to increase your productivity. This will help you to get more out of our day.
For example, when you are at home, start a load of laundry and let it run while you wash the dishes. Or, turn on the dishwasher while you clean the bathroom.
Don’t forget to ask others for help with tasks too. When you split chores up, they get done faster.
5. Get More by Staying Positive
Staying positive can make help you keep up momentum as you improve your life and find ways to get more out of your day. But it isn’t always easy.
Take just a few minutes long break every couple of hours so you can regroup. Then, move on to the next task with energy and a renewed sense of purpose.
Keep your focus on what you are accomplishing and marking off your list rather than what’s left on it. Whatever you do, don’t listen to negativity from other people.
There are many things in life that compete for your time both at work and at home. When you are backlogged and bogged down, try some of these ways to get more out of your day and get back on track.
Originally published here.