I am a person that likes to be busy. I prefer to have a jam-packed schedule and run around from meeting to meeting, rather than have a free day. Here are some tips and tricks that I use to maximize productivity that help me get things done and stay sane!
Get up early. I guess I should clarify and say, "get up before your little one!" Honestly, getting up as little as fifteen minutes before Lillian gets up makes all the difference in the world. I can either catch up on a few emails, hastily write a blog post with a few typos ;) (ha!), make her lunch, do a load of laundry, or have a cup of tea and just sit and think. In high school I usually went to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 and would wake up at 5:00am and do my homework. I am much more of a morning person than a night owl, so this approach has always worked for me.
Sit and think. In our fast-paced world, it seems counter-intuitive that sitting down, pausing, and just thinking increases productivity. I know for myself that taking a few minutes to just reflect, brainstorm and think creative thoughts is actually really helpful in making my entire day more purpose driven. Also, thinking about how my day is going to unfold helps me avoid simple mistakes that cause backtracking or inefficiencies.
Put the tv on. Lillian is at preschool from 8:00-5:00pm doing a lot of really fun activities and is busy. When I pick her up, we usually turn on the television so she can watch her favorite Netflix show (which is sort of a creepy show but she seems to love it). Depending on her mood, she either wants to sit together or alone and I use that as an opportunity to clean out her lunchbox, do things around the house and get dinner ready. It's amazing what 18 minutes will get you!
Schedule important meetings first thing in the morning. I absolutely love getting big, long, work-intensive meetings scheduled in the morning, when my energy is especially high.
Say no. I decline a lot of meetings, opportunities, and events if I feel like it will take away from what I need to accomplish.
Do things 100%. Why is it so easy to fold the basket of clothes but takes like three weeks to put the clothes away? lol. I've been pushing myself to not start a task unless I can finish it 100%. Sometimes it is so hard, but I have found it much more beneficial if I do a task all the way, rather than coming home to tasks that are 85% finished.
Ask for help. Asking family or friends, hiring a sitter, hiring task rabbit, doing a babysitting exchange, using Good Eggs or Instacart, whatever! Just find someone to help you with something so you can have more time
Avoid social media. This might come as a surprise, but I actually don't spend a lot of time on social media. I usually post and exit. I guess you could say, I talk but I don't listen on those platforms! I find it a huge waste of time!! Hahah!