I have two what you might call “real” jobs: I am the copy editor for a magazine and I am a 6th grade teacher. Both of these jobs come with mandatory deadlines. I have to have things done at a certain point: procrastination isn’t an option.
In all of my other roles–wife, mom, housekeeper, etc.–I have some wiggle room, and that’s where my innate laziness kicks in. So I’ve come up with a few tricks so that things actually get done around here, but I’m not forced to manipulate my round self into a square hole.
One caveat: this doesn’t work if you have small children at home. Mine are all 10 and up, so they can do so much for themselves, plus they’re at school a good part of the day. I also start the day talking with my Creator and making sure I’m on His page. That’s the only way I’m going to get anything done.
OK, here goes, a lazy person’s guide to productivity:
1. Once you’re up, stay up. An object in motion tends to stay in motion; an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Don’t sit down until you’ve accomplished something. If you sit, all is lost.
2. If you find yourself feeling like completing some task, do it! Even if it’s in the middle of something else you were doing. Don’t let those feelings pass by; you may never get them back again!
3. If you’re doing something, and, let’s say you walk into another room to get something and see something else that needs to be done, do it! If your distractions are productive, go ahead and get distracted. For instance, if you’re looking in the refrigerator for lunch and see a bin that really needs washing, wash it! Lunch can wait. That kind of goes against the grain of every organizational, productivity guru you’re ever going to meet. They’ll tell you not to leave things half done. But, I almost always go back to what I was originally doing, especially if it involves eating. I don’t like leaving things half done either.
4. Multitask! If you’ve got laundry to fold, watch that show that’s been on your DVR forever. I always have my laptop with me when I’m watching a baseball or football game on TV. The game doesn’t need my undivided attention, and there’s always something I need to do for work or school on my computer. This only works if you’re a good multitasker. If something needs your full attention in order to be done well, don’t divide yourself.
5. If you’re going to sit down, take everything with you that you need for several different projects: mail that hasn’t been dealt with, a button that needs to be sewn on, correspondence, your laptop computer :-), a junk drawer that needs to be organized. Because once you’re down, you’re not going to be getting up for awhile :-).
6. Whenever you feel like accomplishing something, do it. Don’t talk yourself out of anything that takes energy, because you never know when that energy is going to be there. There was a day that I decided to paint one of the walls in my living room as an accent wall. I went to the store, got samples, chose a color and then did it! I think I got it accomplished in two days. Then I had to rest for a week. Just kidding.
7. Combine errands. I almost never go out for just one thing. Not only does that waste gas, but it wastes energy! Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite chores. I don’t know exactly why, but it just is. So I procrastinate that job all the time. If I have to be out for any other reason, I will get groceries then. Today, in fact, I will be combining three trips: one to my chiropractor, one to pick up my son from an after-school activity, and then to the grocery store. Of course, that means bringing my son along with me, but he doesn’t usually mind. Getting off this comfortable couch today was just too much work!
I might add to these pointers as I think of more ways to be productive. Truth is, I’ve fought against my laziness in my head for years, but I realize that I really do get a lot done, maybe just not in the traditional ways other people do them. I hope this helped!
Thankful today for:
753. a newly licensed driver in the house (that’ll really help with those errands)
754. movies that make me cry
755. gift cards–I just love them
756. warm January weather (I will have a lot of disagreement to that one)
757. a still-green Christmas tree
758. people who keep their word